Being yourself at work is not a myth

A candid chat with our Engineering team member - Abhishek Rastogi

Our first job always has a special place in our hearts. The first time we are no more seen as a student and are entrusted with greater responsibilities. The first time we get to call a spot our own work-desk. The first time when a colleague who was just an acquaintance becomes a buddy for tea breaks.

Abhishek Rastogi, one of the youngest members of our Rocketium family joined us as a Software Engineer in March 2019. While in a way this is his first job but still, not literally his first job.

Confused..? His responses below from a candid conversation will reveal the story for you!

Let’s begin by pulling off the curtain from the confusion first. So, is Rocketium the first company you started working at?

Abhishek: Haha Sure! No, Rocketium is not my first company. Even before I had graduated, I was working as a remote employee for a German company. In the last year of my engineering, I came across an opportunity on AngelList to which I applied and I eventually earned that offer. It was after 1.5 years of working with them that I realised it was time to take a step ahead. I needed to look for some mentoring and guidance to upscale my career further. Working remotely all the time was beginning to get on my nerves.

So one day, in one of the Slack communities that I am a part of, I posted about looking for new opportunities. Fortunately, a then employee of Rocketium was also a part of that community. He saw that post and reached out to me. He explained all the nuances of the opportunity and everything that it had in store for me. And well, the rest is history. I became a part of the engineering team here in March 2019.

Moving to Bangalore was new for you. There was also going to be a huge shift in the nature of the work environment considering that you had only experienced remote work before. What do you have to share about this whole experience?

Abhishek: The change was quite big but not discomforting. Moving to a new city far away from Lucknow, came with its own set of opportunities and challenges. Like anyone else, I had also heard a lot about three things that identify Bangalore - opportunities for techies, traffic, and weather. Right when I relocated, I chose to find an accommodation closest to the office. Eventually, the new city and new environment fell in place.

The experience of moving to a physical work environment after working remotely for 1.5 years, came with its own share of inhibitions and excitement. But I knew I had to do this to bring back my social life, self-discipline, and earn a lot of new learning.

Which part of working at Rocketium is the most favorite to you?

Abhishek: Let me start by sharing something honestly here. I had always heard of the work environment at Indian companies as very alarming. More than the success stories, it was the horror stories that crowded my mind. Incidents where your boss tries to overpower you, or where you’re forced to stay quiet and follow the instructions of the top management. All of these notions held me back from trusting the value propositions that companies made while hiring.

But joining Rocketium brought all my fears to a stand-still. Despite being the youngest, my abilities have never been deduced from my experience. It is my potential that I’m recognized for. There is freedom of not only ideas but also of choosing projects and timelines. And not to forget mentioning, never have I ever been micro-managed. From everyday processes to finances, to sales figures, to hiring criteria, there is transparency in the tiniest of things!

It is this unprecedented freedom to work that I enjoy the most!

When not busy coding, what can you be often found doing?

Abhishek: With the 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. work schedule I happen to find ample time for myself. Most of the time I can be found at the gym, working out and lifting. Other times I usually practice playing the guitar.

I’m also an avid reader of fiction. A big fan of modern mystery novels. At present, I’m reading Agatha Christie’s collection of short stories. Trust me they’re really good, I recommend you read them too!

Do you think Rocketium is a good place for a budding Engineer to start their career?

Abhishek: There is no way I won’t recommend young engineers to work at Rocketium. I joined with my own share of insecurities which vanished over time. I was even more comfortable after I got to know the team more. The leaders, the culture, the mentorship, everything is just so right and makes me visualise a better tomorrow for myself.

At least from my point of view, one doesn’t often find a workplace where everyone is collectively aiming towards a business goal and at the same time building you as a person too! Rocketium lets your voice echo, welcomes your opinions, and blesses you with mentors for life.

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