Civil Engineer to Writer: How the Pandemic Forced Me to Quit My Job

The story of what it takes to pursue your passion full-time.

Civil Engineer to Writer: How the Pandemic Forced Me to Quit My Job
(Image from the author’s Instagram)

The story of what it takes to pursue your passion full-time.

In September 2021, I quit my Central Govt job at NIT Silchar and my Ph.D. at IIT Guwahati to become a full-time writer.

I’ve often talked about how life has been after this transition, but I rarely talked about the reasons that pushed me to take such a drastic step.

This post is about that.

I have tasted significant success in my research career. If you take a look at my Google Scholar profile, I’ve published papers in some reputed journals and conferences.

If the pandemic hadn’t hit, I’d probably still be a researcher.

So, what changed during the pandemic?

Because we were all working from home, I got a lot of time for myself.

The pre-pandemic life of an academician

Earlier, I used to work in my office from 9 AM to 7 PM, then come back home, go for a run, have dinner, and only manage to find 30 minutes to write at night.

You can imagine how exhausted I was.

I could barely write a few words per day.

But after I started working from home, I could devote 2–3 hours daily to writing.

This was the time my writing flourished.

I published one article every day, and within a few months, I started seeing results — my writing improved, my followers grew, and I started making money.

The turning point

September 2020 was the first time I made more money from my writing than my job’s salary.

I was so happy that I called my best friend and danced around the room.

I had reached the level where I knew I could get to incredible heights if I devoted 5–6 hours a day to writing.

But if I did that, my research career would suffer.

On the other hand, if I postponed writing to concentrate on research, I knew I would probably never be able to reach this level of traction again in my writing.

I knew I had to pick one.

The two sides of the coin

I had given ten years of my life to studying engineering.

But I had loved writing since I was in school.

I spent 6+ months thinking, overthinking, and weighing the pros and cons. A quote by Lewis Caroll was the tipping point that helped me decide:

“IN THE END… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”

I knew sticking to research and my job was the safest option.

But I also knew I would regret it later if I didn’t give my writing career a chance. I didn’t want to live with the regret all my life that I never gave my dreams a chance to flourish.

And so, on 5th September 2021, I submitted my resignation letter. It was the hardest decision of my life.

But it’s also the bravest, most audacious step I’ve taken.

One year since I have zero regrets. All I have is gratitude.

How the journey has been so far

On September 5th 2022, I completed one year of being self-employed.

The journey hasn’t at all been what I expected.

It’s been so much more.

  • More fulfillment.
  • More lives impacted around the world.
  • More amazing clients.
  • More time to explore what I truly want.
  • More freedom to learn new skills.
  • More adventure.
  • More fun.
  • More contentment in my heart as I go to bed each day.

Sure, every day is not an uphill ride. There are challenges, as you might well expect, but I’m dealing with them one day at a time.

Thank you, dear Medium family, for being a part of this journey. The good things are just getting started. Stay tuned for more awesome updates to come.

Have you made a career switch that took 100% of your courage? Are you considering making one? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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