A dead end job is what it was. Sure, there was a huge prospect for it if someone was actually interested in doing it. But I was not cut out for it.
My engineering college chewed me up and tossed me into IT (pun intended). No words can describe my frustration of getting up in the morning and dragging myself to that cubicle. The maze is what I called it. A maze in which I was stuck for three years. The feeling of helplessness when a boss who is intellectually challenged, and yet trying to evaluate your performance could be compared to that of Poland being invaded by the Nazis. Many a times I felt like getting up and saying those magic words to him: “I quit”. But the rational part of my brain kept winning the chess game that it was playing with my emotional part.
It is true that in India, an individual realises that he/she does not want to be an engineer only after becoming one. I too, at the age of 21 realised that my aspirations should have been inclined towards my aptitude. Another problem was that I was never introduced to my aptitude. JAVA, SQL, ORACLE and Eclipse was my world. A world that I wanted to desperately escape.
After 2 years of mindless coding, I could not escape that world but I did escape from the company. I told myself that the new company will probably instill some passion towards the work but within 2 weeks I was back where I was. The hangover of a 20% hike in my pay did not last long. I needed some serious intervention. Luckily, there was a pretty face in the marketing department of the start-up where I was working. In order to make a small talk, I started talking to her about her work. I wasn’t really interested in the work as much as I was interested in her. I asked my manager if I could also do some petty work for the marketing team in my spare time to which he gladly agreed. After all, it was a start-up where money was the most important resource.
Two months later I found myself more interested in the work than that girl. I was surprised. Could it be that I had been introduced to the holy grail? My passion. The next 5 months confirmed my intuition. So what was next? I could not go full time into marketing as I was only an engineer. I had to think long-term. Marketing means management and a life in management with only an engineering degree will take 7 more years. However, the shortcut to getting into management was through an MBA from a reputed B-school. That meant only one thing: preparation for competitive exams. Some hard work, planning and sleepless nights later I found myself in the Goa Institute of Management. My sleepless nights continued but now I did not want to sleep. I wanted to be awake so that I could enjoy my time, my life.
A life that has taken a casual leave for the past 3 years had appeared again. I made a promise to myself to not approve its request for a leave ever again. Managing an advertising firm’s creative team is what my aptitude was. That pretty girl and the Goa Institute of Management helped me get my life back.
From a PGP student of GIM