This weekend, I got the privilege to attend Illuminate’s Think Tank with Mash Chowdhury, a cybersecurity consultant at Deloitte, as part of Illuminate’s Associate National Lead program. I was extremely inspired and would like to take the opportunity to share what I learned through this interactive session.
Firstly, Mash shared some important advice about how “although your work can be an important part of who you are, your identity cannot entirely depend on it.” I learned how it is important not to drown in accomplishments and put your definition of self-worth in someone else’s hands. This can become tremendously depressing as life is not about building a career but rather about building those experiences you’re going to forever cherish.
Next, to get build a career that you not only want but feel excited about, Mash shared 4 laws with us as follows:
Law #1: First Impression is Everything
No one will talk to you unless they realize you’re worth their time
Some ways to make a good first impression is to have a live walkthrough of your LinkedIn account (this is your chance to show off). This is a way to convince recruiters that you’re worth their time. In sharing this advise,
Mash also shared some tips as to how to fix your LinkedIn:
Make descriptions concise (use bullet points)
Avoid using “I” in descriptions
List skills for each experience
Good photo, banner, and about me section
2. Law #2: Stand on Your Own Feet
Your parents, teachers, friends and “insider connections” cannot get you into your organization. However, if this is your primary way of getting into an organization, then, you’re setting yourself up for failure as it is not only important to be able to be part of the company but also be capable of performing your tasks. By make it into a company with sheer recommendation, your team will also lose respect for you.
Now, this might rise the question: How do you get in? I learned that by doing the following things, you can increase your chances of making it into your desired organization:
Build mentorship relationships. However, it is important to not kill the relationship over one shot as the mentor will believe you’re only in this for the job and will in turn lose respect for you. To find a mentor, you can send 5-10 connection requests every week. It is important to be persistent and keep reaching out till you find one.
Make your list. List all the ways you can get into the organizations. What are your skills? How can you build skills?
3. Law #3: Be a Sniper, Don’t Bring a Shotgun. Aim. Prepare. And Get that Bread
Aim for the job and not just any job
Don’t send the same resume to every single job. Through this Think Tank, I learned the importance of tailoring your resume and cover letter to the job.
4. Law #4: Work Hard
Regardless of what others might say, Mash made it quite clear that there is no other way to the top. You have to work hard, study on the weekend and do your homework. Nevertheless, it is important to know that there are many ways to the top of the mountain. Often, many individuals are transfixed on this set path to the top. In doing so, they neglect all the empty and even perhaps shorter ways to the top.
Conversely, one of the key takeaways for this Think Tank is that success has many definitions. It doesn’t matter what it really is, it just matters what you want. Mash shared some important advice about how to not let others define your success and tell you how you should be/live. However, it is still important to be open-minded and listen to advice from others like your parents and mentors because you often need an outside perspective to tell you whether you’re drunk on your success. Your biggest challenge will be learning to be successful in your own way.
Overall, I learned many wonderful things with Mash through this Think Tank. I am looking forward to learning more about the “Art of Sales” with Dannielle Sakher.