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Working extra hours - body present, mind absent!

Working extra hours - body present, mind absent!
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It-' good to be working on your own instead of working under some one, if you identified value addition you-'re going to provide to your target...

I got an offer from a prospective employer and I have decided to join there. But the only concern I have is they asked me to work nine hours a day (including one hour for lunch, which may be shortened to 30 minutes if required). In fact, I love what I do, but want to spend quality time with my family and attend to personal work. Please suggest the best solution.

- Hareesh, Hyderabad

First thing is get clarity on what the industry expects from an employee as per labour law (it should not be more than 48 hours in a week and nine hours in a day; you should get one weekly holiday). You did not share whether they mentioned it in your job offer or discussed orally. I understand that you have decided to join that company so it should not stop you. In my opinion working nine hours a day is not a big issue. If your boss is understanding and flexible with timing, and as long as you love your job and are willing to adjust your lunch time. You can deal with this when you join and prove that quality of work matters rather than just being there without doing any work. There is no point in staying at office when your body is present but mind is absent. It's a mere wastage of time, no productivity on either side. So how much quality/productivity you bring in matters not the hours you spend at the work place. Your boss may not be impressed if you say this now, however he/she would be happy if you prove this with your quality of work. Everyone likes to reach home timely and spend time with their children and family, there's nothing inappropriate here. The only thing you should look at is that your employer should provide healthy, encouraging environment and offer good work-life balance. Congratulations to you and apply your mind and move on. All the best!

I have submitted my resignation and now I'm serving the notice period. I need to attend an exit interview as I got an email from HR, so do you suggest I should be honest during the exit interview process or just be diplomatic?

- Raj, Karimnagar

It's a practice in most companies that HR calls for an exit interview when you put forth your resignation letter. Some HRs’ take your inputs and work towards resolving the issues stated during exit interviews; and others may conduct this as a mere part of their HR Policy without taking any action on it. The other side, some employees believe the exit interview is an opportunity to be completely honest about their experiences with their employer; while others think that being candid puts them at risk. However, you think from the organisational perspective and be honest otherwise the entire process is a waste of time. But apply ‘KISS formula’ here - Keep it short and simple. It's always better not to reveal what all private conversations you have had with your boss or colleagues even if the HR asks you to do so. Do not name colleagues or point at your boss, otherwise it will be like carrying on baggage to your next job. Instead you can mention a generic term like ‘organisation’ or ‘department’ and be more specific about the issue saying the concerned department should provide healthy culture or environment, more freedom and autonomy as to make them feel comfortable. If you feel that your boss/team did not support enough, instead of naming them, you can diplomatically say, “There are a lot of things I learned and enjoyed while I was in xyz project, but the only point I have is I didn't get a fair chance to perform to the best of my potential”.

I've read few articles of yours and have found them interesting. I am working as an IT Professional and am fed up working as an employee here. Now I want to move from being a corporate professional to an entrepreneur. Please suggest.

- Avinash, Hyderabad

It' good to be working on your own instead of working under some one, if you identified value addition you're going to provide to your target customers. Before you move on, you need to understand what could be the challenges you may face, if you become an entrepreneur. The biggest aspect you need to look into is ‘Attitude’ - i.e. mental switch from ‘employee’ to ‘entrepreneur’. Here are a few tips you should consider before you make a move.

Leave your comfort zone: In the initial stage, you need to stretch yourself and do not set boundaries. This is the time you've got to put extra efforts to build any business.

Build network and share/learn with/from others: There are so many people who might have similar ideas, business plans who might be working on those. So, it's always useful to connect, learn from others and share your experiences. That's how you can come to a conclusion and design a product/service which is unique in nature.

Have a smart objective in place: Do not go with vague ideas and expectations. Always prepare a set of objectives which should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timelines.

Find the right partner/investor: Do not choose a partner just because of money. He/she should perceive the value in your idea or have similar long term objectives as yours. If you're not clear with terms and conditions between him/her, there is a possibility that the individual may leave in the middle of your journey.

Team: Finding the right team is a tough job for startups. You should hire a team who can be with you on a long term relationship and not a team that is just sticking around with you for just the salary.

Commit and deliver: Do not compromise on quality and time. Many lose customers just because of these two reasons. Better have clarity on expectations of the customers and put it on a paper signed by both of you.

Prepare your mind: When you worked as an employee, you got salary in the first week of every month. But when you become an entrepreneur, there's no certainty, so be prepared for everything. Remember nothing happens overnight, every business has its own time to reach the break-even point.

Forget about perfection: Everyone makes mistakes at certain point of time. Its upto us how we utilise them, learn from them and take as stepping stones to success. You just need to learn and move on; do not wait for perfection all the times.

Know the market trends: This is very essential for an entrepreneur to get updated and take wiser decisions as time goes by. You can't give an outdated solution to a customer as the world is moving at a fast pace. Read newspapers, business magazines, become active in social networking sites, join forums and attend workshops /events regularly.

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