Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Teachable Points Of View 2

Teachable Points Of View 2

Over the course of the last 10 months of work, there are some lessons that I’ve re-learned, as well as new lessons that I’ve gained. These constitute my latest teachable points of view.

1. Sometimes, it’s not what you know but who you know who will make you successful in life.

Build your network. It’s good to build bridges with the senior people at work, however we are all old and will be dead soon (or is that just me?), and so it’s also important to network with your peers and your subordinates.

There was a time when I was just a Programmer who did not know anything, one among many other Programmers who also did not know anything and like me were just starting out in the real world. Fast-forward to today, and my generation is now running the show, as Managers or Senior Managers. The Programmers who reported to me before are now Associate Managers or Managers themselves, and are helping my generation manage the project.

You will not be a Programmer or a Systems Analyst forever. Someday, the time will come when your generation will run the show and call the shots, and when your time comes, you will be there to help each other out, just as my generation is helping each other out now.

2. Learn a lesson from the movie “Saving Private Ryan”: Our objective is to win the war. If a tactical opportunity suddenly presents itself to help you accomplish a goal, then act on it immediately.

In the movie, the mission of the Captain and his team was to find and bring home a soldier named Private Ryan. Along the way, they came across a German sniper outpost. It was not their mission to take out the outpost; however the Captain made the decision to disable it since they had an opportunity to do so, because disabling the outpost would spare the lives of other Allied teams that would cross the same path later. It’s in this small way that they helped contribute more to the overall war effort. The Captain did not wait for orders from Head Quarters if he can take out the outpost or have some other team handle it; he saw the chance to do so, and took it.

We need to think and act quickly if an opportunity comes our way where we can add more value to the work that we are doing. Admittedly, it does help if you’re in a position with enough authority to make command decisions, however even without that, I still think that we can still find ways to add value, in our own small way.

3. Bad experiences will always be bad, however no matter how painful it may be, there is still some value from it.

This is one of those ideas that you file under the category “easier said than done,” but if you can get past the cynicism, you’ll see that there is some truth in it.

Needless to say, the recently concluded software release that I was a part of was just painful in many ways; right now I’m just glad it’s over.

I just recently updated my resume to reflect the experiences I gained from this release. I sent out my resume to all the popular job hunting sites that I have accounts, and all the head hunters I knew, and with that posting I also mentioned a very high asking price for my desired monthly salary. One week after sharing my resume, one of my company’s competitors sent me an invitation to apply for three open positions they had, all of which were at the Senior Manager level. Imagine that: Instant promotion while getting a paycheck substantially higher than what I’m getting now! This just tells me that my experience with this release, as well as the experience gained from all the difficult releases and projects that I’ve worked on, is worth something.

Whether in one’s professional or personal life, bad experiences will always be bad, and there’s no sugar-coating that fact. However there is also tremendous value in bad experiences. With an open mind and trust in God, one can find the hidden blessing in the midst of any trial.

Ask yourself this: What is the value of the bad experiences you’ve gained so far, if not to yourself, then to someone else?

4. Sometimes, it’s still better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you do not.

This is the reason why I did not entertain the competitor’s offer, in case anyone was wondering why. Though I didn’t say “yes” to them, it’s also worth noting that I didn’t say “no” to them, too. Keep your options open.

5. Everybody is insane in their special and unique way; deal with it, or try to find a way to use a person’s insanity to your advantage. If you cannot do that then find someone more insane than that person who can help you and escalate that person to him – just be sure that this other person can do something about it and is on your side.

Special thanks go to my boss for this particular item!

And that’s about all for now.

Okay.  It’s time to go back to doing the needful.

Related post: Teachable Points Of View.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy
  1. August 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I hope you did not post this during office hours just so you have a way to keep your front of ‘being busy’. Hahaha! -eLeN:)

    • August 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Don’t worry, this was written in my personal diary on a weekend, and posted to my blog the following weekend. To look “busy” in the office, I maintain a perenially constipated look — effective! =D

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