Always have a plan B

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Always have a plan B

Submitted: July 17, 2012

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Submitted: July 17, 2012

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Always a salaried professional, despite the hardwork and tears through the month, I enjoyed the safety of getting my monthly salary cheque. Over the years gradually, as the salary levels rose, I didnt even realise when things  changed and far from enjoying my work, all I cared about was the money and the freedom to spend. This does not mean I did not work with the same hard work, commitment and dedication that I did when my salary was half the current levels, but somewhere the passion was lost and my job became monotonous and opportunities to widen my scope of work also almost dried up as the capital markets weakened. Coming from a financially not-so-well-off background, I still slogged at a job which I should ideally have quit. However, despite valuing my fat pay levels, there ultimately came a point (probably happened 7 years into my job) where I used to detest my work and my workplace and it started reflecting majorly in my attitude and dedication to work. Everyday I had to drag myself to work, and often I felt like quitting without a job and taking a break. However, being the sole earning member of a 4 member family always prevented me from taking this step. The deterioration did not go unnoticed by my superiors, and soon I was at the receiving end of their rebukes and reproaches almost every single day. As the financial markets continued to slide and business worsened, the pressures mounted and soon the infamous performance plan was handed to me. In simple words, I had 3 months to find another job.

While I knew my recent performance was sub-par, the fact that such a plan was handed to me after 9 dedicated years in the same organisation was a HUGE shocker. Disbelief, denial, tears, depression, remorse, self-blame, anger, despair - all these emotions ran through my head everyday. Completely demotivated and scared - I neither slept nor did I work...the consequence was a continuous downward slide in a once bright career. I finally took the extreme step and QUIT one month into the plan. I did not take up another job (honestly I tried a bit but did not find one) and decided to treat myself to a well deserved career break which I expected would last 3 months and not more. I happily started dipping into my life's savings...splurged on a family vacation, a car and all the material things in life. I expected to resume work as soon as I wanted to as I was truly confident of my industry contacts and a 9 year long dedicated career. 3 months stretched to 5...and when I finally started looking for a job I was in a rude shock. Job markets were weaker than before, no one was willing to help out, so called closest buddies avoided calls...life looked hell.

2 months into the job hunt, the same emotions again run through my head throughout the day - disbelief, denial, tears, depression, remorse, self-blame, anger, despair et al. However, God gave me a reason to smile as a friend approached me for an entrepreneurial venture last week. I never thought of starting my own business all the years I was working and neither did I think of anything while I was on a break, I have no experience being an entrepreneur but still I want to give a shot at this venture as I continued to look for a job. I am aware of the risks and I am scared too but with all the time in the world I like dedicating my time to this. I dont know how much money I can generate out of it (the possibility seems endless at the moment) but I know that even after I find a job I will continue to work on and support my venture.

What I am trying to say is, firstly always have a plan for yourself and stick to it no matter what. I quit work and was supposed to resume in 3 months - and ended up stretching it to five which in hindsight was a big mistake. So stick to personal deadlines and stop procrastinating. Secondly, even if you are a salaried professional, start thinking of atleast one alternate source of work and income - it could be the smallest business venture but it will be something you love and probably can fall back on when times are tough or when you simply want to quit the rat race. This is the simple fundamental that I have understood in my career span and my career break. Not everyone wants to give up on the comfort of a salaried job and take up the painful risky but often highly rewarding entrepreneurial path...but we can all try to be entrepreneurs in our own rights and believe me even the smallest income from your own business can give you more satisfaction than that fat monthly salary cheque. I say this by experience. 

 

 


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