Tag Archives: career goals

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

21 Day Challenge |Aug-Sep 2018 | Day 1

If you have been part of my journey on this space for a long time, you might have found me complaining multiple times about not being able to wake up early in the recent times. Throughout my childhood and college, I have been an early riser. However, three years into work life not only made me a night owl, but also very guilty of my lifestyle.

Having completed three years in my current workplace, it is time to take a hard look at my career opportunities and scope out what I wish to do in future. Unfortunately for me, I never had a fixed career goal growing up. For a long time (between sixth to eighth grades, I believe), I wanted to be an air hostess. Then I wanted to be a doctor. Then a journalist. Then writer.

In reality, however, I studied to become an engineer. I joined the workforce to be an analyst. And now, suddenly, I can’t seem to find what is the purpose of my work life. Of course, money is a motivator. But at times, I feel that there could be so much that could be achieved in life through work: there are so many things to try out but I am just whiling away my life complaining about lack of opportunities.

Yesterday, one of our new managers took me aside and asked me to prioritize my goals into buckets of urgent and important. I work in client services model in a fast paced industry. While being in a firefighting mode, working every day on an one-day turnaround basis, somewhere it became a part of my life. In this time, I failed to work out what I really wanted from my workplace, what did I want to achieve in my life, what skill-sets I wish to build.

That chat with my manager motivated me a lot: he has been in the industry for about 20 years and he told me that he saw potential in me. That means something! I felt incredibly inspired.

Interestingly, I woke up at 6.45 AM today, and instead to getting back to sleep for another couple of hours, I decided to get up, go for my 45 minutes morning walk, come back and write my heart out to identify the priorities in life. I did not take my phone on the walk, and usually, I spend a lot of time thinking about a variety of things on my walks. That’s when the idea to start the 21 Day Challenge struck me!

I recently learned on the Pick Up Limes blog that people say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I wanted to use that concept and apply it to my life. So from today until the 19th of September, I will be on a rigorous 21 day mission to achieve the following goals:

  • Wake up early (around 7-7.30 AM) – I want to create a few morning rituals for myself, e.g. morning walk, making a nice smoothie and breakfast, learning something or building a skill-set that helps in future career goals. I already practice the first two, but I want to develop on the third
  • Find the purpose of my life career-wise – I want to understand the things that excite me in the workplace, can lead to a sustainable source of income. I feel my generation is quite conflicted as far as career goals are concerned. Of course money is important, but we also feel bored at our work. We are inspired by the amazing stories of entrepreneurship and want our money to grow even as we sleep, but we don’t even know if we have it in us to start something new. By the end of these 21 days, I want to have figured out my 5 year plan, and have actively started on the things that can help me achieve that goal

At this point, I am not sure if I am going to blog the entire 21 days of the challenge, but you can definitely expect a bunch of posts in this series. I’d be happy to keep you all posted on my progress, so your feedback can inspire me to work harder towards my goals.

Are you at cross-roads in your career? Is there a habit that you have been trying to build for the longest time but haven’t quite gotten started on it? I invite you to be part of this challenge. Come, let’s together achieve our goals!

Love and peace,

Arpita ❤