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Don’t rest on your laurels!

The following post assumes that you have managed to graduate from an elite institution. But I think it’s topical to almost anyone. So, read on. 🙂

You’ve worked your ass off for a long time. All that hard work has paid off as you’ve managed to enter the college of your dreams. And after four (or five years as the case may be), you are an eager young graduate ready to begin your career.

Of course, due to your background, you have a major head-start as compared to others. This is a good thing. You need to be rewarded for the intense effort you’ve put in.

After all, people know what you’re all about. You’ve interacted with some of the best minds out there. More than that, you’ve had great exposure to top notch facilities. You’re not afraid to dream big. And you’ve proved yourself as a smart, capable and quick learner. 

Learner

As such, you have the opportunity to work in a completely different field, even though it may not be your major. Take the case of Shubham Gupta. He’s one of our techies and has graduated from IIT Kharagpur. But he was not always this code savvy. This is what he has to say:

“I wanted to pursue coding and programming rather than Geology, which was my major. So I got a software developer position in a startup quite easily after a month of a trial period. Now I am working on Android Development and am learning a lot.”

He also adds that because of his IIT experience, he was able to make a smooth transition. Also, companies are willing to give people like him a chance to explore something new.

So what about you? It’s very likely that you’ve easily landed a high paying job. Or at least a technically challenging but rewarding job. But this ease should fill you with unease.

Why? Because of the price of complacency.

It’s tempting to coast. But, especially in this fast-paced world, coasting will stagnate your career. You’ve got to keep upskilling yourself. But it’s fun! After all, this is the reason why you chose that job in the first place, right? You may have even given up a much fancier pay package elsewhere. In spite of the peer pressure that comes with such a decision.

Another thing to watch out for is when you’re working in a field unrelated to your major. You will have to work much harder than someone who has already majored in that field. You have to catch up and keep up! Otherwise, you’ll be left behind.

Of course, if your work is based on what you’ve studied, then you have a huge head-start. But it’s important to not let your advantage slip away. There is, and has been, a tremendous rate of progress in all domains. What was cutting edge when you started your career may not always be so. You’ve got to keep abreast of the latest developments in your field.

To summarize, don’t be the hare in the parable of the tortoise and the hare. Be the tortoise. Better yet, be an ostrich! After all, they run fast and seemingly never stop.

Special thanks to Shubham Gupta, an IITian, who provided us with unique insights into the IITian psyche. Also, if you come from an elite college or otherwise, check out our web page where you can solve challenges, showcase yourself and unlock opportunities!

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About Author

Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.