Inspiring stories Reflections

Dare To Dream

dare to dream vidya sury 3

I dare to dream. All the time. But this post is about my dream job.

Everyone dreams of the ideal job where the work is enjoyable, time is flexible, the money’s good and there’s enough time to socialize, spend time with family and friends and generally be satisfied with life.

With the tough competition, fluctuating job market and rising costs of living, not everyone is lucky to find that dream job.

Today, I’d like to share how I found mine and the lessons learned along the way.

I began my corporate career in 1984 (that I wanted to be a rock star is another story. I am told that I am one, anyway – I mean, I rock, I am a star *wink wink*). Those days I thought being an executive project assistant was glamorous. Little did I know that it was a euphemism for “gofer”. Yet, new on the work scene, I loved it. I had fab colleagues (I am still in touch with them) and I learned a lot. Gradually I transitioned from metallurgical projects to rubber projects – to an advertising agency as an account executive – to sales in a transport company – to marketing and training in Office Automation – to Telecommunications to Industrial components, spanning marketing, sales and training. I rose in my career and quit at the top, when I decided to get married at 33. I fondly referred to it as early retirement.

Obviously, after a hectic career, it is not easy to chill at home doing housework. I wasn’t too worried, as I was expecting a baby a few months later. Once Vidur came along and turned 2 years old, I knew he would go to playschool and became restless, wanting to find work again. The job market was in a slump at the time, but that did not deter me. For one thing, I didn’t want to get back to working like I used to, traveling most days. I wanted something that would let me be around for my son and my Mom, whose health was failing.

And so, after a briefly frustrating phase where the worry of fulfilling our housing loan and rapidly rising bills ate our heads, my Mom suggested I make a list of my capabilities and then reassess what skills were marketable. She said…

… Dare to dream

dare to dream vidya sury

This is where the freelance writing came in.

I had often been told that my writing skills were good. I enjoyed writing stories and poetry and had published quite a few with pretty good reviews. I edited the in-house magazines where I worked. My grasp of idiomatic English was good. So, I thought – why not try writing as a career? And I did. I got started as co-editor of a business magazine with a friend. Then, in 2005 I joined Creative Lipi as a writer. Over the years, I’ve built a small client base and enjoy my work.

Today I have two jobs – one as a writer and blogger for clients and another as the member of an ethics committee that evaluates protocols for human clinical trials.

I work hard to live my dream. I have challenges with time management, self-discipline and distractions. It is so easy to slack off. Luckily, I am organized by nature and freak out if I don’t meet a deadline.

Here is what helped me get closer to my dream:

  • I did not consider it below my dignity to take up a part-time job that paid very little. I saw the silver lining – it got me back into the flow of things. It restored my self-esteem.
  • I kept my eyes open for work from home opportunities.
  • Networking – I built my network before I needed it. There is a huge community out there and you’ve got to go out and connect. Social media has made it easy. You never know – your next big opportunity could be knocking on your door.
  • I interacted with people and was helpful.
  • I took my time management seriously. Oh, initially it is very liberating to work from home. But I pretend to go to work every day and dress for the part.
  • Practicing discipline is really tough, but I did it.
  • Once I looked at writing as a possible career option, I took up all sorts of work so I could gain the experience.
  • I was prepared to take risks.
  • I took stock of my talents, hobbies and abilities and found my passion.
  • I kept an open mind and followed through when something came up.
  • I interact with people offline and online.
  • I invested in personal development. Learning is a lifelong process.
  • Education is never a waste – mine isn’t. It helps me get better writing jobs and a better perspective on subjects.

Most of all, I believed in myself. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have dared to dream and pursue it. My family believed in me and encouraged me. I am very happy I had the guts to take the big step and focus on my priorities at various points in life. I made some deliberate choices. I found my niche and leveraged it.

dare to dream vidya sury 2

Today, it feels very nice to sign off as:

Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer and Business Blogger”

Believe me, it wasn’t an easy transition from a high-paying job with perks to working from home on a variable income. I consider myself lucky to have started off with a strong foundation – a good education, a proactive attitude, the natural tendency to take initiative and not being afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone.

The cherry on the cake is receiving job offers – I still do – and it makes me feel wonderful to know I am marketable.

Do I have a message for you? Yes. I say, go ahead and dare to dream. You can achieve it.

If we want something, and put in the effort, everything is possible. I am happy that I had the courage to walk into something completely different and make it work – and I am grateful to my family, work associates and friends who motivated me all the time, encouraging me to keep my dream in sight.

My ultimate dream

Eight years ago, I was desperate for work to pay my bills. Today I am better off and gift 50% of what I earn, plus all my blog earnings (such as they are) to the welfare homes and children I support. Someday soon, I hope to fully fund an orphanage or an old age home or both.

Above all, I want to do everything I can to make a difference in this world, so that the people whose lives I touch will find themselves smiling, remembering good things, when they think of me. That’s my dream. Because I constantly ask myself:

Postponing Joy

Never underestimate the power of your mind to shape your destiny. (Just had to add that. It is one of my favorite quotes)

Tell me – do you dare to dream? Are you living your dream or getting close to it?

I’d love to hear your story!

 

This post celebrates the prompt “Dream” in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – 2, which concludes today.

Vidya Sury Write Tribe Festival of Words2
Here’s a recap:

Day 1 Dec 8 (Memories) Inspiring Stories: Happy Memories of My Great Grandmother
Day 2 Dec 9 (Food) Food Frauds – Presenting the Dirty Dozen
Day 3 Dec 10 (Books) Book Review The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Day 4 Dec 11 (Music) No Music = No Life
Day 5 Dec 12 (Travel) Planes Trains and Automobiles
Day 6 Dec 13 (People) Vidur Sury Talks About Iconography In Hinduism
Day 7 Dec 14 (Dream) Dare to Dream

Thank you for celebrating with me!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Jairam Mohan
    December 15, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Yes, Vidya, to take that additional step from dreaming to making your dreams a reality is where most people lack the courage and conviction. Stories such as yours are truly inspirational and am hoping encourages more people to take that initial steps towards making their dreams a reality. A fitting finale to a wonderful series of posts in the FOW2 😀
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…The Confession – Chapter 8 – The CafeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    December 15, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Read your post with admiration and a bit of envy too. My journey’s been somewhat similar. Except from when you took up the alternative career.. That’s where I’m floundering still. There are a thousand questions that plague me even when I think of working again. Sigh!

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    December 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I have to add.. It was wonderful having you around during this festival of words.

  • Reply
    Richa Singh
    December 15, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Vidya your post inspired me so much. Everytime I read your posts they speak to me of my own life. Inspire me to do more. And Vidya I am so happy to read that you devote 50% of your earnings for altruistic projects. Love you girl, you stand as a beacon of hope in this big wide world of bloggers…
    Richa Singh recently posted…My five dreams for lifeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Aditi
    December 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    You are such an inspiration to us!! Hats off to you for daring to dream and making it possible…your journey has lessons for each one of us! And you are a rockstar!! Muahh :-*
    Aditi recently posted…Part 8 – Clearing doubtsMy Profile

  • Reply
    kalpana solsi
    December 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    It helps to write down your goals and dreams on paper for everytime one reads , she is reminded of them. This way it becomes easier to stay focussed on the dreams. Its very nice to know that you help the lesser fortunate people.

  • Reply
    iihahs
    December 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Your post is an inspiration to me. Reading through another person’s struggles and finally succeeding gives me hope for my tomorrow. Loved reading your all your posts for Write Tribe Festival. 🙂
    iihahs recently posted…Delhi dreams.My Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy
    December 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Taking that extra step to put your dreams in motion is a little scary…but necessary. So happy for you that you are living the dream. You are an inspiration to us all! ♥
    Kathy recently posted…Dreams HaikuMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kaarina Dillabough
    December 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    You inspire me. Much love, Kaarina
    Kaarina Dillabough recently posted…‘Tis the Season to Wish and Dream: NotMy Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle Liew
    December 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Chasing your dreams truly involves all the suggestions you’ve listed, Vidya. And you truly are a rock star!
    Michelle Liew recently posted…Gratitude for little changesMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    December 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    •I interacted with people and was helpful.*

    This, my dear, is your gift–your mission.

    I love you more than my leopard tree ornament w/ feathers!

    Our purpose on earth is to Serve Others. This is exactly what you are doing, dearest.

    XXXXXXXXXXOOOO
    My Inner Chick recently posted…1315 DaysMy Profile

  • Reply
    Joy
    December 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    You have the most beautiful spirit, Vidya…thank you for being you! I love that you live your dream, and I love *how* you are living it…what an inspiration!

    I am living my dream as well…still needs a bit of alignment and some pieces are ever-evolving – as in sometimes the form of my creative expression varies–but, I am blessed to spend before and after school with my children (who are teens and still enjoy our time together!) and to write and create and facilitate through Facets. I am living what I didn’t even know existed for me, and what many said would be impossible. Kind of fun (which is good to remember on the days that stretch my heart!). Love and gratitude to you!

  • Reply
    Rainbow Hues
    December 16, 2013 at 2:12 am

    This post is so inspiring and I wish I can take the leap too…like you…soon enough!

    Guess…I just need to work on the dream I dared to see 🙂
    Rainbow Hues recently posted…My Best Friend’s WeddingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Suzy
    December 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    You have a beautiful dream. Mine is similar. Someday I hope to work in the humanitarian aid arena particularly in the area of children. You are awesome Vidya.
    Suzy recently posted…My Personal Journey with DreamsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Seeta
    December 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Such a beautiful post Vidya! and you already know how much it means to me.. Thank you for this! 🙂
    Seeta recently posted…The Silence Of The WriterMy Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    December 16, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Vidya,
    It inspires me when i read any story where the person has overcome upheavals of various kinds.And your undulating working life is something worth learning from.Thanks for the ispiration Vidya.
    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…Create Balance For PeaceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Fran Sorin
    December 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Oh Vidya –
    You continue to be a source of inspiration. When I finish reading your posts, I always take a deep breath at the end and give thanks for you – and the beauty you bring into this world. With love – Fran
    Fran Sorin recently posted…You always have a choice on how to liveMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Fran Hugs! You always make me feel so good! By the way, I thought of you a lot last week while traveling – I met a friend (I wrote about her in my next post). She has a beautiful terrace garden and I was wishing you were there with me. Over 30 varieties of hibiscus, 30 year old bonsai trees – and lots of rare vegetables and medicinal plants, besides the flowering varieties – all made me think of you :). I took loads of photos. Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Do You Have Type 2 Diabetes?My Profile

  • Reply
    Diana Natasha Pinto
    December 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    This was truly inspiring Vidya. I’m amazed to hear the successful story of your career and how you made your dream come true. Words of wisdom for people who would love to follow your footsteps.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Dilligard
    December 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Yes. I dare to dream and dare to make it happen.
    Kathryn Dilligard recently posted…http://www.thesiteowl.comMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    December 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR, Vidya, truly!! 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Bankerupt By Ravi SubramanianMy Profile

  • Reply
    vishalbheeroo
    December 18, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Well, my dream has suffered a setback despite being in the writing business for three years. In fact, I shifted job but I know I will jump back soon. Thanks for the advice, rockstar:)
    vishalbheeroo recently posted…Festival of Words 2: People on Day 7My Profile

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    December 22, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Vidya – It’s just wonderful how you worked so diligently at making this dream come true! I know just how open you are to learning, but even more to sharing your knowledge and all that certainly helped you to be where you are present. Thank you for being a great role model to so many – including me! 🙂
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Understanding People?My Profile

  • Reply
    Proactive Indian
    December 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Vidya, it’s inspiring to see how you make the best of any situation, not only by your positive attitude, but by meticulous planning and efficient execution of plans!
    Proactive Indian recently posted…Do we walk the talk?My Profile

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