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15 March 2015

How I started a new life in 1998....


Note: This post is presented as a part of Housing.com series on #Startanewlife. 
Checkout the embedded Video presentation of Housing.com



The year was 1998. I had been 11 years into my job, a boring deadend job, away from my family, in an alien culture with no visible prospects of career progress. Every day I was getting up and going to do the same boring job again. And again. Every morning I woke up frustrated and depressed. There was no opportunity for personal growth, no opportunity to learn anything new. 
I was looking into an career and personal blackhole. 
All around me world was changing. The Financial Reforms initiated by the government in early 90's was beginning to pay off for the country. The stock market was on a roll, the economy was upbeat, Infosys was declaring bonuses and dividends like crazy and there was optimism and enthusiasm across the country.
Except for me. 
As I looked to the future, I could see nothing but darkness. I was too old for a job change and jobs in manufacturing sector, of which I was a part, was very scarce. Also the part of the country where I worked had a reputation of trade unionism and was widely considered to be unprofessional. Rest of the country was not very enthusiastic about recruiting engineers from that part of the country. 
In addition jobs were plenty available in my home town in the area of IT. And here I was, with no idea of I or T.  I was even scared of booting up a computer. I thought that if I entered the wrong password, it would explode...
Both professionally and personally, that was the lowest point in my life.
In 10 years, I had been promoted twice to reach the post of 'Deputy Manager' with a salary and perks working out to about 7 Lakhs per year. Company provided accommodation, medical facilities, free power and water etc. 
Looking that way the life was good. But I was atrophying inside.
In the December of 1998, I got an offer from a management institute in Bangalore for the post of 'Faculty Associate'. That was the lowest position in the institute. There was no salary. I was provided a stipend of 10000 rupees per month. 
I accepted.
It took a lot of courage. There was some pressure from family. I was leaving a prestigious and secure public sector job for a low paying private sector job. Some people thought I was taking too much risk.
But I was adamant that I will take this up. This was any day better than the career abyss that I was looking into. 
That was the start of a new life for me. The management institute had all the facilities for me to learn new stuff. IT training was available aplenty. 
I joined an expensive, 6 months IT training program conducted by a leading vendor. By the time I completed the program, I had became one of the very few 'Sun Certified Java Programmers', completing the exam with 86% score.
In end of 2000, I joined an IT Company as an ERP Consultant and have been working in that area for the last 15 years. 
The job is very satisfying and the salary is good. 
Looking back, I see that the bold decision that I took in 1998 was the reason for the success later. I backed myself despite a lot of self doubts. The moment I did that opportunities opened up for me. I became confident of my abilities and my presentations and interview responses displayed conviction and confidence.
That is the lesson. Back yourself and you will never fail.

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