Reverse professional failure | 10 Commandments

It is OK to fail, and people fail all the time. The question is what you do next. Here are 10 steps I practice in my personal life.

  1. Attitude is everything. The world never owes you a living and try to have a positive outlook.
  2. I repeat be optimistic. Optimistic people are more successful in life and people want them around. Make sure you emit the right vibes, your dressing sense and behavior is correlated with your words, actions & intent.
  3. Projection is important. Make sure that people are told what you are doing & what value you are adding. Often bosses don’t understand your work and hence cannot appreciate it.
  4. A firing from boss often results in a dispassionate attitude. This lack of passion will lead to casual behavior, lack of attention to detail, loss of rigor & pro-active approach. All these are sure-shot recipe for a total disaster from which one can never recover. Take a break if you have to, but don’t let the harsh words get to you.
  5. Push back unreasonable demands. It is common to get overwhelmed with a never ending work getting piled up. Don’t over-commit and under-deliver. Set right expectations and distribute work if you have to.
  6. Attention to detail is important. If you are reading this post, probably you are already walking on thin ice. Further mistake and omissions will only aggravate the problem. Don’t try to push things out of the way. Concentrate on perfection.
  7. Focus on your strengths. Try to score a quick win by plucking a low hanging fruit. You need a moral boaster
  8. If you need help, shout for it and shout early. How will the world know your side of the story if you don’t tell it?
  9. Don’t lose faith in yourself ever. If you doubt your ability, then the world would have already smelled it and are probably asking the same questions about your competency.
  10. Cut your losses early and don’t waste your career over a lost cause. Not every battle is meant to be won. A fish can never scale trees nor a monkey cross the deep seas.

Essentially early interventions through an open dialogue and small tweaks in the attitude can rectify most failures at work place. Try to have an open communication with stake holders and exuberance positive energy. You will be surprised to realize how considerate your team and bosses will be. Most people are reasonable and are willing to wait if they believe you can work hard & recover.


Joint finances in Family

In olden times when the earnings were low and basic necessities were expensive managing finances were easy. Everybody pooled all their money and still there was not enough to keep everyone warm, fed & clothed. You may call times to be hard, yet everyone seemed happier.
Today it takes just 25/- to buy a loaf of bread and take credit to be a breadwinner. The share of food & basic necessities (housing purchase excluded) has gone down each year in spite of the complaints of the rising prices. Yet almost nobody has sufficient money and nuclear families are mushrooming primarily for misalignment of social & financial priorities.
Furthermore a family finances is a complex tussle between means, wants and priorities. Add to it retirement planning, mortgage, car purchase, investments and even the most seasoned financial analyst will not be able to give you an answer. In fact I have seen fights over finances in Double income no kids/dependent family as well.
Typical issues faced by joint families or nuclear family with two bread winners are:

  1. Delayed gratification: How much to spend and how much to save.
  2. Alignment of goals & priorities
  3. Saving enough for Separation/transfer/relocation
  4. Share for large ticket purchases (Car, house, investments, abroad vacation etc.)
  5. The financial means & needs of each member in the households changes over time. But expectations & obligations are often not adjusted because of culture or habit.

Commonly households with multiple breadwinners manage their finances in the following ways:

Sr no Method Pros Cons
1 Pooling: everybody pitches in equally and make the head of the family responsible for all finances Simplest measure, practiced across ages Breadwinner & decision makers are sometimes different
2 Fixed contribution by each bread winner Gives each breadwinner some discretionary funds to fulfill their needs If contribution is too low or too high then there will be misalignment of funds
3 Pay what you can: each member takes care of a certain expenses It is division of chores extended to payments as well Basket of chores needs to be re-aligned periodically
4 Generation based roles: pensions & family estate to take care of daily needs, and younger generation to care take of luxury, entertainment & savings Keeps the tussle between investments & luxury to minimum Essentially the younger generation is free loading on the elders

I have realized is that money is important, but it is not everything. As long as the individual members realize that the joint family has the support system needed for emotional & economic well-being then the system will work fine. There are no magic formulae and each family is different. One needs to develop co-dependency and value the kingship of your extended family everything works fine. In fact you get the economies of scale with living together, the kids are better groomed and the support system well established.