All Talk and No Action Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."

- Tom Bodett

Nope, I am not here to theorize and lecture on life experiences.

But yeah, I am here to talk about experiences, to be precise - Work Experiences.

The other day, was having a chat with a few colleagues, our general ambitions, goals and plans.

Most of us are keen on doing PG, a few are already in preparation for CAT and some more keen on pursuing non business degrees.

A few have already put in their papers to drown themselves in the SIM/AIMCATs.

Many from the group had been working for more than 2 years and couldn't wait to get back to school.

Surprisingly, most from the group felt that they had "wasted" 2 precious years of their lives and it was either now or never as far as PG was concerned.

Abhi nahi kiya toh mummy papa shaadi karva denge….

Bore ho gaya hoonisliye CAT le raha hoon

Yaar, ab kaam vaam bahut hua...Chetna/MET bhi kya kharab hai

I differ on the above.

Neither am I in a hurry to pursue my PG nor do I feel that my work experience has been a waste.

If I were to do a comparative analysis on myself now and while in college… I would prefer my "now" version.

Yes, I was brimming with enthusiasm, wanted to take on the world, had stars in my eyes and a lot more while in college.

I am the same even now. Only a more refined, practical version.

Yes, it has increased my knowledge, given me domain expertise, opened my mind to new ideas and global happenings, made me more analytical, improved my logical faculties AND a lot more.

But these could have been achieved from theory and academics too ! This is not what one should seek from a "work experience".

It's the "life skills" that are my major take away from my work.

My work has given me a sort of independence that most people my age can only dream of - freedom of thought, choice, speech and financial independence.

It has made me capable of holding my own in tricky situations, increased and improved my confidence and self belief, helped me in fostering great relationships that have extended beyond work.

It's not just about networking with colleagues. It's about learning about people, cultures, situations.

It's not about professional mail writing. It's about client interaction and finesse.

It's not about information overload. It's about sifting through loads of data and understanding what to choose and more importantly, what to Ignore !

It's about plain common sense.

Again, humour has always worked as a saviour in tough situations - your boss - your idol - I can fail too - he is a human after all.

Working before one's PG also helps decide what one wants to do further in life. Your work might make your realize where your strengths lie and what kind of work you would like to do for the next 30 odd years.

On a more personal front, my work has made me realize and opened my eyes to a lot of things I took for granted earlier - time with loved ones, time for myself, my responsibilities.

I have also come to appreciate and respect the hard work put in by my parents to bring me up.

I always wanted my dad to have dinner with us, not understanding his work commitments. Though he had a tough and busy schedule, yet he made it a point to share a meal, discuss, share his insights. Never once did he complain of backache, headache, tiredness when my brother and I threw all our childish and irritating questions at him at night.

He always managed to find enough time to teach us, play with us, narrate bed time stories, take us to places, plan birthday parties - ALL with truckloads of work.

You shall use the jargon of "Time Management". For me, it is all about prioritizing and knowing the importance of family life.

Had I not worked, not been involved with deadlines, not been forced to stretch myself - I might not have learnt to prioritize, be patient and be more loving towards my family.

I hope, more people work with an open mind and heart to truly understand and cherish the experience.


indiaunbound said...

When people say that they have wasted their two years, they do not mean that they were wiser in their college days. They regret their mistakes which I believe are a part of one's learning curve. With hindsight, everyone is wiser and hence this feeling of "waste" comes in.

All Talk and No Action said...

@india unbound -
My post is in context of people who believed they had wasted their 2 years of working life. They would have been better off with an MBA directly after graduation.

Ye manzilen !! said...

I reckon your humor may be the key in you not turning bitter or disappointed with reality...Good for u!

DIA said...

I couldn't agree with you more...its only a few people like you who would be able to see the that you have got some experience you would be in a much much better position to decide which subject to master in and while studying you would be able to relate to the practical side of studies.Though from my experience very little of what you are taught is used in office but it does help in many other ways which if i start to jot down would turn this "comment" into a post!Anyways DO definatly complete your masters now.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Ye Manzien -
Humour certainly helped...though it wasn't the driving force...

@Dia -
Thanks !
Yes, it's true that most theory is absolute and not very helpful at workplace. Yet, people can avoid a lot of heart burn and stress if their work exp can help them decide what subjects to specialize in during their Masters...

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All Talk and No Action said...

@Amit - Thank you for finding the blog nice.