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The longest lasting benefit of every job

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Nov 22, 2012 6:31:00 PM

Earlier today I received a text from a colleague, Dave, from my previous job whom I hadn't talked to in almost a year.  I was very happy to reconnect with him and am looking forward to catching up properly after tonight's Thanksgiving festivities.  His note made me reflect on what I gained from my three years at Sungard where we worked together.  Though I learned a lot of skills at Sungard - real estate finance, data center design and construction, managing and growing teams - I realized that it was my friendship with Dave that's really the longest lasting asset from that job.

friends

 

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Topics: first job

Why Sales or Product are the smartest career choices - but only for now

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Mar 31, 2012 5:10:00 AM

Recently our CEO Brian Halligan said during an employee gathering that there are only two jobs worth having at a company – either building the product or selling it.  The blunt statement has seemingly obvious wisdom, particularly in our tumultuous economy where jobs come and go at an alarming speed, but it left some people outside of engineering and sales feeling queasy about their career prospects. 

therookie

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Topics: career path, first job, career advice

Work hours and the importance of facetime at work

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Mar 1, 2012 7:33:00 AM

In many companies, particularly fast growing internet startups, there is much talk about flexible hours and how face time is not as important as getting your job done.  Results, not effort, people espouse.  Most people sincerely believe this mantra but in my experience I’ve found that it is not completely true at most companies.

work life balance

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Topics: first job, career advice

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses: actually the most important interview question

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Jan 8, 2012 6:23:00 PM

One of the most clichéd interview questions is “what are your strengths and weaknesses.”  Most of us have heard it so many times that we’ve prepared for it extensively.  Often we create a bogus weakness that could be seen as a strength by the interviewer such as “I’m a perfectionist” or “I’m very detail oriented.”  However, as pedestrian as this interview question is, and lately is seldom asked in interviews because everyone knows there’s a prepared answer waiting on the other end, the tragedy is answering this very question is crucial for real career advancement.

Everybody has a real weakness

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Topics: management, first job, career advice

5 practical tips to negotiate better deals from a 28-year veteran

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Oct 8, 2011 10:32:00 AM

Nearly every business school student or professional takes a negotiations course in their lifetime.  But I can’t remember the first thing from my negotiation class today and indeed I “lost” in most of the in-class negotiation exercises.  So when I was hired as VP of Infrastructure at SunGard I was apprehensive to get a job where my primary function was negotiating real estate and energy supply deals.  

Thankfully I was fortunate to have a great teacher in David Gordon, SunGard’s 15+ year real estate broker.  David taught me several principles, often saliently, about how to negotiate effectively.  I remember these better than any class and I hope they can be of assistance to you as well.

 

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Topics: first job, negotiation

Case interviews and the flaws of common interview techniques

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Jul 31, 2011 5:23:00 PM

Until recently I prided myself on having a reputation as a tough job interviewer.  I've espoused the importance of design problems and case interviews (a style thoroughly ingrained in me while at BCG) as these questions cannot be completely prepared for and so I believed they truly tested the candidate.  However, when I got tripped up on a very casual case-like question at a dinner party last week, I began to wonder if this was a good method and what in fact was the best interview technique.

the office season finale 2010

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Topics: first job, transitioning

Don't be a manager early in your career path

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

Jun 15, 2011 5:33:00 PM

After nearly 5 years of undergrad computer engineering I was thrilled to be done with school and finally earn some money.  My first job was as a Program Manager at RealNetworks, a hot tech startup back in 1999.  I was attracted to this role because instead of a traditional "code monkey" job I got to be a "manager" - a modern day misnomer itself but I digress.  In retrospect this single decision was the highest opportunity cost I've incurred in my career.

Management sucks

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Topics: career path, management, first job

Joining a job just to work for Warren Buffet - probably a bad idea

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

May 30, 2011 6:06:00 AM

During my undergrad I landed an internship at an investment bank that was highly sought after because the manager was an alumni who was legendary in his financial and managerial abilities.  (His selection of me being the sole error in his otherwise flawless career I’m sure, but I digress).  But the week that I arrived for the internship he joined another group in the company and I never saw him again.  And the manager who replaced him?  Well, let’s just say he a bit shy of legendary status.

Warren Buffett on motorcycle

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Topics: first job, career advice

Product or Service Firm – Your Most Important Career Decision

Posted by Arjun Moorthy

May 14, 2011 10:18:00 AM

Coming out of undergrad as a computer engineer in the late 90s, I joined a young tech company like many of classmates.  A few of my classmates, particularly those at the top of the rankings, went to investment banks like Goldman Sachs and high-end management consulting firms like BCGMcKinsey & Co etc.  At the time, I felt joining such firms was to waste my engineering training but I always wondered if I should’ve gone down that other path with its brand prestige.  Years later I worked hard to get into a top consulting firm but when I finally did get into BCG I realized that my initial decision actually wasn’t a bad one.
 
investment bankers work so much 200x300
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Topics: first job

Career Advice I Wish I Knew Earlier 

Hello.  I started this blog to distribute some of the best career advice I have been given over the many jobs I've had.  I've been fortunate to work for and with some great bosses like Francis DeSouzaNancy Kamei and Rick Roberge, and some unique companies, like The Boston Consulting Group, that invest heavily in making each employee a success even after leaving the firm.

The advice and training I received here stands in sharp contrast to my experiences with some not-so-great bosses and companies I've also worked for.  I'm continualy amazed at how valuable good advice has been in my career so I hope to pass on the good advice, and insights from mistakes I've made, via this blog. 

Thanks in advance for your comments, particularly when you can improve upon the ideas posted.

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