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Benefits of an Unplanned Career Journey

Updated: May 14, 2023

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment."—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Graphic work on street with direction
Unplanned and Undecided career journey.
 

Table of Content

"Embracing the Unexpected: Navigating Life's Unplanned Career Journey for Growth and Fulfillment”


Unplanned Career Journey: Lessons from a Professional Jungle.

The Challenges of Marketing and Sales in My Unplanned Career Journey.

Lessons from an Unplanned Career Journey: Balancing Personal and Professional Growth.

"Life Lessons from an Unplanned Career Journey”.

 

"Embracing the Unexpected: Navigating Life's Unplanned Career Journey for Growth and Fulfillment”

Are you tired of the same old career path? Are you looking for something more fulfilling and exciting? Look no further than the benefits of an unplanned career journey! India's growing economy is constantly reshaping its business models, making it hard to find good career opportunities even for those with a solid skill set. In this article, we explore the ups and downs of an unplanned career journey and the valuable lessons learned along the way. Join us as we dive into the world of unexpected career paths and discover the path to growth and fulfillment.

 

Unplanned Career Journey: Lessons from a Professional Jungle.

In 2003, I graduated from college. At that time, it was common for students to pursue careers in either engineering or medicine. I, too, was swept up in this trend and joined the race to secure a job in these fields. After four years of hard work and struggle, I finally completed my degree. I was hopeful that this would lead to a good job and make me the ideal firstborn in my family. Fortunately, I was able to succeed in the first campus interview and land a job. Looking back, I realize that while it was a tough journey, it was also a valuable learning experience that taught me the importance of dedication and perseverance in achieving one's goals.


Lessons from a Professional Jungle: The Unplanned Career Journey to MBA

Like any fresh engineering graduate, I had high hopes and aspirations. However, within the first few months of my first job, I left for a bigger paycheque. I followed the money and joined an IT services company.

Things went well for a year, but then I came to the realization that this type of work wasn't for me. With no other offers in hand and a desperate need to prove myself, I re-joined the rat race and began planning to explore career opportunities in business management.


The Unplanned Career Journey: My First Career Sabbatical

With high hopes and aspirations, I appeared for all the top competitive exams for business management studies in India. I was selected for a Management School in Kolkata, where I enrolled in Marketing as my specialization. I believed it would help me achieve my dream of a "white-collar" job, with unlimited authority, fancy cars, and an extravagant lifestyle. At that time, Marketing was a trending field.

I completed my business studies with good scores and was aiming higher. All those dreams were going to be put to the test with the final year campus selection interviews. Four(4) of us were placed in one of India's fastest-growing electrical companies. We were on cloud nine, finally our dreams and aspirations were going to be fulfilled.


Résumé: Back to Work in My Unplanned Career Journey

We were charged up for "The-Day" (Corporate Induction Day). We were excited and anticipating its arrival, unable to wait to see what the day would bring. We had been looking forward to it for weeks. Afterward, we will start our corporate life with clear hopes of achieving even greater things.


Day 1: "Orientation Day"

Four of us from the same college, along with 50 other business graduates from all over India, joined the company's headquarters in Noida. We were exposed to all areas of the business during our training. After the motivational week ended, we were ready to start our new roles.


Day 15: Awarded the title of Management Trainee (MT)

The MTs were grouped together and introduced to their respective departments. I was assigned to the consumer electrical department (SDA). This division does not require any technical prerequisites or applications, which surprised me during the selection process. Eventually, I was transferred to NE (North East) India to assist a team and establish a profitable business in that vertical.

 

The Challenges of Marketing and Sales in My Unplanned Career Journey

My journey into sales and business development began as a front-end professional in the B2B industry. The company I worked for is still one of the most reputable names in India's electrical industry. However, I was surprised to encounter age-old working styles that were never taught in any B-schools, including Ivy League schools. The company didn't use any advanced tools or marketing techniques. As a result, I was essentially employed to do the job of a high school graduate. This left me feeling low and depressed within a few months, and my self-esteem suffered.

At that stage of my career, I felt like I was at a dead end, with limited options available to me. The job I had didn't provide me with an opportunity to use my skill sets and was holding me back from achieving my aspirations of a white-collar job. I felt hopeless and even resorted to trying the "Naukri premium" service to find something more suitable, but unfortunately, it didn't yield any results. As time went by, I started to accept my situation and in doing so, felt like I had to change who I was to fit in with the "Bania" (desi merchant) work culture. This meant I had to adopt a "dead-fish" personality to fit in. Despite my reservations, I decided to go with the flow as I felt it was my only option at the time.

​If you're interested in learning more about the Bania Business System (Indian Traditional Business System), check out my blog post: A Hilarious Battle for the Ages: Bania V Corporate Work Culture. In this post, I share my experiences navigating both working environments. I hope my story will help you better understand this topic.

"My Unplanned Career Journey: Navigating Intern Delusions and Other Challenges”

One day, a group of interns joined our company for a summer internship. They were assigned to work with me. As a fresh MBA graduate, I could relate to the business jargon and communicate better with them. Additionally, seasoned professionals believed it was a waste of their time and resources.

The interns were aspirants, just like I was during my MBA days. They were eager to learn about corporate life and had lots of questions.

  1. "Is this life the same as what we study in our mgmt. courses?"

  2. "Do you use all of the tools that we are studying?”

I often had to give half-hearted answers when asked about my job. It was difficult to explain the discrepancy between my expectations and the reality of practical life. Even in so-called "big corporate houses", I found that outdated methods and practices still prevailed. Although I was struggling to adapt and come to terms with this, I refused to lose hope that someday I would achieve the life I had dreamed of.

To that end, I sought out new opportunities for growth and development, attending workshops and conferences, and networking with colleagues in my field. I also took on additional responsibilities, seeking out new challenges to keep myself engaged and motivated.

Despite the ups and downs, my persistence fueled my ambition, and I remained committed to my goals.


"Unplanned Career Journey: When Taking a Risk is the Only Way to Achieve Your Dreams”

After struggling for years in various jobs that didn't align with my aspirations, I finally reached a point where I knew I had to make a change. I was tired of feeling stuck and unfulfilled, and I realized that I needed to take a risk in order to achieve my dreams.

So, I made the tough call to shift my career path and try my luck in a new and more competitive market (I shifted to Hyderabad). However, despite my efforts, I found myself facing the same old challenges and obstacles. It was like "old wine in a new bottle".

It was the toughest time I have ever endured in my career so far, but I refused to give up hope. I knew that I had to keep pushing forward, and that someday I would achieve the life I had dreamed of.


 

Lessons from an Unplanned Career Journey: Balancing Personal and Professional Growth

In 2016, I got married and found myself struggling to balance my new personal life with career challenges. Each day at my current company became increasingly difficult.

After enduring over six years of hardship, I finally received an opportunity to switch to a new industry altogether. I found an organization that aligned with my aspirations and provided me with a technical profile and ample learning opportunities. Although achieving my dreams is still a long way off, I'm hopeful that with hard work and determination, I'll get there someday.

The new organization offered me everything I had hoped for: a technical profile with plenty of learning opportunities. With renewed hope and aspirations, I embarked on my new venture, and it's been going well so far.


Balancing personal and professional growth while navigating an unexpected career journey: Lessons from parenthood.

In late 2020, we were blessed with "Devansh". He gave my world a new meaning, and I started looking at things differently.

He helped me realize that life is not just about professional growth, but also about maintaining a healthy balance between personal and professional growth.

Having a child made me understand that family is a significant part of our lives. It's essential to spend quality time with them and create memories that will last a lifetime. At the same time, it's also important to work towards our professional goals and pursue our passions.

Devansh has taught me to prioritize my time and energy, and I have become more efficient in managing my work and personal life. I have learned to delegate tasks and ask for help when needed, which has helped me achieve a better work-life balance.

I now understand that success is not just about reaching the top of the corporate ladder, but also about finding happiness and fulfillment in our personal lives. Devansh has given me a new perspective on life, and I am grateful for the lessons he has taught me.

 

"Life Lessons from an Unplanned Career Journey”

"Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai"

My professional aspirations have remained unchanged since my 20s, but life has taught me to prioritize them more clearly now. A dream is never truly dead as long as you believe in it. By working hard, continuing to dream and aspire, you can propel your career in the desired direction. Whether it happens in your 20s or your late 60s, keep your motivation high and work tirelessly towards your goals.


My journey has taught me to never give up on my dreams. Stay motivated, work hard, and maintain a healthy balance between personal and professional growth for a fulfilling life.


"Embracing the Unexpected: Navigating Life's Unplanned Career Journey”

  • Prioritize professional aspirations

  • Believe in dreams

  • Work hard

  • Continue to dream and aspire

  • Maintain motivation

  • Work tirelessly towards goals

  • Maintain a healthy balance between personal and professional growth for a fulfilling life

 

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