Thinking BIG, with a purpose.

The smallest changes can make the biggest differences.

Looking in the mirror, I found myself staring at an average student trying to pursue the status quo of filling a Software Engineer role one day. I found the field of technology very appealing and attractive since it checked all my value boxes. It would bring flexibility, control, and financial freedom into my life. The perfect goal… yet the journey not so much.

It wasn’t until the year of the pandemic, where I was able to sit down and openly think about my future. I was essentially on auto-pilot the past two years. Studying, working, and late-night adventures with my friends. Yet, reflecting onto those years, I see little progress towards my dreams and ambitions.

While I was studying programming and design, I felt the curriculum had let me down. Sure, I was building up my foundation, but I did not find it applicable to the innovation around me. (Silicon Valley)

We all are too familiar with the saying… work experience is needed for WORK! So I started working in retail positions, that were flexible but I had no interest in them. I even thought to myself during the shifts, man studying is better than this.

Friends are important to stay in peace, but half an hour quickly turns into a couple of hours. My sleeping schedule was so off, I would be happy to get a least five hours of sleep in, which affected my productivity but I told myself it didn’t.

In essence, the ‘student-norm’ schedule wasn't working for me. I have learned that not everything works for everyone and adjustments should be made. I decided to make slight changes in my routine and self-reflect on the results. To say the least, it made an impactful trajectory change into my career. Here’s how…

Instead of studying hours upon hours, I reserved a few blocks of concise and concentrated studying. Whenever I felt bored, I took a break and came back refreshed to learn more. The more often you do this, the longer the duration will become. One hour of studying → programming what I have learned.

Instead of watching a ‘few’ YouTube videos, I started to pick up books. I couldn’t even mention the books I had read in the past, but half an hour a day has made me love it more and more. Here are my recent favorites.

1. Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill Mcdermott.

2. The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness by Morgan Housel.

3. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger.

I quit my retail position and started applying to companies that shared the same values as me(there were many!). Sooner than later, I found myself working at a leading IT company embracing the future of digital transformation. The culture was so energetic and encouraging, I started to have higher expectations for myself. I began taking on more responsibilities and became a true asset to our team. Continuing to learn from one another.

I still love my friends, so I make sure to keep in touch. Not only that, I talk about our future careers more often and help whenever I can. They appreciate the value and support my new schedule 100000%.

All of this did not happen overnight, nor did it happen in a few months or even a year. I find myself looking in the mirror and asking questions like…

  1. What is my dream? Has my vision changed?

I don’t see an average student anymore. I see a vision, backed with conviction to becoming the next founder of a leading Software company.

I hope this post brought value and a perspective that I don’t see much around. I will continue to write more posts and share my stories on“The Chai with Rai Show”.

Thank you for reading! :)