Stepping into the workforce in the age of information can be a daunting task for a young, inspired millennial. We put aside our work to read about the benefits of doing focussed work, we’re paying for courses to help us manage our personal finances better, we’re trying to make an impact in the world while waiting for our TikTok dance to go viral.
In a world where we have multiple sources of information and the opportunity to succeed in each niche interest, where do we start from?
As the author, Sandeep Das, says, there are only about 15 concepts you need to know, to start off your professional journey on a strong foot. His book - ‘Hacks for Life and Career: A Millennial’s Guide to Making it Big’, discusses concepts such as the impact of the economy on our lives, start-up culture, trends in the corporate sector and more to enable a millennial on her professional journey.
The brevity with which he writes is ideal to make you understand the concept, and most importantly, understand if you want to deep-dive into this concept in the future. Broken down into 60 + brief chapters, it addresses several philosophical questions you might have caught yourself asking, like how much you’d have to pay to take over Apple, if there is a mathematical equation to weight loss, and what is the chemical composition of a good leader. Let us reiterate, there is a mathematical equation for weight loss!
If you are anything like us and tend to zone out whenever the term ‘balance sheet’ or ‘game theory’ is mentioned, his writing style is for you. It seamlessly integrates pop culture references with heavier business concepts. A personal favourite is the explanation of Game Theory through the characters of Mike Ross and his associate from the TV show ‘Suits’. While you’re analysing whether Mike should confess to his crime or not, you realise you’ve finally understood why this concept is relevant to market-entry pricing strategies.
With the foundational business concepts in your arsenal, ‘Hacks for Life and Career' discusses the hyper-connected work culture we experience today. It helps identify toxicity at work, tells you how to exit your current boss, and as a bonus gives you very effective tips on how to sound smart in meetings when you know nothing. From personal experience, the tips work!
In case you want to be your own boss, Sandeep addresses the Unicorn in the room by discussing how to build one, and conversely what could make an entrepreneur fail. He effectively breaks down the ambiguity surrounding the concept of ‘Entrepreneurship’ into a crisp, actionable list of do’s and don’ts.
Of course, if you’re in the pool of individuals looking to study further, the book has guidance on how you can prepare yourself for your dream college, make the most of it when you’re there, and what comes after. A particularly helpful takeaway was the debate between an MBA from an international business school vs an IIM. Sandeep reasons that the unbelievable diversity, global opportunities, and network of alumni make studying in a Top 10 business school worth the amount and an experience of a lifetime.
His sarcasm is another key attribute that builds a trust factor with the reader. For example, he talks about the ‘Corporate Feku’ – a person we have all encountered at some point of our lives. The ‘Corporate Feku’ always spins stories, is manipulative, and knows how to make things seem larger than life when there isn’t much practically done by them.
His candid, quippy narrative holds a mirror up to the reader, and helps them ask questions like ‘Do I really want this, or have I been pressured into wanting it due to societal factors?’ We caught ourselves wondering about this through his section on ‘fake’ hobbies. Sandeep argues that because of social media having a hobby is seen as essential to our existence, resulting in the onslaught of several ‘fake’ hobbyists. Whether it’s running half of a half marathon and talking about it for years to come, or discovering an obsession with photography, we’ve all had a fake hobby we might have pursued in lieu of our true calling.
Right on cue, his book ends with a segment on the 10 commandments to leading a meaningful life. In our exclusive interview with Sandeep Das, he mentions that what sets millennials apart in the workforce is our longing for a deeper purpose and higher calling. His book recognises this shift in the generation’s perspective along with the unique challenges we face in a hyperconnected world.
Taking this into account, it provides practical, byte-sized advice to help the younger generations navigate various aspects of their life and career.