When it's about your career, should you listen to your heart or mind?

It was nerve-wracking. 

A new city, a whole new bunch of people, a different lifestyle. As a newly graduated Electronics Engineer, I reported on time for my very first job, on the first day. 

There were about 200 of us; 20-something nervous but excited, Software Engineers. However, we belonged to diverse engineering branches. Yes, I’d taken the beaten route too. High school, Engineering, and an IT job in an MNC. 

The campus was beautiful; everything was well-organized. But, I felt really uneasy, like something was amiss. I brushed it off thinking I must be just home-sick. After all, I was staying away from home for the very first time in my life. 

Each passing day, the uneasiness in me grew. It was pretty clear that it wasn’t the home-sickness. 

I so wished it was. 

The truth was hard to swallow. I wasn’t meant to be at this place, doing this thing that I was doing. But was there another option? I vehemently nodded in denial. I was placed in a great organization, something my family and relatives were in awe of. The burden of their expectations made my shoulder heavy… and my heart heavier. 

I’m not a quitter, I told myself first thing every morning and last thing every night. I masked my misery and feigned a happy voice in front of everyone, especially my parents. My dad could sense something was wrong. Casual questions about stuff soon turned into a heart-to-heart conversation. And very calmly, he asked me to leave the job. 

‘What? No, dad! I can’t. Can’t you see, that just can’t happen. What else will I do?’ My voice got squeakier as my brain processed that eventuality. 

I’d graduated with flying colors; circuits & transistors were my pals. But, a voice inside me spoke that my current job profile as a programmer wasn’t my cup of tea. 

I was clearly at crossroads. I was clueless about my career if I quit. And, there would be little scope for me to grow and excel if I stay. So basically, a total Scylla-Charybdis situation. 

I decided to trudge the potential unknown than settle with the worthless known.

I submitted my resignation letter. 

I was done and dusted with my first job, yes, in less than a fortnight! 

I knew it wouldn’t be smooth. However, it was harder than I thought. I could feel many whispers behind my back. Some ‘oh-so-sorry’ faces that clearly didn’t make any effort to hide the gleam. 

I felt like a quitter. 

To cope-up with the dejection, I started to scribble. And, it actually helped to calm me in the midst of all the chaos. The chaos which I’d brought on myself.  That’s when my friend asked me to start a blog of my own. And yes, it felt like a great idea. As the clock chimed ‘Happy New Year’, my blog was live. I wrote and published my first post and I found myself smiling again. 

I’d say that was the moment. The defining one. 

Revelation wouldn’t be a wrong connotation, to be honest.

I was a writer. Not an electronics engineer. And, certainly not a programmer. The next day another friend who read my blog texted me- ‘Hey, why don’t you think about a career in writing?’ ‘Yes!’ I answered him with a smile from ear to ear.

And at last, I see the light

And it’s like the fog has lifted’.

The song from Tangled that I’d heard a million times now sang the story of my life! 

Now I had two things- clarity and direction. So I turned a blind eye towards all the raised brows, that questioned my decision. 

I attended two interviews and aced them both. I began my journey as a content writer & marketer at a young and happening start-up, SurveySparrow. From a job where my identity was merely an ID-number, I now had a mark of my own.

I was no longer a cog in the wheel. 

To all my friends out there. 

It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to do something which is not collectively done. 

Why stay and do something that’ll eclipse your growth when you can clearly rise and shine at what you do best? It’s okay. It may take time. But you’ll definitely get there.  

All it takes is some courage. 

You can write your own chapters in life. 

I write every day now, chunks of it. And guess what? I never get enough of it. Writing has helped me pull things together during one of the worst phases in my life- when I lost my father to cancer. 

I wake up every morning, eager to go to work. To write away what’s in my mind, to give things a whirl. And the thrill which I get each time I pen a word makes up for everything that douses my happiness. 

I was once a clueless Engineer. Settling for an ordinary life with chapters written. 

But today, I’m a confident Writer. Engineering my own story, that’s not quite ordinary! 🙂