Thank you, Author’s Lounge, for inviting me to share my book and the backdrop story with your audience. This book – RISE: Essential Soft-skills for career management – is a practical and brief introduction to the most essential soft-skills that are required in today’s hyper-competitive workplace. These skills, once learnt, create an insurmountable differentiator for you as long as you continue to practice and improve upon them. They are rarely taught as part of school or college curriculum but have become increasingly important in today’s world to be considered employable.
During my tenure with Intel Corporation, when I changed my career trajectory from being an individual contributor to management, I got actively engaged in hiring, training, managing, and developing organizations across the globe. I noticed that although the folks we hired came well equipped with the hard skills to do the job; majority of times they lacked soft-skills to get the job done in collaboration with others or manage their careers effectively. Surprisingly, this was true globally with varying gradients. I started partnering with our HR organization and volunteered to teach and, sometimes, create trainings for workforce development. I also experimented with different formats of coaching and mentoring of workforce that added to the classes I taught.
Often, the teacher benefits more from teaching than the learner. Each session I taught, whether it be on influencing skills, time management skills or any of the other topics covered in this book, it gave me immense insight into my own inhibitions and gaps in the very skills I was teaching. This reaffirmed my belief for constant learning and practice in order to stay ahead of the game and competitive in today’s world, especially when it comes to soft skills. Over the years, I noticed the same story repeated over and over again. The new hires lacked the soft skills; the experienced folks would become resistant to learning and get ‘set in their ways’.
My observations of this gap motivated me to write this book. There is no single book that one can go to if one wants to learn the basics of a set of soft skills. There are thousands of books out there, but each deal with just one of the many skills needed. They too become boring or burdensome to follow because the topic is approached in theory and leaves the reader struggling with the practical situation that is often not the same as explained in the book. More importantly, I wanted to create a book that can also be used as a ‘quick refresher’ for the set of soft skills I cover with some practical situations that one will face in the corporate world.
The book is targeted at folks who want to get a decent level of practical understanding of soft skills required to manage one’s career in the corporate world. Each chapter is a stand-alone chapter covering one soft skill and can be read independently or referred to whenever one wants a quick refresher. Students trying to get into the workforce will benefit from the book as these soft skills will give them a competitive advantage against other students vying for the same jobs but lack holistic view of skills required in the corporates. Small and medium businesses can benefit from the book by improving their customer interaction, productivity, and efficiency by applying some of the ideas I share in the book.
I believe that every book will find its audience. As an author I need to respect and acknowledge the readers my book(s) will find. If it finds enough audience and becomes a source of my income, then I would like to enhance some ideas and do one or more editions to capture new learnings and observations with every passing year. If it fails to find enough readers, then it will stay as a hobby project and I may do another edition when I get some free time. Irrespective, I thoroughly enjoyed writing this book.
I am a technologist at heart and have worked in the hi-tech industry for over thirty years. Writing has been my hobby since I was in the middle school when I wrote for our school magazine. I use writing as an outlet of ideas and have written articles for various magazines and also published books. Time permitting, I write blog on my website. You can read more about me and my writings on my website.