As the curtains draw on 2017, like most people, I also have spent the last few days (read weeks) reflecting back on the year went by. The good, the bad and the rest.
The year started on a great note. I had received a great job offer from one of the Big 4 companies straight out of college and everything was my personal life was sailing smoothly as well.
But come the mid-year, I was the lowest I have ever been in 21 years of life.
After finishing college and few days before joining at my new job, I started having serious doubts if I really wanted to start my career as a technology analyst. After much thought and deliberation, I decided to decline the offer, and instead look for a job as a software developer. And thus started the long 2.5 months period of job searching, and people asking questions about what I’m doing and why I declined such a great job.
But I knew what I was doing and why I was doing. Finding the job straight out of college was hard (boy, haven’t we heard this before). After 2.5 months of job searching, I had 2 good offers from startups. I ended up picking the one that offered lesser money but freed me from travelling 4 hours daily.
I have been working as a developer for 4 months now, and overall I have loved the job. Yes, there are times when I wish the day would just end quickly, but these kind of days are few.
At the same time when I had finished my college and was busy with job searching, my personal life also hit some troubled seas.
But now as the year ends, I am happily employed at a great company and I have made my peace with personal issues too.
I learned a lot throughout the year, but here are the main lessons 2017 taught me:
1. College/ School can teach you the basics, but you learn real skills when you actually work.
To be honest, I learned more about programming in my first 2 months of the job, than I did in my 3 years of college. Moreover, the most of the stuff I learned during college was while creating my projects, not by what was taught in the classrooms. Something is really wrong with the education system.
2. Sometimes you can try your best and still fail, but that’s okay.
Sometimes you can give a task or a person your best effort, dedication and intentions, but in the end still, end up losing. But that’s how life goes, you win some, you lose some. Just get up and carry on.
3. Your facial expressions are important.
I would be quite rich if I got a dollar every time someone pointed this out to me. I don’t really have many facial expressions and even lesser control over them. You are bound to be misunderstood by people if your expressions don’t match with what you really feel or mean. Sadly, I had to learn this the hard way.
4. Fear can turn you into something you’re not.
Sometimes, fear of losing can make you insecure. This fear plays with your mind and can turn you into something you’re not. But you need to remember that in the end what happens is what is meant to happen, all you can do is give your best and hope for the best.
5. Sometimes people may be great together, but they still move apart.
Sometimes you can be great with some friend, have great chemistry and everything. But even the best of friends can split. Good people still move apart for some reason or another. It does not always have to be someone’s fault. It’s better to wish each other good luck than to play the blame game.
So thank you 2017. Thank you for these lessons and many others. You were tough, overwhelming, humbling and even painful at times but thanks to you, I’m a better person professionally, mentally and emotionally than I was before you.