06:00 am: The alarm rings, but I hit the snooze button. A couple of more snoozes later, I’m up
06:10 am: Charge the french press, and pick up the toothbrush
06:20 am: Coffee is ready! Open the blinds, and sip coffee while soaking in the fresh air on the patio
06:30 am: Off to the shower – need to start getting ready!
06:55 am: Verify the checklist. Keys – check. Wallet – check. Cellphone – check. Backpack – check. Access card – check. Off to the bus stop!
07:00 am: Step into the bus, and call one of my three offshore teams
07:15 am: Realize that I was so busy talking, I didn’t notice that the train’s approaching. Now I need to wait 5 min. longer
07:20 am: Take the F Line. Offshore call is over, so call up home and talk for some time
07:40 am: Call up the burrito guy and place your order – veggie, no cheese, double-extra-spicy
07:45 am: Text-chat with my manager, and setup a meeting at Starbucks
07:55 am: Get off the train at 16th & California and walk to Glenarm Plaza – the burrito is ready and waiting
08:00 am: Gobble the burrito and head down to Starbucks. Chit-chat over coffee for half an hour – I get a better hang of things this way, and so does my boss
08:30 am – 12:00 pm: Lots of conflicting meetings! Flit through them, and wing it when it comes to deciding which ones to skip entirely
12:00 pm: Time for Chinja!
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm: More meetings!
3:30 pm: Head down to Starbucks with the notebook and figure out the pending tasks for the day
3:45 pm: Back to the cube. Complete a few pending tasks, chat with a few managers and walk the floor speaking to my people.
5:00 pm: Time to wrap up. Clean the desk, reconcile the day’s notes with the lists in the notepad
5:30 pm: Off to the train station for the H Line back to home
6:30 pm: Shower, and then off to the racquetball court
8:00 pm: Back home, cook a quick dinner and eat
9:00 pm: Join the first conference call with an offshore team
10:30 pm: 1st conference call is over. Have some time on hand, so call up home and chat for some time
11:00 pm: Back to conference calls. Consult the notepad and ensure that you cover everything that you intended to
12:30 am: Declare end of the day’s play. Text my wife “Good night” and get into bed.
On most mornings, I don’t get a seat on the Light Rail – I have to stand at the door. At each station, I have to shuffle around to make room for passengers to get off and on. But today, I left from home earlier than usual and found a spot in the middle of the car. Standing at one place with nothing to do goes hand-in-hand with quality thinking time, and that’s what I ended up doing too.
After a long time, I gave some serious thought to my career. As of now, I am comfortably placed – I’m a senior project manager, and over the past six years I have graduated from managing single small projects to managing larger projects, to managing multiple small and large projects together. Considering my experience and expertise (I’m PMI certified since 2007), I can expect to grow into a Program Manager in the next two-three years. Another three years of experience there should qualify me for entry-level delivery management.
But what after that? If I want to grow beyond (and even within) delivery management, my skill set is woefully lacking. Here’s what I will have to cover in the next five years:
- Understanding Finance (I’ve learnt this before, but the sword is rusty due to lack of use, so to speak – need to polish it up)
- Macroeconomics (I love Economics, so this should not be a pain)
- Strategy (never read this, but I know that it’s an essential weapon in any Senior Manager’s personal armory)
- One European Language (my personal inclination is towards German)
- Last week, I was told (by the client) that they want me here for as long as possible – at the very least a year more
- An hour ago, I was told (by my company’s Service Delivery Manager) that our management wants me to replace him next year – to stay in Denver for as long as my visa permits
- Me and my wife want to go back to India as soon as possible
Between these, how (and where) do I strike a balance? Each of these scenarios has pros and cons. Evaluating them is the problem – for that’s when practicality fights emotions; that’s when career duels with family.
I have a few months to announce my thoughts on this; I think me and my wife are going to have many a discussion before old man winter returns.
If you were given an opportunity, does it mean that the one who gave it to you feels that you are the only person who can deliver on that opportunity?
Or could it be that that person had an opportunity himself, which required handing an opportunity to you?
Last night, I saw “3 Idiots” (for the first time – and please wipe that smirk from your face).
Me & my wife both enjoyed the movie thoroughly, and she even commented on the coincidence – yesterday was September 5. Personally, I don’t know whether to term it coincidence or anything else, but it did leave me thinking. I do have my dream, dreams if I may. But when I lay awake in the night, thinking of them again, I realized that what I was terming my dreams were not my dreams after all – they were just two means I had discovered that would lead me to my one dream. Two things that I will enjoy from the depths of my heart.
One of them, of course, is writing. Being a published author; something on which I am working. I am making slow progress, but yes, I am not stagnant.
The second one… No, it’s too nascent right now (and will take at least a couple of years to bear fruit). What I need to figure out right now is a means to achieve that means. And I think I may have an answer. But for now, dear reader, it’ll all stay in the dark. Tomorrow, I take the first step in this direction.
Wish me luck; with your wishes and blessings, you might find some good news posted here in a few days time.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously. Self-importance isn’t real. On the contrary, it’s completely subjective, by definition. Never forget that you’re just a man or woman, no more, no less. You bleed and cry, just like everyone else. And what goes up, all too often, comes down in a hurry. The higher the pedestal you set yourself up on, the bigger the fall.”
When was the last time I posted here? I guess it’s been close to a month (or has it been more)? Well, as an excuse, I have actually been busy – pretty, pretty busy. And for a change, a lot of this busy time was spent doing productive work in office.
So what has changed in the last one month?
- I think there’s a slowly increasing acceptance on the floor that I can solve people’s problems. This was sort of a personal KRA for me, and I am glad that it’s working out.
- I have moved one level higher in the Org Chart. But then, this has not had impact on what I am doing – I still continue to do (and love doing) the myriad things that I do.
- My Account Management training is set to close – in fact, today will be the closing day for the folks based out of India. We will have an evaluation session and formal closing ceremony sometime in August, but that’s over a month away.
The big development, however, is on the Account Management front. It seems that there’s an open account management position, and my name has been recommended for it. Right now it’s all hush-hush, for I have not yet formally conveyed my acceptance (or disinterest), but what I gather is that until I do so, the powers that be are not looking at other applicants. All said and done, I think I will accept this opportunity. It’s more challenging than most others because of its very nature, but then I shouldn’t expect payoff without taking on some risk, should I?
So for now, it’s fingers crossed. Hopefully I will have an update later in the week. And hopefully, it’ll be positive.
The last couple of weeks have been crazy for me. Till about a month ago, I was working for barely an hour or two everyday. Now, here’s what is in my plate:
- I’ve to manage an Offshore Project (thankfully only the coordination part)
- I’m supposed to do the Resource Planning for the Department (117 folks and growing slowly)
- I’ve to start & grow a new practice within the Department
- I’ve to Coordinate Invoicing for the Department at every month-end
- I’ve been selected for the fast-track program for Account Management (10 months of training; about 40-60 hours per month)
- I’ve to provide Pre-Sales support for any proposals I may be asked to work upon (thankfully this is trivial in quantity so far)
While it looks like it’ll be backbreaking work, being busy like this is something I actually enjoy (and haven’t done in a long time). Looks like I will have to do a drastic makeover of my schedule and self-management.
But yes, I’m happy.
- 2006: Programmer/ Tech Lead
2006 – 2007: Transition from Tech Lead to Project Manager
2007 – 2008: Project Manager
2008 – 2009: Transition from Project Manager to Resource Manager/Leader
2009 - : Account Manager? Let’s hope so.