Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The positives of a job hunt

Like I promised here, there are some positives about hunting for a job.

I started my internship officially on the 20th of April, 2010. Long story on how I got it and I might blog about it later. However I came to London in the beginning of Jan and it was in the end of April that I first heard a ‘yes’. Even if it was for an internship that would not pay.

So that’s almost 4 months of rejections.

That might not seem too much to most but trust me it has been a very difficult time for me. The reason is simple. Never before have I faced so much rejection. I have always been the teachers pet, excelled in academics with little effort albeit a lot of hard work. Hell, even getting and finding the right guy was very easy for me. There was a multitude of family friends who wanted me as the bahu and yet again I had my pick.

Never before have I struggled so much for a ‘yes’. It still remains elusive.

But I have to confess that I have grown so much because of this experience. I have now learnt to just pick up the phone , look up the website for any contact number, call and speak to who ever picks up the phone. My elite b school mindset of feeling all superior to mankind ( expect those from better b schools) has rightly received a much needed shaking up.

I have learnt to push for setting up of meetings. I have learnt to call people so many times that they stop taking my calls. I have learnt to give a 30 second elevator pitch about myself.

This is new to someone like me who inherently has too much self respect and ego to go around akisng people for 10 minutes of their time!

Initially I would feel hesitant about speaking to the firangs. Honestly I think we have grown up on such a dose of American sitcoms and movies that the british accent seemed quite difficult to follow and I would end up sounding like an idiot asking people to repeat themselves. That, I am glad to say, has indeed changed now because of the numerous interview and calls that I have had.

Each of the interviews has been a huge learning experience. I remember this phase when I had started feeling very low about not having a job. To change my mind I would go out for a run/ jog and on the way I would only see people dressed up in formals. It just made me cringe so much.

It was then that I realized how important work is for me. Till then , I had always felt that I would be better suited to academics but LBS was an eye opener. I have to say getting through would have been great but it would have made my life hell. Because while I was interviewing I did not feel any rush of energy , no inner voice that told me ” yeah! This is what you were meant to do!” and when they informed me that the phd would take 6 years to complete I almost blacked out!

Had I gotten through I know it would have been very difficult to say no because of brand LBS and I was not sure I wanted to do it!

So I am glad they have chosen someone who probably wanted it more and in this process I have for the first time realized that I want to work. It is just that I need the right kind of job. A job that suits me as a person.

I always believed that I was an academic soul. Now I know myself better. However shallow it might sound, I simply want to work and earn some dough for the next couple of years. Simple as that.

S is marvelous at his work. I have learnt to learn from him. If I can be half as good, I will be great.

I have learnt to reply to emails in the most professional manner. I know it is a stupid thing to say but it is a very important skill I have acquired- the right british tone for a work email. INfact on any day I am job hunting I send across more mails than I did while I was working back in india.

I am more comfortable job hunting now. The reason for that is that my leave in my company back in india has been extended to 4th of july ,2010. And Sid has been the single most supportive husband I could have dreamt of. If I do not find a job that I like by that time I will go back to India to restart work and he will put things in motion for his relocation.

I think it is a big thing that he has agreed to do for my sake. Knowing fully well how well he is doing in his present profile and how much he wants to stay on in London for the next couple of years, I cannot but appreciate him.

So, I know now that Sid has thought of ‘us’ and I appreciate and love him so much more for it. We can be happily married when all is good but it is in times like this when one has to sacrifice something that you truly understand how blessed you are to have a husband who is ready to let his career take a hit so that you can have one for yourself.

I was recently asked in an interview why, if I am as career oriented as I claim to be, did I choose to leave the fantastic job I had to get married at 25 and relocate
to a country in deep recession.

My answer is an advice for all young girls. I said this:

“ I think the single most important decision regarding your career is to marry the right man who will support every single career move you make. I wanted to marry right, if for nothing then atleats for the sake of my career”.

Advice: how your career turns out to be depends quite a bit on the kind of man you marry. Marry well. Marry intelligently.

If nothing, for the sake of your career.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Heathrow visit:)

So Sid came back yesterday. Finally after 16 days. Stupid vocanic ash!

It took me some 2 hours to get there. After figuring my way in, I suddenly felt ravenous and hence headed to a coffee shop hunted for something veg and handed it to the guy at the till.

“Toasted?”, the desi guy asked me.

“Yes, please”,I said. Here in London you need to thankyou and please more often than you breathe in and out.

“Can I get you a coffee as well, please?”, he asked.

“Naah”, I said.

“Tea, then?” he persisted.

“No”, I persisted as well.

“Why?”, he questioned.

“because I do not drink tea/ coffee”, said I

“You must be very health conscious then”, he observed.

So we got chatting as he toasted my sandwich. By way of conversation I told him that I was there to pick up my husband who had been stranded because of volcanic ash and was coming home 2 weeks later had been planned.

“I think I can help you, he said.

“How?”, I questioned.

With a flourish he took out a banner and a pen.
“Write him a message!”, he said.

“No…I don’t think so”, I said.

“Come on! Why?” he said.

“Because I would not want to embarrass my husband”

“Trust me! He will love it !” he said.

Slightly doubtful, I took it from him. I hunted for a place for myself and carefully balancing a sandwich in one hand, the phone between my ear and shoulders I wrote my patis name on the banner.

Then did a little it of calligraphy as well. Then underlined it. Then made flowers. Then added leaves.

It was looking shabby but then that was the best I could manage. All ready I went and stood waiting for him in the arrival area.

There were so many people waiting and I got to see such beautiful things in the half an hour I stood there. There was this pretty dark haired girl standing right next to me and suddenly I heard a weird sound coming from her. I turned to look at her and found her in tears with her hand hiding her mouth as she stared at a girl walking in.
They had such an emotional reunion with both of them in tears. In her place then came a little girl with her Dad. She had made a drawing welcoming her ‘MOMMY’ I saw the Mum walk in, stare at the poster and hug her daughter as the Dad hugged both the women.

Then there was this guy who came dressed up like a bee to welcome a lady. He made her stand in front of him and did some kind of a bee dance. The two of them were laughing hysterically as they walked away hand in hand.

I stood there waiting with my banner and soon I saw Sid walk in as I ran to welcome him. Sid’s poor friend did not where to look as we hugged each other.

Sid was very amused by the banner and he asked me a million questions about it. The silly little banner was quite a hit!

Here is a pic of the banner for you guys!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Job Hunt

I have been avoiding writing about this for a long time now. Even now I do not know where to begin from, what to write and what to not write.

I started job hunting even before I came to London infact I started it even before I got married. My biggest issue with coming over to London was indeed the job thing. I knew it was going to be difficult but hey I had a fantastic job in India which I had gotten in the midst of heavy recession, I am rank 1 at Bschool, rank 1 in engg
college, can speak well, dress well…my fears seemed really unfounded.

However the reality is indeed in front of me now.

I have been hunting for a long time now. It has been a huge long series of Nos. No from companies after rounds of interviews , from LBS for their PhD and from more jobs. Sometimes I wonder what is the toughest bit about this. Now I have an answer.
It is fine to know that yet again you have not made it but it is just so difficult to inform family and friends that you have not.

It is the whole process of investing in hope and the ‘if’ that is very taxing.
However, I do have something now. After weeks and weeks of looking around I finally have an internship. So I do work. But it does not pay me and it is not a permanent position. I am still giving interviews and applying but nothing concrete is in my hands.

But like they say, what does not kill you makes you stronger. Some day soon I will blog about the positives of the job hunt!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sid is one of the many stranded across the world because of the volcanic ash problems. Only thing is that he has now made his way to India. He was going for 5 days and would have been gone for 16 by the time its time for him to come back!

So, I am all alone in London. Though he is the one who is stuck, I am the one in a worse situation!!!

I was initially quite unwelcoming of the idea of staying alone at home, however I am quite cool with it now and have been living on my own for a week now.

Today I had an important telephonic interview. It was supposed to happen at 5 in the evening and since I was preparing for it through the day all I had eaten was a sandwich. I was talking to Sid on the phone telling him about the interview and my lunch when he said that he will order a pizza for me.

I was quite reluctant to do this. The reason is that we have a pizza ritual. He orders his pepperoni pizza and I order my corn and mushroom pizza. We order it together. It just seemed weird to order pizza without him around.

He however insisted and I relented as I was too tired to cook.

The pizza guy came to deliver the pizza. He handed me a huge bag. It not only had a pizza but also potato wedges which I love to munch on and my favourite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

I think it is a small gesture. But I was very very touched by it. And I miss him all the more.