Tuesday, December 21, 2021


Alan Eustace is an American computer scientist who worked with companies like Digital, Compaq and then HP's Western Research Laboratory. Retired now, his last job was with Google as Senior Vice President of Engineering. He co-authored nine publications and appeared as co-inventor in ten patents.

Alan's is no doubt a glittering career with towering achievements. But he is well known in his circles for a rare achievement outside of his job. He holds the current record (since 2014) for the highest skydive, from the elevation of 135,899 feet. He beat legendary Felix Baumgartner's 2012 world record.

He became interested in Stratosphere jump in 2011 and formed a team that helped him achieve the feat. Taber MacCallum,who served as Eustace’s safety officer, says “As much as anything, Alan was interested in the learning curve. It was just a really, really hard problem. And it seemed like as the problems got harder and the challenges got greater, Alan got even more into it.”
Source: https://bit.ly/3zmbqDL

Utkarsh Rai is his insightful video https://bit.ly/3gHwuNT on "7 Career Mistakes to Avoid" talks about Dr. Kevin Eschleman's (assistant psychology professor at San Francisco State University) study on the correlation between hobbies and job performance. His more recent research found out that the less relevant the activity is to the person’s profession, the greater is the impact on workplace performance. Hobby will also help you in keeping good mental and physical health.

Alan Eustace picked up an interest area relatively late in his career and made it big. Though I couldn't find a documented evidence on how it helped him in his job but I am quite sure it did. Looking around you can find many examples where having a hobby have had a positive impact on one's job and career. Yet not many give having an active hobby a fair chance in their lives.

Utkarsh also talks about 6 more career mistakes to avoid. Highly recommend going through the video. (7 career mistakes to avoid at every stage of your career https://bit.ly/3gHwuNT)
One another point made in the video (that i find quite relevant) is about Lack of mobility in careers: Those who remain in their comfort zone and just focus on assigned work areas eventually find a glass ceiling. Be flexible in changing locations, job functions, taking additional responsibilities, filling in during colleagues’ absence, volunteering  etc.  

Please find my sketch summary of the video below

Which of these mistakes do you think are most common ?

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