21 Day Challenge | Aug-Sep 2018 | Day 21

Twenty one days ago, I started on the journey of waking up early and finding clarity as far as my career is concerned.

I am happy to say that I have been able to achieve at least 60% of my target.

Mission 1: Wake up early

As far as waking up earlier is concerned, I have been able to do this for at least 15 out of 21 days. Granted, it is not 100 out of 100, but the objective was to put a habit around my morning routine. Before this, I had a bad night schedule when I only went to sleep around 1 AM. Now, there is a conscious effort to change that, and ensure that I head to bed at least by 11.30 PM. Fortunately, I have been able to do this for most days and it has now pretty much become a habit. On the days that I did not wake up early, it was primarily because I could not get to bed earlier because of some unavoidable reasons.

I am glad that I am back to a morning schedule. I have been sleeping well, I have been well rested and have been more productive. I study at least for 2-2.5 hours in the morning, and that has definitely helped towards my second goal of finding work clarity.

Mission 2: Get career clarity

On October 8th, I will complete three years of my professional career. I studied to be an electronics engineer and then moved onto analytics role. For the first 1.5 years of my career, I was convinced that I would move back into electronics. Another 1.5 years and multiple discussions and introspection later, I realized that I can achieve lot more in analytics with lot less effort at this point (given that this is my full time career) than I could ever do in electronics. So, I decided to take a practical stand, as opposed to chasing impossible dreams.

Besides, I am also not sure if I truly see myself in the corporate in the long term. My father runs a small business back in the hometown and increasingly, I feel the need to do something of my own. As a woman, I realize that my career roles might be defined by my personal life decisions as well – hence, I want opportunities which help me work my best within those constraints.

Which is why, in the past 21 days, I have spoken to multiple people regarding what my career next steps should be. I have a rough 2-3 years plan as well as a 5 year plan in place. I do not see myself doing masters in the next 3 years, but I might end up doing an MBA (depending on how the 5 year plan shapes up) based on the needs. I do not wish to rush through anything. But primarily, over the course of the next two years, my goal is to work more hands-on so that I have developed a sense of depth in what I do. For this, I am not only looking at my current role at work but also freelancing opportunities. I also realize that for a data scientist, it might be a good idea to have a strong Kaggle profile and this my flow into the next 21 day challenge – stay tuned!

So all in all, here’s my assessment of the 21 day challenge:

Success Rate: 60%

Feel Good Factor (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest): 4.5 (Yep, I am plenty happy with the last 21 days)

Next Steps:

  • Continue with the early morning schedule, put on another challenge if I see myself deviating
  • Come up with another challenge or focused next steps for the short term career plan

Happy to end this challenge on a good note! If you have been part of this journey, thank you. I was quite motivated by the enthusiasm some of you showed regarding this challenge and that definitely helped me stay on track. So thank you again, and be sure to drop in a note if you want to know more of the behind the scenes of the 21 day challenge!

Until later,

Arpita

2 thoughts on “21 Day Challenge | Aug-Sep 2018 | Day 21

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