Work Smart and Level Up #2 – About You

You will find this publication most useful if you are at that point in your career where you’re asking yourself “what’s next?“.

Usually this means you are 2-3 years into your career in Tech. You have gained enough hard skills, technical know-hows, and confidence to perform your role steadily.

You know what you’re doing and are looking to level up and play the bigger game.

The stories, principles, strategies, and tactics here will help you answer questions like:

  • “How do I get better at presenting my ideas?”
  • “Am I still learning? What will my career look like? Where do I go from here?”
  • “I heard I need to learn to share more and speak up in meetings? Yikes…”
  • “Should I be a team player? What will happen if I don’t? How do I do that?”
  • “How can I expand my network? I heard that’s a good thing?”
  • “How to be less awkward socially? How do you do this social thing?”
  • “How does what I’m working on impact the world? Am I helping real people?”
  • “Should I drop coding and become a manager to get a bigger paycheck?”
  • “Should I start my own business? Will this idea work? Do I need to learn how to sell?”
  • “I’m confused. Is this normal?”
  • “What usually happens in these situations? What is the best thing to do here? How to best interpret this situation?”
  • “What should I anticipate and how to manage this?”
  • “This doesn’t make sense. what am I missing here?”

I know I have all these thoughts in my head when I was starting out (And I still do! The only difference is now I can see bigger area of the chessboard and plan couple of moves down).

I was obsessed with these questions. As with any engineer, my default mode of problem solving is reverse engineering — taking things apart, analysing every (too many, never enough) variables to find patterns, and test out the hypotheses.

I tried to find the algorithm for life. I tried to find formulas and create models to make sense and control more of the world.

Just like I can tell computers what to do and usually understand what makes them do what they do, I want to be able to do the same for human. I want a guide on “How to Human”.

I’ve come to accept that unlike interaction with a computers where oftentimes we can derive and infer clear rules, in the realm of career, social infrastructure, and anything involving human in general: there is no hard formula, things are rarely linear, and everything basically comes down to “it depends“.

But I have learned some of the dependencies.

So I think these stories, observations, and takeaways are worth sharing. These come in the form of high level heuristics and principles, broad strategies, and contextual tactics — all of which you can pick and experiment with.

If this resonates, say hi!

Read this at Substack or LinkedIn

Good conversations are rare these days but we often forget that we can create them. So remember to share this with friends and colleagues who can relate to spark meaningful discussions and generate shared experience.

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Also published on Medium.

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