The first post for this year is a book review of No Parking, No Halt, Success Nonstop for a good friend Abhishek Ratna. He has turned a published author with this book on succeeding in the corporate world as a beginner. Abhishek is an IIT, Madras alumnus and an MBA in Finance in Marketing. This book is the result of his experience working in the corporate world. Its a book for 20teens who are just stepping into the corporate world and might need a little help in navigating its labyrinthine ways.
The first thing that struck me about Abhishek’s book is how it doesn’t look intimidating like most books on career and the corporate world. Flip through the pages and you know this is going to be a page turner – but one with valuable lessons in between. The font is easy on the eyes and the contents are neatly structured into 4 tips for every month of the year and then a couple more. And no monologue of gyan here, no sir! Stories are liberally interspersed among its pages to make the tips easier to remember and apply.
Once I started reading it, I was at first appalled and then relieved at its contents. Appalled because Abhishek lays bare the truth of the corporate world exactly as is but also relieved since any 20teen reading this book will be very well prepared to face the corporate world. He makes no bones about the fact that you will, in all probability, come across insecure bosses, gossiping colleagues and difficult situations that you might not have foreseen. And that’s what makes reading this book relevant – preparedness for even the unsavoury aspects of the corporate world.
Here are my favourite parts of the book – incidentally one from each month of the year:
1. It is important to understand the objective of every race
Told through the tortoise and hare story, this is a very relevant lesson to start the year with. Speed doesn’t always mean efficiency. It just depends on whether you need to be fast in a race or not. Being slow, at times, brings along a different set of advantages.
2. You have maximum control only over ‘now’
The entire chapter is a brilliant story to drive home the point. We always want to be extra careful and consider all implications of our decisions but the only certain point in the present. So just focus on doing things right at the moment and the rest will follow.
3. Get creative, get noticed
Yet another nugget of wisdom in times when packaging and marketing are the most important things. The more creative you are in the way you present yourself, the more attention you can grab and stand out in the crowd. This chapter tells you how.
4. Meetings at work are great opportunities to showcase your talent
No matter what your job profile, meetings are going to be a part of your everyday life – albeit not a very interesting one. This chapter gives you 5 simple steps to use meetings to your advantage and prove your worth.
5. Do you need a job change?
When you are a beginner in the corporate world, you may not know if your work life is the best or you should explore something better. This chapter talks about 6 parameters that can help you decide if it’s time to move on.
6. Getting along with difficult co-workers
One of my favourite chapters, it talks about how easily you could turn gossiping or irritating colleagues to your advantage. Instead of shunning them, you could use their habits for information, to find favour with the boss or understand the general atmosphere in the organisation.
7. Understanding people is a critical skill in the corporate world
This chapter is an interesting case study of Deepti, who believes in the power of her hard work and potential without paying attention to things around her. The case proves that just hard work isn’t enough in the corporate world. It is equally important to be smart. Gauge people’s reactions and understand the drift of favours for or against you.
8. Your choices define you. Choose wisely
6 choices are outlined to help you differentiate yourself from average performers and be in the league of top performers. It is your choice that decides which set of performers you end up in.
9. How to be friends with your boss
A very useful chapter that should make the life of a lot of 20teens easy! Simple but powerful ways of bonding with people which can work, especially with your superiors.
10. Ask questions to tackle difficult situations
Asking questions is one of my favourite techniques of communication. It not just clears misunderstanding but also helps find solutions to a lot of things. And the chapter not just illustrates how to use questions in difficult situations, it also has a list of sample questions that you can consider using to begin with.
11. Engage deeply with every element at work to discover your true passion
As freshers in the industry, some of you might feel that you are qualified for certain jobs and don’t have to bother about the rest. But dabbling in different things is pretty sane advice. Try different things out and you will be surprised to discover potential you never thought you had.
12. How to handle rejection
This is an apt lesson for December. Sometimes even after having done your best, you may not achieve what you thought you would. Promotions don’t come when you expect them to. The practical tips in this chapter help you to remain calm and dignified in such a situation.
2 all time best career lessons
Be open minded and Connect emotionally
The end of the book brings two evergreen tips which, I feel, apply not just to our professional life but also to our personal relationships. Keeping an open mind can solve a lot of problems for you. Being judgmental hasn’t helped anyone. And the second one is distilled from all the communication experts down the centuries and holds true even today. The only way to make strong connections with humans is only through emotions.
In conclusion, Abhishek’s book is a storehose of simple yet effective tips for people just getting into the corporate world. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and has a rating on 4.5 out of 5.