Are you making THE RIGHT MOVES?
This is Nistha. When I started Scholar Strategy, I was helping people get into the best University in USA. And we were doing something right because our folks made it to Harvard, Stanford, MIT and every hallowed place you can think of. But, I was also getting a lot of queries like:
- I don’t know what I want in life
- I don’t know what career to choose
- I am not enjoying my job, can I do something other than MBA?
- and so on…
This made me think.
World has already changed. If you don’t adapt your career planning with the shifting landscape, you will end up frustrated and unfulfilled.
If I had to start my career now, I would be making different choices. So, I have started this newsletter so that you can avoid some of my mistakes and save time. I am calling it The Right Moves newsletter.
Our strategy is about taking mini steps. If this resonates, I invite you to join below.
PS. I am against taking big steps in career unless you have clarity. There is no point in expensive experiments like leaving your job without a Plan B, or going for an expensive MBA without knowing what you want to get out of it etc. So, let’s take mini steps.
But, why should you listen to me?
When I got into a good engineering college after Class XII, I thought I am on the right track.
When I was the first one to get a placement after topping my class in Computer Engineering, I thought I am doing well.
When I got into UIUC for my MS dreams a year later, I thought – surely, I have made it now.
When I got the topmost package to work on Wall Street after graduation, I thought, yes, this is what they called success.
When I got married at perfect age of 26 to someone who also was working in a top Wall Street firm and had a ‘bright’ career ahead of him, I was sure life is set.
It was in the years that followed when I had many wake up calls. I could not help but feel a little ‘off’. Something was not right. I kept thinking – why am I not enjoying it the way I am supposed to? Surely, I have done everything right, checked every single tick box. Life is meant to feel great but all I feel is ‘meh’. On the weekdays, I would look forward to weekends and on the weekend, I would look forward to the next vacation.
The dream crashed soon. I was staring into emptiness. There was nothing wrong on the outside but inside was a mess.
First, I figured I was not enjoying my current job. I didn’t want to work for someone, I wanted to work for myself. But do what? I didn’t know. So, I thought I would do an MBA and figure out how to run a business, how to manage finances etc. I headed to NYU MBA program and it was fun!
Now, I started taking charge of my career for the first time like I should have. I was listening to ‘what I really wanted and like’ and followed it. Knowing that I want to do/join startups, I did not sit for any IB/Consulting placements. After a LOT of hustle, I landed a job offer even before I could graduate. Yay, I was finally doing what I loved and it was paying off. So, I decided to drop out (why pay to learn when you can get paid to learn?)
I learned a ton during my time at this startup. Next, I addressed my failing marriage. We decided to part ways so that both of us could start again and find our happiness albeit separately from each other. Following few years were full of heartache and pain but also a renewed confidence that I can survive bad episodes. Eventually, I would find a like minded partner and settle down the way I wanted to.
And, did my startup dream work out? Yes – after trying out a bunch of ideas, Scholar Strategy picked up. I discovered how much I love working with young students and professionals. I even became a certified Career Coach with accreditation from NeuroLeadership Institute, USA. I started writing blogs and then books. I would eventually write a best seller and make my Dad even more proud.
So, that means…
Success is not tied to working in tall buildings and huge offices. Once, I worked in a tiny cubicle shared by 4 people in a startup. Then, I left it all to start Scholar Strategy which has no permanent office till date although I worked from beaches in Bali, mountains in Himachal and meditation centers in Auroville for sometime.
Success is not tied to having the most coveted role – I have worked in Operations and Business Development. I have written code (C++, Java) for a living and I now write books for feeling alive.
Success is not tied to good scores – I am a valedictorian throughout my academic life, cracking top scores in high school (93%), college (4/4 GPA), GRE (2320/2400), GMAT (740/800). All this doesn’t matter if you don’t figure out what’s right for you. You can still land up in a mess like I did. On the other hand, I know many people who had average grades but successful careers afterwards.
Which college you go to does not matter as much as what you do in there.
Hope this makes sense. Hope you start making THE RIGHT MOVES from today. If you signed up on the newsletter above, I would see you on emails. Let’s make this the year that counts. If you missed it, sign up by clicking the button below.