May 26, 2004

Rut

It can be technically called a rut, but not quite. For there have been no catastrophic disasters, or is it just that disasters, being the omnipresent creatures they are, have lost their killer quality of being unpredictable? Life, on a personal level, has long passed the stage where every blow is an unwritten novel of a million chapters, an endless stream of thought analysing and re-analysing what happened and what did not happen. Professionally, I am very much in the doldrums. I need to make a million decisions and I am keeping off each and every one of them.

In the period of silence that ensued after my last post, I was subject to one of the very amusing off-site corporate brainstorming sessions that seems be an integral part of every bloated and underproductive company these days. If anything, the entire freakshow convinced me that there is almost no future for me in such a set up and that I need to get clear picture of where I am headed for. Which would have been a very easy thing to do if you are one those people who were given to planning most of their life well in advance. Well, the news is, I am not one of those. My bad.

To avoid the main mistake I had seen at the meet, I will have to convince myself that the medium is not a product. A road cannot be useful or profitable by itself, nor will a business survive by itself just because of the road's existence. Having a respectable skill set alone does not guarantee that you will go anywhere in your career. The magic lies how it is applied. Either you need to package them into a deliverable and purposeful product to make your mark in a lesser role or have the guts to risk it all and head out on your own. This is precisely my dilemma.

Career has always been a tricky concept for me. Initially, it was a means to pay my own way through life, enabling to me to live life on my own terms than depend on my folks on whom I have always managed to disagree. Later, it turned into something that was an enabler, allowing me to spend the kind of time I wanted to spend with my friends and people close to me. Now, I stand at a point where I either need to derive more satisfaction out of it (which according to my first boss is a recipe for disaster) and do something worthwhile or risk being an 'also-ran' and one among the legions of underachievers out there.

So now, where to? For a change I am not totally clueless on that count. I have a rough idea of the things that I would like to do. The tricky aspect is to not be stupid and throw away all the hard work I have put in the past four years. It is painstakingly slow and frustrating at times and lethargy slows me down on other occasions. Will it work or not? I do not know. But I have to try. Moreover, it is a much-required change in personal direction to offset the impact of the multitude of friends and acquaintances settling down and giving up their wild ways. Loneliness of the lone believer?