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Jagriti Malhotra

Age: 22

Job: Audit Assurance Team, Ernst & Young

Location: New Delhi, India

Jagriti and I met through a LinkedIn contact, Cory, who told me I had to connect with this young woman. After chatting with her several times, I knew we had to share her story, too. Ambitious, fearless, and inspiring, Jagriti is here to make it big and she is not afraid of making things happen for herself. Her goal is to jump into everything she can because there's no time like the present, and she's here to show you how you can too.

What’s your story?

I’m from New Delhi and I pursued my Bachelor's degree in Commerce. Before graduating, I had an offer from Ernst & Young (EY), but I acknowledged the gap in my education system, which was predominantly theoretical and current employment trends, so I decided to pursue my Masters. I graduated in May 2019 and my course with the Ivey Business School in Canada begins in January 2020. In the meantime, I am working on my side hustle, mostly on LinkedIn, while working at EY full-time as an audit associate.

Tell us about your side hustle.

While I did pick up the job with EY, this was just for the time being, knowing that I wasn't going to do it for longer than five or six months. My side hustle is actually my main gig because even after I work my job from 10 am to 8 pm, I come back home to work on my personal branding and marketing techniques. I mostly work on LinkedIn through consulting and helping clients develop a more engaging audience by humanizing their brand on LinkedIn. I help people build their personal brands for stronger professional opportunities. I also work with TIR Global, which is a leadership and development organization that works to humanize the work experience.

Has age played a role in any of your success or do you think it has been more of a barrier for you?

There is no black and white in age. If it is a factor of what age you are, there are going to be two sides to the coin. Since I'm young, I'm up to date with the current marketing trends, so clients want me onboard. At the same time, they associate the fact that I’m 22 and don’t have that much experience, and that's why they do not want to delegate much to me. I think the big problem here is that everyone wants somebody who has 25 plus years of experience but is still under 30 years of age and that's just unrealistic. I'm glad that a paradigm shift is coming along with the startup space and the emerging gig economy because I think we will start to see this change.

Can you talk about a hardship you've experienced since becoming a professional and what that has done to shape you?

I'd say the transition from school into college, college to work, and from work to a more entrepreneurial space that I am currently getting into, has been a challenge. All of the behavioral changes that come with this transition has been a bit of a hardship for me, too. Things like punctuality, work ethic, and adaptability are things that I learned the hard way. However, adaptability while maintaining your individuality and trying to fit in by losing who you are, are two completely different things. Also, self-awareness is more critical in terms of professional exploration.

Can you talk about how globalization has impacted your life as a young professional?

I guess globalization plays a very huge role because just by being a young professional in one of the largest countries in the world, there are so many opportunities. Think of it this way: I'm sitting in India and I am in touch with you in North America. I am also in touch with somebody who is in Bangalore, India, and another in Chicago, Illinois. I’m also a guest blogger at Upkey.com which is a Chicago-based company. All of this is because of globalization. LinkedIn, social media, and all of these things make it possible for us to be interconnected.

What does being a young professional mean to you?

Being a young professional is all about putting ourselves out there, showing up and being consistent. While there are inhibitions, anxiousness and a lot of noise around us, a young professional knows that only courage is going to make them stand out and that being consistent in their efforts is going to pay off. In my own personal workspace, it is all about work ethic and not hesitating to share my input. Outside of work is about doing what I like the most. If there's a 9 to 5 job that's killing my ambition, then it's not worth it.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a very interactive person and so I try to attend networking events. If that's not possible, I try to organize a networking event, like I did last month. I organized the first networking event for a community that we're building called Young Leaders Community, which is centered around the idea that being young is a mindset. We invite everybody who is starting off as an entrepreneur and connect them with mentors, so we'll pair someone with 20 plus years of experience with a 20-year-old. I try to gauge what other people are up to in my spare time and at the same time, maybe inspire somebody and be inspired in the process.

What drives you?

For me, it is my passion for marketing and my ambition to make it big someday. I envision myself making it to the business magazine covers someday. Look at me now, I even made it to the YoPro Know, so it's a good start. I know there's a fire in me and that the warmth of it makes me get out there and not get complacent with where I am right now.

Who inspires you?

There are actually a couple of people who've inspired me. The first is, of course, Cory Warfield, who connected us. I just love the fact that he is generously helping people and as he says “if you don't stand for anything, you fall for everything”. That makes me inculcate the same attributes in me through deliberate actions. Then, there is my father who, despite all the hardships that he has faced financially and otherwise, built a business for himself from scratch sustaining a family of five and giving us a good life. He really inspires me to do more and be more.

What advice do you have for somebody who is trying to boost their LinkedIn game?

If you're trying to up your LinkedIn game, my plain and simple advice is just to get out there and do it. LinkedIn as an algorithm rewards engagement. If you want to put out a post, put it there but also engage on other people's posts. Don't just like it and leave. Comment on the posts insightfully. Saying something like “I resonate with you and your passion. This is my experience. Thank you for sharing”. A full-length comment that’s insightfully driven in a certain direction will go a long way. Also, something people don’t typically do is go like your own comments after posting. This might sound a little weird but that's what the LinkedIn algorithm really supports. When you first put out a post, always like your own post. Some people also tag other influencers to get them to engage on their posts because that again gains more engagement, more refined views, and more networking for you. As they say, “your network is basically your net-worth”.

What is a book or a podcast recommendation that you’d like to share?

I suggest The School of Greatness podcast by Lewis Howes. He talks about a couple of things on personal branding and he always has a new guest on the show. One book I'd recommend would be The Art Of Clear Thinking by Rolf Dobelli. It’s an engaging book with practical examples of cognitive biases and simple errors we make in everyday decision making but knowing what they are and how to spot them is a better way to correct ourselves.

What is something that you think all young professionals should know?

Whatever it is you want to do, just do it already. Whatever it is and wherever you are, just start. That's the key. I know a lot of people I speak to are just waiting out there for signs from the universe, but you don't want to look back five years down the line thinking that you have wasted five years of your life doing the 9-to-5 thing. That's not the ideal aspiration. My advice would be to just put yourself out there, make things happen for yourself, and know that there's never going to be the perfect timing for anything. If there is a time, it is now! If there is a place, it is here!

The YoPro Know's Takeaways:

– Self-awareness is a key factor in our success

– Put yourself out there and show up

– Your network is your net-worth

– Find something that lights a fire in you

– If you don't stand for anything, you fall for everything

– LinkedIn Tips

– There's never going to be the perfect timing for anything

Check it out: Ernst & Young, TIR Global, Upkey, The School of Greatness podcast, The Art Of Clear Thinking

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