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Building a Personal Brand
Saurabh Kale is a young HR Leader on the rise.
He is passionate about helping others learn and do their best. This is his passion. And if you listen between the lines today’s podcast episode is also about living your passion.
Saurabh is here to speak about how to shape your brand and online presence when you are just getting out of college. The reality is that there are no short cuts but if you do the right things, you can get there quicker.
No better person than Saurabh to share this with you. He can tell you how you can set yourself up to do the same.
Learning for Saurabh did not stop when he passed out of college. Over 15 years he has added 18 Certifications to his credit and the list of his admirers on linkedin is incredibly long. They admire him, because he cared and he served.
Welcome Saurabh. Please tell us more about your self.
Saurabh – (1:15) – I am excited to do this. I wanted to share a few stories of my life and we could talk around it.
My first story is about finding your mojo.
2002-7 while I was in college, I enrolled in multiple things. NCC. Local adventure sports academy. A disaster management group. A green NGO. Over time, I started picking up skills. NCC taught me discipline. Adventure Sports me taught to manage risks. Disaster management – helped me to plan and execute to tiniest details. Most importantly the NGO taught me to motivate and inspire people. It happened by serendipity. I did not plan for it. Yet it all happened.
As I went through college, these skills culminated into my personality. It helped me gain clarity as I was starting my career. As you listen through this podcast think about how exploring things can help you.
(3:10) – Today there is this famous book on Ikigai. Look for interaction of these – What are you good at? What is it you love doing? What is it that the world needs? What can you paid for? It is a beautiful concept.
The seeds of your success are sowed well before your actual success. The explorations – shaped my personality, my choices and my decisions were narrowing down to things I loved doing. Unknowingly I followed this concept.
If you are still in college – enroll in anything and everything. Build your personality. Your personna. Your profile. Through your extra curricular activities. Volunteer for activities which are larger than you.
If you are in career already – don’t be restricted to your role. Work in different departments. Volunteer for different projects.
Brij (4:40) – You sound happy with what you are saying. I can not but think here is a guy who is living his mojo!
Saurabh (4:50) – Absolutely.
I will now like to narrate the 2nd story of my life. In 2012 I was a facilitator and I was delivering a workshop in Pune. It was a packed day. I had a career interest in developing myself in experiential learning.
I was in a wait list (to attend the training). An internal certification was about to be conducted in Hyderabad. I got to know about this during lunch hour. The training was the following day. My training was finishing this evening. I took the initiative as I had to seek a series of approvals. I spoke to my boss and volunteered to attend at my own expense. I spoke to the instructor and took permission to be slightly late in joining. Things fell in place but both cooperated when I asked.
I learnt that if you ask, you will get it. IF you keep it to yourself, then people will never know what you are looking for.
For people i college – go out there. To find your mojo – put your efforts in hacking practices. Attend hackathons. Work on pet projects. Do unpaid internships. Let people know you are willing to learn.
For people in career – invest in your own development. Seek out a mentor. You can have different mentors for different things. Take up certifications. Challenge yourself. Learn and develop yourself. Most important – communicate your aspirations to people. let them know. I am sure people will oblige
Brij (7:50) – As far as I am concerned, you have also answered to me where does mojo come from. To my mind, mojo comes from doing. I hear you saying, it is not just the thoughts, it is not just pumping yourself with ideas – when you start doing things to put those ideas into motion, that is when mojo comes.
Saurabh (8:10) – Absolutely.
A lot of times, Brij, people get imprisoned by their degrees. By the salaries they draw. In my opinion your value can not be associated to the salary to the degree and you are way beyond that.
Brij (8:40) – sometimes when we have just passed out of college, we have this desire to compare ourselves to our friends. Who is going to a more prestigious place? Who is going to get a higher salary? What I hear you saying is that these matter, but what matters more is who you yourself are and where you want to go!
Saurabh (9:00) – Absolutely.
I can only second that!
Brij (9:10) – Saurabh you are a storyteller and I am really enjoying your stories. I remember meeting Saurabh first time walking up the stairs. We were both colleagues in the same office. I was this older introvert kind of guy who would just quietly walk away. Here was Saurabh, striding up the stairs. He stopped. I had no choice but to stop as well. He smiled at me and introduced himself. What I remember most distinctly is how interested he was in me. It was not a put on. He did not want anything from me. As a genuine human being wanting to reach out to another person, want to know more, to learn more – here was somebody who has stood out in my mind.
When we were thinking of doing this podcast, the person who stood out in my mind for reaching out and making connections and building something out of himself – was very clearly Saurabh Kale. What do you have to say for yourself my friend?
Saurabh (10:15) – Thank you so much. It was a wonderful nostalgic memory. I had recently joined the organisation. Thanks for remembering me in that way.
Here is something I will like to share in my 3rd story. I was undergoing a workshop at that time. I recall the facilitator asking us to write what your epitaph would be. The inscription on your tomb stone. We were to write, what our tombstone would read, when we are no more in the world.
The intention was to identify your mojo. Your legacy you wish to leave behind. I could not come up with anything in the 20 minutes we were given. I felt miserable at end of it. It haunted me that night. What am I good at? What is my niche? What should people remember me for?
Those series of questions kept on going on for some time until I found some of the answers for myself. I wanted to be authentic. I wanted to be genuine. These stood out for me.
Professionally, in terms of my philosophy I have always liked to be a king-maker than a king. Which is where some of the things I do today – coaching, leadership development, helping people progress in their career.
I realised I need to reach out to people. we are 7 billion on this planet. What we try putting out, gets lost as noise. I wanted to create a signal for myself. Which is why I invested in my craft of writing. Tell stories. I started putting it out.
(12:45) I chose LinkedIn as platform. You could chose any platform. Since we are looking to seek out a dream job, I am going to urge you to build your online presence.
If you can mix your passion with a niche and try and identify something you are really good at – don’t hesitate to share it with the world. Build your online presence. Go for offline events. Build your network. Make it happen. Conferences, Seminars, Hackathons, Roundtables. Whatever you feel is most appropriate.
Brij (13:20): Thank you Saurabh for sharing your wisdom. We wish you all the best and hope to read more in your blog.
Saurabh – Thank you. If you like what I say, do follow me on LinkedIn.
Brij – This was Saurabh Kale. This is Ready to Work – the podcast with success secrets for the young tech professionals.