When asked about our life goals, most of us say, "I wish to become successful in life.” But not all of us are able to meet our goals. You will see people around you who are in the same profession as you are, working for the same number of hours as you do but your end results might differ. To find success in life it is important to work hard and make constant efforts. But what is more important is to keep making efforts in the right direction. If you follow your heart and do what you love, success will follow.
Steve Jobs once said, "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” In the thousand pages of history, you will find the examples of people who followed their hearts and became a massive success.
One such example is CA Sakshi Gupta. Sakshi is a qualified Chartered Accountant, she is still in her 20’s but has so many achievements in her bag which most Chartered Accountants fail to make in their entire career. She is currently part of the Business Operations & Strategy team at LinkedIn, which is the largest professional networking site of the world and is passionately contributing to the mission of creating economic opportunities for every individual of the global workforce. Before starting her job at LinkedIn, Sakshi has also worked with very reputed organizations like BCG and Unilever. She has not only achieved milestones in her professional career but has also had an excellent academic journey. She has been awarded as the best lady candidate by the ICAI(Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) and has been a rank holder at two levels of CA Exams.
The work that Sakshi does is not limited to her job but goes way beyond it. She actively enjoys career counseling and does research freelancing though her own venture called 'Counsulterpreneur'. "Hard work is definitely important, but what’s more important is, how do you feel about the work you’re doing”. said CA Sakshi Gupta when enquired about what motivates her to keep working towards her goal. She emphasized that 'the mindset' that a person has towards their target is the most important push.
We at CAclubindia did an exclusive conversation with CA Sakshi Gupta, she gave us interesting insights from her professional and personal experiences. She enjoys reading and has a thing for tea!
So we present to you the very inspiring story of CA Sakshi Gupta.
Ques 1. We are well aware that hard work is the most vital input for success, but we also know it's equally important to learn to channelize this hard-work in the right direction. Sakshi you have been awarded the best lady candidate by the ICAI and have the experience of working with the most reputed organizations of the country? Please tell us how do you always maintain being driven in the right direction?
Ans. Hard work is definitely important, but what’s more important is "how do you feel about the work you’re doing”. One thing I’ve learned so far in my career is that it is important and courageous to show up, but it’s more important to show up for the right reasons. Every time I’m in a situation where I feel, I’m not showing up for reasons that make me feel good or happy, I think about ways to change the situation or find a better situation. To my fellow CA aspirants, I would request that you regularly check-in with yourselves and think about what you want and what would make you happier. The only way to remain driven is when you enjoy spending time on whatever you’re doing.
Ques 2. Sakshi not only did you clear your exams with flying colors but you have also made a name for yourself in the industry. Please walk us through your professional journey as a Chartered Accountant so far.
Ans. Just like every CA aspirant, I was clueless at IPCE on how the journey will pan out. My journey though not uncommon was a bit unconventional. I struck luck when I found myself at HUL for industrial training, surrounded by diverse folks from various academic backgrounds which ultimately pulsed my motivation to join consulting. Though, I did not get a CA rank in the finals, I managed to crack BCG. BCG has been an amazing journey and something very close to my heart – it taught me all the foundations on which I built my career. I left BCG to try out a stint in investing at a Global PE firm TA Associates, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There I discovered my love for the tech industry, and a push for greater exposure in that field pushed me to pursue my current role at LinkedIn.
I’ve tried multiple things and I’ve been fine. I learnt everywhere. For those who ever feel scared making a different move, do it. You’re young, you’re learning and it’s okay to try out things you feel you might like. Have the conviction that if it doesn’t work out, you’ll be okay. As popularly said, "it’s better to be on the lower rung of the right ladder than on the higher rung of the wrong one”
Ques 3. Tell us something about your initiative "Consultapreneuer". What is the most satisfying aspect of your work as a freelance researcher?
Ans. Consultaprenuer stemmed from meeting multiple angel investors while working on a business idea. It was a quick realization that they were facing issues in making the right investment decisions due to a lack of time/effort to do research and finding the right companies. Love for research and analysis motivated me to start freelancing. Now I’ve also diversified to include a consultation to start-up founders and helping them find direction. Though overall work is satisfying, the insight of meeting new people and knowing their stories and why they do what they do inspires me and helps me find my own direction in life.
Ques 4. You say that you actively enjoy career counseling. I am sure a lot of CA Students must have approached you for seeking career guidance. As a career counselor, what is the most common question that you get from CA Aspirants/ Qualified Chartered Accountants, and what do you suggest to them?
Ans. I always try helping them to find a way or a career path in what they enjoy doing. Generally most aspirants are confused between a high paying job and a job which they really like – my work is to help them with frameworks to enable their decision making.
Ques 5. The work that you do goes beyond your job. How do you manage to make time for yourself? What do you enjoy doing during your free time?
Ans. I love reading. I’m a blog junkie. I really enjoy well written, diverse blogs on various subjects and love making notes from it (not that I refer them later), but the idea of reading a well-summarised point of view on a very long and exhaustive topic stimulates me intellectually. I also love trying out different types of tea, I generally have more than 10+ varieties of tea in my house at any given point of time.
Ques 6. You are currently working at LinkedIn, which is the world’s largest professional networking site. What advice would you like to give to Chartered Accountants so that they can make the most of this platform?
Ans. Have a good profile, build a good and robust network, regularly reach out and connect with alums. People underestimate how important a network can be in finding the right job/next opportunity.
Ques 7. Due to COVID-19 how do you think the job opportunities for Chartered Accountants in 2020 are going to respond?
Ans. I personally believe that there will be upswing in self-started businesses, which is always good for the CA community. Given CA is a comprehensive course, I don’t foresee any concerns in terms of jobs that will be relevant. CAs have generally adapted well to changes in the business environment, and I think this one will be won over too.
Ques 8. Kindly extend a message to all the members of CAclubindia on how to utilize their time amidst this pandemic?
Ans. Have a fun time with your family, stay safe and (try) learn a new skill. I recently chatted with a CA aspirant who learnt basics of data science and is now interning for a well-funded start-up and helping them understand data. Find your own thing to learn – it can even be as simple as making tea or as different as learning a new language. I’ve recently started learning to meditate taking inspiration from my mom and I have found it to be life-changing.
Working with LinkedIn has given CA Sakshi Gupta a deep insight into corporate careers/jobs and the relevant skillset necessary to survive in the upcoming market. Team CCI wishes that you take advice from the forerunners and add knowledge and skills to your personality with CAclubindia.
Catch us live on Instagram with Sakshi Gupta on the 12th of June. We will be talking about Career Development and Opportunities for CA. Have any questions? Shoot them in the comment section below.
This interview was taken by Vaishali Dhek, Assistant Editor, CAclubindia
Paritosh Joshi- Senior Content Writer, CAclubindia
Vaishali Dhek- Assistant Editor, CAclubindia