Be a Fridayer (...and make peace with your paapi-EMI-ka-sawaal-hai corporate job!)
by Karthik Srinivasan on Saturday, January 4, 2014
- Session type
- Technical level
What is a Fridayer, you ask? Just like offices (with usually strict guidelines on attire) allow casuals (smart casuals, as per HR-speak) on Fridays, people have increasingly accepted the attitude, out of the attire, to be part of the day's work culture too. So, you go out for (slightly) long'ish lunches out with colleagues. You book tickets online for the films released that day/weekend. You listen to music in office a bit louder than other days. You feel good! And... you also work.
Imagine... how would it be if all your week days are like this? Like a Friday?
That doesn't necessarily happen by dressing down alone. In my view, it happens when you have something else, besides your paapi-EMI-ka-sawaal-hai work, to indulge into.
Let me put it this way: When someone asks for your name, you say it. The next question is usually, 'What do you do?'. The predominant answer to that is usually based on your job. If you are a professional (lawyer, chartered accountant etc.) you say so. Else, you say you are a project manager. Or, a software developer. Or CEO of XYZ. Or, marketing professional. Why should who you are be decided by where your salary/livelihood comes from?
Very few us can have a livelihood-earning activity that is also a passion. Actors, musicians, writers and (the few of) those who really love their profession.
For everyone else, there is my way - lead a dual life!
Earlier (pre-internet), you had 'hobbies', to keep your sanity. You collected things like stamps and coins to keep your hobby alive. With the internet, you have the world at your disposal - you can either waste hours reading endless articles and status messages of friends... or focus your energies to stick to one topic that you really like and be the best source of information for that.
At some point, you'd notice that you're leading a dual life - one for your passion and one for your EMIs. Did someone say you live only once?
Be a Fridayer like me (saying this as modestly as possible, that is).
I have been a Fridayer long before I coined that word for what I do. I started my first website in 1999, when I was in my first job. It was a website that catalogs plagiarism in Indian film music. In my 3rd job, I started a music review blog which had the mandate (in my head) to break regional language barriers in music reviewing in India. Today, Milliblog is 8+ years old and is quoted in newspaper advertisements of film soundtracks to promote them, just like film advertisements use critics' quotes! Milliblog is perhaps the only one-man blog to be quoted in advertisements like this!
The point? I have been a corporate drone ever since I began working. I have fantasised of being on my own, using some skill I had (I have no idea what!). But, like most confused and unfocused post graduates (MBAs, to be specific), I went with the easier option - join a company. If I was doing just that, I would have lost my soul soon enough. But I went online and extended my interest in music, while I'm actually untrained in any form of music. I just had an 'ear' for music, or, so I believed. I used that ear to build my two blogs from the ground up, promoted them organically (not a penny spent, except my time) and even featured in a Karan Thapar-led debate on music plagiarism in India, and also was featured in a documentary on piracy and copyrights in India.
That is - according to quite a few - quite an achievement for someone who has no roots in music except being a listener.
You could any topic of your choice. The internet, with myriad tools like blog, social networking, Twitter and so on helps you build your interest into something where you can move into and out, in seconds, and alternate between corporate life and your passion. Somehow, this seems like the best of both worlds!
So, even if you are a passionate runner (a non-internet activity), you can use the internet to extend your knowledge and prowess in running, as an activity, and be seen as an expert. Pick any topic and I can help you with a structure with which you can (gradually - doesn't happen overnight) build a profile for your passion and eventually create your second life to live in, besides your office life! You do need to have a passion, first, though!
I won't restrict this session with just me as an example. I have a list of people who have done what I have done - that is, being a Fridayer... use the internet to extend an interest outside of their work area and be seen as a go-to resource for that space!
An active interest in something other than a salary-producing job.
Because... when someone asks me 'What do you do, Karthik?', I say, 'I track music plagiarism. I review music. I'm also a communications professional for 15+ years, with the current avatar being the head of social media for Ogilvy India'.
Even more: The brands that I have conceived and built http://itwofs.com/beastoftraal/2011/08/01/the-brands-that-i-conceived-and-built/