Letting my guard down

College, 3rd Year, 6th Semester, On campus selections
“Congratulations!, you’re selected” said my interviewer and shook my hand.
My heart skipped a beat? Yes, but magnified! – My heart skipped a drum roll. I let out a wave of breath. I was relieved and felt secure but something was amiss – Exhilarated happiness like the surrounding selected crowd around me?

1 year later – First day at work
The following seemed apt for my mood frame at that moment or around it:
Hopeful (for what – unknown)
Vexed (already? Yes! Go figure.)

Something was amiss again – Happiness or a lesser degree of joy? I was stepping into a new stage of my life, where the inception itself was faltering. I reluctantly but deliberately chose to ignore the apprehensions, I just did not want to face them. But I felt safe nevertheless, that was supposed to suffice as an incentive to be hopeful towards….towards something right?

3 months down the line
Post training period and after being selected in the first project I gave my interview for(a proud moment considering the recession time) – I felt fine. I just felt fine and more so clueless but I felt secure. I was working as developer and writing thousand lines of code, being a part of the team creating software products and I was good at it. It was a respectable job, paid decently well and I was a part of a multi national company, isn’t that what mostly everyone aspires? If everyone does, then being a part of the crowd is safe. These thoughts gave solace to my mind which was in a conundrum otherwise.

I was working like my module leads wanted me to. Being proactive at certain times. Meeting the deadlines and if deadlines that were set were meant to choke us to death, I became the phoenix that rose from the ashes – I stayed overnight, skipped my lunch, skipped my dinner – and finished my work no matter what. I paid no heed to the concern of my parents, especially my mother, who disregarded this kind of overtime work as despicable and futile. I thought she knew no better, she had resigned from her job almost a decade back, what would she know? I paid no attention to my friends who happened to also be my peers. Much to their dismay, they were not even able to convey their concern towards my office work overdrive – I chose to cut them short when they spoke.
My headstrong dedication to my work did get noticed – it got an iota of appreciation, irrespective, I felt satisfied…..AGAIN!
Days went by without any significant events – the routine sedantary life was passing by and I was dragging along and yes I was satisfied!

3 years after my first day at work
I have let my guards down.

That, that was amiss has been revived – I am happy. I left my job in hopes of something…now I know what that something is – Economics and Business Management. Something that I did not want to face on my first day at work, I was confronted by it eventually – RISK. I deterred from taking risks, I chose to be secure and involuntarily save myself against the ignominy I may face if I chose what I thought would be the best and failing at it. Our society places such an impetus on certain lifestyles that WE don’t really think and so didn’t I and became prejudiced and blinded by what seemed right. ‘Be a doctor or an engineer and then do your MBA – those career options are a sure shot to success’. I was one of the victims. Despite knowing where my interests lied, I chose to be one of the rats of the pied piper(the society dogmas that are apparently set in stone), but I was saved in time from the eventual drowning by boredom.

My 3 years work experience that I described above seems short and  disconnected – the beginning more abrupt than the ending. It is a mere reflection of how I felt at work – clueless and disconnected.
Notwithstanding my prior aimless 3 years of work experience – I did enjoy many moments there, made many friends, loved the fun sessions and loved to hate my bosses who by their cliched existence were biased and seemed to be overpowering and more conniving than most of our politicians ( A job change to politics would do them good too, I reckon!). I cherish those moments where my friends and I, had our little gossip sessions and laughing riots over a boss’s pseudo-patriot and lowering him or her to the most despicable level and avenging our dismissal by our bosses in many instances by making fun of them.

I had some good times. But I DID NOT LOVE MY WORK. Donald Trump couldn’t have said in a better way – ‘People should look for their “right fit” work — work they love to do, using their favorite skills and natural talents — work that fits them like a glove and that doesn’t feel like work’. 

Now I  am re-treading a new path of my career, enrolling for a different college programme all together, back to square one. A new start, a hope to be the best at what I love to do and a clearer perspective and a steely focus. Better late than never. Wish me luck!

—– Pallavi


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