First of all, I am honored that you will take the time to agree to an interview with me. The purpose of this article is to showcase passion found in everyday jobs, how we inspired and motivate others in our career and how we kept ourselves motivated and positive.
Sitting across each other in a small but cozy café by the window, the sunshine is pouring in through the windowpanes, both of us nursing a cup of our hot favorites as we settled in nicely in enveloping armchairs. He took a sip and I adjusted my sitting position so I can be cross-legged on the armchair. Pen poised, I begin the interview with Hammad. This is how it would be if we are not countries away but alas, we still have the wonderful technology called email.
Hi Hammad, thank you for taking time for this interview. Let’s start off with the usual. Please tell us a little bit about you. Who are you? What defines you?
Well, thank you so much, Kally, for considering me up for this amazing chit-chat. I felt really honored when you asked me about it.
Okay, a little about me: I’m Hammad Rais, living a happily married life in Karachi, Pakistan with my lovely wife Jia and my son Uzair. I’m B.E Computer Systems graduate and working as a Product Group Expert (PGX in short) in a product data solutions provider.
The answer to the question “Who are you” is pretty simple: I’m just a normal guy with a little different understanding of the world I live in. I see things the other way round mostly and love being so different from the rest. I don’t talk much, which may seem odd to others but this has helped me a lot in probably every stage of my life. On the other hand, I love to listen. I can listen to your stories without telling you to please stop (unless you are boring me).
Humbleness, down to earth, easy going, loving, caring, these basically defines me a lot. I care for everyone and always grab an opportunity to help out others. I live by simple rules and don’t like to complicate things for not only myself but for others too. I’m happy with whatever is in my hands as I don’t chase out “a must-have”. I love to walk in the sunshine, love to stare the night sky, and love to see all those little things other normally ignores.
So what is exactly your job? What tasks do you do on a daily basis?
To understand my job, let me tell you briefly about what my company does. My company provides product data related services to customers across the globe. We cater the industries of information technology, consumer electronics, sports equipment, industrial equipment, office products, and much more.
As a PGX, my job is to train new resources in production department as well as to provide support to existing ones aka senior resources. Besides this, I also cater customer’s queries and special projects. I’m responsible for catering 90+ categories of different industries in the production department. Since our department’s strength is 200+, so there are about 15 guys, including me, with the same job description. Those 200+ are divided into several teams and each team features at least 3 PGXs.
On a daily basis, my job is support the junior staff first. I help them out in their queries over the work they do every day. I help them out when they get need guidance about something related to their work. You can say my job is to make sure everything is going according to defined standards and rules of the production department. Plus, I also provide support to other departments as well from time to time. Training is provided by me if there is a requirement. It can be of low level or high, depending upon on customer’s requirements. Like, this past November, training requests were bit high and I was very much involved in it.
Understanding that you train new employees, what do you train them in and for how long? Is it a classroom-based training or is it on-the-job hands-on training?
The training I provide to new employees is about how to perform extraction process of a product’s data in our content management system. What standards should they follow, what key-elements should they look for while performing extraction, what is forbidden and what to look where for. These are just some basic points I have mentioned here about the training I provide. The duration of such training is usually about a week or two though this is for new employees only. Once they receive approval, they start up the normal production working. Most of the time, it’s on-the-job hands-on training. If I’m not wrong, I conducted a classroom based training once only. However, I had attended many classroom based trainings myself during my tenure but didn’t provide much to new resources.
Have you encounter any trainee of yours who always seems to be lagging behind others? What do you think is the cause of this? Did they give up?
Yes, indeed I have. Such trainees lack because of many things. Fresh out in the field, having either very low or no exposure to professional environment, not paying attention to details, carefree attitude as if they are still in high school or college and many more.
The main cause in my opinion is not paying attention to details. Our line of work demands a high level of quality and this can only be achieved if a person working on his/her task not only knows what is required to maintain good quality but also how to go an extra mile for it. Those who lag behind others are given chances. If they are unable to work comfortably in one category, then we engage them up in a relatively easier category.
On the other hand, I have also trained quick learners. They understand our line of work very easily and familiarize themselves with it in no time. And receive duly rewards for this.
Tell us a story on how you motivate negative new employees.
Bad performances are part of job. Today, you may have finished up all the tasks in due time but next day, you may not. The tool you carry in your hand may break or fail you on a day but you should be strong enough inside to make a new one in no time.
The results achieved by senior resources in our department are visible to everyone. So obviously new employees want to see themselves in the same position. But there is no shortcut for it. Dedication to work is the key here. All they need to understand is that they are in a new, fast-paced world which is totally different from their comfort zone. In this world, they have to be quick and smart.
New employees also look at certain things from one angle mostly. From that particular angle, things they want may seem difficult to achieve but it can be in their hands once they change angle. Things can be turned around their way if they change the way they look at things.
Thank you for your time and take a rest while we continue part two of this interview tomorrow.
If you enjoyed the above article, please drop us a comment below. Or go to Hammad’s blog at https://hammadrais.wordpress.com/.
If you would like to share your job and your passion, drop me an email at Kally@MiddleMe.net. I promise you it will be a fun and exhilarating experience for both of us.