Career, Persistence & Dream

We spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and other social networking sites, applying on job portals, going to networking events, just to advance a step further in our career. Or if you’re looking for an entry level opening, its even more than that. Hours and hours spent in such activities, but did you ever take a pause — to reflect back on what are you doing? Why you are doing what you are doing?

Everyone has a dream job and a dream company which they always imagine themselves in. However, there’s very few who would, in one go, would accept they are working in their dream company and have their dream job they always wanted. We, as humans always move on and look forward to even greater things without realizing that where we stand today is one of the dream spots from the past. Still, we ignore, stay frustrated, sometimes depressed about our career and life.

It’s time to take a break, reflect back, prepare for the future and most importantly — enjoy the present.

Like many other kids, I have always been fascinated by The United States and have always wished to travel it at least once. I first heard real life story in 7th grade when one of my ‘rich’ friends returned from a month long trip from US. It was a dreamland. But my goal in life was very different. Though I liked US a lot, but I hated the fact to waste a month on just travelling without a motive.

Time flew pretty quickly and 10 years later I came to the States to pursue my Masters degree at University of Cincinnati. I was living my dream — but it wasn’t too late when I was again caught up in searching for something other to make my next ‘dream’ come true and obviously ignoring that the fact that this is one of the dreams. However, the thing I didn’t forget was my biggest goals in life.

Giving back to society and working for the upliftment of people in need has been one of my biggest goals in life. These are like 50-year goals of a company, or may be like the Vision of the company. I may work on some other small things from time to time, but on the longer run, I am working and preparing myself to fulfill these biggest goals. This is the most important lesson about dreaming that I have learnt in my life. Everyone should have a 50-year crazy ‘dream statement’ on which they should align themselves to. If you’re working, stop and think how it is helping you achieve your biggest dream. If you’re taking up new job, analyze before accepting the offer how can you utilize this job for your biggest goal. You will switch companies and find new attractions every other year, but this is what will keep you inspired and motivated to make informed decisions in life.

In couple of months after starting my education in Cincinnati, I had started looking for potential companies to work for. I came across a company name Kaleidoscope Innovation & Product Design as the first result for product design firms. Oh Boy! I was blown away by this company. It is a medium sized company working in Medical Devices, FCG and some other vertical, but the greatest impact on was by Design Impact — a sister non-profit company backed by Kaleidoscope. In 10 minutes, I was sold. The story how DI evolved tells us a lot about company culture. This was a company who wanted to do good — as in real good, ethical, sustainable work which impacted lives of people all around the world. This aligned perfectly to my life goals. I was connected to emotionally even before I could have connected professionally and I had 10 months to convince them how I could help them and would be an integral part of the company.

Being naive and an attempt to be cool, I sent a 3 line letter starting with ‘Yo’. It was my desperate attempt to stand out. But I soon realized how important Kaleidoscope was for me and I didn’t wanted to stand out with such techniques, when I have the ability to prove myself. This was supposed to be my biggest achievement for my biggest goal so far. Even if I worked for Kaleidoscope for next 50 years I would have worked towards making devices which substantially made life of people much better. I took all the energy from the universe and prepared myself to start this journey. 2 intern position rejections, 1 full time job rejection, and 2 non-relevant rejections later, I was able to prove my worth and was recommended by an employee. Well, apart from being my dream role, dream company, and aligned with my biggest goal, this was the only interview I received in my 5 month job search in the States. I did my best and landed up an intern position at the company. After that, it has been an amazing journey.

Whatever you want to do in life, if you put all your hearts into it and give your best, with persistence, without failing on your side of efforts— you would achieve it. However, difficult the situation is, whatever the odds are, you just need to gather the strength, have patience and work towards your goal. What if I had stopped after 2 rejections? That would have been a ‘failure’ event in my life.

Your career is not just switching jobs, or finding a ‘decent’ job — it has to be your calling. You need to be involved in it heart and soul. Don’t settle on average. Dream Big. If you are true to yourself, you can achieve whatever you want.