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Career lessons from the game of poker

Pick The Right Table

Pick The Right Table

A good poker player chooses a table where he has a better chance to win. A group of casual players is better than a table of professional players.

In your career, you need to pick the right stream or the right company, where your skills are in demand, and your contribution will be valued.

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Career lessons from the game of poker

Career lessons from the game of poker

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/earn/10-career-lessons-from-the-game-of-poker/articleshow/65174397.cms?from=mdr

economictimes.indiatimes.com

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Key Ideas

Pick The Right Table

A good poker player chooses a table where he has a better chance to win. A group of casual players is better than a table of professional players.

In your career, you need to pick the right stream or the right company, where your skills are in demand, and your contribution will be valued.

Keep Improving

A poker player learns many skills initially about different combinations of cards, and how to play a basic game. He keeps on improving by further calculating the other aspects of the game, which were not understood before.

Similarly, one needs to identify the basic skills for the job and then grow with experience, improving your dealings with people and situations.

Stay Disciplined

A successful poker player constantly plays a high standard, and does not make impulsive decisions. A long-term discipline in a career path builds one's wealth, supported by one’s past success.

A single wrong decision can demolish one’s reputation and credibility.

The Lonely Journey

A poker player has to live by his decisions, even when he is losing.

In our professional life, we are also on our own with our decisions. No one will be there to sympathize with you, and the pain is yours alone.

Taking The Plunge

Not risking in a poker game means slowly losing or bleeding away our stack. In our careers, we have to take risks, take the jump ahead, getting out of our comfort zones to succeed.

Bad Situations Are Okay

It’s not the end of the world if a poker player has a set of bad cards, as any bad situation can change with new cards and the skillful playing of the game. In the corporate world, good or bad situations change quickly. Being the weakest in the team does not mean you cannot reach to the top.

Good situations too can change rapidly, so we should not be taking our promotion, bonus, boss or our job for granted.

Enjoy The Game

Life is a game of poker, and works best when not taken too seriously.

Your career should be something you enjoy doing. It is good to keep the eye on the ball while enjoying the game, playing in the right spirit.

The Past Does Not Matter

Your past work culture, expectations and even your prior performance do not matter in the present moment.

In Poker, new outcomes, and surprises in the current keep happening in the game of cards, and the past cards dealt cannot influence that. What matters is how you act now.

The House Always Wins

A certain percentage of the winnings always go to the casino where the game of poker is being played. Similarly, your work has to ensure your employers goals are met, not just yours.

Walk Away From Bias

If the casino table is rigged or players are playing in tandem, there is a strong chance that you will lose.

In the case of the workplace, if you see extreme discrimination, politics harassment or bias, then there is no need to stay there.

The Implications of Luck

The game of poker is unpredictable and the luck of the draw lands in our favor, out of the blue.

A successful entrepreneur sticks to his creation, limiting his losses and keeps on working tirelessly for that moment to arrive.

Fail Fast

A poker player has to decide when to quit (fold) so that he can save his stack for the next game. When the odds are really low, and the cash is bleeding, he makes the decision to fail.

Similarly, in business, we have to know when we are wasting our energies and quit something that is draining our resources, pivot our business if required, or start from scratch on a new one.

It’s Not The Cards

A good poker player is not dependent on luck of the draw, and on the other player's mistakes to win. It’s about how you play.

Any investor knows that the business will do well not because it’s a great idea, but because there is something he sees in the businessman.

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To avoid the trap of overestimating our own skill, we need to start thinking probabilistically. That means estimating the odds and adapting your decision-making accordingly.

Even if the decision had a good outcome, we still need to objectively analyse the quality of the decision-making underneath.

Learn to deal with tilting

Tilting means realizing that your emotions are not separate from the logic of your decision making - for example, the despair that comes from bad luck, or the overconfidence that comes from a win.

You can learn to cope better by regularly checking in with yourself to see what you are feeling and how you react. Once you have identified those feelings, then try to analyse how they're influencing your judgment.

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Thinking in Bets

Becoming comfortable with uncertainty and not knowing is a vital step to becoming a better decision-maker.

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Being decisive

Being decisive is simply the most rational way to take on any problem.

Decisiveness means having the ability to decide with speed and clarity.

Indecisive people

They act this way  because they assume others will make better decisions for them.

They underestimate the power of this effective strategy and end up relying on the thinking power of others to survive.

Decisiveness in uncertainty

The best decision is the best one you can make with the information available at the time.

Simply need to make a decision with the faulty information at hand and move forward. Waiting longer is just delaying the inevitable, so you must decide even in the face of uncertainty.

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Purpose of Career Networking

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  2. Know what your career network can do for you
  3. Keep in touch - work your network: People are more willing to help when they know who you are
  4. Give to get - what can you do for your career network
  5. Keep track of your network

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  6. Network online
  7. Attend networking events.
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  • Be on time.
  • Dress appropriately for an occasion.
  • Address everyone respectfully, such as by their last name.
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Smile
A confident, relaxed smile is the best way to put other people at ease. 

Smiling is an important social cue, and that other people will respond to smiles on both a conscious and subliminal level.

Good Manners basics
  • Language. “Please,” “Thank You,” and “You’re Welcome,” demonstrate to others that you value their effort, thought, and/or generosity.
  • Names. Always address others in business by their title (Mr., Mrs., or Ms.) and their last name, unless they request you use a given name or nickname.
  • Attire and Dress. The way a person dresses can demonstrate their respect for whoever they are meeting.
  • Eye Contact. Most people believe that those who do not make eye contact are lying or avoiding something, or that they lack the confidence to interact effectively with other people.
  • Speaking. A clear, well-modulated speaking voice is an important social tool, and contributes to the ease of communication and a good first impression.
  • Handshake. While the handshake should be firm, too much pressure shows a desire to dominate and can be a negative signal.

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You can sabotage yourself by getting frustrated or being defeatist. Learning how to precisely manage yourself, and to stay calm and to dig deep in high pressure, high stakes situations can turn the tide of a match and a career.

You'll Fail Often

Great tennis players are unfazed by failure in the moment, they wait until the match is over to let emotions set in. 

Getting accustomed to failure and learning how to handle it well is what success is built upon.

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Persistence

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She decided to persist regardless of her injuries and losses.

Never Giving Up

In 2015 Serena Williams already had 21 Grand Slam titles. She was only 1 title away from scoring 22nd one, which was only done by Steffi Graf. She made it happen by winning Wimbledon 2016. 

Never give up. If someone else is winning, you can do it too. 

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Why We Make Poor Decisions
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  • We don’t gather the information we need. We make decisions based on our “guts” in complex domains that require serious work to gather all the needed data. 
The World Is Multidisciplinary

We live in a society that demands specialization. Being the best means being an expert in something.  A byproduct of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud.

We should apply all the knowledge at our disposal to the problems and challenges we face every day.

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