Do I need to change my profession??

Hello reader,

I batted with this thought for almost 6 years. Yes, you read it right. This question came into my mind after the completion of the first semester of my engineering. I got a decent rank in the entrance examination and that is the only reason why I have taken electronics as my specialization as I was told by the society that electronics has a lot of opportunities and that is the reason why most of the toppers opt that stream, but not because I love it. On top of that, my parents desperately wanted me to become an engineer with a 6 digit monthly income. They conditioned my mind in such a way that I literally believed that God sent me to the Earth to become an engineer. My subconscious always tried to bring this question to light, but I discarded it all the time as I was in a belief that I am a demigod and becoming an engineer is my purpose and I must do it whether I like it or not.

With age, my mind started to mature and the intensity of this question increased to such a level that it gave me nightmares about my future if I continue to survive with a mask as an engineer. When I woke up from those nightmares, my mind used to say,” You have already wasted 4 years for completing Take a chill pill and get back to work tomorrow leaving all these BS thoughts as you cannot do anything about it. It’s too late.” This appeared true. I cannot attempt an entrance examination to medicine to become a doctor if being a doctor is what I love. It’s really too late. This is the sentence I used to say to console myself and to get back to work the next morning.

Thoughts like these brought me closer to the books (self-help/spirituality). I missed social life (a lot) as I was busy finding answers to my questions. The more books I read, the more questions raised inside. The questions list kept on growing with every new book I read and but none of them gave answers. I started trading by then, but I didn’t know whether this is the one I love or not. I joined Art of living sessions ( I was not regular of course) to get out of this loop. I am fortunate enough to meet so many good souls in those sessions. I talked with a lot of spiritually successful people about the battle that is happening inside me during those sessions and I got what I wanted. One of them said, “Be honest to yourself. Forget about the responsibilities you have. Forget about the materialistic things you are wishing to get from the salary. Ask all the questions and answer yourself. No one can give answers to your questions about your life except you. But you must put your personal baggage aside to get answers from yourself if you really want to know them. Otherwise, you will be in that loop forever ”

This is what I did the next day.
“First I need to be honest to myself. That can be done. Then I need to forget about the responsibilities. Of course, I can do that. I have been doing that from my childhood, I am always irresponsible.:D Then I need to forget about the materialistic wishes. Damn!!! This one is tough. But I must do it. Then I need to get those questions in order. Time to work.”

You know what?? I conquered that battle. Yes, I did and now I am doing what I love to do. My income improved 20 folds that of my previous job. I am helping people who want to walk the same path as mine. I got so much of leisure time now. And it’s getting better and better every day.

Here is the list of questions I asked myself to know whether I like the profession I am in.

Is there peace in my profession? Or am I hurrying to do the work all the time?
Will I continue to work if my employer stops giving me a salary for a few months due to some company-related issues? Or I will look for another opportunity?
Will I work the same way if my boss rejects my promotion?
Will I work the same way and with the same energy all the time if the situation demands to work 24×7?
Am I trying to improve what I do everyday not because of the promotions and paycheques, but just for my satisfaction in doing the job effectively?
Am I inspiring and guiding others who are passionate about the profession I am in?
Can I continue to do this without thinking about the intermediate setbacks?
Does my profession complimenting my life or is it complicating it?
It had taken around 2 and half months to get honest answers to all these questions and I resigned to my IT job the next day of getting the answer for the 8th question.

Sometimes, you don’t need to change the profession you are in. Changing the perception towards the profession is the only thing needed. But even after that, the answers to the above question must be positive. Don’t fool yourself. Be honest. You don’t need to show answers to these questions to anyone. Not to your parents or to your girlfriend/boyfriend. Ask yourself and keep the answers for yourself. Time for some introspection. 🙂
Have a great day.

User says:
excellent post on the challenges you had to transition as a full-time trader. The challenges are very relevant to our society at least, as we Indians are generally risk-averse and tend to stick to the norm rather than trying to be an outcast and fail in the process.

Nothing wrong with this mentality as a lot of people are very happy having a stable income with a set routine. The challenge comes when you want to tread a path that no one in your societal circle has taken before. The uncertainty around that is a big no-no.

Convincing your parents and dear ones that you are not making a mistake and that you will come out successful is as big a challenge in itself as learning to trade.

Especially if we are in IT, our parents think IT is very good and everyone ends up being rich. While this might have been the case in the mid-90s it is no longer the reality nowadays
It’s just like a factory environment but the only difference being we are dealing with computers rather than nuts and bolts.

I agree with every word of yours. It is true that a lot of people are happy with doing IT jobs, but almost 90% of them are very much unsatisfied with what they are doing, at least in the people I have come across. Most of them are continuing in their jobs even though they are unsatisfied because of their personal reasons. Paying the bills, desperately wanting the acceptance in the society and the identity given by the profession etc… That is very bad. All these things will multiply with a great factor if we do what we love to do, but it just takes some time and guts to accept the rejection and setback at the initial stages. Like you correctly pointed out, in India, we have an extra burden to deal with while taking a path which people call risky.

User says:
, I completely agree, not many people are willing to take the risk, and hence get stuck in the routine even if they like it or not thinking blaming it on destiny and thinking that this is what they have been destined to do during this lifetime. Guys like you are very few in numbers :-), and there is a third category (like me) trying to learn the ropes of trading while working a full-time job with a hope that one day, I can convince my wife to let me trade full time and devote more time for the social activities I am passionate about.

Not sure if you have written an article around your development as a trader and as a person and the stages who had to go through right from being a rookie and thinking the more indicators on your chart the better for your trade confirmation(I hope you had been through this stage as well :-), if not then great for you as it cuts to journey time), the direct/indirect mentors you had (I know you are a big fan of Lance), the aha moments you had, that one trade moment which you still remember which turned it around for you and after which you started watching price action, the change in mindset you had to deal with once you decided that trading will be your full-time career etc.

If you can write an article or a series of articles around your initial stages of development and the ups and downs it would be really helpful and inspirational. Especially for aspiring and newbie traders (including myself), it would help us to relate and probably realize that everyone goes through these stages while learning to trade and eventually if we are persistent one day we can also trade full time successfully.

I will write it for sure. 😀 I guess almost all the traders go through the same learning curve and that topic definitely deserves some space in the trade school section.

User says:
another inspiring article! Thanks!

My story is similar to you except I loved my software profession and didn’t even hate my job like many people!
The company I worked in was super cool with freedom, unlimited broadband internet 24×7, perks and things (although the Indian salary sucks)….

The job is like being married to a stable wealthy guy, who is kind, dependable and you even like him…. but one thing is missing ‘the spark’.
The one that makes you go crazy, loses sleep, makes you cry, laugh, the challenge feels deeply satisfied as you grow intellectually/spiritually/economically and the one who will take you to the places where you have never seen before! (Although am a guy, I couldn’t find a metaphor in guy’s term, bcoz our guys don’t look beyond pretty face… a pretty face is just enough to keep them excited!)

So….I flunked out of it a few years before, just to try out some entrepreneurial stunt. My parents reacted just like yours, “are you crazy, why you want to jump out of safe aeroplane after buying a ticket to board on it? and look at the people who are waiting in line just to board this plane? have you thought about your future marriage and shit?”

My response, “Mom this is precisely why I want to get ridiculous now, there will be no time to hit rewind and play back to get ridiculous later on 😀 or it’s going to be 50 fold harder”

As a single guy we have the greatest asset on our side, time and flexibility, I don’t have to fall in anyone’s feet to get permission/approval/validation… and tiptoe through tight calculations of risks/responsibility trade-offs… 😉

So I just cashed in my ‘freedom to get ridiculous card’ and so far so good! Lances Beggs, Smart Trader and You all have tremendously helped me in my journey!

My career motto is simple: If it’s not fun why even do it 😀 ?

You really have a great way of gathering thoughts. Honestly, your comment is better than my article.. 😉
I suggest you to start a blog if time permits.

User says:
Thanks. Sure someday when I get my act together and when results can speak for themselves, I will add my words to it as topping on the ice cream ;)… as of now… only topping is there… have to earn my icecream! lol!

As a technical tip: I have been using metaphors and analogies in all my comments, they are fun and tremendously help in making the ideas stick and simplify them for communication! Add that to your communication/presentation tool kit! Analogies are not just aid, they are the very core of human-level cognition!