“Our biggest regrets are not for the things we have done but for the things we haven’t done”
― Chad Michael Murray
Every time, my ‘dream job’ had turned into just another job 1 to 2 years in; every year, my definition of a ‘fulfilling life’ changed. In 2014, I’ve embarked on a new journey, a new adventure.
End of 2012, I was sitting in a comfortable job – working reasonable hours, and making a decent dough as a senior manager in corporate strategy, which in fact was in my dream function i.e. strategy, from my MBA days. But like every year, something was missing! I realised that every thing that I had done working with big corporations hardly had any impact on anything or anyone; all I was doing was attending meetings, and churning out beautiful documents. The question I kept asking myself – what do I ‘need’ (yes, not ‘want’). I really enjoy my life outside of work (touch wood!), but what will make me really content even during my work hours?
In 2013, I was still struggling to break through the golden handcuffs, still unsure of where to head next, but the buzzing London tech scene, support from my friends, and the launch of this video/campaign helped a little.
Yes, what if I could code again?! (back in 1995, I had gone through a 2 years course at NIIT in India). Over the next few months, the idea of coding full-time to solve pain points that we encounter in our lives grew on me. Also, a buddy of mine, Vaibhav, started building beautiful and functional web and mobile applications after completing only a short course in Chicago. In a casual conversation, he mentioned about Makers Academy in London. Makers Academy!?
Makers Academy is a highly selective, 12 week full-time programme that teaches web development in London. We accept only the top applicants onto the course for a rigorous programme that culminates with the graduation day when we introduce them to London’s top technology companies looking to hire entry-level developers.
ONLY 12 weeks?! Skeptical at first, but I needed a ‘push’ and a reason for change. I can’t forget the excitement when I got this email from Rob in May: “Congratulations on your acceptance to Makers Academy!”. I registered for the course beginning in Sep, informed my manager (with whom I always had open and honest communication) about my decision to leave, and downloaded a template for a business plan! 🙂
30 Sep, and I was back in a classroom at age 33, surrounded by mostly young and super enthusiastic people. Makers was a journey, painful and frustrating at first because we were covering a lot of technical stuff in a short span of time, but extremely fulfilling when we managed to conclude our final project in less than 10 days. There’s not much I can find wrong with the Makers course, the staff or the students; it’s an awesome place if you want to become a junior developer or start building the product for your startup, but the course is quite demanding, and hence, not for everyone. There are 3 individuals at Makers that I’m extremely thankful to- my two gurus: Enrique and Alex for teaching me almost everything I know about coding today, and Rob who guided me on my startup ideas. You guys rock!
By the time I graduated from the course, I became clear on what I ‘need’ (at least for now). Everything I do needs to have an IMPACT, otherwise it’s a just a waste of time! So, the plan for 2014 is to work on solving several pain points with the use of technology, even though I make little or no money out of these endeavours. To get by, I may look to do some contracting work in strategy, technology or finance.
23 Dec is when I started working on a solution for small traders and investors (more info in another blog post coming soon). It’s been more than 3 months of working almost 12 hours a day including weekends, and I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far. Have a look at what I’ve created, and if you know other people who may be interested in trading and/or investing, please refer them to CityFALCON 🙂
It doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail in my objectives; I’m thrilled and also relieved that I’m giving this a go. As they say in the startup world – “If things go bad, worst case, I’ll just get a job”