Hi! My name is Satinder, and while this is the first time you’re reading a blog post from me, I’ve actually been working behind the scenes at Popforms for a few months now. My primarily role has been to assist with written content for the products we’ve released recently, under the amazing guidance of KateM & KateS!
Three weeks ago, after I graduated from college, I joined the Popforms team full time! While I’ve had the chance to become acquainted with our tiny Popforms team, I haven’t had the chance to meet many of you, the superstars that are steadily shining in your careers and creating opportunities every day.
So I thought I’d take a break from my regular writing projects and share a bit about my journey to Popforms. :)
Working for Popforms wasn’t my Plan A.
It wasn’t my Plan B either.
I didn’t even know Popforms existed six months ago, so how could it have been my Plan A? I’m notorious for having my plan A, B, and C plotted out a year in advance of when other people begin thinking about their plans, so needless to say, this was a bit of a surprise career move for me.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
When I heard about Popforms for the first time, I was just starting my last semester of college. Popforms was not part of the master plan that I’d spent years detailing and perfecting.
My plan has been law school for as long as I can remember. I did competitive debate in high school and got recruited to debate for one of the most competitive colleges in the debate circuit. I’ve always been good at research and writing; combined with my passion for public speaking, law school just made sense as the next step.
However, I’m open to the idea that rarely does anything in life happen exactly according to a plan. But, that doesn’t stop me from having a thorough plan laid out most of the time. I’ve always had a plan because I believe that planning is the key to setting and reaching goals. I believed that before I came to Popforms and now I get to help others believe it too.
At first glance, Popforms was sort of a detour for me. When I chatted with KateS on the phone for the first time about doing a writing assignment for Popforms, I thought it’d be a temporary gig.
Popforms was growing and they needed someone to lighten the load, and I needed to save up for law school while I finished up my bachelor’s degree. I figured it’d be like taking the more scenic option that Google maps showed, instead of opting for the easiest one. I knew my last semester would be hard: I’d have to balance academics, working part time for Popforms, and my social life, but it’d be worth less law school debt.
New opportunities are exciting. Risks are terrifying.
Most of us welcome the term “opportunity,” but we avoid risks like the plague. Risks imply leaving something safe to venture into uncertain territory. Most of the time, though, opportunities are risks, and risks are opportunities.
Since I’m a compulsive planner, I’d begun applying for post-graduation jobs in December of my senior year. I knew I wanted a gap year between undergrad and law school, so I’d sought out dozens of law-related positions. In the meantime, though, I was beginning to learn an immense amount from KateS about Popforms, tech startups, and writing.
In March, I had a really lucky week: I got four job offers. One was a legal assistant position that I’d been *really* hoping for. I was ready to sign a contract with them the day that KateS told me that they wanted me to join the Popforms team full time.
The legal assistant position fit perfectly into my linear plan. But Popforms offered an opportunity that I knew I’d probably never see again, even armed with a law degree.
So I took the job at Popforms, not knowing how it would fit into my bigger plan. I yet didn’t know how I’d explain to law schools why Popforms was a valuable experience. All I knew was I enjoyed the work I did for Popforms, and I believed it helped people, which meant I helped people.
Detours are inevitable. Detours aren’t punishments or disasters; just like in traffic, when you look at the big picture, a detour is just an alternative way of reaching our intended destination. Some detours are unexpected obstacles, while others are welcome surprises. The path to our dream careers, regardless of what career that is, is never linear; it’s filled with a lot of choices that define which direction we go.
Eventually detours lead you to your original destination.
What I do at Popforms fits in the context of my other goals too; I just didn’t know it when I started.
Graduate schools want students who have a strong sense of why want to enroll in their program. The reason I enjoy my work at Popforms is the same reason I want to attend law school: I enjoy helping others. Especially when I can employ my research and writing skills to help others.
Working at a law firm would have allowed me to help others too, but not to the extent that Popforms does. Popforms may be a detour on my way to law school, but it’s one that is teaching me transferable skills that will be far more valuable in law school than any other job could have offered.
Even if you lose, you’ll gain something.
Taking risks offers an invaluable life experience.
You learn about yourself in unfamiliar settings, discover interests you didn’t know you had, and acquire new skills you didn’t think you were capable of. Before Popforms, I would never have told someone I am a writer; but now the majority of my job involves writing content, and I absolutely love telling people about what I do.
In hindsight, working for Popforms feels natural. I’ve always enjoyed researching and writing. More importantly though, I really, *really* believe in the tools that Popforms creates so working never feels like “work.” Every day is an opportunity to help people be better at what they do and create their own opportunities. It’s hard for me to express how amazing it is that I get to be a third of the Popforms team and contribute in ways that I’d never get to as a twenty year old at a law firm.
Leaving a chosen path isn’t easy.
It’s easy to cling to a familiar path. Taking an opportunity means taking a risk. What I’ve learned is that sometimes we have to let go of what we’ve planned in order to gain something even better.
One of the best things about paths is that there are many ways to get to the same place. Some may take longer, and some may be harder, but you can always end up where you want to be, even if you take some detours along the way. Putting off law school and turning down an opportunity to work in a law firm was not an easy choice for me, but I knew those things would always be there. What I was being offered at Popforms would not.