2. Unpack your peak experiences.
“I encourage my teams to reflect on their ‘peak experiences’ — magical moments when you’re thriving, in flow, using all your learned and innate skills and abilities,” she says. “These peak experiences can help guide your personal and professional growth.”
One of Chaitali’s peak experiences was mentoring recent college grads. “Reflecting on this taught me that I wanted to be a manager, which is the career path I took.”
3. Find sponsorship.
“Early in my career at Google, I didn’t even know what a sponsor was, but now I know the importance of people having your back for moments big and small,” she says. Sponsorship is more than just giving advice (like a mentor usually does). Sponsors actively support you and champion your cause.
To find a sponsor, Chaitali’s advice is simple: Just ask. “Speaking up and asking can be uncomfortable, but a skill I can’t recommend enough. Also, it’s OK to hear ‘no’ — but know that people want to help if your request is reasonable.”
At work, Chaitali doesn’t try to do it all herself. “Trusting your team matters,” she says. “Letting go not only helps you, but it helps the team and the company. Next time you have a project, instead of doing it yourself, consider how you can use this moment to teach, trust and empower others.”
5. Stay curious.
Chaitali says she first started nurturing her curiosity until she began grad school. “In India, we learn by practice and memorization while in the U.S., we’re encouraged to ask questions and explore. I’ve grown so much by embracing this growth mindset. At Google, I’m using my curiosity to not only find answers but to find the questions that haven’t been asked.”
Chaitali also stays curious through papercrafting, which she found while looking for a device-free hobby.