It’s been 11 years since my first job and almost a year since I left my first employer. As I look back, I can see how my professional journey actually began on that train I took to join Infosys, Mysore, years back.
The first day of college and the day we join the professional world are very similar. We become grownups from teenagers as we start college and we enter the world of real adults when we start our first job.
There is one difference though. The initial years of college are spent building bonds with complete strangers. This camaraderie helps us get through our most difficult times – be it heartbreaks or failures. This is the high point of our lives so far. But professional life is different. And most of us who got on that train to Infosys, were quite aware of this difference.
The year 2008 was when flight journeys were for the rich and smartphones were for the richer. The 36-hour train journey to our first employer was a good opportunity to prepare for the new life ahead. All of us on that train were trying to have meaningful exchanges about what we plan to do in the next 5 years.
There was no banter and everybody was respectful of personal boundaries. This was so different from college.
The next big decision
After reaching Bengaluru, we had to hire a taxi for the next part of our journey. We made a pros and cons list to decide. We felt so responsible when we had to decide on the fare for the journey. It felt like an opportunity to prove that we were adults.
When the driver told us, “You are in Infosys now. This fare should be nothing for you,” we all blushed and settled for whatever he was asking for.
Few hours later, we had to take another major decision about food. The obvious choice was a place that served excellent food, along with chilled beer. We decided to do the responsible thing and settled for just two pints.
After we reached Mysore in the night, everybody decided to retire to bed early as the next day was the most important first day of our lives.
Love at first sight
We reached Infosys, Mysore, the next morning on time. The campus was truly magical. Polished floors and striking architecture made the place look truly professional. The rooms assigned to us were no less than a 5-star suite.
Not everybody had a camera phone back then and so those who didn’t, decided to tell every single person they knew about this surreal place.
The next part was to meet our new colleagues. It was crucial to form new connections. We also realized it was time to switch from Orkut to LinkedIn.
The IT bubble had finally sucked us in and we were just floating in joy. We were the IT crowd everybody talked about. We were born again. This was going to be our life – if not forever – for the next few years now.
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