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Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

I got the inspiration to write this post after reading a book titled “Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35”. This book was written by Paul Terhorst about 25 years back. The main idea is to save enough from a high paying job in the US and then move overseas (cheaper location) to live off your investments. And you do this while you’re young, living life to the fullest and doing what you really love.

 

Cashing in on the American Dream

Paul used to work for a major accounting firm when he retired at 35. Once quit, he never looked back. He still travels and blogs; you can get the latest updates and some tips from his blog at this link.

I’m surprised that even 30 years back, people were thinking of an Extreme Early Retirement. I guess the “Desire to Break Free” has been in our blood since time immemorial 🙂 .

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Most of us dream about having a small business or putting our creative juices to work. As we spend more time in the corporate environment, this call becomes stronger. I’m amazed at how some individuals shun the respect and security of a well paying job and risk everything to start their own venture.

Such venture is usually based on an idea or the interests/hobbies that we hold dear to our heart. We become so convinced and motivated that we can foresee it becoming a reality.

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Recently a friend of mine asked me for advice. His younger brother had just finished BTech (BS equivalent) in Computer Science and wanted to know whether he should accept a job or pursue an MBA right away.

My answer was: It depends.

Many of us (especially with Science, Engineering or Technology background) face similar dilemma at some point of time in our lives. We’re faced with this choice either in our college years or when we have added years of experience and it is time to move up the ladder.

Let me share my experience in this regard.

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If you do that then you will be the happiest and most satisfied person in life.

 

So how do we do it?

By spending some time in silence and contemplation daily. Or whenever possible, given the challenging and busy lives that we lead. The ideal place is your prayer room or your quiet space. It can also be done while doing other favorite activities of yours such as walking, biking, exercising, showering, taking bath etc. The key is to be alone so that you’re able to listen or talk to yourself.

The problem is that we can’t do without Noise :-). We need the radio, music, TV or headphones all the times. If that’s the case, how will we ever connect with ourselves?

Each one of us has inherent strengths or some unique talents. We are here in this world to fulfill a purpose and the “art of listening to our heart” allows us to discover the very same. It allows us to be in sync with the Higher Purpose and relieves us of everyday anxieties.

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It is an old adage that I swear by.

There is so much noise in the world. In this Age of Information, we get continually bombarded with endless options. So it is important for us to be selective and choose the ones that will add value and quality to our lives.

For now I will focus on the “Time” aspect in terms of career and education.

In order to be successful in the corporate world, there’s a constant pressure to update (that too continually) our skills. I have been told and advised many times to do a master’s degree, especially during the early years of my career in IT. This advice usually came from my techie friends and the family. Surprisingly, it never came from my seniors or mentors. 🙂

I personally didn’t feel the need of earning a Master’s degree, especially an MS (Master of Science) in some technology field. Several reasons for the same:

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I’m sure many of you have heard of Toastmasters International by now. No, it is not a Golf tournament as one of my colleagues at UPS thought it to be. 🙂 It is a worldwide organization dedicated for improving Public Speaking, Listening and the Leadership skills.

Since most of the Fortune 500 companies have local Toastmasters clubs, I also had an opportunity to be part of Toastmasters at UPS. I found the experience so enriching that I’m planning to be associated with it (one way or another) till the rest of my life. The organization is not just about improving our public speaking or presentation skills, it also helps us grow in many aspects.

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I finally announced “Freedom from 9-5” when I handed in my resignation at UPS about a year ago. Though I became financially free sometime back, an official announcement had to wait due to some family and work commitments.

It was hard to contain my excitement as I envisioned a world where I could pursue my interests and passions fulltime. A world that is full of creativity, excitement and adventure, finally becomes a reality.

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