Underdog Raj S.

Raj Subrameyer is an international keynote speaker, author, and tech career coach who helps people to land their dream job and become successful leaders. He has helped countless individuals discover their zone of genius and leverage it to live a life that they love. He is a sought-after speaker at various conferences and has been featured in numerous podcasts and publications, including Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, and The Good Men Project. He is also the author of the new book – Skyrocket Your Career. In his spare time, he loves traveling with his family and discovering new experiences which include craft beer. You can connect with him on Twitter @epsilon11, or his website www.rajsubra.com.

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Skyrocket Your Career Book – Website – https://www.skyrocketyourcareerbook.com/

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajsubra/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/epsilon11

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raj.subrameyer.9

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChaiLatteConsulting

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raj.subrameyer/

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Underdog Raj S. And His Story Of Success and Dream Life From Being Rejected From 1923 Jobs

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog today I have a super awesome guest here with me, Raj, how you doing my friend?

Raj 
I am doing good. So excited to finally do the episode. And I’m really grateful to be here. Thanks for having me.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh, thank you so much for being here. Now I’m excited because we’ve got a lot of things to talk about your career coach, you just launched a new book. And you’ve got all these amazing things happening. So now I’m going to ask you as the opening question, you know, what inspired your journey to where you are today?

Raj
Great question. I’m gonna set some context, to begin with, so of course, from my Deck, Texas accent. You would have already realized that I’m not born in the United States, right? So my story goes way back to the southern part of India. I grew up in a place culture NY, which is one of the bigger cities in India. So yeah, Bangalore, Kolkata, and New Delhi, Mumbai, and then Bangalore. And then you have tonight, and that’s where I grew up. And I was younger than the two kids and since a young age. I had this inferiority complex, that I wasn’t good enough because this was partly because of my childhood where my dad, he studied in scholarships, like throughout his life.

And then my brother has three masters and a Ph.D. and then there was the average Joe, who didn’t do well in academics, right. And for those of you listening, who are Asian, you can relate to this. Because if you grew up in an Asian family, you pretty much had three choices. It could be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer and I said. Okay, let’s do engineering. But that’s how I grew up and I was surrounded by all these overachievers around me. So I constantly put pressure on myself to emulate other people and every time I tried doing that. Trying to elevate their expectations, I ended up getting disappointed. Because I could never rise up to people’s expectations because each person was in different phases of life, but I could never match them.

And this constant struggle of being compared to other people and comparing myself to other people made me develop anxiety, fear of rejection, and fear of public speaking, and I felt kind of like an outcast. But I still remember this. It’s funny talking about fear of rejection. I still remember a story where during my eighth grade, I had this crush on this girl, and every time she passed me or I went near her, I used to start sweating. I used to stutter. I’m talking about that type of wreck, I was been and it took me three weeks, just to say hi to her. So that type of fear of rejection anxiety, that’s what I had just kind of continued to my second-year manda grant.

And then I remember this incident where I was sitting in my study room, and then all of a sudden, my chest starts hurting. And I thought I was getting a heart attack, because it’s beating really fast, like Dr. tectectec. But apparently, later in my life, I found it was a panic attack. But at that moment, I didn’t know what is happening and then I started sweating. My body was shaking, My hands were trembling, and then I could still feel I remember this. Because my eyes were filling up with tears, and I could feel the tears trickling down my cheeks, and I didn’t know what was happening.

And slowly, the pain in my chest kind of shifted towards my head. Because how this initial year in my childhood, 20 years of living a life in a false identity, living a life for other people, letting other people’s opinions be my reality on these things had bottled up inside me and just exploded. I sat there profusely crying for two hours, realizing and the basic training years of my life for other people, and I ended up disappointing myself throughout my life. And that’s when I decided, I matter I’m enough, I’m going to carve my own identity. I’m going to strive for greatness and that’s when I declared power over my life.

And since then, I have experimented with so many different things in my life. Which transformed my life from a shy, introverted kid earning a minimum salary into an international keynote speaker, author, and tech career coach running a six-figure business. It was this initial story, initial incident, the initial experience, which led me to where I am today. Where I coach people specifically in the tech industry to find their dream job and become successful leaders in the industry. And also, I became an international keynote speaker, and I speak in front of 1000s of people and all this transformation would not have happened, if not for this background story. So just setting some context there.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. Oh, my gosh. So what was it that made you realize at that moment, like your shift your aha moment to take your power back, because that’s, that takes a lot of work. I know, you summed it up, but it takes so much work to go from, you know, living a life that you were living for everybody else, but yourself, and then how you morphed it into regaining your own power. So what was that? You talked to me a little bit about what that process was like? And like step by step, how do you get past that hump? Because I know, there’s a lot of people that are stuck in that rut right now. And it’s like, the easier for them, it would be to understand how you one through it might help them?

Raj
Yeah, another great question. So a lot of people go through fears, fear, they’re always some fear, no matter what you do in life. Because fear is an emotional reaction to the unknown, or fear of success, failure, whatever that may be. And for me, growing up, as I mentioned, there were a lot of fears, fear of public speaking, fear of rejection, fear of not being worthy enough. So I started noting down these fears, and I started addressing them one by one. And that’s when the real change actually happened.

So at a high level, I wanted to change two things in my life. One was, I really wanted to get rid of the fear of rejection, because it’s really hard for me to work at all. And the second thing was, I wanted to get rid of my fear of not feeling worthy by finding out where my true passion in life is. So those were the main two things, which I want to first focus on, so going back to the first one. Which is fear of rejection, so what I started doing after I had this trigger event, during my second year, my undergrad was, I started taking part-time jobs. Because of what it did for me, it pushed me out of my comfort zone where I had to talk to strange people, strangers who have never talked to before.

And I had to learn life skills and money skills by working in this environment. So I put myself in a place which will help me face that fear head-on, that was one thing. And also I inserted myself in uncomfortable conversations wantonly in many situations, to see what happens and how I respond. So it was this constant experimentation. Once you do it, you feel really bad. The second time, you do feel really bad. The third time, fourth, and fifth, and sixth and seventh time, once you start doing it. It becomes part of who you are and then you can start facing uncomfortable conversations. With more confidence and you start learning a lot about yourself and how you can also handle these situations come up with solutions.

So that was the first thing overcoming the fear of rejection by doing this part-time job inserting myself in uncomfortable conversations. The second thing was, I wanted to establish credibility, I wanted to make people notice me for who I was, what I bring to the table. So when they stepped into my career in it. I’ve made a vow to myself that I am going to do whatever it takes to make people notice me. And I’m going to show them what it means to work with me, so from day one, when I started off my work life in it. I did everything, which people asked me to do, I said yes to anything which came my way.

And also mainly volunteered to do the shitty things no one else wanted to do. That was the key moment because there are a lot of these things people don’t want to do. Because it consumes time or it’s complex, or whatever be the case. But I want to really take those opportunities because the sad thing is when you do something which people find complex. Or people have been struggling with, and if you do it really well, then you establish credibility, people start noticing you, and the next time you get big responsibilities, people are going to think about you. So that’s what I started doing establishing credibility by a volunteer for these things.

And then one key thing which I wanted to Tell your listeners which has helped me in this transformation. Was always remember, undersell, and then overperform. So what do I mean by that, especially in it, when people give you a task, say they asked you to build a calculator, you don’t have to build a rocket commit to building a rocket, right? So that’s the problem for the majority of the people who not only 19 any work place, and you probably would have seen it as well where people come into so many different things. And then they deliver it, it’s not high quality. Because they said they’re gonna finish 10 tests. But they deliver on a three-pass on time.

So instead, shift your mindset a little bit where you say. You know what, this task is going to take me four days. Then what are you going to do is finish that task in two days, and for the next two days. See what extra you can do, where people will remember your work. Which will add value to your work so underselling, overperforming. These were kind of the things which helped me start this whole transformation process.

And as part of that, it was also a mindset shift from shifting my mindset, from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance, knowing that, I have my own path, I have my own clothes. Let’s go out there and see what comes out of it. So that’s pretty much kind of how I started my transformation, which is facing my fears head-on. And I also have some interesting stories about public speaking and other things as well. But we’ll get to it when we get to it. But there’s pretty much the background.

Pamela Bardhi
The crux of it, wow. Then, you know. What’s crazy is like, with you and your experience. How was it that panic attack that gave you that realization that, hey, I’m not living for myself. I’m living for everyone else is that sort of one that came to you? Because sometimes it’s very difficult when you’re in the stage of routine in life, right? Where you’re constantly going through the same motions over and over. It’s so hard to break that unless somebody says to you and like slaps in the face, like, Hey, hey. Or some sort of moment that you’re like. Oh my gosh, this is not me. You know, so I was just interested to know. Was it that that sort of shaped that moment for you?

Raj
Isn’t it funny that I know your story as well? So Isn’t it funny, we all have to go through adversities. You have to find peak performance and what actually transforms your life. And I feel that it’s true for anyone who you know, have succeeded in life where they should have faced some sort of adversities, some sort of struggles to come out of it, and then have exponential growth. And it’s the same way for me, where the trigger event where I had a panic attack during my second year, undergrad. If that didn’t happen, then probably nothing would have happened.

So I believe that everyone has to go through the lows. Yeah, do realize how high you can get. I feel Life is like a tennis ball. The lower you go when you hit that floor, that is the adversity. That’s the tipping point. That is the point where you’re the lowest, and then the higher you fall. The higher you’re going to bounce back and I feel that is so true. And I am a sucker for motivational books, biographies. And if you read and as you probably would relate to, as well as every podcast. You listen to every book you read, whoever has succeeded in life had some sort of struggles. Yeah, it’s just like telling a kid don’t pacifier don’t testify it. But once the kid that just the fire, then it knows not to do it again.

It’s the exact same way. So for me personally, yes, it was that struggle, which I initially face. And that actually made me look at adversities as opportunities. Because throughout my life, I faced so many different adversities like this. When I came to the US as an immigrant in 2008, I still remember this vividly. I came to the US on August 31, 2008 and September 7, 2008. Lehman Brothers fell. And for those young listeners who are tuning in Lehman Brothers. Was one of the biggest financial firms in the world and that they became bankrupt overnight and that kind of triggered the whole recession of 2008.

And finding jobs as an immigrant was so hard. Because no one was ready to sponsor my work permit, kind of the similar situation we are in right now during the COVID era, and I had two choices. One is to go back from where I came from. But half of my international students were in my master’s program. Or the second option was to do whatever it takes, stick around and see very different opportunities. So luckily I chose the second option and from the beginning of 2009, till the end of 2009. I applied for one to nine, three jobs.

Pamela Bardhi
1293? I just want to make sure everyone hears that not 123, 1293, right?

Raj
Yeah, yeah.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my gosh,

Raj
Guess how many callbacks I got from it? I got callbacks from 1293 jobs, and I converted one job out of it. And that job was not a full-time job. But it was an internship and then for the next six months. I worked my ass off to let people know that I could really do great work. And then I was able to convert that into a full-time job and the rest was history. The reason I gave you this example is that the trigger event. Which happened during my second-year mountain grant got me about adversities, feelings and being in a difficult situation.

And facing that helped me overcome a lot of my fears and a lot of adversities throughout my life. I had all these moments when I faced adversities. And even now, like how have you probably would have faced it COVID people who run businesses like us. We had to pivot, so you have an option whether to not pivot and then just keep doing what you’re doing. Which is not working or do something different and see what else is out there. So that’s kind of like an overall summary of trigger events. Which pretty much sets the tone for everything that I’ve faced and that has happened throughout my life.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s remarkable. So then, basically, you stepped into IT. That’s where you started in your career path. And then now you’re an international keynote speaker. So lead me through your career journey, how that sort of how you sort of shifted along the way into becoming a coach. And then getting into keynote speaking and stuff like that love to hear all about that.

Raj
Yeah. So my basic motto was the same thing. Which I just mentioned at the beginning, which was facing my fears. And so that pretty much helped me find different jobs, which I was interested in. It helped me to open up my mind to so many different opportunities. Right, 2008, this happened which I just mentioned. Where I applied for that many jobs. And then in 2011, I was checking my emails and one of the emails said, there’s a software conference happening in Seattle. Come join us and I just kept looking at the email for about 510 minutes. Because there’s something speaking inside me in terms of one of the fears in my life was fear of public speaking. It was haunting me till 2011, that I haven’t taken any action towards it.

Every time I sleep, every time I talk. There’s always in the back of my mind, that I have this fear of public speaking, talking to people and putting their point in an understandable and digestible format on those things. Were going through my brain again and again. And then this email shows up and I was looking at it all this while I had made a vow to myself. That I am going to take action on my fears. So this was an opportunity where I could go to a conference. Meet really random people, talk to them and see what I can learn from a conference, it pushes me out of my comfort zone.

So the common theme throughout my life was pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. And for people listening, that is something you want to think about. If you want to change, then you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, coming back to the story. So I decided to spend $3,000 of my own money to go to the Sapphire conference and to give you some context. No one actually spent $3,000 of their own money to go to an actual conference. Because either the company sponsors you to go to a conference. Or you go to the conference as a speaker, in which case. The majority of the registration fee is waived. But for me, my company wasn’t ready to sponsor me, because they ran out of budget.

And I was in the speaker, I said, I’m going to invest in myself. This is going to push me out of my comfort zone. I’m going to spend $3,000 of the money which I didn’t have with a credit card. And I went to the conference. There, I started networking with a lot of people and I started seeing all these speakers. There were some good tags and then, there were some bad backs and thankfully there were some bad ducks. Because of looking at the speakers. I had this epiphany that huh? All this Well, I’ve been thinking about the fear of public speaking. What other better way than actually giving a talk to get rid of that fear. That’s when it hit me that I should do something in terms of speaking to get rid of the fear of public speaking.

So I come back networking with all the speakers in terms of how they prepare, how they put proposals etc. Then 2012 I started Backing in small meetup groups. Because it was a safe space for me In 2013, after seven months and 23 trial runs. I gave my first conference back and it was a huge, huge hit. Back in the dock in about me, they said, there’s this weird Indian dude. He’s really funny, he’s inspirational. You should definitely go check him out and that kind of continued since 2013. And here I am 2020 alone. I’ve spoken at 25 conferences, I did five keynotes this year. That’s because it all started from me deciding to make a change and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

So in terms of speaking, that’s how I became an international keynote speaker because of that incident. But in terms of my career standpoint, over the years, from 2012 to 2018, timeframe. I started getting promoted to four different job responsibilities, I was in more of a leadership role. And every time people came up to me. Or I didn’t find areas where people could grow, I used to point that out and then give them strategies to actually improve in their personal and careers. And this kind of continued and people saying, Do you have a knack for this? The strategies you mentioned, I use that to find a job. I used that to get a promotion, I used that for getting an interview call.

Then I started seeing a pattern over the past seven, eight years that I’ve impacted so many people. But I just didn’t see it, that this is something I really want to do this what I’m passionate about. Beginning of 2018, I decided to do tech career coaching full time. Because I’m a techie, I’ve been in the industry for over 15 years, and I’m helping people specifically in this industry. To grow in their careers as well. So that’s kind of my whole journey from a speaking standpoint, from a career standpoint, how I got to where I am today.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. So there are quite a few observations that I made that I think are so cool. I like that you started by facing your fears doing one thing, and then it led you on and on and on. Because I feel that sometimes, you know. When you have a fear in your mind, it just seems so big and scary. But like the way that you broke it down, it’s like. No, you just do one thing to try to combat that fear. And it’ll lead you in the right direction. So I think that’s awesome.

Raj
And just as you said, it’s because the speaking, I got my other jobs. Because of that one thing, I got my other jobs because in the 2014 timeframe. I was in Cleveland, Ohio at that point in time and then a person out of the blue calls me up. She’s like the director of engineering and she says. Hey, I was in one of your talks and you’re super impactful. The strategies you mentioned are really great. And building teams, I want you to head the mobile team for Expedia and that was in Chicago, but I was in Cleveland. I said no.

But one thing led to another in five days, I was already in Chicago interviewing got the job, and I decided to move to Chicago. That’s to tell you, that’s to show you that when you make that one decision to make a change. Then you’re going to see a lot of things around it. Which you’ll never know may happen. So to your point, yes. You do one thing and then you see what comes out of it. And then things follow. Because I believe the universe has a way they give you opportunities to open the doors. It is just our responsibility.

I would say to have an open mind and try out different things and push yourself again. Out of your comfort zone to discover those things. That you would probably never ever think that you’re capable of doing. If you asked me in 2008 whether I would be an international keynote speaker. I’m the author and the tech Career Coach habitate. Are you crazy? That’s the answer. The reason why I coach people, I help them interviews and interviews and salary negotiations. And a common question in interviews is how do you see yourself five years from now? Frankly, I think that’s a stupid question. Because as we know, as you and me now, being entrepreneurs. Our life five years ago was so different from the life we live right now.

And five years ago, if that asked you whether you’re doing some of the things that you’re doing right now. You probably would have said no, if asked me. I would have said no. So a better question would be how do you see yourself in terms of your skillset? Like what do you want to do in life? Right? That would be a good start keeping that as an open-ended question. And then you can start exploring different options and finally five years down the line. Yeah, you may be doing something totally different. You never know. But yeah, that’s something just to think about.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely, and I find that so inspiring that you also transition. So you got into it, and then you were helping people along the way. And then you transitioned into becoming a coach, which is so cool. And that’s led to your book. Now your newest book to skyrocket your career and so tell me what that experience was like sort of shifting into that world.

Raj
So for me, I always wanted to write a book, when I say always, the seed was planted around in the 2015 timeframe. Because as an immigrant, coming to the United States, I had to go through a lot of funny and serious experiences in my life. Also related to racism, stereotyping, and also funny cultural shocks. Which I had to go through. So I already started my first book, would be an immigrantd’s life in a foreign land.

My memoir is about different experiences. Because they have some really hilarious experiences, read it for it. One quick example would be, I think, your audience will get a kick out of the story. So I told you, I came to the US in 2008 and I landed that the JFK Airport. I get our main gate and then a person fascinates me and says. Hey, how’s it going? Then? I said, Yeah, it is going well. If you think I have a thick accent now. You should have seen me in 2008, but I’m saying. Yeah, it’s going good and this my first day here. I’m coming for my masters, I start talking but didn’t hear me out. They just pass.

And then I give walking another person passes me and says. Hey, how’s it going? Then? I said, Yeah, today’s my first day here in the US. I came here from a master’s and they don’t respond. They just passed me by and then, I get over to the airport. And then there was this pretty girl, I would say around 35 ish and then, she asked me. How’s it going? Then I said, You know what? I’m gonna tell her. How’s it going? Because no one’s responding to me.

So I started walking with her and I said yesterday is my first day. Coming here to do my Master’s in software engineering. I had a long flight, I’m from India. I keep walking with her and then, she turns back and says, What are you doing? And I said. You asked me how to go in South Delhi, how’s it going? Then she looks at me and says. You weirdo and then, she just leaves, then we found out. No one gives a shit about the house when they say how’s it going in the US, because it’s a culture thing. But if you go to Asia and Europe. People will actually stand there and respond to you. So that is literally like a simple, funny story.

Two stories where I had the guns pulled on me by the cop, because I’m a color. That’s a totally different story. But the point is, I had gone through so many different experiences and that was going to be my first book. But then, in 2020, COVID, happen. COVID was going to be my year, my speaking here. I was booked in on the largest software conferences in the world, going to inspire and speak to 1000s of people. And then COVID happened and everything is like me talking to you right now. It’s just through a webcam, you don’t get the feeling that you’re talking in front of 1000s of people.

Literally, you can record videos and then send them. There’s no conversation around and it was really depressing for me. So I recognized that I was depressed for a while. But then, as we were just talking about for every adversity, there’s also some opportunities, right? So I started thinking about. Okay, what else could I do to pivot? Because a part of my business is speaking, I speak for so many different companies and imines. But that is pretty much shut down. That’s when they decided that you know what, this was way back in the march timeframe. And a lot of people connected with me via LinkedIn who had lost jobs and they said. Hey, I pretty helped me with my resume, can you help me with interviews, so I did start doing free sessions for people to help them out.

And then I thought to myself, why not put all these things, which I help people with, into a book. Because there are 30 million jobs which have already been lost and people really need help. So that’s how I decided to pivot then write a book on how to advance your career and serve my memoir. Which will be my second boo and the book is called, Skyrocket. Your career, the no-bullshit approach to finding your dream job. Being successful in transforming rock stars.

So literally, I take all my real-life experiences going through different adversities at work. And then what are the different strategies, which I followed to transform my life from again. A shy, introverted, minimum salary earning person. to where I am today, right? That’s kind of the idea behind the book. If you’re interested, I can talk about how I wrote the book, but in terms of how the book came along. That’s how it came along. Because I pivoted, I wanted to help people. Especially people who have lost jobs and looking for help.

Raj Biggest Challenges in His Career

Pamela Bardhi
Wow, that’s amazing that you were able to take 2020 and kind of shift it in a way that’s also a helpful tool. That’s amazing. So, you mentioned a few things regarding your experiences throughout your journey. Would you be willing to share any of the challenges as you sort of growing into the IT space and then going into speaking. And then going into coaching and things like that? What were some of the biggest challenges are sort of throughout your career trajectory.

Raj
So personally, some of the biggest challenges were. First one was, there was a lot of stereotyping that I had to face. What that means is, I’m from the southern part of India, I’m Brown. And of course, they are all over the tech space, right? You will always find some Indian dude or woman doing something. There are two types of people who come from my place. The first type of people are, the people who like how their life has already been in India and then they want to live the same kind of life in the US. Or better, where they immigrate to and that’s totally fine.

But they’re the second class of people, our second type of people like me. Who want to learn new cultures who want to adapt to the new environment. That’s the saying, right? When in Rome do as the Romans do. So I took that type of mentality. But the problem is, so I am in the United States, I can speak to that context. A lot of people think that okay, if you are from India, or from China, okay. You’re going to act like this, you’re going to speak like this. They already labeled you, but then I show up, who was talking to people watching football. I play basketball, I play for basketball leagues, they said. Who is this guy? Who? How are you an Indian dude, like, I don’t understand, right?

So I had to let people know that they’re different types of people with different mindsets. You cannot just label a category of people and put them under that pool. But there are different types of people, and you need to be open to learning about them, and don’t stereotype them, don’t label them. And lastly, some opportunities as well. For example in some of the companies I worked for. The folks from my place, who are in leadership roles, were in doing a good job. So they thought all Indian folks are not good leaders. You see how that whole narrative shifts, so I was losing some opportunity, so I had to put in extra effort. To prove to people that I’m worth it, I’m credible.

And I can actually do work, do actual work with great quality. So that was one constant struggle, which I had to go through stereotyping. Second thing was, I didn’t realize that personal brand is still the most important thing. You need to have to grow in your career, not only in the tech space. But in whatever space you are in. You need to build your personal brand and I didn’t know that until about the 2012 timeframe because there’s a thing right now. Say, going for interviews and say you have a degree from Harvard. And then there’s another person who went to community college. They both can be on the same plane. But based on how you tell your story and your personal brand. The person from the community college, can shine better than the person from Harvard.

Again, I’m not saying anything against Harvard. Our community college, I’m just giving you a random example. Where maybe people do not have degrees or fancy degrees and better Harvard folks. What I’m trying to say here is you have to build your personal brand. You have to start figuring out what makes you stand out from the crowd. Let’s say 2020 and 30 million jobs have been lost. A lot of people are applying for jobs. So the odds are to say you want to become a sales representative. 1000s of people are applying for the same job, why is going to make you stand out from the other 1000s of people, who are applying for the same exact job. That’s where personal branding comes into the picture.

I realized that in about 2012, where it’s not only the work you do. But it’s also the different things you do as part of your work. So I started writing for different magazines. Then I started volunteering at conferences, then I started shadowing other leaders in my company to know what leadership looks like. So I started doing all these things, so when promotions and opportunities came up, decided Raj. Not only was a software programmer, but he actually did all these things compared to other software programmers. Who didn’t do anything, so it’s a personal brand, so building my personal brand, realizing. That I have to build my personal brand, was a late realization.

But those were definitely one of my challenges. Because first I started off with nothing, but I had to build out this portfolio of work for me to stand out from the crowd. So I would say stereotyping was a challenge and then my path to building a personal brand. Where the two main challenges that I see are challenges as and as immigrants. It’s so hard, we have our own struggles, but another thing I Notice as being a woman and tech is a whole different struggle. Especially from diversity and tech and empowerment standpoint. Men, women have to go through a lot of stuff as well, but that’s a whole different discussion. But in terms of personal challenges were these two things. And that’s what helped me get to where I am today.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. So in building your personal brand new choose to diversify, which I think is also cool. Because then you become dynamic on all fronts and nobody can really touch you. So I think that’s so important that you handled it that way. And now I have a question for you, so for anyone out there who’s listening. What would be your biggest piece of advice,

Raj
The biggest piece of advice would be to build your personal brand. That’s everything. Because right now, we see how competitive the market is. And you need to go the extra mile to be extraordinary. So being ordinary is easy, being extraordinary is hard and the way you become extraordinary is by building your personal brand, right. And something which I have done, and which people listening or watching can implement in their life right now. For building a personal brand is these things.

The first one is if you are a tech person or working for IT companies are something from. From a professional standpoint, if you have any work on that genre. I would say have a LinkedIn profile. Because LinkedIn is everything for you. You need to have an updated LinkedIn profile, because your next job could be on LinkedIn. In fact, my last four jobs were through LinkedIn. And it’s been nine years since I actually submitted a resume to get a job. Because LinkedIn is so powerful.

And the reason is, all these recruiting companies, use software. Which scans your LinkedIn profile and looks for keywords. Like says your sales rep, it could be collaborating marketing sales pipelines, right. You should use all these keywords on your profile. Because they actually do a keyword search and whatever information you put on LinkedIn is actually indexed by Google. So the odds are if somebody’s looking for a sales rep, and you have information and keywords, which associates with a sales rep on your LinkedIn profile. You have an opportunity to be on the back end results of Google and you have the opportunity to be noticed, right? Not a lot of people actually know that.

That’s what LinkedIn is so so important for your personal brand, right. And of course, there are a lot of strategies within LinkedIn itself. You could use to grow your network and I also talk about that in my book as well. But LinkedIn is one thing. The second thing was to start attending conferences, meetup groups, and then be free to grow your network. So the way to do that is, here’s some quick strategy, right? People can follow up. So say, for example, you want to be since I’m from a tech space. I always keep using Dec jobs as an example, so say, for example, you want to be a nurse practitioner. But the point is, say you want to be a nurse practitioner. Start looking at what meetup groups are there for nurse practitioners and start attending conferences for nurse practitioners.

And what are you going to do is, in the meetup, for example. It’s going to show you a list of people, who registered for the meetup event. You literally take the names of that attendee list, plug that on LinkedIn. You’re going to get their bio and say. They’re also nurse practitioners and have your dream job and are working in your dream company. Start connecting with them. So literally, no one story or personal data is private anymore. Everything is on the Internet people, so make use of it, so the point is. You can actually look at the bio, and then connect with those people, right. So that’s what I mean by growing your network, using these conferences and meetups to connect with people.

And another thing, to think about is continuous learning. Say you’re applying for being again a sales rep, right? You want to start taking different courses, which would help and add to your already existing skillset. Right now we have LinkedIn courses, you have Coursera Udemy, you have Khan Academy, start taking these extra courses, and then attach that to LinkedIn. Because the odds are if a person does not have any extra courses, but you have taken the extra courses. They know that you are proactive and that you are going to stand out from the other person. So continuous learning is something you want to do so you have three things. Which I just mentioned, which is LinkedIn, growing your network through conferences.

And then continuous learning to build your personal brand. So that building your personal brand is everything people, because the times have changed. The way work is been done is changed and remember right now is being back of all trades and Master of None. That’s because you need to know to have basic knowledge of Everything. Because our technology is changing as we speak we have AI, cryptocurrency, blockchain, microservices. Right? The point is you need to have the basics of all these things instead of just specializing in just one particular programming language, right? Based on my experience, that’s what is going to set you up for success.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that Raj. And now where can everybody find you. And your awesomeness, and you know? information about your book and all of that.

Raj
So all the information about my book can be found at skyrocket your career book.com. And there you will find how I wrote this book and then an intro about the book. What I’m covering and I’m giving away a free chapter of the book. Because I know that feeling where we do a lot of great marketing. Then people buy the book and then find out it’s a really shitty book. So you can download the first free chapter and no strings attached and you, yourself can judge whether you’re going to get value.

And based on the way my book has been selling, and been impacting people 100% feel you’re going to get value. Because my book hit their rank 70 on the bestseller list in the jobs and career advice section. Which is great, because there are millions of books in each frickin category on Amazon. And if I was able to hit number 70, and the bestseller list. It says something that’s because I poured in all my secrets and everything I’ve done to get to where I am today. To skyrocket your career book.com that’s where you want to go.

And if you want to know how I help people through my one on one programs, and my group coaching programs, check out my website, which is rad subra.com. And finally, I live on LinkedIn and LinkedIn is my jam. So if people want to connect with me. Make sure you follow me, message me, and then, I would be more than glad to help you out, with whatever things you want to do in life. So yeah, that’s how you can reach out to me.

Pamela Bardhi
I appreciate you, Raj, thank you so much for sharing that with everyone. And just you’re awesome this today, you are so awesome. And I love your journey and your story, and all your amazing tips. So thank you so much for being here today.

Raj
Thank you so much for having me. I just wanted to acknowledge you for showing up consistently and then giving this podcast to people. I love the theme of the podcast, underdog podcast, I know how it feels to be an underdog you know how to feel how it feels to be an underdog. And hopefully, your podcast is going to inspire other underdogs to come out of their closet and do some epic shit. And I want to acknowledge you for that you’ve been doing great, impactful work. Your story is very inspiring and I am really grateful to be speaking in front of you right now and sharing my story. So I really appreciate that opportunity as well.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Underdog Raj S.