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Working in a bank

For a long time, I thought banks were plain evil.

I guess it started with how everyone (almost everyone) in college wants to get a job in a bank, some bank, any bank. To me, it came as a stark reminder of how people are all rowing their boats towards the same lighthouse, and how they’d probably crash on the same rock. It isn’t for the love of the work. Only money.

A series of poor judgments and a phase of desperation later, I find myself working in, well, a bank! It puts my ‘principles’ on dubious grounds. It makes me a two-faced hypocrite. It took nothing less than courage to walk into that office, stamping over everything I had quite believed in.

A week and a half into it, I’m almost proud to say I’ve survived. I must admit how baseless my “logic” was. At least as far as Marketing is concerned, a consumer bank is extremely similar to any other consumer goods company. They merely sell financial plans, like a telecom company would sell phone plans or an FMCG company would sell food or shoes. The work environment too, is no different from a regular company – creativity constraining cubicles, cluttered desks, lots of workplace lingo.

It’s probably not as exciting as a Nike or a Mars would be. Definitely not, but it’s survivable. In fact, I don’t hate it at all. This weekend hasn’t even felt like a weekend, not one that I desperately needed anyway. I don’t know if I’ll be saying the same a month from now. Probably not, because I don’t see myself growing here, in what I’m doing, at least as an intern. But I’ve already learnt what I’m going to value very much in my first and subsequent jobs – the room to grow, in terms of responsibility, independence and expectations. For the first time, I feel prepared to venture out into the corporate world, as though its claws have receded into a welcoming hand and its dracula teeth have turned into a big white smile.

I hope it lasts.

It still makes me a hypocrite. I see myself selling out for my entrepreneurial dream, which is slowly starting to take shape.

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After 7 years of quitting my full-time corporate job and travelling the world, I've written a book - called The Shooting Star - about my journey. This book of untold travel stories charts my adventures from the cubicle to the road, and from small-town India to remote corners of the globe. Limited copies are now available for pre-order on Amazon and Flipkart. Drop me a note if you end up pre-ordering yours today! Connect with me on Instagram/Twitter @shivya.

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