I had to face reality pretty quickly when I took up my first job in an IT company. I sucked at coding and was nowhere near good enough to code my way through life. I was a kid who grew up painting and writing and enjoyed indulging in the creative arts. I never thought I will end up in an Engineering college.
But, the society did not let me be. Since I scored a decent number in science and maths, I was expected to become an engineer. I was pushed saying that’s the only lucrative profession out there, if not for medicine.
After 4 years of engineering and a job offer later, I still hated IT. I did not want to be a part of the rut, my heart was not into it. I wanted to do something in design. When I spoke my mind, I was considered a lunatic who wanted to let go of a bright career ahead.
I was sent for career counseling, where all the people who spoke to me kept repeating how lucky I am to land in an IT job when people were struggling to get employed and how I’ll never make it profitably or get settled in life if I pick other choices which aren’t engineering. I sulked, but eventually gave up and joined this prestigious company as a tech trainee. Never have I ever hated my job so much that I cried almost all the days.
This was a time when social media was barely existent with only Facebook taking dominance in the industry. I believed, doing an MBA was my only saviour at that time, I prepared for almost 2 years, but still couldn’t make it to the college I wanted to join. When I realized I didn't make it through, I broke down in the office, took a cab back to my PG & did not step out of my room for 2 whole days.
At the time it was heart-wrenching to face those “failures”. To be precise I was ashamed to accept I was a failure. I couldn’t understand how it could not work even after giving it my 100 percent. But I guess that’s how the world works! It’s never fair.
I had a couple of people who were extremely supportive during those days and told me it was okay to fail. I finally muscled up the courage and started looking for jobs in the creative domain that interested me. I struggled to find work with my underwhelming CV back in the day!
Finally, I got an opportunity to work for an ad agency as an intern. I knew it was a very small agency compared to the MNC I worked for. I knew there was no job security whatsoever and I will have to work my ass off to learn and prove my mettle. I also knew one major thing that I have to start from scratch, and I was going to be underpaid.
But all that didn’t matter then, it was just that one opportunity that mattered, to switch from the job I hated to the career I wanted. I started thriving when I put my brains to use, I started enjoying my job at the agency cause I got to ideate campaigns for the brands and the results were overwhelming.
It’s been 7 yrs now. I head digital marketing for a top fashion brand in the country. It’s been a long road but there has never been a day in the last 7 yrs when I felt I was doing just a job. I wake up looking forward to my work, my career. I had worked round the clock on some nights, felt exhausted on some days, but there’s never been a dull moment or regret.
My work lets me travel, to fashion shows, product launches, and discussions with some of the brightest minds in this country. I have an almost perfect work-life balance. I have traveled to 11 countries, have explored India extensively.
I have a travel blog and document my experiences from the road on my blog. I have been a guest writer on few international sites and been featured on some mainstream media. I had launched my hand-painted augmented reality postcards on Amazon. I partner with National and International Tourism boards for their campaigns.
I might not make the kinda money my friends in IT make, but I can safely say I have earned more adventures than them. These 7 years are some of the best years of my life. From being a software engineer to a full-time fashion marketer and a travel blogger, life has taken its course full 360 degrees.
Failures teach you something, but it is that fire in your heart that pushes you to pursue your dreams, irrespective of the number of times you fall. Every time that’s what makes us stand up and run towards that dream inching little by little knowing well we have tried and given it our all. And that’s all that matters.