By BRIANNE LEDDA
Elmont resident Asha Aravindakshan, 40, has worked at eight companies since she graduated from college in 2002, moving between nonprofits like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and private companies like Civic.
She has relied on a network of referrals and recommendations, in addition to leveraging her skills and digital presence, to build a satisfying career.
“A majority of my adult career, the roles have been because somebody said, ‘Hey, I have a problem that needs to be fixed. I think you can fix it. Do you want to come work here to do that?’” she said.
Now, Aravindakshan — who is currently vice president of operations at Sprinklr, a tech startup that helps businesses manage the digital customer experience — has drawn on that experience to write a book outlining how to succeed in the modern workforce.
“Skills: The Common Denominator,” which will be available to purchase on Amazon on Aug. 30, describes how to network, develop a professional brand and identify transferable skills.
“The idea came from a presentation I gave in August of 2015 to … alumni and students [at George Washington University] about how they can use LinkedIn to improve their personal brand to network and then just to have a really good digital portfolio online,” Aravindakshan said.
At the time, she worked on the university’s career service committee to help students and alumni hunt for jobs. Her webinar, “Making LinkedIn work for you,” outlined how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn and use it to network. That presentation and others like it have resonated with her audiences.
“After the presentations, the number one question is, can I get a copy of it?” she said. So in fall 2020, about six months after the pandemic hit last March — noticing professionals suddenly switching careers and recent graduates facing retracted job offers — Aravindakshan joined the Creators Institute to write it all down.
“Given my understanding of how the job hunt could be a lonely process, compounded by social distancing measures, I wanted to use my prior learnings to help,” she said.
The book compiles years of professional development presentations Aravindakshan has given to students, interns and peers, and outlines the careers of several people she has interviewed who have pivoted between industries. One chapter highlights Carter Holland, who was an interim chief marketing officer at Sprinklr from September to March; he has swiveled from an early start in a rock band, to freelance journalism, to a career in marketing, among other things.
So far, Aravindakshan has sold 285 copies via pre-order. Christy Mossburg, her editor at New Degree Press since March, said they are in the first stage of the revision process to prepare the manuscript for copyediting.
“Asha has a tremendous amount of experience to share with her readers,” she said. “Anyone would do well to follow her advice when looking for a job, whether they’re changing careers or just looking for change in their current field.”