I am 34 years old with an intense desire to summarize life based on my experiences so far. This is quite stressful and feels like a midli…

December 13, 2016

I am 34 years old with an intense desire to summarize life based on my experiences so far. This is… by Arun Jawarlal

Answer by Arun Jawarlal:

First of all, I do not share the experiences that you have shared and I am unable to feel the pain that you are undergoing right now. I can sympathize with your pain and you are not alone. I would love to help/support you in anyway possible. I want to share 3 pieces of knowledge I have read, which can help:
Life is Dhukka/Suffering (Buddhism): Being born, experiencing life, growing old and dying and anything impermanent or anything we expect to happen causes suffering. Once we accept the fact that suffering is a part of life, we can move on. We can even try to enjoy the suffering a little bit.
Creating a Purpose (LogoTheraphy): In the book "Man's Search for Meaning", Dr. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor has suggested that everybody has an inherent desire to achieve something great or to succeed. But not everyone can be millionaires or prophets but one can create a purpose for oneself. Helping a poor person with their education, taking care of very old people or rescuing helpless animals etc. This can help live a full life without regrets.
Challenge the Status Quo (Socrates): We live in a world which puts us in suffering. We can challenge the world. Why do things that were done in a certain way? What can be done differently? Do things that you did /usually do in a different way. Do you drive to office? Go by public transport. Do you wake up at 8:00 AM, try waking up at 4:00Am. Form a new habit, a new ritual. Challenge monotony.

Hopefully, this made a difference.

I am 34 years old with an intense desire to summarize life based on my experiences so far. This is quite stressful and feels like a midli…

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How do I get a package of 30 laks per annum?

October 24, 2016

How do I get a package of 30 laks per annum? by Anonymous

Answer by Anonymous:

This question seemed tailor made for me because this year I got my salary raised to 30 lpa & it took me 4 years to get there. Instead of saying what you have to do, I’m going to say how I ended up with 30lpa so that you can pick up a thing or two.

Year 2012: CTC 5lpa

I graduated from one of the top tier colleges in India but I am not from a Computer Science background, since I had interest in programming I joined a company as Software Engineering Trainee 4 years ago with a package of 5 lpa. To most it might seem very good as a fresher but coming from my institute where the average salary is like 8–9 lpa, this was quite low.

My relatives used to say to my parents while I was in college “All your financial problems would be solved, just wait for your son to graduate, he will easily earn 1 lakh per month given how talented he is”. Although my parents never said anything, they were hoping I’d graduate with a very good salary.

But I did not, with all the variable pay, I used to get a mere 30k per month with no benefits. I was away from home, was sending back home a mere 10k per month, it was definitely not what I planned when I joined that prestigious college. I felt pretty dejected by the fact that despite graduating from a top tier institute I was sending home mere 10k per month.

All this because, I was not from a Computer Science background. And it is true, I did not know anything beyond C & a bit of data structures, I deserved such pay for the skills I had. But I was highly ambitious like you, never say that earning 30 lpa is a unrealistic dream.

I knew one thing that I’m not so great at Computer Science, so I said I am going to fix this. I did dream of higher salaries but in my dreams higher salary was like 11 lpa, I was very modest back then. I was working as a full stack web developer, I was told to learn so many technologies both in frontend & backend. While all my office colleagues used to party during weekends, I used to confine myself to my room. I had read so many blogs about improving my programming skills & one thing fit into my mind so well.

You can only get good at programming by coding as much as you can aka practice.

Going through a DSA book & solving problems was not my forte. So, I started building my own personal web apps using the backend framework & frontend framework I was then working on. Whenever I used to stumble upon a issue I used to go through the documentation, stackoverflow & if none works, directly into the source code.

Every day right after office, I used to have dinner & start coding. On weekends I used to code the entire day. The fact that I lived alone helped me so much in this because no one used to ask me to come to that stupid mall for the Nth time & live the programmed life.

Year 2013: 6lpa

So, I kept doing this for almost a year. Now came the time for raise, my salary went from 5lpa to 6lpa. Although it felt great, it had nothing to do with the fact that my knowledge of the tech has improved!

As the time progressed, I even learnt about new upcoming frameworks, I got my hands dirty with them. I used to read blog articles, I used to try the new frameworks. And when I was in office, I used to incorporate few design patterns in our own projects based on what I learned from other frameworks. I even had an habit of going through the source code, I used to be very active on StackOverflow answering questions. During this whole time, I wasn’t even thinking about my salary, I was so involved in learning. I was like a child, if you had asked me what is that I want to learn I’d have said everything. To paint the picture I was learning Web design, Ruby on Rails, HTML5 & CSS3(new APIs were released back then), MongoDb, NodeJS & BackboneJS simultaneously. Although in my office I was working on a different tech stack.

Do not confine yourself to a single programming language or a single framework.

Going through the source code & trying different programming languages taught me various design patterns. They also taught me to write code that is readable & testable. I used to refactor the code in my company all the time because I didn’t like the code I’d written few months ago.

If you look at the code you’ve written in the past & think it is awful. Congratulations, you’re evolving as a programmer!

I was becoming the goto guy in the office eventually for all the difficult bugs or stories. But it was easier for me because, some of the problems I had solved in one of my side projects that I was working on during the weekends. Some bugs people had almost no clue of but I could say exactly what was going on in one shot because I happened to read about that in a blog post.

Year 2014: 6.5lpa to 9lpa

But I realised the company I was working for didn’t realise my contribution because it was evident from my next raise which was mere 6 lpa to 6.5lpa. So, I decided to switch, I moved to Bangalore as a Frontend Engineer. Without even negotiating I was offered 9 lpa. It was a huge moment for me, I was ridiculously happy! I was thinking of negotiating to like 7–7.5 but they didn’t even ask what I’m making, they liked my performance in the interview & offered 9lpa because everybody were being paid the same

If you feel you’re being underpaid, switch immediately.

With new raise, I was even more motivated. My lifestyle did not change, I kept building those side projects. This time for a change, I started contributing on Github, first I used to fix small bugs. And then one of my open source project got quite popular.

Eventually I started getting emails on linkedin & gmail about how companies want someone like me in their team. Although I rejected most of them because I didn’t want to switch just for the sake of higher salary, it felt quite good because you’re now on the other side where companies are looking for you rather than you looking for them. And all this happened because of the profile I had build over the 2 years on StackOverflow & Github.

Having a great Github/StackOverflow profile helps so much for you to the extent that companies would apply to you instead of you applying to them

Year 2015: 15lpa

One year later due to a family issue I had to move to my hometown. And since I didn’t find any high paying companies which are not MNCs, I decided to work from home. I applied to companies based in US hoping I’d get paid in dollars but I got an offer from one company which was willing to pay me 15lpa. It was huge boost almost 67% raise.

Not joining big companies during my early stages has been invaluable because I could learn so much in very less time & make huge impact. Do not worry about the social status that nobody has heard the name of your company, it doesn’t matter in a long run!

It was a small startup, since I had knowledge across multiple domains. Despite being a frontend engineer, I used to give valuable inputs in design, backend api design etc. I thought I would just be delivering features on the frontend but turns out I had to rewrite the whole frontend from scratch. I hadn’t architected any project before, so I went through various articles/blogs, their thinking process, their mistakes. Eventually I ended up doing quite better than what I had expected. I then bought some books about designing scalable applications & refactored code accordingly.

Sometimes you’d be presented with tasks which might ask you to punch above your weight. Accept them immediately, this is your moment of glory. Contrary to what our mind tricks us into believing, we’ll do just fine!

Meanwhile i had gotten emails from some US based firms about how they are willing to pay me USD 85k per annum for working remotely. I politely said no because as usual I didn’t want to switch just for the sake of higher pay & I was loving my job (Some might call this as a mistake but I didn’t find it right thing to do). But this increased my confidence too much that I felt my value is even higher than 15lpa

Year 2016: 30lpa

It was the time for raise, so I told them how I was contributing across various domains, So I’d want a salary of 30lpa and shares in the company. After a week of thought, they agreed to it! I couldn’t believe that moment, because in 4 years my salary literally became 6X.

I felt like a superstar, my parents had got tears of joy after listening to this!

If the work you do is valuable, companies won’t even bargain when you ask for a raise


All this happened because I did not waste my free time & used to improve my skills, this would be my one line advice for you

There are so many programmers but quality programmers are still a rare commodity & companies would be more than happy to pay you the amount you did not even dream of . Focus on improving your skills, salary will follow you like the Vodafone dog

Things I missed upon

To achieve all this I had to sacrifice many things but I don’t regret them at all

  1. I have had almost zero social life, made very few friends over the period of time.
  2. I didn’t watch so many movies because of this, I only watched very popular ones.
  3. No social life => I didn’t even have a girlfriend
  4. Did not watch a single episode of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or House MD or House of Cards , you name it!
  5. I missed out on travelling
  6. My social media profile is not as exciting as my Github profile

I’m not saying one shouldn’t enjoy life or all of the above things are bad but I can do all of these now! TV Series can wait, relationships can wait, social life can wait. After all these years, I feel I am in a more settled position, so yes now I will start enjoying my weekends, I’ll focus on other aspects of my life finally!

All it took me was to sacrifice 1–2 years of my social life! Your time at this age is very precious because you’re high on energy better not waste them procrastinating.


P.S: I am not into Competitive programming, I do not have Hackerrank/Codechef or any such profile. I just want to say that it is still possible without these profiles if you become pro at the domain you work on

How do I get a package of 30 laks per annum?

What are healthy habits of people who have lived over 100 years?

October 15, 2016

What are healthy habits of people who have lived over 100 years? by @NelaCanovic

Answer by Nela Canovic:


The Blue Zones are five regions in the world where many residents live to be over 100. They consume a healthy diet, yes, but in addition to that they lead productive lives (they are physically active and perform daily physical tasks such as farming and gardening), and they seem overall happier with their lives than we would expect them to be, given their age.

Dan Buettner's book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest provides more details on the regions, the people, and what they do in their daily lives that makes them so unique.

What are the Blue Zones?

  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
  • Icaria, Greece

What are some common lifestyle characteristics in the Blue Zones?

  • They focus on leading a rich family and social life
  • They smoke less
  • They enjoy a moderate alcohol intake (and when they do, it’s usually red wine)
  • In most cases, they are semi-vegetarian, i.e. they eat a plant-based diet
  • They maintain a moderate and regular level of physical activity
  • They experience low levels of stress (due to their lifestyle)
  • They are regularly engaged in spiritual practices (including religion)
  • They express having a sense of purpose: the belief that one's life has value and there is a reason to enjoy it.

Why is having a sense of purpose important to leading a high quality of life?

  • In Okinawan culture, people call this sense of purpose Ikigai: it literally means “a reason to get up in the morning.”
  • Ikigai is not something that can be acquired quickly; it is a long process of the search for self and requires a deep level of personal maturity.
  • People who discover ikigai experience a greater satisfaction of living a meaningful life, which is likely one of the top reasons people in the Blue Zones live such long lives.

What are healthy habits of people who have lived over 100 years?

What was the most magical moment of your life?

September 13, 2016

What was the most magical moment of your life? by @UMeNMactech

Answer by Manish Bhattacharya:

When Facebook paid me $5000.

Those people who say “Money can’t buy happiness” are dead wrong.

I did my 12th on scholarship. Got 65% marks in 12th and failed to qualify IIT-JEE and AIEEE. Dropped a year to prepare on my own, was not able to afford the extra financial pressure of coaching . Next year result was better but not good enough to get admission in government colleges.

My father said “we can’t afford engineering, join the local college for B.Sc”.

That was tough for me, I contacted few private college and got to know I can get admission on my present rank and 12th marks.

But “Where’s the money ?” dad asked.

“Give me 25K , that’ll confirm the admission and then we’ll talk to banks for education loan” I replied.

“I earn 8k per month, 25k is big deal but don’t worry I’ll ask my boss if he could help” dad replied.

Next day he borrowed 25k from his boss, asked one of his friend to convert that in DD (demand draft) . I got the DD by 5 PM and next day took a general ticket to Delhi.

I got the admission and later with little struggle got the loan as well.

From the 1st day there was this extra pressure of loan.

Somewhere in second year I came to know about this term Bug bounty program , where big company pay for reporting security issues in their website. It took me almost a year to learn in and out of security, meanwhile I got a cheap laptop.

And one Sunday afternoon I reported few security bugs to Facebook (notes and message).

Monday evening I got a mail from Facebook and Bang !

I was not able to sleep that night. $5000 (3 lakh) was a big deal, I had never seen that much amount in my account or even in my dad’s account.

Next day I took the day off from classes to calm down but one of my teacher called and asked me to come (It was all over my Facebook).

I made a guest appearance for 5 minute with a copy of W-8BEN form in my hand. (Someone clicked this pic ), whole class congratulated.

Next day it was in newspaper

After this I never stopped, I became financially independent. Paid my education loan that year, got clients from all over the world, contributed to security of 500+ websites.

Now Ranked #62 (worldwide) on Google bug bounty program > Vulnerability Reward Program

Made my first million in college and got covered by national/international newspapers and blogs.

https://yourstory.com/2014/11/te…

Meet the Bugcrowd – Bughunter profile of Manish Bhattacharya @umenmactech

Indians top league of nerds in spotting bugs for tech companies – The Economic Times

बग बाउंटी हासिल करने में अमेरिकियों से आगे हैं भारतीय – Navbharat Times

If you are interested in computer/web security, you can follow me on Quora 🙂

EDIT 1: I’m pleased, honoured and humbled for 5K+ upvotes in few hours.

Few friends asked “how to get started with bug bounty ?” , I guess first step will be this classic book on web application security Buy The Web Application Hacker's Handbook: Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws Book Online at Low Prices in India

Edit 2:

There are other ways to make money as well, I can guide you with blog posts (as I have learned all these from other’s blogs) > what I'm breaking… but definitely can’t teach you step by step on this topic. Find something you are passionate about, money will come. Everything takes time, have patience.

What was the most magical moment of your life?

What are some of the greatest innovative ideas?

September 6, 2016

What are some of the greatest innovative ideas? by @Petrichor_lover

Answer by Shivani Nalkar:

Aarambh converted discarded boxes into classroom furniture that can also be used as school bags for developing the nation.

Many of the schools in the rural areas of India lack the basic necessities like school bags and proper chairs and desks, which is why school children end up sitting on the floor all day just to learn. This kind of situation in the classroom does nothing for the kids’ posture and their concentration levels since they hunch their backs to do their work on the floor. The kids also end up with bad eyesight and bad handwriting from their awkward position.

To help solve this problem, New Bombay-based not-for-profit organization Aarambh came up with the Help Desk, a dual-function portable desk made out of recycled cardboard boxes.

They bought these

Then,

And made this,
 

Problem solved!
Congratulations to Aarambh for such an innovative idea.

Watch this video: Page on youtube.com

What are some of the greatest innovative ideas?

What are the all time best English songs?

September 6, 2016

What are the all time best English songs? by Ajim Bagwan

Answer by Ajim Bagwan:

Here are some of the (what I consider) best English Songs from my playlist:

  • AC/DC: You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, Back In Black, Thunderstruck.
  • Adele : Set Fire In The Rain, Rolling In The Deep, Someone Like You.
  • Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A Changin', Blowing In The Wind, Like A Rolling Stone, Things Have Changed, Thunder On The Mountain, Hurricane.
  • Bob Marley: Buffalo Soldier, Redemption Song, Stir It Up, Jamming, No Woman No Cry, Ganja Gun, Bum Bhole Naath.
  • Bon Jovi: Always, Living On A Prayer, I'll Be There For You, It's My Life.
  • Bruce Springsteen: Born In The USA, Dancing In The Dark, Born To Run, State Trooper, Fire.
  • Bryan Adams: Everything I Do, Best Of Me, Here I am, Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman, Please Forgive Me.
  • Celine Dion: Call The Man, All By Myself, A New Day Has Come, My Heart Will Go On.
  • Cold Play: Fix You, Viva La Vida, Paradise, Shiver
  • Eddie Vedder: Better Man, Hard Sun, Society, Guaranteed, Long Road, Rise, Setting Forth.
  • Elvis Presley: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Always On My Mind, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, It's Now or Never.
  • Eminem: Not Afraid, Stan, Love The Way You Lie.
  • Eric Clapton: Layla, Cocaine, I Shot The Sheriff, Tears In Heaven.
  • Frank Sinatra: It Was A Very Good Year, My Way, That's Life, Strangers In The Night
  • Guns N Roses: Civil War, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, Paradise City, Sweet Child O'Mine, November Rain.
  • Jimmy Hendrix: All Along The Watchtower, Voodoo Child, Third Stone From The Sun, Purple Haze, Hey Joe.
  • John Lennon: Give Peace A Chance, Imagine, Jealous Guy, Mind Games, Woman, Instant Karma.
  • Linking Park: Breaking The Habit, Crawling, In The End,  Waiting For The End, Somewhere I Belong.
  • Led Zeppelin: Dazed & Confused, Achilles Last Stand, Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, Immigrant Song.
  • Marvin Gaye: Ain't No Mountain High Enough, What's Going On, Let's Get It On, Sexual Healing.
  • Metallica: One, Nothing Else Matters, Enter Sandman, Unforgiven.
  • Michael Jackson: Beat It, Dangerous, Billie Jean, Earth Song.
  • Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit, The Man Who Sold The World, Come As You are, Lithium.
  • Phil Collins: Against All Odds, Another Day In The Paradise, In The Air Tonight, Sussudio, One More Night, Land Of Confusion.
  • Pink Floyd: Time, Coming Back To Life, Echoes, Breathe, If, Brain Damage, The Great Gig In The Sky, Us & Them, Comfortably Numb, Learning To Fly, Wish You Were Here, Marooned, Have A Cigar.
  • Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody To Love, I Want To Break Free, Show Must Go On, We Are The Champions.
  • Radiohead: Creep, Karma Police, Paranoid Android.
  • Simon & Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mrs. Robinson, The Boxer, Sound Of Silence.
  • The Beatles: A Day In The Life, Across The Universe, Come Together, Hey Jude, In My Life, My Guitar Gently Weeps, Obla-Di-Obla-Da.
  • The Doors: Break On Through, Light My Fire, L.A. Woman, Love Me Two Times, People Are Strange, Riders On The Storm, The End, When The Music Is Over, Alabama Song, Moonlight Drive.
  • The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter, Satisfaction, Sympathy For The Devil, Play With Fire, Thru & Thru.
  • U2 : One, With You Or Without You, Beautiful Day

  • Ain't Too Proud To Beg by The Temptations
  • Stand By Me by Ben E King
  • The Thrill Is Gone by B.B. King
  • Only The Lonely & Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
  • That's Amore by Dean Martin
  • Hit The Road Jack & What'd I Say by Ray Charles
  • A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke
  • Oh Girl & Have You Seen Her by The Chi-lites
  • Smooth Operator by Sade
  • Johnny Be Good & You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
  • What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel IZ
  • Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Vallie & The 4 Seasons.
  • Smoke On The Water by Deep Purple
  • Have You Even Seen The Rain by Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Ground Of Divorce and One Day Like This by The Elbow
  • Singing In The Rain by Gene Kelly
  • Hotel California by The Eagles
  • Never Tear Us Apart by INXS
  • You Are Beautiful by James Blunt
  • You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker
  • When The Lights Go Down by Journey
  • Lowride by War

  • Solitary Man by Neil Diamond
  • Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf
  • Respect by Aretha Franklin
  • California Dreamin' by The Mamas & The Papas
  • Sledgehammer & Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel
  • Downtown by Petula Clark
  • Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis & The News
  • Where's My Mind by The Pixies
  • Carnival of Rust by Poets Of The Fall
  • Sound of Muzak by Porcupine Tree
  • Loosing My Religion by REM
  • Desert Rose by Sting
  • Every Breath You Take by The Police
  • Take Me Out Tonight by The Smiths
  • Time Of The Season by The Zombies
  • Dead Man Walking by The Script
  • Wicked Games by Chris Isaac
  • Wind Of Change by The Scorpions
  • On The Road Again by Willie Nelson
  • Against The Wind by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  • Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Story of My Life my Marty Robbins

Also see:
What are the most beautiful lyrics you have ever heard?
What is your favourite lyric line from a song?
What films do you remember for their music/sound?
Music Recommendations: What are some good "long" songs?

What are the all time best English songs?

What are some professional (technical, soft, management etc.) skills one can learn and master in a couple of days or a week?

September 4, 2016

What are some professional (technical, soft, management etc.) skills one can learn and master in a co… by @rsinha819

Answer by Rahul Sinha:

Learning something faster is mostly about mindset. When you want to learn something, you’ve to focus on effective “HOW”. Because there is one effective way for doing something in least possible time with maximum results.

Now, it is necessary to find that “How”. Here are my tips

  • Make more attempts. This is simple yet effective way of doing something if you’ve no prior knowledge. The more attempts you make to do something, the less time you’ll take to master it.

We believe that there must be a hidden door to go to the mastery room. But, as such no door exist. You’ve to pass through the same ordinary door.

Why we stress on attempts? Attempts make you observant of your own actions and you analyse quickly that what went wrong and how can it be corrected. So, more attempts allow you to have an eagle eye on your way of doing something. That’s how you improve the way you do something.

So, if you’ve to learn something quickly, you’ve to manage your time to make more attempts to learn it. By doing it, you can learn faster than others because you making attempts at faster rate than anyone else.

  • Guidance is important. Probably, before you others also learned same thing and they know a better way of doing something. So, having a guide or teacher next to you is better than have none. If you’ve a mentor with you, your first attempt to learn something would be better than the first attempt of the one who has no information.

And, your attempts to learning something faster will be less than other.

All the gadgets come with guidance booklet. Why? Simply, to help you in your first attempt. If you won’t have that then probably you’ll mess up.

So, have someone experienced with you who can teach you to learn something in a better way.

  • Answering “Why” is important. Ask yourself, “Why”? Why do you want to learn something so quickly? That reason will keep you on track in learning it faster.

Because when you know why you doing something and what’ll be the likely benefits? You’ll give your best efforts in doing it.

So, give yourself explicit answer of “WHY?”.

  • Make small but consistent efforts.

When you start learning something new, you’ll have interest for a short period. After that you’ll lose your interest. And, when there is no interest, then you can’t learn it. So, to keep your interest alive and active.

Make small efforts in learning something. And, allow small breaks between two efforts. It will not only help to review your efforts but also to make a better effort next time.

Be smart with your efforts because when you’ve less time to learn something and you don’t have to lose interest.


Now, when you know how to adopt quick learning, you can develop the relevant skills quickly compare to others. To master them, you need to give more time.

Skills vary according to professions and industry. Like if you’re in computer programming, then you should know how to code and code in different languages. So, pick the skills based on your domain.

Here are general skills which one should’ve regardless of the field

1. Be an active listener. Just imagine how it feels when someone listening you and you’re sharing all your thoughts. You’ll feel amazing by the fact that the person giving you time to share your thoughts. Interruptions free!

When you listen to others actively, you reflect that they are the most important person in the room. They feel good and grateful to you.

This is difficult to master but at least you can try to develop. You just have to make other person that he really matters to you. And, he’ll share all his thoughts, ideas to you naturally.

2. Have an eye to distinguish between urgent and important. We generally find everything urgent and important. But, there is a fine thin line of difference between urgent and important. And, it happens because we’ve no proper schedule.

Have a proper organized schedule so that you can figure out what’s important or urgent right now?

And, to develop this skill, you don’t need years. Couple of days efforts will be enough to develop it. To master, it needs commitment.

3. Salesmanship. Persuading people to buy your ideas or products is a great skill and always in- demand regardless of the industry you’re in. If you able to offer your ideas in a ways that other can’t reject, you achieve great results. In your life, on many occasions you’ll be in a situation where you’ve to show the salesman in you.

4. Writing. Writing is just not about proper usage of grammar but presenting your thoughts in a coherent form. Expressing your thoughts in a lucid manner can help you in many places. Everyone has this ability but few master this art.

5. Positive Attitude. This is one skill one should learn and develop in his life. Because everyday we come across various situations and face struggles and challenges. And, to survive in those circumstances, you need positivity in your life.

When you learn to be positive, the world seems more good to you. Everything will seem interesting, and joyful. And, the best way to develop this skill is to practice it daily. Because you need it daily. Staying positive keeps you happy all the time and your mind stay active to find solutions of problems regardless of its size.

6. Being confident. This is just not a characteristic of a person but also a skill anyone can develop. And, what’s importance it hold in our lives. We are aware of it. In every thing you do, confidence required.

You can train yourself to be confident even if you didn’t born with this key trait. You just need to invest your time and efforts on it and this skill is yours. And, you can imagine the massive benefits it can provide you. To develop this skill, check this thread.


Keep learning, developing and mastering! You never know when and how, a skill can be proven as your life-saver.

What are some professional (technical, soft, management etc.) skills one can learn and master in a couple of days or a week?

What’s the best way to get your résumé noticed?

August 28, 2016

What's the best way to get your résumé noticed? by @LaurenHolliday_

Answer by Lauren Holliday:

Everyday, I receive emails, LinkedIn smail (spam mail), texts and/or Facebook messages from people looking for resume help. I typically don’t respond to them — not because I don’t want to help but because they’re not listening to me when I tell them that any resume I create is NOT going to get them a job.

And, let me be straight, it’s not because I’m not good at fabricating bullet points for them.

The reason upgrading their resume isn’t going to work is because it’s not a resume that scores you a job. It’s relationships.

Have you ever heard the saying: “It’s who you know?”

It’s the absolute truth.

Today, I’m going to detail how you can land a job, and it does NOT involve me (or you) writing or editing your resume.

What it does involve is learning how to navigate your email inbox and woo your way into hiring managers’ (or their bosses’).

1. Correctly set up your email account.

Duh! This is what you’re probably thinking.

It’s not what I’m thinking though since I receive emails from senders with addresses like “popprincess69@aol.com” and “iluvaaron@yahoo.com.”

Alright, alright, those are extreme examples, but they’re not far off, and they’re actually REAL humans — not spam bots.

Here’s my setup tips. Read them. I bet there’s something you forgot!

Basic Setup: How to Set Yourself up for Success:

  1. Choose Gmail. Always. The only exception to this rule is if you have your own professional domain name that you can use. When I say domain name I mean, for example, lauren@domain.com.
  2. Keep it short and spare the numbers. If you’re creating your email address for the first time and you can use your own domain name, then keep it short. For example, create lauren@domain.com or lah@domain.com instead of lauren.holliday@domain.com. Also, don’t include numbers. That looks spammy.
  3. Setup your name correctly. I do NOT want to see anymore emails that come across from a sender whose name is in all lowercase, i.e “lauren holliday” or from someone who only has a first name, i.e. “lauren.” When you send an email, it should show your name in the “from” field. Sometimes people have it set to just show their email address. The worst setup is when it shows something like “NA.”
  4. Create an email signature. I prefer to use WiseStamp for this. Here’s a great post on how to create an effective signature. (Make sure you have different signatures for different addresses.)
  5. You need an email address you own. DON’T depend on your school email address. When emailing professionals in your field or people you may want to talk to in the future, use your own gmail or domain email address. Remember, you won’t be in college forever — hopefully.
  6. Bookmark your compose box. Great hack right here. Make it quick and easy to write an email by bookmarking your gmail compose box.
  7. For multiple emails, utilize a mail provider. If you have multiple email accounts to manage then download a mail client. I preferMailbox, but there are more — here’s a list for Mac and one for Windows.

Productivity Setup: Make Your Inbox Work for You.

Email Signature: Wisestamp — $4/mo

This is the prettiest email signature solution. Not only is it a better looking option but it is also easy to switch signatures between email accounts.

Email Tracking and Analytics: Yesware — $12/mo

Yesware reports email opens, link clicks and file attachment downloads. This is valuable because it lets you know if you should follow up with someone or not and when, if you should. It also has a template feature many of you could use. Let’s say you’re applying to jobs, and you’re finding that you’re saying basically the same thing every time you email hiring managers. Write and save a template in Yesware then just personalize it from now on. That could knock off a lot of time for you.

Writing Emails: Crystal — FREE

Crystal isn’t kidding when it claims to be the biggest improvement to email since spell check. This email extension creates unique personality profiles for every person with an online presence, prepping you to speak or write in someone else’s natural, communication style. Crystal not only makes recommendations on which words you should use, but it even generates email templates based on the person you’re communicating with.

Stay Smarter Than the People You’re Emailing: Ugly Email — FREE

A LOT of emails are being tracked for clicks and opens. Use Ugly Email, a free gmail extension that tells you when an email is being tracked before you open it. This circumvents problems like opening an email and then not responding or opening the email 75 million times, which makes you look unproductive.

If you want to know other email tools I love check out this article.

2: Learn How to Write a Damn Good Email.

According to Mindtools, the average office worker receives around 80 emails each day.

That makes it REALLY EASY for hiring managers to skip over your email, when it includes an error. Your email has an error if it’s:

  • Ridiculously long
  • Has multiple “asks” (Asks are short for saying what you’re asking them for — every time you ask them for something counts as an “ask”)
  • Includes grammar errors and misspellings
  • Doesn’t address them correctly
  • Is not beneficial to them
  • Does not tell them what to do or what you want
  • Is one, gigantic paragraph (You’re killing my eyes when you do this!! I, for certain, NEVER read emails that are one, large paragraph, unless they’re from someone important — like Ryan Gosling perhaps)

The perfect email is short, easily scannable and includes a very clear call-to-action (CTA).


A damn good email looks good.

A damn good email is easy to scan.

If you forget any of my tips, don’t forget this one!!! Make your email easily scannable. That means break up paragraphs into one sentence — two, if you must.

A damn good email utilizes rich text.

By this I mean utilize bold text, italics, and bullet points. This helps make your email easily scannable. Sometimes I even change important text’s color to red or highlight important sentences in bright yellow.

A damn good email is timed perfectly.

Send or schedule (if you use Yesware), your emails at optimal times. Think about it for a second. The best time to send a job request/application is most likely not at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night/morning. Monday probably isn’t good either because professionals will be busy playing catch up. I recommend sending between Tuesday and Thursday, in the morning or afternoon, say between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

A damn good email has specific elements.

Here are the elements of a damn good email.

Subject Line
The goal of your subject line is to drive the person you want to read your email to, well, open it to read the damn thing. I like to do this by complimenting the receiver in the subject line and letting them know that I want to provide value to them.

See how I did this in the fictitious example above to myself?

I told them I was a HUGE fan then preceded to tell them I wanted to HELP them do something.

Message

  • Address: Address the person by name. Don’t use “dear.” It makes it sound impersonal. Try “Good morning” or “Hi.”
  • Lead: The lead is supposed to make the reader keep reading. Make it good.
  • Body: Remember, keep it short and easily scannable.
  • CTA: Tell them what you want them to do.
  • PS: Motivate them to write you back.
  • Signature: Keep it short, and include important links for them to learn more about you.

3. Send your damn good email.

A mentor once told me to send 50 emails per week to get what I wanted, and our advisor, said he used to send as many as 300 per week to get generate new business.

Emails are how you get what you want from someone you don’t know, i.e. hiring managers.

Here’s what you got to do.

Send 25 emails per week to be exact.

Yes, 25. That isn’t a lot so I don’t feel bad assigning you that many.

You may say: But, Lauren, there are not 25 jobs posted that I want.

And I’ll say: But, Jimmy, that does not matter at all.

According to ABC, 80 percent of jobs are landed through networking.

Emailing allows you to network with people across the nation, not just those professionals in your city; therefore, if you want a job in NY but live in Idaho, you can simply shoot off an email introducing yourself to someone you admire in New York.

People to send emails to:

  • Potential mentors
  • Potential superiors
  • People working at companies you admire and who have your ideal position
  • Blog editors (contribute a guest blog post)
  • Hiring managers

The goal is to fortify a relationship with someone BEFORE you need to ASK them for something.


Reread the email before you send.

This is pretty self-explanatory. I reread my emails nearly five to six times before I hit send… And I still catch errors sometimes. #Embarrassing

4. Follow up.

I HATE following up because the last thing I ever want to be to someone I want something from is annoying. But guess what?! I do. Because if you don’t ask for what you want then you’ll never get what you want, and sometimes you have to ask for it multiple times.

Like Mark Cuban says, “Every no gets me closer to a yes.”

Too many of you give up too easily.

What if a hiring manager only responded to those who had enough gumption to write a follow up to her lack of response the first time?

It could happen. I’m sure there’s a manager out there that does this although I’m also sure that it’s rare.

Tips for following up a damn good email.

  • Follow up four days after you send the first email.
  • Keep the follow up shorter.
  • Say something like: “Either way, good or bad, please get back to me.”
  • Give them a way to politely reject you.
  • Include the subject of the original email and the outcome you want from this email.
  • Include the request or “ask” again.
  • Provide your objective.
  • Request they delegate the task/response to someone else.
  • Keep it short and to the point.

Follow Up Templates

Neil Patel recommends the template I took a screenshot of and copied below.

Here’s a few templates from this post on The Muse.

Here’s an example from when I followed up after a hiring manager had me complete an assignment, but then didn’t follow up with me within a week, as he promised.

Basically, just remember keep follow up emails short and to the point and don’t forget to provide alternatives for the receiver. Alternatives could include something like them delegating what you want to someone else. This way you always get what you want — a response.

Conclusion

This is how you get a job, my friends, — by creating relationships with people.

I don’t receive job offers on the reg because I’ve sent this perfectly concocted resume to millions of hiring managers.

Job offers come to me because I’ve invested the time to build a strong, helpful network of influential individuals in my field.

Originally wrote this piece on Medium.

What's the best way to get your résumé noticed?

How do I build a strong resume?

August 28, 2016

How do I build a strong resume? by @NelsonsThoughts

Answer by Nelson Wang:

  • Focus on results
    • That's great that you worked in sales, but how much did you actually sell?
      • Example #1: My role was to focus on generating sales with clients
      • Example #2: I was the #1 salesperson on my team and I generated over $4.5M in revenue and 110% Year over Year growth.
      • Verdict: #2 outshines #1. Hands down.
    • That's terrific that you worked in marketing, but how many leads did you actually generate?
      • Example #1: I handled online marketing campaigns
      • Example #2: My 20 marketing campaigns drove 1000 leads and 30% of those converted into closed deals which resulted in $1M in sales
      • Verdict: #2 takes the cake over #1. No doubt.
    • That's fantastic that you worked as a product manager, but how successful was that product exactly?
      • I'll spare you the example. I think you get the idea.
  • Build a raving fan base
    • Include strong testimonials from customers, peers, bosses or mentors that highlight your work
    • Their words are weighed more heavily than yours (Social validation)
  • Get creative
    • Consider using other tools to showcase your experience and what you bring to the table like:
      • A video resume on Youtube
      • A presentation deck customized for that specific company on Google Slides, Prezi or Microsoft powerpoint
      • A plan on how you're specifically going to help in that role
      • A completed project that you'd actually do in the role itself (talk about showing commitment and value). For example, if you were applying for sales, what if you introduced them to an interested client?
      • Building a website (like http://www.googlepleasehire.me)
      • 99% percent of your competition won't do this extra work. They'd rather submit that same old resume to every job opening. Think about how much this helps you stand out from the crowd.

Hope this helps! For more career and personal development tips, subscribe to my site CEO Lifestyle.

How do I build a strong resume?

What are some of the websites/apps to enhance productivity and skillsets?

August 25, 2016

What are some of the websites/apps to enhance productivity and skillsets? by Piyush Shrivastava

Answer by Piyush Shrivastava:

MOOC platforms to learn from:

Personal MOOC recommendations:

Recommended TED Talks:

Recommended websites/apps:

What are some of the websites/apps to enhance productivity and skillsets?