Believe it or not, it’s like finding and settling with a boyfriend (or girlfriend)

“How can I grow a career in bridge engineering [or some other discipline]?” Students often ask me such questions at career or speaking events. But I cannot respond in the short time available as there is no straightforward answer. Yet, after giving it some thought, I think I can summarize the answer as this: “follow the industry where you want to grow your career, prepare according to its needs, and professionally present yourself.” Let me elaborate on what that means.

The industry needs career-seeking professionals as…


The answer lies in deep-rooted culture and mindsets

“Dear Mia (not her real name), we are sorry that we can’t offer you any other role at the moment. As a manager, you understand the company’s position and the current market situation.”

Mia, a mid-level manager at a publishing company somewhere in Asia, looked in disbelief at the email from HR. She had recently been diagnosed with a life-altering medical condition and sent an email to the CEO requesting a role more suited to her changed daily routine. The CEO wasn’t her report, but she thought the situation adequately justified her…


The civilians are left to pay the price for this colossal misadventure

June 2002. I was on my first visit to Kabul. People were trying to put together their lives with a new hope. Kids seemed happy and curious. Some were walking to whatever remained of the schools. Some were playing on the streets, while some others were curiously watching the foreigners.

Fast forward to 2021. June 15. Armed men gunned down five polio vaccinators and injured several others in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province. June 9. Masked gunmen stormed into an office of HALO Trust, a charity engaged in mine…


Your health and well-being depend on the answer

“Quick, Matt has collapsed at his desk!” I ran three floors down the stairs to Matt’s office. Despite my frequent warnings, he had continued to work long hours, and now my worst fear seemed a reality. A wailing ambulance raced with him to the emergency.

Matt’s incident got me thinking. In 2016, long work hours had killed 745,000 people worldwide, reported the World Health Organization (WHO) in May this year. For these people, sustained long hours triggered stroke and heart disease, both fatal. It’s not entirely new information, though. A French research…


The answer is glaringly simple

Modern Times, a 1936 movie by Charlie Chaplin, the director famous for his distinctive ways of presenting the harsh realities of life, portrays how a factory worker is caught in an ever-accelerating assembly line. Eventually, he suffers a nervous breakdown, gets stuck in a machine, and lands at a hospital.

Almost 90 years later, the scenario is still the same. As we go up the corporate hierarchy, the salary and other benefits increase as well. But at the same time, our workload increases along with stress levels. This stress level, in turn, impacts our health…


This Dutch technique of doing nothing may increase your productivity

“I am busy all day, trying to complete my to-do list before calling it a day. Yet, some things always remain undone, and, worse still, new things pop up. I go to bed tired, with the dissatisfaction that I couldn’t do what I set out to during the day.”

These are Sami’s words as I listened to him in a quiet coffee shop. I am sure it rings a bell with many of you, especially those working at large corporates and juggling family and work.

Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 movie “Modern…


Craft a more satisfying career for yourself

When we start our tertiary education or graduate from a university, our usual aim is to secure a job. To most of us, that job becomes a lifelong career. But can we always say that we are doing what we enjoy doing?

An overwhelming majority of us work in a single track, such as an engineer, a doctor, a journalist, a teacher, a lawyer, a horticulturist, a veterinary surgeon, or whatever. The tasks related to the job slowly but surely take up all our time and effort to the point that we give up all our pleasure-seeking endeavors, such as…


The world owes Bangladesh a standing ovation for taking in an astonishing 1.3 million Rohingyas bearing humanity’s burden

If Rutger Bregman, author of the best-selling book “Humankind: A Hopeful History,” needs another example to support his argument that “Most people, deep down, are pretty decent,” Bangladesh is a perfect candidate.

This year, on its 50th birth anniversary, pundits are applauding Bangladesh for its spectacular performance on social, economic, agriculture, and food security fronts. But the world failed to take notice that it has also taken a giant leap of humanity by caring for 1.3 million Rohingya refugees since 2017.

In…


What does it Indicate for Myanmar?

After Aung Saan Suu Kyi’s recent arrest, there was an outpouring of support shown to her by various ethnic groups in Myanmar, despite her outrageously disappointing disregard for their rights. They have taken to the streets in large numbers, alongside the Bamars, reported Reuter, demanding a return to her civilian government. Why?

Suu Kyi rose to international stardom during her years of struggle for democracy. Those who hoped for an end to the long streak of military rule and consequent marginalization of ethnic minorities in Myanmar applauded when her party, the National League for…


Its benefactor and namesake, Elihu Yale, made a fortune from slave trading and plundering of Indian resources

Whoever wrote this epitaph must have been acutely aware that someday Elihu Yale will come under severe scrutiny.

Over the last few years, there has been fierce debate about whether Yale, a leading Ivy League School, should rename to detach itself from its namesake. The reason? Elihu Yale made money from the slave trade and plundering of Indian resources by unethical means.

Sayeed Ahmed

Travels and writes as a hobby on history, culture, politics, and contemporary issues.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store