Life was meant to be a nice, linear journey
Or, so I thought.
In 2005, armed with a masters in computer application, I started my career
in a niche technology space.
I loved my work.
I had a great manager. And I got to work with teammates who were also my friends.
I was having the time of my life. What could possibly go wrong?
Fast forward 6 years later, I had moved to my second company, where I was part of an exceptionally smart team, working in the same niche technology domain.
I continued to win a lot of recognition and awards for my work.
I was the de facto choice to work on the best projects in the space.
On the surface, it looked like I was doing well.
But deep down, I knew my learning was stagnating.
It took nearly 5 years for the realization to truly sink in that this linear journey
wasn’t exactly nice for my growth.
One fleeting glance and I was besotted...
In 2002, I had passed by the Indian School of Business (ISB) campus, promptly fell in love with it and told myself that someday I was going to study there.
It took me 9 years to actually reach there.
Thrilled, Baffled and Petrified
At ISB, I felt out of place, an impostor who didn't deserve to be in the
hallowed portals of the school.
Surrounded with people way smarter than I could hope to be, I stumbled upon another realization, that letting go of nearly 7 years of deeply internalized lessons from
working in a niche domain wasn’t easy.
Unlearning and relearning was tough.
But one year of high stress learning at ISB showed me that there existed a world of possibilities and opportunities, beyond my tiny, niche domain.
And that my journey had only begun.
From A Specialist To A Generalist
If the first 7 years of my career were all about one domain, the next 7 years saw me take up 3 different roles.
Technology Strategy and Innovation, Market Research and Upskilling.
From being laser focused on one technology, I was suddenly evaluating a broad range of technologies, building business cases, writing detailed research reports to successfully building a massive enterprise-wide strategic program.
If my work in technology strategy and innovation sharpened my creativity and problem solving skills, then market research taught me about critical thinking and leadership and as head of upskilling, I fine-tuned my networking and collaboration skills.
From being stumped by the newness and the seeming complexity of each role, I felt an unmatched exhilaration each time I excelled at a new challenge.
A Side Gig And A Surprising Discovery
By 2015, I was becoming tired of just going to work and getting back home each day.
I started to ask myself, “What is my purpose? Is it only to earn a salary to pay my EMIs and bills? Or is there something more that I could do?”.
One of the things I had always found immensely fulfilling was mentoring.
And, I liked to write as well.
I remembered how well my essays and interview, as part of applying to ISB, had been received.
MBA application consulting seemed like a good place to explore.
My first cheque from my consulting gig was precious. It was the perfect validation that I had skills to help individuals achieve one of their most cherished dreams, that of studying at some of the best business schools.
Through my consulting gigs, I learned important skills such as coaching, communicating with clarity, taking risks, and showing empathy.
These skills helped me not just excel at helping my clients but also deliberately take up challenging assignments at work.
From Employee to Entrepreneur
In 2017, I set up MBAEssayNation, my own MBA consulting firm.
By 2018, I was writing articles on digital and career transformation for various websites.
I was even featured in a book on leadership.
I had an identity that was my own, separate from being an employee
of an organization.
In early 2019, I parlayed my love for books by co-founding my second venture, MyBookWorks, which is India's first book sharing social platform
By late 2019, I was enjoying my entrepreneurial journey so much that I had founded my third venture, Perseverance Overrated. These were, in addition, to managing a full-time corporate job.
It wasn't long before I knew the intellectual satisfaction I sought was to be found in my ventures.
In 2020, I decided to leave my job to focus on my ventures.
What I most like about entrepreneurship is how much there is to learn.
It’s something I get to experience every time I speak with brilliant individuals
on Perseverance Overrated.
I get what Socrates meant when he said, “The more I know, the more I realize I know nothing.”
Besides my work, I enjoy focusing on other important things like parenting my three precocious pet children with my wonderful husband, discovering new books and going for long walks.