The start to the career of a majority of the crowd begins from scratch with minimal compensations. The struggle becomes a part and parcel of life. But as it is rightly said, it is always the survival of the fittest. Everyone has their own journey, but making it to the uphill rather than taking the smooth roads is what marks the difference!
Age: Recently turned 23
Salary: Last August, 2015- I started with earning Rs. 7k/month. This August in 2016- I earned Rs. 1.3 Lac in first 15 days of August.
Started freelancing just out of college. It’s been only 1 year this August since I started freelancing, and each month the salary rises so I don’t have a particular number to give right now.
How did it start?
Finished 4 yrs education as a Mechanical Engineer from a private college whose name is not even worth mentioning, you may have seen it’s advertisements all over the tv and newspapers.
I did not sit for college placements because most were IT companies and the 1–2 mechanical core companies that came to our college, did not offer what I was looking for in a job. I was no topper but had some high standards set for myself, how I want my life to be and the work I wanted to do. Mainly because I was unaware of the situation of freshers, that too in the Mechanical industry. I had this weird illusion in my mind, of a perfect world where companies valued your passion for a field, where your grades didn’t matter, where your college ‘brand’ didn’t matter and where it was not assumed that you are applying for off-campus jobs because you didn’t get placed through college.
In college I did not focus on doing things to ‘build my resume’ I did personal projects which I loved. I tinkered with stuff, made stuff, broke things and learnt. I felt what real passion is during school days, I knew that feeling of doing something you love. So I had a clear idea of what type of work I wanted to do. So I did not sit for those companies in college placements.
The reality, however, was different. I started looking for jobs, facing the harsh reality everytime I read job descriptions. I somehow started accepting that I cannot get everything from a job. So I half-heartedly applied to a few jobs, no reply. Then a few more, no reply. After 3–4 months I got 2 interview opportunities, with the work description that I was ok with, not certainly happy.
They were both start-ups, one offered 10k, other offered 12k. When I told my father about the salary I was being offered, I could clearly see the disappointment on his face. In his eyes, I could see those dreams shattering which he had for his son who was now an ‘engineer’ after 4 years education and was being offered the salary lower than that of the security guard at the gate. I had never seen him more disappointed than this, ever before. Inside, I too felt that I am worth much more.
I resolved to decide my own destiny and never apply for a permanent job to let anyone else determine my worth. I felt rejected and pathetic at the way freshers are treated in general based on their college brands, irrespective of individual abilities. Call me unorthodox, but I could not accept this treatment to me.
I removed my profile from every job website I had put it on. I thoroughly analysed what skills I can develop, which overlap with my interests, strengths and which I can monetize. Since then I haven’t taken a day off, I have started valuing time and my thinking has drastically changed. I have realised the importance of developing real skills and knowledge.
At the back of my mind, I have developed a feeling of revenge for these exploitative companies, their attitude towards non-IITians, the lack of respect for freshers in general. Today, after 1 year I want to go back to the managers of those same companies and show them what I am worth. What they were offering as 1-year salary, I earn that in 15 days now and still growing. I regularly compete for work with people around the world, having 5–10 years more experience than me and win those contracts, many times at a higher price than they charge. I want it to act as a proof for these companies to stop categorising people based on their colleges and start valuing passion. Because not everyone has the desire to join an IIT or thinks that it’s worth all the hassle at entrance tests. Passion eventually succeeds, IIT or non-IIT. And by success, I don’t mean a high salary, my definition of success is a happy, satisfied life where you do what you love and love what you do.
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Content Writer: Anonymous