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How and when to ask for a raise

Asking for a raise—deserved or not, timely or out of turn—requires finesse and a measured approach
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In the matter of manners

Notions of proper behaviour may change around the world but 8 rules of work etiquette remain relevant everywhere.
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Few women in India's boardrooms

The economic boom in India over the last two decades has seen the rise of many new companies and old conglomerates.

Despite this, India still has very few women holding senior executive positions.
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Manage your manager

The first step is to understand and internalise the goals, motivation of your boss, his longer term professional goals apart from his immediate objectives and deliverables.
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Keep calm and carry on

The world has changed and so should you—whether it is learning how to juggle your finances or enhancing your resume by taking up projects outside your comfort zone.
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Too close for comfort

Given the intensity of our work lives, friendships and increased interactions at work are inevitable. There is an increasing relaxation of structures and hierarchies, and with more women in the workplace, navigating the boundary between inclusivity, friendship and offence is tricky. Companies, on their part, would be well advised to be cognizant of the reality and potential risks of harassment.
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March Madness

“As Asia continues to grow, there is no shortage of takers for top quality talent. And as companies struggle globally with slowing growth and lack of internal opportunities, the growth paths are slower, less visible. So what should managers be doing to prepare for the disruptive exodus that they may get hit by,” discusses Ms Sonal Agrawal, Managing Partner, Accord Group India.
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Women on board

Driven by the belief that more diverse boards are a better representation of the marketplace, consumers and workforce, regulators worldwide are pushing hard to get more women on corporate boards.
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So long, farewell

While saying goodbye at work can be really hard (or a huge relief), ensure that you conduct yourself professionally and complete all tasks at hand.
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Mind Your Language

This is not about censoring every online move, but about exercising restraint.A private equity client asked us to reference a candidate who had been recommended to run a portfolio company. The candidate’s credentials stacked up reasonably well, as did his references.
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How to handle the headhunter

An insider’s account of how to approach and deal with a recruitment consultant.Igot an e-mail from a close friend, introducing a cousin who had recently been made redundant. I wrote back asking for a résumé to review.
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Sorry seems to be the hardest word...

Sorry seems to be the hardest word...The other day, I ran into someone and we ended up discussing my last column on redeeming oneself after a mess-up—admit,apologize, amend.
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Mopping up the mess

Mopping up the mess.It was a monthly catch-up lunch at the light and airy Café Zoe tucked away in a refurbished mill in the heart of Mumbai, with a friend who is the business head of a professional services firm.
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Surviving the pink slip

Surviving the pink slip.Retrenched senior banker, who was the managing director at a major investment bank, woke up last Monday to find himself named prominently in the pink papers in a story about out-of-job investment bankers.
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Navigating a job change

Navigating a job change.A status alert on the social media profile of a candidate catches my attention. I smile wryly. Ten months ago, a colleague and I had bet a five-star meal on the fact that the individual in question would quit his job within the year.
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It’s not always about the money

It’s not always about the money.On the phone is an old friend, a consumer company professional, based overseas and eager to return to India. After much deliberation, he has accepted an offer from a reputed professional services firm that is eager to hire him in their consulting practice.
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It does take two to tango

A professional who is a senior partner in a services firm in London visited recently. A change in the firm’s circumstances had created opportunities at the top and he had been offered the CEO role—along with a colleague of long standing.
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Are you being Hounded by a boss from Hell?

On my way out of a meeting, I ran into a banker whom I had advised earlier, scowling into his drink in a quiet corner of the bar. A cursory “All good?” on my part unleashed an angry rant—did I know that his boss was the most overbearing, obstructive, conniving, insecure man in the banking industry (and this was the polite version), and that he was going to quit, right now, and to hell with the consequences. I sighed and ordered coffee and told the driver not to bring the car to the porch just yet.
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Sleeping with the enemy

A candidate we had helped place in a job after months of negotiation and deliberation threatened to quit in a huff in his first week. He loved the company, was excited about the job and it had been a great career step-up. So, what went wrong?
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In the honeymoon period

Can we meet? A text from a soon-to-join CEO candidate for an Indian conglomerate sparks off a twinge of anxiety about whether he’s having second thoughts. My trepidation is unfounded, he wants to buy me lunch, to thank me for our role in facilitating this union.
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Handling a trial by fire

At dinner at a friend’s house, I am taken aside by a very distressed acquaintance. Having joined a multinational corporation a dozen years ago as a young manager, he had been recently promoted as country manager and was building out the company, well in line with the great Indian growth story.
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Making your way home

A friend of a friend, an NRI on vacation in India, has dropped in to see me at our office. Away two decades, he left India for graduate school and has since had a successful career overseas. Over an espresso and biscotti, he reveals that he’s had a few tentative conversations with his existing employer about opportunities in India. He wants to be back, but he just isn’t sure of if, when and how. What did I think?
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Welcome (back) to the jungle

Flight delayed, and as I settle into the new Amex airport lounge, I run into a college friend. An MBA from a top tier school, he quit the corporate world to set up a research and analytics business, which he’s just sold to a global KPO—a modest exit, that left him neither poor nor rich. We talk about his journey as an entrepreneur and the myriad reasons that led him to “quit” and sell out and the trauma of letting go and the emptiness after.
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Coward of the county

he Mumbai monsoon lashes relentlessly at the floor-to-ceiling glass panes at the Belvedere Club at The Oberoi. Joining me is a 45-year-old seasoned professional, the CEO of the Indian arm of a flourishing agency business. Having teetered on the edge of entrepreneurship for a few months, he’s eventually decided not to take the plunge after all. Bemoaning his lack of risk appetite, he sighs, am I just a corporate coward?
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Bitten by the e-bug

A breather in the middle of a “Big Fat Indian Wedding” in Italy and I’m relaxing at the piazza with a glass of Brunello, Pecorino and olives, watching the world go by. A fellow guest, a media professional from Mumbai, wanders past and sits down, and the conversation drifts from wedding gossip to the IPL drama and other matters of national importance before he comes to the point.
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The 7-year Itch

Back at the reopened Oberoi, Mumbai. The same layout, the same staff, the same view, but a pristine, new white floor and unexpected splashes of red—the grand piano, the cushions, the torch lilies...down to the tiny goldfish swimming in the vase on each table at the newly resurrected Fenix. From my corner table, I watch my appointment, a banker who runs a blue chip bank, cross the lobby, nodding at the regulars on the way.
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Runaway bride

We need to talk.” A text message from a friend sets off alarm bells. Soon, we are deep in conversation at AER, the rooftop bar of the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai, and the conversation is starting to sound like a clichéd Bollywood plot. “All izz not well”.
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Managing a transition

My lunch appointment arrives, a bit damp and apologetic, at the terrace bistro Toscano on a rainy, blustery afternoon in Bangalore. A senior finance professional with around 25 years of corporate experience, he has recently transitioned out of a leadership role at a multinational firm and is now exploring non-traditional roles. What next? I ask. Surprise me, says he. Well, the opportunity at hand is certainly interesting—a European multinational firm with a knotty joint venture in India has suddenly found itself in a bit of a finance snarl, and has asked us to look at a transition chief finance officer, or CFO, to help it manage the crisis.
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Are you coming on board?

After some discussion on the merits of sitting at the counter to witness the expert juggling of the teppan chef, we opt for my favourite window table at Mumbai’s India Jones, which has the added advantage of being able to keep an eye on the lunchtime deal-makers at the busy restaurant.
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It runs in the family business

Last week, I had lunch at Mumbai’s Frangipani with a long-standing business associate. Seventeen years at a multinational services firm, a good track record and reputation, penthouse and Pajero, global trotter…the works. Over Frangi house salad, we spent much time discussing the state of the world, economy, industry. Eventually, we got around to the “what next” question.
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