“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”
Constantly pushing myself into this zone of discomfort has resulted in exponential growth and transformation over the years. It’s made me realise that there is always room for more. I have discovered travel and travel photography as experiences that have been the food for my soul on this journey of growth.
Travel has made me realise the very fact that – “To Explore is to Create”. This takeaway has been well imbibed into my professional life as well. Beyond travel and photography, I am professionally associated as a Finance Controller and General Manager – Talent Acquisition (India Operations) with a construction company based in the Middle East.
Q. Why did you decide to pursue an EMBA?
As the world braces through an ongoing pandemic, with people being confined to the four walls within the house, the situation was no different for me.
With this so-called “Work from Home” situation, I was left with some increased flexibility and bandwidth beyond working hours. That’s when I realised that this was the time to capitalise upon and develop myself on the personal and professional front.
Also, on the work front, my profile had significantly expanded beyond finance into areas like operations and general management. This required me to take key managerial decisions, which made me realise the need to be equipped with globally recognised skill sets and best practices.
Q. How does SP Jain’s diverse background help you network with professionals from various industries?
SP Jain School of Global Management, with its global reach and innovative curriculum, happens to be the ideal choice for students looking to accelerate their career growth. With campuses spread across Sydney, Dubai, Mumbai and Singapore, the institute has relentlessly strived to impart the best-in-class education coupled with enriched student exposure.
My journey at SP Jain has been extremely fruitful in the last 15 months. Simply put, it’s been the most engaging and interactive course I could have been a part of. With its diversified reach, there has been an overall exposure as a student when it comes to networking on the personal and professional front.
My cohort was comprised of professionals of various designations from various industries like banking, finance, insurance, pharma, media, talent acquisition, and the aviation industry. There was also a bunch of budding entrepreneurs who were also a part of the cohort. The numerous group discussions during this course have enriched my knowledge to understand economies, industries and businesses from a whole new perspective.
The most promising factor was that they all came in from multinational companies, which gave me deeper insights into global businesses. I consider this pool of professionals as the biggest asset as I near the end of this learning journey.
Q. From your experience, can you tell us about the role of networking in the professional life of an individual?
Networking has always played an instrumental role in every professional’s life over the years. However, with the advent of the technological era, the traditional ways of networking have been gradually debunked, and today, virtual networking has gained prominence. With the emergence of multiple dashboards, online communities and corporate networking platforms like LinkedIn, networking seems to have become seamless and hassle-free.
Q. You strongly believe in the phrase, ‘Network is Your Net worth’. Could you elaborate on this?
Relationships have long been an integral part of human beings as a perennial source of meaning in life and at work. Be it your friends, family, co-workers, associates or business partners, in some way or the other, these stakeholders form an eco-system around you and contribute to enriching your daily lives.
A strong network is like having a hefty bank balance, as they say.
As we enter into a new technological era on the personal and professional front, it’s time we debunk the old traditional ways of networking and focus on leveraging the revolutionised technology to create more sustainable, limitless and efficient networks.
The power of networking has been a critical attribute of many successful careers. I best witnessed the whole concept of strategic networking during my EMBA Program (Intake of 2020) at SP Jain School of Global Management.
Networking as a professional
Large networking channels created over years of working experience has been an accelerator for many professionals in their career. Some ways in which networking can work wonders in the life of a professional are –
- Pool of Ideas – The various experiences garnered as a professional along with the pool of information developed as a result of interactions amongst friends, colleagues and family involuntarily plays a critical role in the exchange of ideas and success in one’s career. By being an active listener, you foster a trade of ideas that can help both in your personal and professional life.
- Visibility – Networking can be leveraged best by professionals looking to be in the limelight and showcase their strengths and capabilities. With this visibility, one can stand out and create an environment for fruitful collaboration amongst associates and clients to accelerate their careers.
- Self-Evaluation – Networking with various individuals throughout your professional life also provides an in-depth insight into your current career level and standing. Many professionals can use this as a benchmark to tighten their goals and build the roadmap to career success.
- Career Acceleration – Networking can be extremely resourceful if one taps onto the right people. Networking with senior professionals and high-profile individuals supports many professionals in seizing the upcoming opportunities for career growth.
Perks of Networking:
The three critical tips for networking would be –
- Proactive Participation – By this, I mean one should proactively look for avenues to collaborate and participate in corporate events at the workplace and in social circles. This will boost self-confidence, resulting in interactions and a more meaningful exchange of ideas.
- Active Listening – This is something I have imbibed over time into my professional and personal regime. Networking would involve interactions where one requires to actively listen and respond. If most of the time we ourselves keep talking, then we automatically close the room for others to express their ideas or thoughts. This would act as a deterrent making the opposite person feel unimportant and a chance to miss out on critical inputs.
- Humility – This is one of the most personalised tips for networking. One should be humble and grounded when interacting and networking both professionally and personally. Being humble with your achievements and career plans surely makes a lasting impact for people to tap on you in case of future opportunities and thereby builds sustainable networks.
About the author: Chinmaya Ashar (EMBA Intake of 2020)
Chinmaya Ashar joined SP Jain for the EMBA program in 2020. He is professionally associated as the Finance Controller and General Manager – Talent Acquisition (India Operations) at Al Tasnim Enterprises LLC. For exponential growth and transformation, he firmly believes in pushing boundaries and living life outside his comfort zone. He considers travel and travel photography to be very close to his heart and it has indeed pushed him to explore more in life.
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