So what was the trigger for the step, well don’t know, it was complicated, was it the mundane nature of job, was it no work at office, was it enough of faking to work or was it genuinely the coolness of being a self-employed professional. Grass definitely looked greener on the other side and with the assurance from a lot of past bosses that they would recruit me if i decide otherwise i took the plunge on 1st Oct 2014 when i jumped into the uncertain world of self-employment.
Having been pampered for over 13 years by great organizations like Unilever and Citi where everything was taken care of, i was not out, in a non-air conditioned office (winter setting in now so no need to worry for the next 6 months-we will cross this bridge when we get to it).
So what has changed? Well a lot.
Dress up or Dress Down: (First check out my pic: Yes I can dress like that to work-in bold deliberately) First and foremost is my attire. I wore a suit and a tie almost every day in the past three years and there was a lot of weightage and eager waiting for the Friday dressing. Now all my suits are hanging in the closet and i can dress up in jeans everyday (any corporate guy’s dream) but somehow i don’t feel comfortable as i don’t look intellectual, look like any other guy, i don’t stand out. So after two weeks of wearing denims, today i am actually wearing formals in office (standing out but not fitting in to the fashion house office). Hint: I might put my suits up for sale on OLX or Quikr.
Email Culture: What sort of weird place is this? no one sends emails or reads emails. I used to get close to 300 emails a day and i was efficient in either replying to them, or forwarding them to my team of filing them in the right folder with follow up flags, reminders, calls, fix meetings etc. and i was done for the day when all emails are taken care of (felt great just like you would not leave a game halfway and would leave only when the last bowl is bowled lest someone says that you missed out on the fun). I sent an email to a cloth vendor with my order and assumed that the same was done, now one week later the vendor confirmed that there is not order and no cloth ready (bloody unprofessional, does not check mails, so what if he sits in a small shop in Chanadni chowk, he should check emails, does he not believe in working). Well maybe i will change.
Punctuality and Meetings: All corporate employees (including me in the past) take pride in arriving in time or before time for meetings and earn brownie points from their bosses, super bosses. I also arrived for my last 4 meetings here on time which ended up being 2-3 hours early on an average. No value for anybody’s time, no courtesy to inform if they are getting late or cancelling the meeting. I will stop working with such people (or can I?). I sure don’t know stuff.
Payments: Every morning from 10 till 4 in the evening I am either counting cash or writing cheques to pay out dues which leaves no time for me to go out and ask for my money from where it is due. As a corporate, bills delayed for vendors even for a month, 6 months or an year never bothered me. Now I know. Please pay me my money on time. I have to pay out salaries for my staff and also two young kids who go to school and need to eat and I have a wife who needs to shop and I need to pay rent for my house etc. etc. (I also try writing mails to those who need to pay me but you know they are unprofessional and do not check mails).
Weekends: Please don’t discuss this. Please don’t. I could cry right now, get nostalgic etc. How do you think I came up with the 168 hour work week (well I now feel intelligent about the fact that I could come up with such a cool idea, at the end of the day I am an entrepreneur).
Open challenge to all corporate employees: Kya tumse ho payega?