The Accidental Engineer
“Writer? Digital marketing? Online Advertising? Then what is the use of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunication?”
These are the words I kept facing from people whenever I tried to display my interests. Eventually, I kept mum and never tried to showcase my interests to anyone. It is wise to look foolish especially when the people around you are ignorant and don’t even want to understand stuff.
I am immensely interested in technology and tech-businesses. I am confident enough that I have far more technical knowledge when it comes to the real world and tech-businesses. I understand how these companies work in tech-industry and their business models. I understand how the latest gadgets work and I even know about the internet and cybersecurity. Well, the internet is not limited to Google and Whatsapp that you use. When I said all this, I can say because I know the ignorance of most of the people. The only problem with me was that I was not a coder and I was clear that I could not withstand the IT corporate world. Others don’t have the guts to accept that. I did.
Another risk was that I kept hiding from my family that I never applied to any IT company in my campus placement. I don’t want to work where I don’t belong. Simple.
I was always asked, “What will you do after Engineering?”
“I don’t know!”
“As the fate will carve its way”
“Even I am confused”
I secretly had a full-fledged plan and a backup plan but I didn’t want to disclose them to anyone. For those who knew me closely always had a hint. They were correct.
Our results of Semester 5 was announced and I was the only person in my group who got a backlog in a subject named RSA (Random Signal Analysis). There were merely 3–4 other guys who had failed. Others not only passed but scored highest pointers in their Engineering history. I was shattered with this untimely failure of my life. I blamed myself for not being capable enough.
We will be facing placements soon and here I was struggling to clear my backlog. That day, I went to the gym as per my daily schedule but I was broken. I completed my workout and sat on the bench, all silent. It perceived me as if all the doors were closed. I had lost. I couldn’t see any future. Forget about the 60% mandatory percentage for most companies, I was not even clear with my Engineering subjects.
I never wanted to enter an IT company. Because it never succeeded in exciting me. Almost everyone is working in IT and struggling to become a coder. I seriously hated coding. I never in the history of my Engineering ever got a perfect output in any practical exam. I never wanted to code.
It is not a fact that I never tried to learn. I wasted my 1.5 precious years of life in learning something which was simply not my cup of tea. I used to study and tried to code almost daily for 1.5 freaking years. Can you understand my dumbness in coding?
I am certified in Java and C++ from NIIT. I tried to watch hundreds of online videos, studied various books. But all in vain. If you look my LinkedIn profile, the highest number of certificates go for coding. I mean, you can see my efforts. Still, I remained a poor coder. Then how will I compete if I join an IT industry? I had to accept that some things are simply not meant for everyone. Coding and Programming are seriously overrated. Nobody came to tell me politely that you can still survive in this world without coding. Everyone just said one thing — Coding is the future. Let me rectify that excellence in coding is the future. It makes no point if you are surviving in the bottom of an IT firm without any interest.
I was not meant for the IT industry. I have my own abilities and I’ll better invest my time in polishing them.
Since I was depressed because of my backlog, I meditated a bit longer. Within 10 minutes of meditation, I came up with an alternative plan. Yes, I'll change my field. I am passionate about writing and I have two wide options — Journalism or Digital marketing. I had worked with UC news and did online journalism there but I never liked that industry. It was full of biased journalism. Let me tell you that journalism is an industry where the rich people pay to write biased news. It is simply corrupt and it is an open secret. I quickly decided to get into digital marketing. As I was anyway reading and studying a lot about it out of my own interest. Now I will make my career in DM.
What if I couldn’t make it immediately after my Engineering? I need a backup plan for this risk as well. And I decided to appear for all the Government exams that I could get. I’ll study hard there. I just need to clear their aptitude tests and I have been doing that for placements.
Main focus — Digital marketing job
Backup plan — Government exams
The career options were established within 10 minutes of deep thinking after my gym.
Now my backup plan was more difficult than my main plan. The journey of digital marketing was easier as it was my passion and I could hunt about it all day and night. I already held experience of that. I had worked as a freelancer and even interned. It was easier for me to learn and grasp.
But competing brutally with lakhs of Indians in Government exam for securing a seat seemed difficult. I connected a lot of similar minded people online and most of them had not cleared those exams even after 3–4 attempts. It was a do-or-die situation for me. I gathered all the resources and started studying on the same day. To my consistency, I rarely took any major gap till I got placed yesterday in campus placements.
Every day, I had to manage my college, academic studies, studying the subject of my backlog, learning stuff about Digital marketing, gym and my writing habits. I never dropped my Quora and writing passion. I continued it. I was consistent each and every day.
As I ascended to my final year of Engineering, expectations started pouring from all over. Classmates, family, people, society, and even a dog on the street seemed to be concerned about my placement.
“Are there any companies coming in your college?”
“Is there any scope after Engineering?”
“Are you placed?”
“Your sister got placed in her 3rd year. What about you?”
These super annoying questions burst whenever I met someone, especially from the segment of relatives.
“Yeah, companies are coming. Let’s see,” I covered up with the same sticky statement every time. I don’t know how people don’t understand these silly hints. If someone gets placed, he/she will surely come up to you and sweeten you with the good news.
I was a part of multiple portals where jobs and openings were posted. They were filled with IT jobs. Even some people sent me some job openings on Whatsapp, but again the same IT firms. I was tired of being surrounded by IT firms all around.
The mass recruiters started coming into the campus. All hail to the top scorers who got placed in Accenture. It needs the talent to score high scores in exams, at least I think that. It is not easy to learn these academic subjects who have no relevance with the real world things. Almost half of my friends got placed in Accenture. Post that, immense pressure started building upon me.
“Will I remain unemployed? What if both of my plans fail terribly? How will I face the society which has already led huge expectations?”
I kept working hard with every passing day. It was silently improving my level simultaneously for both which included Government exams as well as Digital marketing. It was not easy. I studied every topic carefully.
For digital marketing, I was already well versed with my own social media handles. Except that, I did many online courses and grabbed some certificates. I followed a lot of YouTube channels and websites. I joined multiple Facebook groups for being notified about Digital marketing jobs and updated my LinkedIn profile. I maintained contact with various people in that field. Special shoutout to Dipanshu Rawal for guiding me through the path. I observed him, tried to learn as much as possible from him.
I ended up making two resumes for myself — Engineering Resume and Digital Marketing Resume.
I kept a sharp eye on all digital marketing jobs on LinkedIn. I got notifications every day. I used to see the skills that are required by those posts and tried to learn those skills. Eventually, I got ready with a bunch of skills required for such posts.
However, I didn’t wait for too long. The company came to my college for campus placements and I got selected in that. I was on the cloud nine.
Want to know how I cleared my interview in Media.net?
[Click here and check this out: https://medium.com/@priteshopawar/theplacementday-b48e9d941dd]
Moral of the story?
It is okay to leave the stream of degree and follow a passion. But build the required skill sets.