Tag Archives: career

dating advice if you have reached a “certain” age

21 Jan

If you have a reached a “certain” age, and are still not in a long term or committed relationship, here are some things you can try. Oh, and if you are wondering what a “certain” age is, then let me tell you, only you know the number. If you feel you have been single (or single-again) long enough, then it is your “certain” age. If you are still happy being single, then you have not reached the “certain” age. No one else can determine that for you.

Meeting: Go out and meet people. Do things you love, and do things that most folks of the opposite gender love. There are plenty of online groups like meetup etc., where you can find such events being organized. Join online dating web-sites. Let your friends and family know you are looking to meet people. Accept invitations, dates, setups etc. You have to put yourself out there and meet people. There is no substitute for that. Set-up/introduce your other single friends if you meet someone not right for you, but may be right for them. You never know, someone may be so happy that they might actually return the favor 🙂

Weeding: Let people know upfront that you are looking for a steady, long term, committed relationship. That will weed out most of the folks who are looking for a casual fling, are still “window shopping”, or simply not ready to give-up their singledom. Don’t worry, you are not losing potential mates, you are only losing the time-wasting distractors. You would be surprised how many there are!

Staying put: Once you have met someone interesting, who catches your fancy, and is also looking for a long term steady relationship, then commit to them. That does not mean you start making declarations of ever-lasting love, but it means, commit to them in your mind that you will see this relationship through with a sincere and honest effort. Spend time with them, and genuinely get to know them. Stop playing games. Return messages and calls as soon as you are able. Ensure you spend time talking to them over the phone, if not in person, on a regular basis. Do not “keep your options open” or date multiple people at the same time. You are old enough to know what’s out there, and what you can get. If you are unsure, and still want to keep your options open, either you have not reached the “certain” age, or you are seeing red flags and this person is not right for you. Next!

Taking it slow: Go slow if you must, but understand what that means. It does not mean you create artificial communication gaps – returning calls with text, waiting 2 days after a great date to message back, and so on. It means, do not get engaged or married in a hurry because you can’t wait to have kids (or whatever your reason is). It means, do not jump into bed even before you know if you can spend an entire day or a weekend with them without wishing at least one of you were dead 😛 Take your time on physical intimacy and life-changing commitments, but do move at a natural pace to really get to know the person and see if you enjoy their company. If you feel like calling, call. If you feel like asking them out, then do so. Make sure you get an enthusiastic response from them every time you reach out, or you give them an enthusiastic response when they reach out to you. Make them feel special, and also see if they make you feel special as well. That way, you won’t be chasing someone who is not interested in you.

Dealing with issues: And certainly take it slow when you run into issues, do not run for the door. You can break-up any time, but really put in your best effort before you call it quits. Think about the issues, and try to resolve them with mature dialogue and discussion. (Unless you both are addicted to feelings of anger and drama, and enjoy the fights. In that case, all bets are off 🙂 ). Ask for advice from folks who are in long term committed relationships, talk to therapists if that might help. If your partner refuses to go, you can go alone. They are most likely to tell you examples of how to make things work, rather than the standard advice of “plenty of fish”. And most important, bring-up all issues and concerns with your partner directly. Do NOT use middlemen (or middle women) to convey messages. If you can’t have a direct dialogue with your partner, that is cause for concern. Either you need to get more assertive and speak-up, or tone yourself down so your partner feels safe in speaking-up.

Keeping yourself inspired: Read stories about long term relationships, how they met, and talk to your own family and friends of how they faced challenges in life. Such stories are inspiring and help develop a problem-solving attitude, rather than encouraging to take the easy exit. And if you believe in the Laws of Attraction, then it will bring in more positive energy in your life.

I hope some of these ideas help. If you have any more to share, I would love to hear from you!

 

lean-in by sheryl sandberg

28 Aug

I just finished reading “Lean-In” by Sheryl Sandberg, and I totally loved this book! I only wish I had read it when I was starting my career, oh, about a dozen years ago. But I guess Sheryl was in her “not feminist” phase at that time :-p

What I loved about this book… a lot of common sense advice, in an easy-to-read format. The book is not too long, and she quotes extensively from latest research studies. There are about 40 pages of fine print foot-notes for those who are intrigued by the details of the studies.

I first heard Sheryl give a talk at some event, can’t remember where/which one. That was when I first heard the “Lean In” concept. It really spoke to me, and I started repeating it like my mantra. In my interpretation, it simply means to do more. And not let narrow imaginary walls hold me back.

A lot of my views around Lean In have formed through reading Sheryl’s interviews elsewhere. I think her views came out more clearly in those sometimes, when she could be more informal. Some of the great ideas she highlights in her book:

“Rubin likes gold” moment: 

Sheryl Sandberg talks about this incident in her book “Lean-In”. Secretary Rubin was appointed the co-chairman of the board of Goldman Sachs. At the end of his first week, he noticed Goldman Sachs was heavily invested in Gold. When he asked about it, he was told it was based upon his advice! Apparently, on his first day, he had commented “Gold looks interesting”. That got translated into “Rubin likes gold”, and someone down the chain invested millions of dollars in gold!

Mentors are not Prince Charming:

Sheryl has an interesting perspective on “mentors”. Women are often told, “Get a mentor, and you will excel.” That is another take on a Prince Charming coming-in to rescue you. Instead, Sheryl advocates “Excel, and you will get a mentor.”

I so agree with that. No matter what advice the mentors give, at the end of the day, we ourselves have to execute on them, and we are responsible for how it turns out.

Find a suitable partner:

Sheryl talks about finding a partner who will lean-in at home more, allowing you to lean-in more at work.

I can’t emphasize this enough. I think it’s very important for couples to support each other in their passions. Somehow, we never think about this aspect when dating or looking for a relationship. But it’s really important, right up along with their FICO score 🙂 (that’s from Suze Orman, and a future blog post)

Oh, and through-out the book, she refers to Dave as her “partner”, not as “husband”. I thought she was just being politically correct, being from California and all, you know. But a colleague pointed-out to me… that’s her “partner”, as in “equal partner”. Wow! What a thought!!

Lean-In when you are going to have a baby

“The best time for a woman to take-on a new and challenging job is right before having a child. If she finds her new role challenging and rewarding, she is more likely to be excited about returning back to work.”  Another brilliant idea!

“Career loving parent”, a nice alternative to “working parent”

Work-Life Balance:

If you’re getting burnt out at work, check to see if you have any vacation left. Why would you think about quitting a job if you’re not giving it a fair shot?

She also talks about going public with her policy of leaving work at 5:30 to be with her kids. Yes, I remember reading about that. And I remember thinking… if she can do it, and be successful, so can I.  Oh, and that’s a rant I have heard from many parents… even single dads, who felt compromised at their work-place because they had to leave sharply at a certain time, even in the middle of a meeting.

Final thoughts:

“We cannot change what we are unaware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”

 

“seek and speak your truth” ~ sheryl sandberg in “lean-in”

26 Aug

I’m reading Sheryl Sanderg’s  book, Lean-In. I have mostly agreed with her advice all along. Today, I read the chapter titled “Seek and Speak Your Truth”. She talks about being authentic at work. Encourage others to tell you when you are wrong, and thank them publicly for doing so. Let people know privately when something is not working for you. She talks about blurred lines between work and home, and how we cannot be different personalities from one to the other. So far, so good. Then she talks about crying at work.

Sheryl says she does not advocate crying, but if it happens, it happens. She says its ok to share your personal life. She recounts examples of people – make and female – receiving sympathy and support when they got teary-eyed at work. Here is where I disagree with Sheryl. In my empirical experience, extreme display of emotion do not bode well at work. I know one executive who became teary-eyed while giving a “kick-butt” talk to the team for meeting their goals. The team was all shocked about why this person was getting so emotional, they wondered if he had it all in control, and the executive was soon history.

There was another case when an employee let the manager know about an ongoing divorce. The manager, out of “kindness”, did not provide appropriate feedback during the focal, severely impacting the employee’s opportunity to grow within the company.

I think the only kind of “personal sharing” that works is “after the fact” kind. One senior executive publicly shared about his child’s severe illness in the previous year, after the child was completely cured. He overcame the challenge, and then shared.

Of course, neutral, everyday sharing of where you went for vacation or the next car you are planning to buy, will most likely not impact your professional life very much.

What do you think? Have you seen or experienced any instances where people shared their personal life at work? How did it turn-out for them?

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