A 7 Min Diary: Thinking About 2022
2021 was a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, it was a long 12 months of slogging from home to get things done.
My year was like an inverted bell curve. It started with high spirits. Everything seemed to be going right but then from mid-march, things went downhill. A few months of inefficiency and unproductivity later, things started to get better.
Overall, I think I was able to make the best of what I had, spending time on and for things and people I loved.
In my 2021 resolutions blog, I highlight a few things to do:
- Self-learning a master's level computer science and business curriculum.
- Writing a poetry collection book.
Looking back, I ended up spending a lot of time with self-learning but poetry plans didn’t work as expected. I did start writing the book. I have written around 35–40 poems but I was hoping for 100+ to complete the collection.
I will continue to write in 2022. Super excited to see where it goes from here. I lost my flame sometime mid-year and the poetry didn’t just flow as I would have hoped for. I think I’m slowly recovering it now.
As for self-learning, I have explored quite a lot, mainly on the business side of things. I started with technology operations management and understanding global supply chains. Here’s a post where I documented some of this stuff. Then, I went on to binge-watch Y Combinator videos on YouTube. I haven’t explored much of hardcore computer science but learned more of the industry side of things like building applications using various frameworks.
With this context set, in this diary entry, let me explore what I plan to do in 2022. While this is a personal journey, I hope you can gain some insight from these thoughts, as with all other diary entries I write.
Highlights of 2021
2021 made me a lot stronger mentally to withstand the harsh realities of life. It also showed how to take care of my well-being and cherish everything better. I did a lot of different stuff that changed the way I live. I previously wrote about things that didn’t work out in this LinkedIn post. Here are a few other noteworthy points.
- I started using Notion in late 2021 and it was a gamechanger in documenting and tracking my ideas and work. I would recommend Notion for anyone out there.
- I started watching Korean shows on Netflix this year. I love exploring and these new fronts certainly opened up a new world for me. One particular Korean drama I recommend is Start-Up which is streaming on Netflix. As you may have guessed, it's about startups. It’s like the Korean version of the Silicon Valley series. More dramatic, flimsy, and intriguing.
- I donated to the #TeamSeas campaign. In my 2020 resolutions blog, I talk about Mr. Beast’s #TeamTrees where they raised $20 million to plant 20 million trees. To be able to be part of a similar campaign to clean up the world’s oceans feels enthralling. I do have some concerns regarding it, which I highlight in a LinkedIn post. However, it got every one of us thinking to understand how we can improve our lifestyle in a sustainable way. And guess what? Mr. Beast and co. actually did it! They successfully ended up raising $30 Million by the end of the year. This shows the power of internet creators and the community we have built over the years.
- While I stayed at home throughout the year, I used to have this thing called “Food tasting weekdays”, where I order new varieties of food I have never tried before. That was a fun activity. If you want to make your WFH interesting, worth trying something like that.
Across the last 12 months, I have picked up several ideas and perspectives. This year for will hopefully be the year of growth, stability, and building something for myself.
In 2021, we have seen tremendous growth in the tech industry, in terms of opportunities, entrepreneurship, remote work, and so forth. It was the year of great resignation and reshuffle. We had 40+ unicorns in India and some interesting IPOs like that of Zomato and Nykaa. Freshworks went IPO in the US while Paytm's IPO didn’t work out well.
The market was moving fast. Everyone was hiring left and right with astronomical salaries. People were getting even a 100%+ hike on job switches. I was concerned too if and how I can be a part of this change. I used to get a few recruiter hiring mails every week and many others were eager to schedule interviews, from founders of early-stage startups to managers in fast scaling firms. One thing became clear that, for my background and experience (NITT tag, 2+ years of work exp, strong LinkedIn presence), landing an interview wouldn’t be a problem. All I had to do was prep a bit on the types of questions asked and ace them. It’s a little concerning that the interviews at many places are radically different from what's required for the job, but for now, we have to be prepared with what the industry seeks. With many people sharing their interview experiences online, there is so much reference material to study from.
What should I do? I was indeed prepping towards the end of the year to be interview-ready. I am super picky though. Unless and until it is something super exciting and aligns with my passion, I won’t pursue it.
I am comfortable in my awesome flexible job. There is really no reason to switch and change is often scary. But as you know, change is needed for growth. If, when, or how it will happen? I am not really sure. Let’s see what life throws at us. I am certain, many of my peers have similar dilemmas. One thing I would highly recommend all is to be interview-ready no matter what. In this fast-paced world, your skills are your ultimate job security.
As a creator on the internet, I think I did fairly well in 2021. I hope to keep going at a similar pace and maybe, just maybe, build a community of 100k folks on LinkedIn by the end of the year. That would be a huge target to look at.
That said, my biggest bet would be on my side gigs. If any of my projects takes off or if I am able to do well in the creator economy, that’s the path I will go ahead, full-time.
Building the future
A rapidly changing world implies unpredictability to what the future looks like. However, we all can build a little part of that future with what we envision for it. I have a couple of plans for this year.
- Launch two apps into the world. I already have the ideas ready, with the design done for one app. I’m building the first one for learning purposes while the second one has a more real-world use case. Let’s see where things go.
- Launch a video game. I wanted to do this for a very long time. I do have documented some ideas. Hopefully, I get to build one for production. Not looking at any AAA stuff. Just some basic types of games.
Thinking about these ideas, the concept of creating something of my own (of course, with some help from my friends) gives me goosebumps, literally. Super exciting times ahead.
Talking about the future of the world at large, we have the crypto, decentralized tech, NFTs, and the metaverse creating a lot of buzzes. We also have electric vehicles, sustainable energy, self-driving cars, drones, etc. unlocking new possibilities. I think 2022 is the start of a five-year cycle where the world will be fundamentally different at the end of it. Just like how 2015–2020 showed humongous changes to our everyday life.
Here’s a post where I talk about the changing world.
2027 might be quite a different world. We will have many new things as a part of our daily life, like neo-banking, remote work, newer education systems, creator economy, etc. The kind of world we grew up in will be a relic of the past, especially in the major cities. We can either watch everything change from the sidelines or go out there and build that new world giving a part of our vision to it. The things we do in 2022, right now, reflect on where we will be in 2027 in our own respective lives. Remember, we can only connect the dots backward.
Some more stuff
- To make at least one Catflix comic (an Instagram page I run).
- To make a YouTube video, something long overdue.
I will be grounded here as I hope not to overwhelm myself with any extraordinary pursuits. We got to celebrate the little wins too!
Life’s changing. I can feel that more significantly now. People around me are changing too. We are all growing old and have to adapt and evolve with these transforming times.
Let me end this entry with the similar lines I said last year-
All the best to you too, for a successful year ahead. May you find the inspiration for some strong resolutions, and together let’s define humanity’s and our own future!
Happy New Year.