Happy 6th birthday to my writing experience. This day, in year 2004, I took a chance to join this new ( I had not heard of it till then, so it was new to me) field called 'Content Development' in a start-up company in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Now, a hard-core crazy computer programmer that I was, back in college, I could not even think of spending time writing anything except emails and letters. I have always loved writing letters and emails, but writing in any other form was something I could not relate to, until that February day when someone talked me into 'trying' to write technical stuff. I bought the idea because, I believe there is always a way to say things and this person put it forward very nicely to me : Just give it a shot, if you do not like it, walk out!! As simple as that!!!! And in this profession, you cannot stay if you don't like it. So, just take that chance for sometime, till you find a programming job that matches your interest.
The next day, I uploaded my resume on one of the job sites and expressed interest in 'Content Development'. I was not really hoping for recruitment calls from anyone, because 1. I am not an English graduate. 2. I have some experience reading fiction and writing long essays for my engineering exams; that's about my language experience. 3. I can speak good English, but I cannot use high-sounding words, which most writers do. 4. I am not a total techie; I believe in learning when it interests me and do not believe in being a knowledge bank in all computer-related areas, although I am a computer science student. 5. The big point: I am a fresher and who really cares to give a job to a fresher and help her learn? At least till then no one cared, except for campus recruitment and for this field, no biggie did campus recruitment.
So, I was convinced that I can just go back my town and relax. I was sure no one was going to call and I did apply because I wanted to give some value for the time this guide of mine spent talking to me. I reached home after five hours of travel. I still remember how my home phone rang, just as I came in. I picked up to hear a consultant's voice and she asked me to come over for an interview to Chennai the next morning at 10:00 A.M. I had not even put down my travel bag and just did not want to leave immediately without asking details. So, asked questions about the prospective job. She convinced me to try and I said, 'Yes'. Had lunch and packed off in the next fifteen minutes back to Chennai.
Now, if this does not mean anything to you, let me tell you, it does mean a lot to someone who has been trying to attend interviews and convince the recruiters that she can learn Java if they recruit her. The software world was not ready to believe that I could learn a new language and I did not believe in joining a course to learn a new language. We were in this battle for about ten months that February and I was still searching for a job that would suit me and my recruiter.
The next morning, I walk into this start-up company and I had three rounds of interview. I told them, I am 'giving it a shot' knowing fully well that I might lose the chance if my recruiter thinks that I am not showing commitment. I still did, because, I did not want to make them believe that I am interested in the profession, without even knowing anything about writing. I told them I learnt about the profession just the day before from some and I did not know the meaning of technical writing or content writing or instructional design until then. The only strong statement I remember apart from 'giving it a shot' was this : I am willing to learn and see if it works for me. I will not step out mid-way in between assignments.
I am not too sure, but I think apart from the tests, these statements must have fetched me the job. I got a call, the same evening that I can join on 1st March 2004.
March 1st 2004, I started off with a lot of new hopes and curiosities into this field of writing. This day, that year, I had no clue that :
I'll meet some interesting people with whom I'll get to stay in touch six years later...
I'll delve into writing so much and make it my career choice...
I'll do that guide talk and instill writing interest in people at a later date...
I'll learn so much patience in life...[ well, for those of you who think, I am impatient, say thanks to my writing, that my impatience is manageable, at least I wont yell at you if you say, I am very impatient..... for those of you who think, I can never lose patience, say thanks to my writing experience.. If you write, you can also learn some patience.. Oh, please believe one who has tried it!!!! ]
I'll own something called a blog space and write about everything and nothing to balance my professional and personal writing thoughts.
I'll see this day as a senior writer in one of the good software companies in the country.
I'll see six years in the field of writing.
When people have seen ten and thirty and many more years in a given industry, I know six years is very less, still, for all the interesting experiences, people, learning, pay cheque, confidence, and overall development that this profession has given me - someone who did not even know the meaning of technical writing - I think six is quite a good number.
All thanks to my first employer in the start-up company who trusted my confidence to learn; if not for their belief, I would not known that I can write.
All thanks to all my near and dear ones in the professional and personal circle who have helped me see this day.
All thanks to the guide who got me into believing the idea of writing as a career choice.
All thanks to the editor who rooted my thoughts strongly into writing with some comments that really did matter.
All thanks to my family who stand by me, whether or not they understand my profession.
All thanks to God, who knows all of the above.
For those who are still students, I strongly suggest that you just believe it when someone says, "You can do it". It has always worked for me when someone boosts my confidence levels, because that's all it took me to see this day and I am grateful to all the people who crossed my way and who have been around and are still around to encourage me. Just believe it and you will see for yourself, where it can take you.
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