Most of us believe that completing more than a decade of formal education gives us the blueprint to succeed in life – and our learning stops there. But, there are some like Michelangelo, who at the ripe age of 87, coined the phrase ‘ancora imparo’ that means I am still learning.
“The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.” ―T. D. Jakes.
To succeed in life in the true sense, one must accept that learning is not a phase that gets over with time, but life is a journey of endless learning.
Also, life is much more than just earning money. While growing up, we inherit the mindset of “working hard”, earning a living and make being economically safe as our number one priority.
But, there are some exceptions! Those who follow their dreams..
This article is dedicated to two such Bravehearts who had the tenacity and drive to deviate from the routine. They had a solid foundation with good education, corporate jobs with handsome salary, but they craved for expanding their horizons. Once they decided to break the mould, they left their well-settled lives, and worked diligently towards proving themselves – and in the process, became ideals for the others.
However, they both had one thing in common – the experience of working in the corporate world, ‘experience they say is the best teacher’.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Going by the Eleanor Roosevelt quote above, corporate world prepares you to face your fears, keep them aside and step out of your comfort zone. You ‘wear a number of hats’, you need to make decisions, understand things, learn new concepts and face new challenges on the fly. You either get things done to succeed or learn the tactics of the trade if you fail. SO, you are better prepared for them the next time.
In the corporate environment, you come face to face with your true self and the environment helps you transition to your better self. But for that, you need to be prepared to listen, be willing to learn new things, take feedback constructively and keep learning as you grow.
Corporate world builds a solid foundation for your future as you get to hone your networking skills, interpersonal skills, management skills, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, negotiation skills and learn work ethics, among others, irrespective of whether you are working for a B2C or a B2B organization.
A quick list of how the corporate world arms you with life skills
Corporate world empowers you with real-world education – the practical life skills that help you actually succeed when you follow your passion.
- You stay on top of your skills to master your job, that’s the most basic necessity for being successful in your realm.
- You develop the art of listening, it helps you soak up new things.
- You develop the art of presenting, that’s how you get people to listen and pay attention to you when you have an idea.
- You learn interpersonal skills, they help you in resolving conflicts with difficult personalities at work.
- When you network with people outside your department or functional group, you learn about how a business works.
- You learn to be a team player. When you learn to adapt and fit into a complex ecosystem, you do innovative things as a team.
- You learn time management skills.
- Finally, you learn to work hard, and that there are no short-cuts to success!
Our first real-world example of gaining success following corporate experience is:
Kanishak Kataria, topper of the civil services exam 2019, conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Kanishak, son of an IAS (Indian Administrative Services) officer, has a solid educational background. He had topped IIT entrance exams (JEE) and had pursued Computer Science engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay.
He had interned with Microsoft India.
Kanishak had got a high-paying job with a company in South Korea after completing his B.Tech. from IIT Bombay. During his stint in South Korea, where he earned close to a crore, he felt that something was amiss in his life and that he needed to help people in his own country. So, after one year, he quit his job and returned to India.
In India, he started working as a data scientist at qplum, an online investment advisory firm in Bengaluru, while preparing for the IAS exams.
Rest, as they say, is history. Kanishak’s story will continue to inspire IAS aspirants and many others for years to come.
Our second real-world example of gaining life success following corporate experience is:
Dakshesh Verma, son of a senior RAS (Rajasthan Administrative Services) officer, who cleared CAT with more than 98% marks this year and got called from two eminent B-schools – IIM Bengaluru and IIM Ahmedabad.
His story is nothing short of a fairy tale. A B.Tech graduate in bioinformatics from SRM University, Dakshesh is an enterprising individual who quickly climbed the ladders of success in the corporate world by smartly learning the trades of the IT world.
He had joined as a content writer, became Head of Marketing and Sales (ZNet Technologies:)) within a year because of his hard work, creativity, and innovative methodologies he applied in the marketing realm.
Though we all fight battles in our lives and consider them to be the most intimidating ones, Dakshesh really is a true warrior who has emerged victorious after defeating Bipolar Disorder, formerly called manic depression.
He not only had normal life pressures to deal with, but also had to fight daily for his identity and his existence with his own brain and body as he was dealing with the extreme kind of depression – the Bipolar Disorder.
I am not sure, how many of you have heard about it, but it’s an extremely crippling form of depression that results in a change in mood, energy and activity levels. In the case of Dakshesh, the extremely painful treatment of electric shocks also made him hallucinate. It became extremely difficult for him to differentiate between what’s real and what’s unreal.
During a period of 11 years, he tried to end his life five times, but timely intervention from his parents saved him. Now, finally, with the help of medical practitioners from Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Hospitals, and his own strong will, he has thankfully recovered from this ordeal.
With his corporate experience, Dakshesh not only gained management skills, discovered his true self that he had hidden marketing and sales talents that he should pursue further in life, but also got help to recover, though as threadbare as it may seem.
In his own words, “When I was in the darkest phase of my life, my ex-boss once told me – “Zindagi jeeni hai to auron ke liye jiyo” (If you’ve to live your life, live it for others). As cheesy as it sounds, I took it as my gospel. And it became one of the major contributing factors to my successful turnaround.”
So, if you are passionate about a life goal, join a corporate, because that will help you get the right tools under your belt. With corporate experience, you’ll be able to better connect the dots, realize the opportunities, and will find new ways to solve problems.
Jyotsana Gupta - the content and communication head, is an engineer by education and a writer at heart. In technical writing for 6 years, she makes complex topics interesting to general audience. She loves going on long drives in her spare time.