MPW Insiders is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: If you had an extra day in the week, how would you spend it? is written by Zillion CTO Anuja Ketan.
If I had an extra day in the week I would devote part of my time to mentoring young people, where I can share my professional experiences and help them grow and fine-tune their own skills.
During one of my first jobs at eBay (EBAY), I remember having a large project with a tight deadline. I was able to receive a lot of mentorship from my former colleague David Chamberlin on how to efficiently build out large-scale projects and budgets.
To this day, I still carry the lessons he taught me. He rarely gave advice, but I soaked up as much as I could by watching him work and observing the way his mind thinks. I remember how helpful it was to observe firsthand how to overcome a work-related obstacle, so being able to provide similar guidance for my younger colleagues at Zillion would be really rewarding.
In terms of overcoming work-related obstacles, my biggest challenge within a large company is the pace. Things typically move more slowly than I would like. However, what I realized is that the key ingredient to moving quickly and achieving quality results is dependent on personal relationships. Company direction and management decisions can only take you so far, but human-to-human interaction, team spirit and the ability to bring a team together, is what helps me overcome challenges.
From a personal perspective, if I had an extra day in the week I would make it a point to spend more time with my 17-year-old son. He has been applying to colleges and will be heading off to school next fall. Family is important to me, and I’ve always made it a point to maintain a healthy work-life balance, so taking that extra day in the work week to bond with my son before he leaves is absolutely something that I would make time for.
Like any mom, I offer my son advice. I tell him to work hard and make the most of every opportunity he is given. In order to succeed in life, he needs to put himself out there, be independent and be observant. I tell him that while he can learn an incredibly vast array of information and knowledge from his professors, putting his education to good, innovative use in the real world is his own job.