Rachna Gothi

“The triggers for my career decisions have constantly evolved… and I’m glad I paid attention to each of them.

As an Economics Masters’ student, I was fascinated with Empirical Research. The big plan was to continue my education in the research world through a PhD/ MPhil.

But fate had something else in store for me. My father met with a serious accident that caused financial constraints at home, and my first career motivator became finding a job that paid well.

Early into my first job at a Market Research firm, I found my second (and key) motivator – work satisfaction. This propelled me into the world of Analytics where I spent the next 10 glorious years.

Despite staying rooted to analytics, I managed to explore. From Consultancy and E-commerce to Banking, I tried it all and learnt a lot through the process. But in a space dominated by IITians and MBA grads, I had to work hard and fight my way to even land an interview. Attending 7 interviews when everyone else skated by with 3 and accepting positions well below my current designation became my reality, but I was ready for it.

Through my journey, I also had to make some tough (and sometimes counterintuitive) career decisions. When I realised I preferred a collaborative work environment to the competitive one in consultancy, I gave up the coveted H-1B US visa and came back to India. When I had to choose between career growth and personal life, I gave up my promotion and moved locations to be with my then-boyfriend, now-husband.

But thinking back, the clarity I had in my priorities was critical in my career journey. I had to work hard to make up for the opportunities I gave up and ask for what I wanted to create new ones. And these 2 practices became the key ingredients to my success.

Through my 10 years in Analytics (6 at my dream job in American Express) I discovered yet another motivator – the eagerness to learn. So, when I felt like I’d hit my learning peak in Analytics, I jumped ship to pursue a career in a brand new domain – Product Management.”

Rachna Gothi is #5 of #100careertransitionstories