Tag Archives: career

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 9

It’s been slightly over a week since I started the 21 Day Challenge, but man, it feels like it’s over two weeks! I wanted to write a quick post to update you all on my progress.

Wake up early:

Achievement: 7 days out of 9 days, averaging around 7.30 AM.

This one has not been much of a struggle since I put my mind to it. I usually try to get to bed around 11.30 PM, and have been mostly successful in doing so.

Waking up in the mornings is made easier because of the promise of the fresh smoothie that I have made a practice of making every day now. I also go for a walk every day and sit in the small park behind my apartment for a couple of minutes, taking the time to feel grateful about the things that I have in my life. I also spend those minutes observing nature: birds flying, chirping, the white clouds in the royal blue sky, the buildings.

On that note, I wanted to share with you all a not-so-clear picture of my cute neighbor, The Squirrel!

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These days I spend a lot of time at the table, studying and I observed The Squirrel sit on a specific branch around 9 in the morning for two days! The sun is usually bright at the time, and I like to think that The Squirrel likes to sunbathe. I guess for me it is so exciting because I usually see the squirrels moving so fast on the trees that watching them rest feels like such a delight! I hope I see The Squirrel tomorrow as well!

Find a career purpose:

I have made good progress in this as well. I have been working as an analyst for the past three years and have taken on many multidimensional roles in this time. However, currently, I am in the services industry, and I realize that I miss out on the excitement of building a product that I had in college working on small electronics projects. So, I wish to get back to the product domain. I have been studying to build up the relevant skillsets and also opened up towards new opportunities.

For at least my 5 year plan, I hope to get to a product manager role, which require quite a diverse array of skill-sets ranging from tech expertise to eye for design to sales attributes. Eventually, when I feel I am in a position to do so, I might open something of my own, so I can apply my career learnings there and enjoy the excitement of building something of my own.

Taking this 21 day challenge has enabled me to think in a specific direction and put certain behaviors around them.

Okay, time to head off from the blog now. I’ll see you all in another post, soon-ish! 🙂

Love,

Arpita