Sep 15, 2016

What's your slash?

I stumbled upon this site this morning - FindYourSlash

According to this site, a slash (/) represents the following:
It is a symbol used to express the eclectic ensemble of avatars of those living in many different worlds. You could be an Artist/ Blogger; Writer/ Photographer; Technologist/ Musician; Fashion DesignerDJ; anything you love. 
While browsing through this site, it reminded me of the conversation I had with a classmate from college days when I met her a couple of weeks back. She decided to be a homemaker after her son was born. During our conversation, she remarked how her relatives are mocking at her for "wasting" her engineering degree. Do note that she did work for many years after college. She is now learning Sanskrit slokas and ancient Hindu scriptures. The casual chat I had with her that day triggered many questions in my mind.

1) If you pursued an engineering degree, does that mean you "have" to be in the same field for your lifetime? Once an engineer, should you "always" be an engineer?
2) Was the decision to pursue engineering solely made by you? Or was it made due to parents, peer pressure or societal expectations?
3) At the age of 17, did you have enough options in front of you (like today's well-connected generation)? Did you have the exposure on various fields that might interest you?
4) 90% of us (including me) took up Engineering because that was the only option students with good marks can get into (apart from medicine that was anyway not within the reach of deserving students who are "unreserved"). So what if you pursue engineering, later do an MBA and get into banking? The popular question asked by Aamir Khan in 3 idiots is absurd to me. 
5) Is becoming the CEO of a company the "ultimate" purpose for everyone in the planet?

Life is a journey. We evolve as we age. Our interests, preferences and ambitions would keep changing throughout this journey. If someone had told me when I was 15 that cooking would become my passion in my 30s, I would have laughed at them. The world is too big a place to just pursue one career for lifetime. 

One of my friends who is also an Engineer is awesome with arts & crafts for children. My husband's school friend who is a doctor writes amazing poetry and fiction. The rat race doesn't give us enough space and time to even think about other creative pursuits. 

For moms, we are blessed with a temporary break called maternity to rediscover ourselves. If you can financially afford to take a maternity break, I would highly encourage you to do so. If your industry doesn't appreciate career breaks, then do part-time work / consulting assignments during the break. Stay relevant, keep yourself updated with what's happening in your area of interest/industry/domain, never stop learning.  But also take the time to figure out what inspires you, what makes you happy, what impact you want to create, what legacy you want to leave behind in the world. Find your slash. 

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