“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Yeah, the quote doesn’t make any sense, unless you’ve read the works of L. Frank Baum. And even if you have, it may not fit here. It just seemed appropriate to start with a quote so you can get a gist of what is about to come, or if you should even read this. However, not everything is about making sense and having it all figured out. Sometimes, you need to live life as it is. Take a day at a time. Wait…is this another philosophical blog about the meaning of life? Nope. It’s about not being afraid to take a leap of faith. It’s about leaving something behind, only to find something amazing ahead. If this seems interesting, this might be for you. If not, well, spare a minute or two so the average session time goes up on this blog.
Right, Right and Right
It doesn’t take much to become a better person, just the right people, the right environment, the right place. Okay, that’s a lot of rights. But how do you know who the right people are, what the right environment is, where the right place is? The answer is simple. You don’t. At least not right away. There might be a little inkling in your gut. But you really don’t know till you’ve been there and done that. And that my friend, assuming we’ve become friends since you’ve read so far, is my story.
Drumroll (because build-up)
A little background about my journey before I came to Niswey. I’ve lived in 6 countries, met some fantastic people, and worked at random places. It’s been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Before I joined Niswey, I lived in New York City and worked at an Indian television station. By now you’re probably thinking that it sounds like a pretty great deal. But you ever get that feeling where you think that you’re meant to do something else? Something more meaningful, something that drives you to learn more and grow into a better version of yourself? That’s how I felt. Wanting to do something a lot more meaningful with my life. I just didn’t know what that’d be.
After 3 years of living and working in New York, I moved to New Delhi. There was no plan. No job prospects lined up, no idea whether there were jobs even available for graphic designers, absolutely no idea of how the Indian work environment was. All I’d heard was friends cribbing about their work in different cities in India. Their bosses being jerks and petty office politics. Was I even cut out for something like this? No idea!
A few months of settling in and catching up with friends, I figured it was time to test out adulting in India. Time to get myself a job! By then I had prepared myself mentally and figured I’ll just become like my friends who crib about their jobs. Heck, I’d fit right in!
All it takes is one line!
As I was perusing through different social media platforms, I landed upon a LinkedIn post. Niswey needed a graphic designer. As I looked at the job description, I realized I didn’t know about anything these guys were talking about. But they did need a graphic designer, and I knew a little about that! In that job description, one line stood out, “Most important: Willingness to learn” and that’s where I got my inkling, that this might just be the right place.
Fast forward through applying, a telephonic interview to a face-to-face interview. The final round. I enter the office on a Saturday afternoon. Three people are sitting in a cozy conference room, with their laptops in front. After the initial “hello, how are you?” we get to talking about my life and what I’ve done so far. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but it didn’t seem like an interview. It seemed like four people catching up. There was laughter, discussions on life, the future, the will to learn and the joy of doing what you loved. I think that’s what broke the tension, the simple fact that everyone in that conference room had or wanted joy from their work.
A Year and a place like no other
It’s been more than a year at Niswey, and I’ve met amazing people. People who inspire me to become better than I was yesterday. It’s fascinating to see how people from different backgrounds have come together to become this unstoppable force of wisdom. There are leaders and there are people on their way to becoming leaders. No one follows anyone blindly. Niswey is a flat organization and because of that, we’re not bound by the pressures of hierarchy. I can easily go up to the CEO and ask the status of a task under my ownership. I can tell the COO that he needs to work on his jokes. An intern can demand the Tech Consultant, who happens to have way more experience than her, to come in on time because she has some work for him. It doesn’t take any effort to see that there is something special at Niswey.
I like to think of myself as a practical person. Even when I was little, I broke watches to find out how they worked. I like the hands-on approach to learning. Maybe that’s why Niswey seemed even more of a fit for me. Within the first month, I was sitting in front of a client and receiving design feedback. Interacting with clients has helped me realize how they think and what their expectations are first-hand. It has definitely made me a better graphic designer and helped me level-up my project management skills. Due to experiences like these, I am on my way to becoming a leader.
I am learning a lot as a graphic designer, however, I am learning so much more as a marketer as well. I honestly never thought I’d know Google Analytics or even realize how important it is for data-driven design. I know Adwords, Mailchimp, SEMrush, Sharpspring, and other softwares which I’d never realized can be used for effective marketing and designing. Heck, I’ve even starred in an online web-series called Niswatch. And this is all in just 365 days! If I could draw my own growth chart for the past 365 days, I wouldn’t be able to because it’d be off the charts!
We realize that people have their own dreams that might not be work related. We help them realize those dreams, help them set up a game plan to achieve those dreams. Every goal session, we discuss what others in the company want from their lives, how are they fulfilling their personal and professional goals. In that process, we’ve realized that Niswey is a company filled with dreamers, writers, poets, entrepreneurs, yogis, hikers and fitness freaks wanting to change the world for the better.
When people work hard, they need to relax a little bit. For that, we at Niswey, take trips to places like Lansdowne and Solan just to unwind ourselves. Play a few games, eat a little more than usual, sing a few songs and drink a few drinks. And also, on most Friday evenings, Niswey becomes a chill zone where everyone gathers to get the weekend started with a little help of some good ol’ cocktails. And like Ne-Yo & Akon famously said “It’s the only thing we know how to do. Work hard, play hard.”
I took a leap of faith. Moved across an entire ocean and a continent to land up in Niswey. This past year, I can honestly say that I’ve learned more than anywhere I’ve worked or studied. Niswey isn’t about just professional growth, it’s about personal growth as well. It’s about becoming better versions of yourself with each passing day. Niswey has set up a work culture that is way beyond anything that you could’ve imagined in India. I don’t fit in with my friends anymore because I don’t crib about work, petty office politics or jerk bosses. So, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore, we’re at Niswey, and that my friend, is better than anywhere else I’d rather be.