A career trajectory isn’t always smooth. Sometimes you won’t learn that a certain career isn’t for you until you finish your studies and graduate from college or university. Other times you need to do a career switch. You may even move to another country only to learn that you need to update your credentials and education for that area. One professional with experience in this area is Ashish Deb.
Born in Delhi, India, Ashish Deb was interested in IT from a young age, when personal computers were at a very early stage. People saw the computer as the next engineering marvel that would change people’s lives for the next few generations. Ashish could foresee the capabilities of the IT industry and started looking at courses and programs through which he could learn computing skills. He completed a degree program in Electronics and Telecom Engineering. His first role in the industry was working as a service engineer for the Middle East and Asia, where he worked for seven years. He then moved to Canada during the y2k boom in the IT industry and landed a job at one of the top five Canadian banks as a networking engineer.
“It was such an interesting time,” shares Ashish Deb. “Everyone was terrified of what might happen when the Millennium hit. People were withdrawing all their funds from the bank and were preparing for a potentially catastrophic computer system glitch. Obviously, these fears ended up being incorrect. But, it was a major shift for the IT industry and it really made people aware of the capabilities of computers.”
Through working in a new environment in Canada, Ashish Deb saw a need for professionals to increase their IT skills. He partnered with a few friends to start an evening school for teaching IT-related courses in networking, database, and programming. The school gained a lot of popularity with new immigrants and students coming out of college and university.
“I noticed that there was a real need in the market. There were a lot of people coming into Canada or leaving school and they had no idea where to start in their careers with their existing knowledge,” explains Ashish Deb. “As a result, we decided to create programs to empower people to take charge of their careers and really get started at the grassroots level. Sometimes regular school doesn’t teach you everything you need to know, so we wanted to fill that void.”
At this time, Ashish also wanted to establish a stronger bond with his community and decided to get more involved. He helped his community via social services like Costi and HRDC hosting seminars in career counseling, helping people with resume writing, interview coaching, etc. this brought a lot of success to people who were looking for jobs and a good life in Canada, where people from all over the world immigrate to build a better future. Today, Ashish continues to spend his free time helping his local community by volunteering with IT related services and also volunteering for charities back in his home country, India.
“Being involved with my community is very important to me. When I moved to Canada, I needed help to really assimilate into the culture and to continue building on my career. When I got established, I really thought back on what helped me or could have helped me and made it my mission to give back to others with what knowledge I had,” said Ashish Deb.
When asked how he believes one can achieve success in any career, Ashish provided five key tips:
- Understand that you have to start at the bottom and don’t bite off more than you can chew at the beginning of your career. It is called a career ladder for a reason. You have to start where your knowledge lies instead of having this idealistic view of landing your dream job and salary right away.
- Always be aware of current issues and events surrounding your industry. In order to be relevant in your career and industry, you need to be aware of the current conditions and anything that could affect it moving forward.
- Drawing on the previous point, being aware of current issues will allow you to see voids in the industry and then you can begin to come up with a plan to fill that void, whether it is for your current company, future employer, or even through creating your own business.
- Get involved with your community in order to expand your own knowledge and build a solid network of people and professionals.
- While it is important to start at the bottom, always have your long-term goal in mind. IT will help you stay focused to be aware of the next step you need to take in order to move ahead.
At the end of the day, Ashish Deb offers one final piece of advice. He encourages others to always have a dream and aspirations. By having these key aspects, you will be able to stay focused on your goals and what you need to do to achieve them. But, above all, do not forget your family and friends and be respectful of everyone around you.
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