Reclaiming Career Freedom

My life’s script was nothing short of a narrative that had the potential to make every conventional Indian parent happy, right from getting an Engineering degree to working with a multi-national corporation, I did tick all boxes at a nascent stage of my career graph, but somehow, career freedom gave me a better sleep at night than a secure paycheck ever could.

I was the engineer that wanted to practice engineering (one of the rare kinds) which led me to my first job offer with Aditya Birla Group under the telecommunications wing, Idea -contributing towards the strategy behind the technology. Five years of evaluating technologies, handling budgets and the commercial element laced through it all, swiftly allowed me to climb up the corporate ladder as the executive assistant to the Chief Technology Officer, and most of the time, positions like these would convince you & me, that you have made it. You are where you were always meant to be, a feeling that was still nowhere to be found with this role, which is why I decided to make the stereotypical Indian parent notion even happier and headed towards an MBA. Most of us have formed a significant number of opinions around the idea that holding two degrees is the secret ingredient to a safe and stable future, however, heading towards an MBA for me was solely to understand the commerce behind the business, and gain a fresh perspective after analyzing the technical sphere thoroughly.

My time with the Indian School of Business was nothing short of a fruitful learning experience, evidence of which lied with what my next role compelled me to handle. From working with the Chief Technology Officer at Idea, I was now spearheading investments towards financial technology with the Chief Minister, for the government of Andhra Pradesh and yes, this might seem very similar to my previous role when you read this at a glance, a group of fancy titles and organizations grouped together, but in reality I went from managing established systems and implementation of existing ideas to building a financial ecosystem for the entire city of Vishakapatnam from scratch, silently hoping that the feeling contentment would follow suit the second time around, and this time too, the whirlpool of systems, rules, and fixed notions that barred creative freedom consumed me to ever feel content being where I was, and that’s where lack of career freedom came ringing in for the first time.

Career Freedom or freedom independently as a word is not new to the ears, in fact, it has been tossed around excessively to the point where the meaning is highly subjective. I’ve always envisioned myself utilizing my knowledge to be a self-made business leader instead of working with one, and that gap was bridged by awakening the maker within me. After trying and testing the route that guarantees success, at 30, I decided, I want to carve my own path that guarantees your version of success that you are set out to achieve.

Cut To - the current chapter of my life, seeking Asylum with the Makers!

I decoded the reason behind my lack of contentment, which was the dire need of creativity, momentum and facing new challenges every day, meanwhile the founder of Maker’s Asylum decoded the solution to how flourishing one’s creativity could also put bread and butter to the table, and when our paths crossed, the feeling of contentment evoked. I currently work as the Managing Partner at Maker’s Asylum, and in a normal week, the office is bustling with noises from making items, intense conversations, ideas but most importantly, one new problem every day that we solve together as a team, as people believing in the common vision and goal instead of people believing in different levels of hierarchy and rules.

We’re often asked to make a choice between two roads, the one that is safe, and secure or the risky one, but here I am, someone who walked down both paths at crucial stages of my life and I’ll tell you what keeps you in that cubicle instead of an open space, it’s fear. Fear of things going wrong, fear of not knowing where to begin or fear that maybe you are too old for it. We are all made to believe that your life is supposed to be a certain way, and that is only the correct method, right from how you are educated to what you choose to make out of that education, but it’s absurd to expect yourself to figure out the future, or not keep any room for failure. It’s never too late to start over because you define what ‘too late’ is.