Friday, February 15, 2008

Best Advice of the Day

"You don't get promoted because you work hard, or because you work long hours, and deliver superb result.. You have already been paid for that! But in order to achieve the highest level in a company you must work extra and able to distinguish yourself by volunteering and sacrificing your free time to deliver something outside your job description, to bring values for the company and people around you."

Amen, brother.

Most of us tend to believe that if we work hard then we will get noticed by the company one day and collect the rewards. That's not how it works anymore. When you are in a very competitive place, everyone works hard. Everyone works long hours. And everyone delivers superb results. So the question is: how to distinguish ourselves in order to be in the spotlight?

The answer is by doing something extra. We should do something outside our work time, to deliver something outside our scope, and willing to do so without any directions from the company. In other word, we should volunteer to do something extra. And there is no guarantee after all those things we do, we can get our reward.

What's the main point here? Do something extra for yourself and only because you like it. If you try to volunteer but expect to get something in the end, then be ready to get disappointed. Just do it for yourself. And do it because you really like it.

By the way, the advice above was from one of the few Cisco Advanced Services Distinguished Engineer. He got into what he is today because he applies this principle. And he is the living proof of his own words. Distinguished Engineer is not a position in Cisco that you can apply. Many people must recognize you and raise your name to the committee. And those people are not only from the team where you have been working with, but as well as from another team or from different organization. The only way to make people realize that you exist is by volunteering yourself to do something extra, and to deliver something outside your own scope.

So please remember next time you think that you have worked like hell, you have spent days and nights to deliver the best output, and you think you deserve to get into top notch position.
Well, think again. Everyone does the same.
And we all have already been paid for that.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Flying Gold, Swimming Hard

I got upgraded to a KrisFlyer Gold last month and I have been enjoying the privileges ever since: priority tag for my luggage, airport lounge while waiting for flight, front row seat inside the airplane etc. But when there was a flood in Jakarta on Friday and I had to fly there to see my family, I guess that Gold status is good only up to Changi Airport in Singapore.

Once my flight landed to Jakarta, I needed to take a bus that looks like the one used for passenger evacuation in the Speed movie just to get to the terminal. Due to a very bad weather in that day, the authority was shutting down the airport for 5 hours so there were so many airplanes stuck there hence no place to for my plane to park properly. Landing to the airport is one thing, getting out from the airport is another story. The flood made no cars can pass through the only highway to the airport because some part had been covered by 80 cm of water.

There I was stuck for couple of hours until one guy offered me to use military vehicle just to get out from the airport. We must took a long way from the back side of the airport to get to city center and after 3 hours I finally got to the closer place to my parent’s house, and the road was full of water. Some guy with motorbike offered me to cross the water to reach the house. I took the challenge and we almost made it even with the bike exhaust was already in sub water until suddenly the engine shutdown and we fell down together. So that guy and I finally worked together to push his bike our from the water until we reached the higher spot. I paid him some money and continue my journey by foot. The water was just below my hip and I carried my luggage, with the priority tag, over my head.

I finally reached my parent’s house, cleaned up myself, and took my car from the garage. It’s a SUV so I was able to drive pass through the water and got into the highway that take me to my home city, 150 kms from Jakarta, around 2 hours later.

Imagine what someone has to go through just to get home.
But it’s all worth the effort. And it was fun too.