In my post “Nurtured by encouragement” a couple of weeks ago, I invited you, dear readers, to share an experience where someone’s words changed the course of your life, or where your words made a difference in someone’s actions or life. Today, I am excited to share a real-life experience with you from a fabulous and prolific blogger I met not very long ago.
His name is Proactive Indian. No, I do not know his name. But that’s not the point now. What matters is his writing touches the heart and his blog is very thought-provoking. I am very glad I know him. He blogs about social ills, mostly focused around India, shares heartwarming stories from his personal experiences and writes posts that make you keep the faith. In his words, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Indeed.
Here is a page from his own experience where his words of encouragement made a difference in someone’s life.
Presenting our guest, Proactive Indian on The Red Carpet.
What goes around, comes around – A story of encouragement
narrated by Proactive Indian
On a Wednesday morning in February a few years back, our Pune Branch Manager telephoned me. “I’m worried about Deepak. He took a week off to go to Mumbai to meet his US-based cousin. He was to return to Pune on Sunday and report for work on Monday. He’s not returned, there is no communication from him, and his mobile phone appears switched off since Monday.”
Deepak Kumar, an engineering graduate in his late twenties, was our Assistant Branch Manager at Pune. Before he was promoted and transferred to Pune last year, he worked in the Head Office. Easily the best-performing Sales Executive in our company, he was popular with all customers, colleagues and seniors. As Head of Marketing, I interacted extensively with him during his tenure at the Head Office and enjoyed an excellent rapport with him.
I discussed the matter with the H. R. Head and offered to telephone Deepak’s parents who lived in Hyderabad. I had met them when Deepak and I had gone there on a business visit two years earlier. The H. R. Head agreed.
Deepak’s father informed me that Deepak was in Hyderabad since Sunday because he was unwell. When I asked for details of Deepak’s illness, he was evasive. I did not push the matter further, but requested him to ask Deepak to telephone me as soon as possible. I assured him that my call was prompted more by my concern for Deepak’s personal well-being, less by work considerations.
That evening, Deepak emailed me. He said:
I sincerely apologize for causing so much inconvenience to you and to my other seniors.
Please do not worry about my health. I am fine.
I have decided to resign from my job because I have realized that I have been drifting aimlessly all these years. I will take my next step after deciding what my goals in life are.
Please treat this email as my resignation and relieve me with immediate effect. Please send the settlement papers to my residence in Hyderabad.
Sir, I will definitely come to meet you after I am relieved. I do not want to meet you now or even speak with you over phone because I know that you will convince me to change my mind. Please do not get me wrong, Sir. I have the highest respect for you.
I discussed the matter with the H. R. Head, who telephoned Deepak’s father and requested him to inform Deepak that the company would be forced to take serious action if Deepak did not report personally to the Pune branch or to the H. R. Head at the Head Office by 9.00 am the following Monday. I sent a short reply to Deepak’s email stating that the H. R. Head would handle this matter from now on.
On Monday morning, Deepak reported to the H. R. Head and handed in his resignation letter. The H. R. Head returned the letter to Deepak and told him that, while he was free to resign, his resignation had to be forwarded to H. R. by the Marketing Head. He spoke with me on the intercom and I said I could meet Deepak immediately.
The moment of truth
Deepak came over and, without a word, handed me his resignation letter. I read it, placed it on my table, and said, “Deepak, I will not try to stop you from resigning. But I must know exactly why you are resigning. I’ll have to explain to the President why our rising star is leaving all of a sudden. So, why are you resigning? I want facts, not philosophy.”
When Deepak started beating around the bush, I asked him a few questions and he answered honestly. He had taken a week off to spend time in Mumbai with his cousin who was visiting India after a gap of 4 years. Deepak and this cousin had been classmates in engineering college. After graduating, Deepak took up a job in India, while his cousin went to the USA, where he completed his post-graduation and got a job. Deepak was struck by the glaring disparity between his cousin’s financial status and his own. By the end of the week, he was convinced that he was drifting aimlessly. He decided to quit his job right away without thinking it through or even deciding what his next step was going to be.
I realized there was no point trying to reason with Deepak and just told him that quitting his job would only make matters worse. After confirming that until last week, he had generally been quite happy in his present job, I suggested that he should continue in his job, think over his career options and take the next step only after he had a concrete plan of action.
To further his growth prospects, he could apply for an MBA but he would have to wait until next year to enroll in a good institute. A few months down the line, he would have to appear for the entrance examinations for admission in the next academic year.
If he wanted to switch jobs, his employment prospects would drop sharply if he was unemployed when he applied. Also, if he quit his job, he would have no income.
Deepak sees the light
Fortunately, Deepak saw merit in my analysis of his situation. He decided to continue in his present job.
Two months later, he decided that he would do an MBA. He prepared hard for the entrance examinations, performed well and got admission into a highly acclaimed management institute. Eventually he completed the MBA and joined a consulting company. Today he is happily settled there, enjoys job satisfaction and a good salary.
Deepak was one of the lucky people to have seniors who cared enough about him to take the time and make the effort to support and guide him at a crucial point in his life. But, to be very honest, both the H. R. Head and I went the extra mile only because Deepak was special to us, not because of his excellent sales figures, but because of his attitude and behavior towards his work and to all the people he came in contact with. It is truly said, “What goes around, comes around.”
Thank you, Pro.
Dear Readers, please visit Pro’s blog at Proactive Indian
He tweets as @IndianProactive
Some of my favorite posts on his blog are:
But feel free to browse around!
Question for you:
Did you enjoy this inspiring story of encouragement?
Do you have an experience to share?
Let me know in the comments