I had a knack for writing since my childhood, but never thought I would write for a living. I used to write in Bengali rather than English. I had no plan to become a writer. I was more interested in coding and designing. After completing college, I started working in the pre-press division of a renowned newspaper.
Digital was coming up in India; few companies in Kolkata started working on websites and web based products back in 2003/04. There was an ad on TOI that a company was looking for Digital Marketing Executive. I was looking for something like this; such a position in Kolkata – what an opportunity to learn about the new media! Decided to go for an interview and got selected! That was my first job in a digital agency.
Started doing regular SEO stuff. We used to do lots of link building at that time; Google just released some algo updates and people started realizing the importance of contextual link and content as well. Our team leader and founder both were visionaries. They told us how content was going to be important and made it a point that the team develops quality content.
There were few writers in our team; being an introvert I never told anybody that I would like to write – always thought they would not like my writing style. However, I used to envy the writers, needless to say.
We had a very busy online forum there; this forum used to get lots of US traffic – all questions had to be answered and the boards had to be moderated in US day time. There was a writer and moderator for this job. This person took leaves for few days suddenly. And it was a disaster! Hundreds of questions in the forum, many spam posts, private messages, new members etc. etc. etc. The team lead thought he would be able to manage, but ultimately could not.
So he approached me with this urgent task and I agreed to take this up. It was just for few days he said. I never looked at the backend of a php-bb forum earlier. I could not even understand which posts were new and which were unanswered. There were so many boards, so many alerts coming up every few minutes! Worked all night, removed spam posts, answered to important questions, replied to private messages, started some new threads even. Did this until my colleague came back and when he returned, I was an expert moderator!
All team members were happy. I got a special note from the management to work on few writing assignments. They liked my simple writing style. It was such a confidence booster for me. Started writing actively, started my own blogs, did so many writing assignments since then. Got to learn so, so many things while researching on new topics, got to network with so many people to complete my writing assignments.
Today, as I look back, I realize how lucky I was to get to do what I love most. Read something, learn it, understand it to the fullest and help people make full use of it – that is what I am good at and that is what I love.
I am still thankful to my colleague; glad that he was absent and I got the chance to explore the other side of me!
Image courtesy: centrum.org
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