Match Highlights: Giants vs. Puny Thing

On Thursday, 16th March, the much-awaited annual match between the Giants and Puny Thing took place at Ratmalana. A heated match, the objective for the Giants was to catch the other team member while the objective for that team was not to be caught. The following is an excerpt from the match.

Commentator:

“The mother and daughter team (of the Giants) run after Mimi de Cat, the single member on the Puny Thing team. de Cat feints to the left, and Daughter lunges. In the space offered, de Cat streaks past her on the right, to be faced by Mother. But, Mother is a gentle Giant, so de Cat seizes the opportunity and runs farther. Daughter is in hot pursuit, and it looks like she will catch de Cat, she jumps, but, no, she misses!!!!

You could see that Daughter hesitated. She slowed down at the end. I think that will come up in the review after the match. Why did she hesitate? Did she not want to trample de Cat? We look forward to hearing the justification for why she did not use full force.

But here they are again, now de Cat is under the sofa! Daughter is pushing the chair with all her might but it is too heavy for her to lift. You can see her frustration, and she is clearly  on the losing side in this match. Mother also gets in on the action, and covers off one exit while Daughter guards the other. But they are no match for the cunning de Cat, wo runs out from the middle. Oh, Daughter slips, but no, she gets up again and is off like a shot after de Cat. But, what is this, de Cat does a 180-degree turn and runs back from under Daughter’s grasp, but this may be the last hurrah, because she now has nowhere to go!! Yes! She has realized her reign of terror has ended! She has slowed down, she is now not moving. And here goes Mother, who scoops up de Cat, and that’s the end of the match, folks! It’s a victory for the Giants, but oh at what cost!!! Daughter looks like she has been through the wringer! And what an unexpected victory too, I did not think they would win, but they have.

And off they go, de Cat in a box, to the vet for her annual vaccinations. We will see you again next year, folks. Till then, adieu!

The joys of writer-hood (with apologies to Buchi Emecheta)

Something I have noticed, continuously, is that when I tell people I am a freelance writer and editor, they are confused. The first question out of the mouths of most people is, so, which paper do you write for? I said writer, not journalist! “I am not a journalist”, I want to scream, but in the interests of decency, I smile politely till I can get the retort down, and say, no, I write for companies, researchers, NGOs, and individuals. And the look of confusion continues.

“So what do you write for them?”

“I write anything, from press releases, to website content, to magazine articles,” I reply.

At this point, there are two ways this can go. One is, like a girl in one of my classes, the person will get bored and walk away/ignore me and talk to my husband, whose IT-related work is much easier to understand (which says a lot, BTW!). Or, if they hang around, I will continue to explain to them in the hope that they will understand, all the while watching their eyes glaze over.

On the other hand, the kind people, the people who understand what I do, ask me if they can see some samples of my work because what I write must be so interesting to make a living out of it. This immediately throws me in at the deep end of an existentialist crisis, and I wonder, “am I a writer? Can I write well? Will you judge me and my creativity? Or is it the lack thereof? ….” The questions continue, unbeknownst to the person who asked for the work. How are they to know that their kind interest has made me question my entire existence? I tell them, yes, sure, I will share with you, shoving the self doubt back in, to make its presence felt later. This process continues every time I email my samples out, which is  funny because I have been doing this for the past 4 years, and I have written for some well-known organizations. Also. I have written for nearly all the companies I have worked at while working there. Go figure, huh?!

Now, apart from the issues of explaining what I do, I sometimes come across issues where they go overboard on the oh-it’s-a-cushy-job conversation. Yes, it is a comfortable life, but I do have my set of worries, including not getting paid on time, which is not something many people understand given their regular paychecks.

There was recently a man (in the same class as the girl mentioned above) who said, twice, mind you, “oh you are not working, noh?” In a huff I replied, “I am! I am a writer!”

“Yes, but you work from home. So, you have time to do all the work we are given in class. We can’t because we have work and families.”

At this point, I realized that we were not getting anywhere, so I mumbled something, turned around and started talking to someone else. I don’t know where they get off this!

You might think I should say I am a content writer. Maybe, but then what about all the other writing I do? Also, imagine explaining to these people what content is!! We would be there all day!

 

 

 

 

 

Funny haircuts and whatnot

A few months back, I went to my normal salon to get a hair cut. I have been going to this salon for donkey’s years now, and I have usually been very satisfied with their hair trimmings and cuts and styles. In fact, they were the salon to give me my first short hair cut some 4 years ago. (Yes, I had curly hair to my hip). I was absolutely thrilled with that hair cut and kept going back once or twice a year to get that same cut.

This time when I went, I did so because I had been getting severe headaches from pinning my hair back in ponytails as a response to the extremely warm weather. I had suffered those monstrous headaches for a week lying in bed unable to do anything else, and I finally said “this is enough” and trudged off to the salon one evening (no way was I going anywhere in the heat of the afternoon!).

Alas, that hair cut was not to my liking. I told her to make it short, I said shoulder length but with layering (all words I had learnt from this salon) and I waited while she snip snapped around my head. Once it was done and I had a look, I had a feeling it was a little too short and I was a bit disappointed. But, it was not till the next morning that I realized the extent of the damage. It was extremely short. In fact, I looked like this, I kid you not!

pinterest featherless chicken

I bore it with as much good grace as I could muster. After all, I had wanted short and this was short, so I did not have to pull it back in a ponytail, so mission accomplished. But then, when it started growing, it looked like a mushroom with the sides blooming away from my head! So, I ended up looking like this:

myfunnypics.org

You could find me trying to pat down the hair every so often because I could see it spreading like a parachute. In fact, I still do although the hair has grown downwards a bit.

Needless to say, I will be extremely careful who I go to next time. Given that my regular service person is no longer at the salon, I am in the market for a new place. And I fervently hope that the next will return my hair to its former glory!

Experiences on three wheelers and taxis in Colombo

Traveling in three wheelers is great fun! It tests your patience more than it should! Everyone knows I have a temper, and I have lost it more often than not when ordering a three wheeler. I am ok with the drivers, we usually have a chat about traffic and mad drivers, so that part is fine enough. But getting a three wheeler and getting them to come to the right address is the worst thing. I am sadly soft spoken so I end up having to yell very slowly at the person on the other side (not just with them but with all people) to be understood. So there I am, yelling directions for the next house to hear!

If it is pickme, I have a different problem. One day, I ordered a wheeler from Borella. The driver was on the road to Maradana, quite close to where I was and it was well connected. I was watching the wheeler on the app, and to see, he goes beyond the turnoff, all the way to Viharamahadevi Park. It went past three roads that could have turned to my road – including Barnes and Rosmead which are the closest. It took him at least 40 minutes to come get me. However, apart from this one and maybe a couple other instances, pickme has been good. It has come fast and been quite cheap. This is a favorite option for me. Except like today when the app keeps crashing. They really need to work on the app!

Then there are also drivers who know better than me. If I say how to go, they don’t listen, they go where they want. Today, we came to Asiri Surgical in a wheeler under online taxi. When I got in, I told the driver it was surgical we wanted to go to. He goes a few yards and says we can take Park road. I said take the Jawatta road, and he agrees so I thought it will be fine, but then he turns onto the other Asiri so I reminded that it is Surgical. There was no response and the man slowed down also, and he drove looking left and right, more than the front. Near Asiri he asks, this or surgical! So my father-in-law says surgical and the driver says “ah I thought this one, could have taken the other road easily”!

Quick taxi used to be quick and cheap. But now, it never appears! They never seem to have a vehicle. And sometimes, they send a vehicle but the wheeler never arrives for the pick up. I think it is going down the drain now.

On uber, the problem is money. It charged me 160 to travel a distance of less than 3km, after having said it is 30 per km! Then when I queried it in an email, they said prices depend on more than the distance, that the time also matters. So for a 10-min trip, I have then paid Rs.70! The response was so unhelpful that my first uber experience was my last. Funnily, they wrote to me to ask if the response was helpful also!

However, fair taxi has been fairly good. Cheap and quite reliable. This is usually my first choice.

All in all, I am not too pleased with the wheeler system. I think it needs to be made better. But, agreed there are some good ones too.

Supporting your colleagues

The corporate world is cutthroat competition and it requires you to do things you would not be proud of (if you are a decent human being). This is understood. Disliked, but understood.  My male colleagues talk about this often: how deals were struck and what they had to do. It saddens me.

I have a different experience to share.  I have found women big supporters of other women. Most of my business has come in because of my female friends. They have been supportive, sending me contacts and opportunities. They have got me involved in their projects. They have talked me up to their contacts. In short, I have found my female colleagues accommodating and supportive of their female friends. Never have I felt that they have talked down to me. Also, they provide massive emotional support. This is true not only for me but for many in my network. The number of times women have appreciated another woman’s talent is heart warming.

I am not contrasting them against men as a gender. I am merely appreciating women because I see their value and their worth. And it truly is a blessing to have women friends.

Resolutions and book challenges

Note: if you are not interested in books or the little issues that readers face, you may skip this little post.

Being a book worm, my new year resolutions usually involve reading challenges. For the last 6 years, this has been to read a 100 books. I have come close. 92, 96. Even the respectable 80. But never ever have I been able to hit 100. This magic number eludes me. So what do I do? I continue that same resolution year after year (even after posting half-hearted numbers such as 52 a couple of years ago) in the hope that I will one day get to it. To add to that, this time I have added Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, one long, long book that requires a lot of time.
Now, this could be me setting myself up to fail once again. Or, it could be this indefatigable belief in my own reading ability. Why do I (and other book-readers) do this? I have been reading through many posts by similar resolution-makers, but I have not been able to come to a conclusion. Probably, it has something to do with our innate need to categorize, list down and excel at what we do best.
This need to list down and count leads to many responses in our own psyches. Some embrace it and some run screaming from it. And yet, we cannot get out from under that fascination of counting. We still engage with the concept and practice of it.
I think it’s a good thing. We then keep track of what we have read, what we tried and whatever else we want to keep track of. It bugs no one, its private and it pits us only against ourselves. In my case, it has led to an increase in reading. I am still trying to read 34,000 books, which I heard some librarian had done some time ago!!! I will probably never get to that goal, but that’s OK. That’s something extraneous. I am not even sure it is true, although it was shown as a record on the papers. Even if I never read 34,000, I will still read some interesting and educational books, and isn’t that it’s own reward?

The enjoyable bank

Recently, I went to the bank to pay my convocation fees. I was getting my Master’s degree the following week. I walked in, went to the place with the deposit slips and start filling out the slip. In comes a youngish man, comes near me, and stand watching over my shoulder. It was obvious he was after the pen to fill the slip too but I really didn’t think he had to watch me write mine. After scowling pointedly at him, I got back to writing and finished very fast, and moved towards where the line was.
Now, there were two people writing out their slips (the over-the-shoulder guy included) just next to the last person in the line (the line was going slightly to the right, not straight). If I stood there one person’s elbow would keep connecting with me and I thought best to give them some space to finish their work in peace and moved towards the door. Mind you, this a very small branch, tiny, like a little cubicle, so if you stand near the door, you are directly opposite the cashier. I thought this would be fine and I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. The security guard saw me and told me to join the queue. I pointed to the two guys writing and smiled. He smiled and looked away. That made me hesitate and I thought I’ll move in a little closer. Just then, both the writers finished and jumped into the queue, completely cutting me out. They had seen me finish before them but no, they just joined the line! So I had to join after them and wasted more time standing in the queue.
Of course, if I had stood in the original queue this wouldn’t have happened to me and that’s what the guard was trying to tell me to do. But I didn’t want to because I thought it would be nicer to give them space. Also, I really didn’t want to be squashed between two strange men. But it seems that if you want something done, getting squashed is what you need to do.
Sri Lankans have no sense of personal space. They believe that your space is their space and have no qualms about standing over you or even on you. They are also very sexual, I think. If they are not standing pressed against some complete stranger, they do not feel fulfilled. The only way to survive in the island is to forego your personal space and rub up against people!!

An ancient ritual

I married two months ago, in a fun-filled ceremony at my husband’s home, with our close family and friends in attendance. It was an efficient wedding, and very small, compared to the shindigs popular in the country now.

This is a story from after it. The wedding meant we had to visit relatives, which is an old custom. It is a way of thanking them for coming to the wedding and sharing in the happiness.

Now, I was very happy to do this, even though my family is big! We had to visit 11 families, and we bought gifts and gave our weekends to this. Here is what I was asked everywhere I went. “So, do you cook now?” Every.Single.Place. It came in different forms depending on who asked. This was uttered verbatim by my uneducated relations, while the more enlightened, those who had made the leap to the 21st century, asked me who did the cooking, whether we had a maid.

Now, forgiving the more enlightened ones who may have just wanted to know how I was faring in my new life, I want to take umbrage at the others. I didn’t know that my sole purpose in life was cooking for my husband, that my self-worth needed to be defined by whether I could cook! And the ‘now’ added to ‘do you cook’ means they think I don’t cook! I understand none of them paid me much attention when I was growing up or even after. Some of them didn’t know where I was working anymore, and asked me if I was still at a place I left 7 years ago! But then, where did the now come from? Was that an assumption I would not be able to cook? I mean I know my parents think I can’t cook but that’s because my mother’s cooking is out-of-this-world good (and because they think I’m unable to do anything anyway because for the longest time they thought I was 5 years old). But even they know I cook, I have cooked for them! But why do my relations think I can’t cook? If it’s not an assumption, who said I can’t cook? I have been experimenting in the kitchen with both baking and regular cooking for years now. I like to think I have a natural aptitude for it because my mother is an amazing cook. But apparently, that doesn’t matter.

So, by this time in the conversation, my mind is racing on all these possibilities, and I’m quite saddened. But I wake from my thoughts to find (again with the uneducated), that the conversation has moved on to something else like what my husband does for a living. In the last visit, this was a particularly bad question. The eldest of one branch of the family, my uncle is now quite old, and I understand may not know the rudiments of technology. But, that did not excuse his pestering my sweet and patient husband into fixing all the phones in the house. He kept bringing more and more phones gleefully, and asking for solutions.

Now, this is not to say I didn’t enjoy the visits. Most of my relations are delightful. They fed us amazing food and chatted to us about our educational goals and careers. They made us laugh and feel loved. And they kept heaping gift after gift on us. For those reasons and more, I loved the visits. And it was much fun chatting to my relations because many of them are adorable and I have such connections with them.

For the most part, those outweigh the negative aspects. And even with the cooking issue, I don’t mind discussing it with my cooler relations. It is those who are judgemental and gossipy I do not like. Relations can be a scourge as all of us know, but what I don’t get is why cooking is such a big deal for a woman? 1. Is it bad for the husband to know how to cook? 2. Must a woman know how to cook? 3. If she does (or even doesn’t) MUST she cook? 4. Is this the most important question to ask someone when they come to visit? 5. Would you have asked this of someone who was older or from your own generation? 6. Were you asked this when you went visiting? Ahh, the questions are endless!

Seriously, people! Let others be! You don’t have to give people a hard time!

Let interest in your brand come organically! Tips for increasing traffic to your site.

Lots of clients who come to me for content creation discuss key words with me, and insist on having it in abundance. They want content in a certain way, and will tell me things such as “information that is for the general public is not relevant to my site and me”. Fine, I hear you loud and clear. But  do you?

Thing is, content creation is an ever changing area and what worked yesterday may not work today. Take the case of Google’s search engine. Yes, that all-important search engine ranking that drives our content needs. It changes. It has changed. And it will continue to change. Key words are now not the only way to drive up traffic. Read about it here.

Secondly, let’s talk about thought leadership. Thought leaders are influencing market decisions in significant ways. Think not? Take Oprah. She and her interviewees shaped what we bought and how we thought for many years (and sometimes, continue to do so). That is opinion and thought leadership at its best (and yes, there are people ruining this concept by calling themselves thought leaders without actual experience or knowledge). Take this article for instance: it deals with why and how one becomes a thought leader. Don’t the points resonate with you? Do you see how they affect you? You must have the following of many customers, and the endorsement of a few legitimate thought leaders. Just like you advertise with known personalities playing lead roles, let them or others like them endorse your product online. They will persuade a new clientele for you.

And if you can’t get that endorsement? Create content that is user-generated. This links back to the first article about content creation. This method is now fast becoming popular, due to the changes with Google. Increase social media presence and links in and out of your site. That is organic growth. If you can get someone to come to your site through following you, or your blog, or through other connections you have made online (forums that allow links back to your social media sites), you are well on your way to leading the competition.

There are many subtle ways to get that traffic to your site. Talk to your content officer today, and see what works best for you and your company.

Tug-o-war between employer-employee

Isn’t it fascinating that employers still think they can ill-treat their employees?
In Sri Lanka, you get companies exploiting their staff. (Yes it happens abroad too, but I know about SL the best, so can say so with authority.) They hire staff who are well qualified, get them to do all jobs including those not necessarily in their pay grade and much below their expertise level, because the employee doesn’t want to pay for another person to handle the menial details. I’m not trying to belittle certain jobs, I’m merely saying that it is best if people do the jobs they are hired to do and not everything because it creates a sense of exploitation and dissatisfaction. Imagine if you hired an engineer and then sent him to photocopy your letters or rearrange the furniture in the office? Kind of like that. We all do everything every so often, it’s needed, but that doesn’t mean that you hire someone with expertise to do the little things all the time. Experts need to have their minds free to focus on the things they have expertise in. Anyway, long digression aside, people are exploited.
I know of companies that underpay their qualified staff, who borrow money from their staff for petty cash needs and don’t reimburse on time, who do not pay commissions at the right time, and who only give raises of about 7000 for 2 years even though the qualifications have changed.
I don’t understand where they get off! They don’t realize the value of their employees. They pay a pittance and expect the poor employee to work ungodly hours/shifts and also do everything. Then if the employee asks for a raise, he has to justify and beg and plead like he was asking for some massive favor from the employer himself. It’s his right to be paid well, it is not the generosity of the employer!
Ah, Sri Lanka! When will you learn!

Because tomfoolery is more entertaining…

It is a pity that Sri Lanka is not bothered enough to develop itself. We focus so much of our airtime on politicians and entertainers, we forget that there are other segments we should hear from.
Our TV channels are chockablock with programmes questioning politicians. Fine, they are needed, agreed. A good political debate is essential to see where the country is being taken. But wat happens in Sri Lanka is name calling, ball-passing (much worse than the ball passing of even the Bush administration!) and overall tomfoolery. They are taking the people for a ride. The thing is that most politicians in our splendid isle are uneducated, uninformed, misogynistic fools who talk big and deliver nothing. A discussion between two or three such will be utter nonsense! And yet that is the most popular discussion on TV.

No, I’m mistaken, the most popular would be chat sessions with local entertainers where they rival the politicians. I swear, they give the politicians a good run for their money (and politicians have so much money stolen from the rightful owners, the people of the country they say they are serving). The entertainers bray and cackle and people call in to ask how they felt when their single became a seller. Nonsense number 2.

In this mêlée, TV channels forget to have a meaningful discussion with the innovators, the creative thinkers, the predictors and the scientists of the country. Are they not important? Some channels carry discussions with business personnel, which is good, but those mentioned here are not called in. What happened to people like Rakitha, the person who found a cure for HIV? He was recognized by Britain but not by his own country. We had a few media personnel show an interest but after a few news segments, he was forgotten. Read his story here: http://ceylontoday.lk/51-94339-news-detail-lankan-student-discovers-aids-cure-invited-by-british-pm-to-attend-ways.html
Let’s say this is not a cure? Then he must be supported in his endeavors to fine tune and better this solution. And if it is indeed a cure? Then (patent or not) introduce the cure to patients worldwide and bring them out of their torments! These are important things in the world. Why are we hiding them? Why is more attention not given to R&D? Why is innovation and scientific discovery not important? No wonder we are no where near important except as a cheap BPO location. No wonder we have brain drain. (And there are lots of super intelligent people innovating all over the world, having left this homeland of theirs!)

I wish we would have programmes where such innovators and creative thinkers are engaged in discussion about where the country I headed, what is needed, what the are hoping to achieve next, etc., so that we can focus on research and development in the country. We lack innovations. And the ones we have are swept under the carpet or under a pile of news about politicians. We need a good discussion on our technological capacity and our direction.
Pity we are not interested in developing this sector.

Generations X and Y

I was recently talking to a colleague about generations X and Y (aka Millennials). He, being an employer belonging to the older generation, was quite impressed with the Millennials. According to him, this lot are forthright, to-the-point, and take no nonsense from anyone. He gave examples of young people who are blazing trails in the marketing d branding fields with new ideas.

I belong to this age group, ad yet I wonder if I share their characteristics. I know when someone is talking through their hat but I was raised in such a way that we never called their bluff. We smiled and walked away. Also, we tried really hard to make everyone’s lives easier. I have always been a firm believer of doing the best for others. This is probably why I went into social service, where I spent ten years volunteering and basically being the girl in the background wearing black so that she would not be seen. I am not used to (intentionally) hurting people and do my best to be a dutiful daughter even when my desires do not coincide. This is how I was raised, and it looks like I was raised with the morals of an earlier generation.

However, the takeaway message then for me and others like me is that we have the potential to be similar to these trail blazers. We just need to make our way out from under that Victorian (insert the particular era) rock we were under.

It is our duty to be the best version of ourselves, and we have the capacity to do so being extremely polite and mindful. I would say that was the best way to be. There are lessons to be learned from the trailblazers and those lessons must be tempered with the positive aspects of our own upbringing. Hail Gen-Y!

P.S.: More on the topic, this time on Generation Z: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3045317/what-is-generation-z-and-what-does-it-want.

Women’s choices

ObamaCare reduces costs for women on birth control plans:

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/07/birth-controls-big-cost-control-gains-from-obamacare.html

Hope that leads to better plans for women. We need more information to be available for women who are considering birth control.

How does the new generation work?

As someone who thinks offices need to become more flexible, I am opposed to the idea of 9-5 jobs. I prefer places that allow their workers to come in when they like and leave when they like, AS LONG AS they finish their work and deliver on what they promise.

Seems like that falls within the features of millennials, as written by Jones Loflin in the following article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/millennials-dont-want-work-life-balance-jones-loflin

I guess we need to be handled differently from our parents. Our work patterns are different, which need to be accommodated. Happy reading. 🙂

Marketing and the seven sins (Alok Ranjan)

Was going through some articles on LinkedIn, one of my favorite pastimes in the social media world, and I found this gem:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-deadly-sins-digital-marketing-alok-ranjan

In my more annoyed moments (after an onslaught of advertisements and in-your-face marketing), I have thought that marketing should be banned, that it should be illegal to have so much noise on TV, radio, and even the roads. I understand the importance of branding, sales and marketing, but that has never made me a believer of false advertising and exaggeration of the effects of a product. Not everyone can be the market leader, but if marketing is to be believed, every company is.

In my own writing, I have attempted at all times to steer clear of such deception. And mostly, I have succeeded. With that attitude in mind, I am sharing this for the benefit of the customer as well as the company. Hope you enjoy the article!

Vietnam in December – Part 1 (synopsis)

December 2014: I decided to travel with friends this time, and guess who joined me! My Swiss friends, Patricia and Sabine. Got to know these two when they came to Sri Lanka some years back for their Masters degree researches. Had a great time with them, and when they went back, they kept in touch. Missing friends is never fun, and last year we decided we should meet again, and thought why not meet in a country none of us have been to. So Vietnam it was and in the midst of extra busy work times and general chaos, we managed to organize the trip. Met the girls in Thailand and it was like they had never left.

The first two hours in Hanoi were a weird experience. From the confusing hotel drivers who picked us up, bundled us into a van only to ask us to change vehicles just outside the airport parking lot, to the drive to the city, I was not pleased. We all thought we would die, the way the driver maneuvered the vehicle, and the drive was quite long. However, we came safely to the hotel, and the people there were extremely friendly. The room was quite good too, white and bright. The girls slept for most of the evening, given their longer flight. I decided to walk out a bit, but stuck to the immediate lanes in case the girls woke. When they did, we went out walking and discovered not just quaint food in little alleyways, but a beautiful cathedral with larger-than-life Christmas decor and a Vietnamese wedding, next to an international coffee house (architecture and posters were very European). Watching the lights come on on the Christmas decor, sitting with my two Swiss friends, in a coffee house serving an eclectic mix of international drinks was a moment of pure joy and wonder. This was the highlight for me for Hanoi. I did not feel entirely comfortable with the shops atmosphere. Somehow it felt like the proverbial concrete jungle, and I was not happy.

We went to Hoi An (I was sponsored by the girls, which I thought was extremely sweet and generous) and I really loved it. We had a private chalet-like room, very spacious and lovely. It had two bathrooms that were open to the sky, with wooden bamboo walls. I loved it, especially that the beds were super comfortable and large.

WP_20141231_001WP_20141231_003WP_20141231_005WP_20141231_007WP_20141231_008

The basics of the trip being covered, I feel that a more comprehensive and heart-felt post is required for the rest of the trip. Hence, this will be post 1, or the synopsis, while part 2 will cover the details. Until then!

5 year plans in the world of work

Ever since I left full-time work and started on my own, I have been thinking about the pros and cons of in-office work (leaning heavily towards self-employment, of course).

Found this article about 5 year plans on a local radio station’s FB page:

http://lite87.com/8-reasons-why-having-a-five-year-career-plan-is-completely-overrated/

I have been asked this 5-year plan question by some companies. But you know, weirdly, it was by companies I would call stodgy, more than progressive. The question, as well as the “where do you see yourself in 5 years” question, should be eradicated from the interview questions. These two questions are no longer relevant, at least in my opinion.

Sole ventures

Those of us who are workaholics should consider going into business for ourselves. It does come with risks, of course, but so does everything else. The advantage we have is that we like working, we want to work.

Going into business means constantly being on top of your game. It means marketing, networking, late nights, early mornings, and continued focus on your work. Every thing is an opportunity. Every thing is a business deal.

This can translate into stress for sure, but it is offset by the opportunity to take a break when you need it, and the money that keeps increasing based on your dedication helps!

All you need to do is get your market research done and be efficient. And no, efficiency doesn’t mean you hop around like bunnies, it means you do what is needed with speed and precision.

This is a simplified post, not a comprehensive one. Just remember, your hard work pays off, and you make profits for yourself. You set the rules, you decide the holidays. One of the things I love best about working for myself is that I get to spend time with my loved ones whenever needed. I balance the work and my personal commitments and I don’t waste time.

That’s the other advantage of working for yourself. You know the value of time and learn to maximise it. Productivity increases. You learn to balance commitments. You find efficient ways to work. You learn what is important and what is not. Most of all, you are not stuck in someone else’s time frame..

Chloe’s Cupcakes

My best friend recently started a cupcakes business, named Chloe’s cupcakes. She has always been creative and an excellent baker, and this is a great venture for her.
She does some amazing customised cupcakes, so do check out Chloe’s cupcakes on FB (Chloe’s Cupcakes). Also, she does delivery in the Dehiwala and Colombo areas, so you can get it delivered to your home or office.