1. As an IAS, you are an icon and will remain so. Try to retain your clean image for the next three decades and more.
2. The journey is such that non-performers can remain in the system, safely. But make conscious attempts to become a doer. Try to be a Tendulkar or a Dhoni, and not someone who does not know whether he is playing the next game.
3. Don’t go with a great socialist spirit that you will work only for aam aadmi. As the DM, of course you will handle MNREGA and many pro-poor schemes, but as a generalist, you could be asked even to anchor a state-run company. In that case you will have to think about top-line, bottom-line and shareholders’ value.
4. There will be times when you will not agree with your political boss. Don’t be suicidal by opposing your boss tooth and nail. Be smart, use tactics. Yet, never become your political boss’ rubber stamp. Remember, your one signature could lead you to Tihar jail.
5. Now, file-notings come under RTI. That means, any sentence you write on a file could be under public scrutiny even at a much later stage. Also remember, your detractors within the system may officially “leak” stuff through RTI.
6. You will serve in an era of citizen journalism, high-voltage activism, and social media. You don’t need to get scared by any one of it. But don’t leave any loose end. Remember, every mobile phone is a powerful camera and also video recorder.
7. In the first few years, just check out what interests you more. And accordingly make your next moves. You should be at the right ministry when you come on a Central deputation for the first time as a deputy secretary.
8. During your career, you must choose a good government-funded scholarship for a proper masters or PhD course from a highly reputed foreign university. You should not randomly chose the university or the course. It should be strategic, and must align with your possible future postings.
9. As a civil servant, you are not expected to be super rich. A successful doctor will earn 10 times more than you even after 7th Pay Commission. Don’t compare your wealth with that of college days friends.
10. Sooner or later, private sector specialists would be allowed to make lateral entry into bureaucracy. That means you will have to compete with more energetic private sector talents. So, retain your spirit of UPSC preparations all throughout your career. Have the spirit and energy of a start-up.