November 2009, Samode Palace, Rajasthan, ‘Breakthrough’ was having its strategic planning and retreat. In an interactive game the staff were asked to mention the date/month they joined Breakthrough and how has their journey been so far.
When it was my turn I said, “I joined Breakthrough one and half months back and if jobs were relationships I will have to say, I have seen many people, been in many relationships of all kinds, but with Breakthrough its like I met my dream man and for the first time I am in a committed relationship, I am here to stay in Breakthrough.”
But in life and in relationship nothing goes as per your plans. Barely 6 months down I have quit the job which I thought was my dream job. It typically feels like a breakup, so many plans, like dreams, are shattered, so many ideas couldn’t be executed. The momentum I gained with the social media part of the Bell Bajao campaign, the path I had taken the preparations that were underway – all came to a sudden end.
In all breakups whether jobs or relationships there is always a story, I have one too and then all stories have two sides and each side has a villain. In my story I am the victim everybody else is a villain, in their side of the story I will be the villain. And the audience has no clue which side of the story to believe so why bother. I am not going to provide you with any food for the dirty gossip, the why and how of what happened. All I can say is that everything in life teaches you a lesson. The lesson learnt is that there is no such thing as a dream job just like there is no dream man, both are myths.
All jobs are just jobs, they all use words like time line, dead line, deliverable, performance, punctuality. When they said those things to me in a corporate I thought they don’t understand me, my creativity, passion and shit like that. When they said the same things in the development sector I thought, either I really am a loser who sucks at her work OR I am just not meant to be, and that there is something bigger & better for me that I must go for. Either ways, I quit.
Of course I could always blame it all on my health (separate blog on this coming up next) for I really am in no position to take the office stress physically or emotionally, not in a position to physically attend office and work from home was not a comfortable option for Breakthrough. I could also tell that when you work with people who don’t understand social media it becomes hard for you to show your deliverables and that 6 months by all means is too less a time to judge, that the problem was not that I don’t work but that I don’t seem to work.
But let’s be honest, it takes two. I know I have issues too. I am a selfish employee. I only like the fun part of all roles and try to avoid the dirty part which has responsibilities and all. So while I had fun running around all over Mangalore identifying Champion voices and taking their interviews for the Video Van loop, I didn’t much enjoy arranging for the logistics of the van. While I designed the layout and created and edited the content for the Bell Bajao blog I couldn’t kill myself over marketing it. I made mistakes yes, but none that weren’t human, I could have been given a second chance but retribution came faster. And then its not in my personality to prove myself. I am not the one to lose my sleep over trying to prove my sincerity. I am like, “You either take me or leave me.”
Breakthrough decided to leave me. I could feel that they were relieved when I decided to quit. First, they never really cared about my health, even on the days when I called to say I am having an endoscopy done they were more concerned about my attendance. I couldn’t go to office for two whole weeks. When I finally joined back just to complete my exit formalities the team didn’t really speak to me so nicely. Everybody gave me cold shoulders. On my last day there was no email from the HR saying, “she is leaving us but we wish her success.” Most of them didn’t even say good bye.
Now its decided, no more jobs for me. I am done with working for others. I am gonna take a long break and then start something of my own. This time for a change, I have a plan.
- I am going to start my own social media consultancy.
- I have already started doing legal consultancy on women laws.
- There is a book to be written.
- A health to be restored.
- And who knows, there might even be a relationship.
So for the next couple of months am just going to relax and be at home. It’s been great so far, I have lots of time in hand to do so much more with life. I diet, exercise, help with the household chores, cook, help my sisters with their studies, read, write – everything in a day.
Over the next 3 months I plan to lose weight and get back in shape, do enough research and write a good business plan, get it registered, make a website, look for a place to open my own chamber from where I will do my legal consultancy, link up with old friend Swagat and help him in his multimedia mapping project, rework on our Blogging outreach project (which will now be called social media outreach)…and more.
Perhaps there will be no looking back, but no matter how far I will go, I will always remember some of the Breakthrough moments. Some achievements that nobody can take away from me. For example, whenever I will see a ‘Swarathma’ perforamnce or the video somewhere I will remember I was the one to connect Breakthrough with Swarathma. The Bell Bajao Blog will also haunt me forever. Most importantly I will never forget the true love I had for this job. The love that made me forget the line between the personal and professional self and use all my online presence to promote Bell Bajao cause. Even as I write this, I see tweets like the below and it pains and joys me at the same time.
Finally, I will always know, and I don’t need a performance appraisal or appreciation mail to know this, that I gave a face and voice to Bell Bajao’s social media campaign, and that’s an achievement no one can take away from me.
So that was the story friends. Wish me luck with my independent ventures. And keep following this blog for I have enough time in hand now to update this regularly.
Few of my contribution to Bell Bajao’s Social Media piece:
- All my articles written for Bell Bajao
- Powerpoint presentations made for Bell Bajao, presentation 1, presentation 2.
- Overall site design and content as it stands today on the home page is done by me with guidance from my immediate supervisor.
- Attended 3 major events and represented Breakthrough and Bell Bajao – 1) National Conference on Women movement in India in Laxmibai College in March’2010 2) Guest resource person at the FAT Workshop on social media and online campaigns for non profits. 3) Mumbai Blog Camp as a speaker