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I Hated My Job To The Core, But Now I Walk In Smiling

03 May 2017

As soon as I got up in the morning, I checked my phone which was lying next to me. I was up till almost 2 am, checking the numbers on my blog post. Just before I had gone to sleep, the number showed 695 views.

Oh wow—4374 views, the number jumped out at me. I smiled and did a mental high-five to myself. I had broken my own previous record. My earlier blog had garnered 3059 views. Ok I agree that this was nowhere near "viral" standards, but still, this small personal victory felt good.

I was smiling as I got ready to go to work. This was something new, of course—for many months it seemed as if I had forgotten how to smile.

Usually my mornings were spent in counting the official leaves that were left to be taken in that month, and then wondering if another leave could be managed that day. Which then went on to thinking about all the excuses that I could make for not going in to work. At the end of it, when I finally concluded that another leave might just put me in dangerous territory, I unwillingly dragged myself to work. That was the story of regular mornings.

But ever since I had started writing my blog, and it had received a fair amount of appreciation, I liked getting up in the morning and going to work. Today there was sure to be a discussion at lunch time again regarding this new victory.

Actually I had started blogging quite by accident. About a month back I was in a very bad place. The feeling of being extremely frustrated with my work had returned again. It was like a cycle. I’d tolerate work for a while but then it would hit me how meaningless it was, how unimportant my role was, how few opportunities I had to learn and grow. Though I liked my field of work (banking), the corporate hum drum irritated me to the core. I was just 35 and already exhausted by the drill. I had tried changing jobs at several occasions, but everywhere, in a year’s time, the same apathy used to set in. Getting bored, feeling tied down, being super stressed all the time because I was not enjoying what I was doing. My family—poor things—would bear the brunt of my stressful life. I was either irritable or moody and distant.

Once my wife sat me down and we had a long talk about what exactly was bothering me. She realized that it was not about any specific place of work. But it was something else. And till the moment I figured out what the real issue was, this cycle would keep on repeating my entire life. She assured me that she would support me for whatever I decided to do in life. But that I needed to figure WHAT that was first. 

I completely agreed with what she was saying and decided to see a career counsellor. But the career counselor recommended me to a therapist as she realized that though I love my field of work, I was not satisfied with what I was doing.

When I spoke to the therapist for the first time, she urged me to write down what it was about my field of work that I loved. I thought about it, and soon had my answer. I loved figuring out personal finance strategies to help customers but rarely got a chance to use this part of my expertise at work. After I wrote down why I loved this aspect of work, I felt a spark of inspiration. What if I wrote a blog on the personal finance? I had always been considered a good writer in school and college, but life had gotten in the way.

The very next night I started a blog, just for the heck of it. I didn’t care if anyone read it or not. I began updating the blog every week and shared all the tips and tricks I knew. I’d share my blog links on my social media and initially only a few of my family and friends visited. But then they also started sharing it with their family and friends and in a few months I had a solid following. And today I have woken up to 4,374 views on my blog post.

My therapist has now gently suggested that I consider doing something more in this area. Maybe a consultancy for managing personal finances. Or something like that. I don't know. It’s a big step for me and I am scared. I have never been a risk taker, ever since I was a child. And now I have family responsibilities.

When I started getting appreciated for my blog, I made a promise to my therapist, my wife and to myself saying that I will give it a serious thought once any of my blog post crossed 10,000 views. Today I am almost halfway there.

Maybe that's why I am smiling today. The prospect of seriously starting something on my own is now a few thousand views away. And for the first time, though cautious, I am excited about the idea.    

Tags: #Work #NewDirection