Not sure what you want to do next—besides just walk out of your office and quit.
Don’t panic, because you can balance your work and passion together just like this amazing Chartered Accountant Aashna Bhatia.
In fact: In today’s article, Aashna Bhatia shares with us her exact strategy of managing two careers – working full time as a CA at a Big 4 Accounting firm and being a Radio Jockey.
Presently, Aashna works at EY in their Assurance team from Mon – Fri and on Saturday’s she fulfills her passion of being a Radio Jockey at All India Radio’s FM rainbow Channel (107.1 Mhz).
If managing two careers is on your mind this article will help and motivate you greatly.
My Journey becoming a Chartered Accountant and Radio Jockey
I have been raised in a house where RADIO is given more importance than TV.
As a kid every time I heard the RJ’s, I had this deep desire of being on the other side speaking to different people, sharing my opinion which could reach thousands of people.
It was not just a desire, it was a DREAM.
And I can proudly say I am living this dream since Jun’14 with All India Radio’s FM rainbow Channel (107.1 Mhz).
I have been an RJ for more than 3 years, this 11th Nov’17 was my 190th time on AIR.
Here’s my story:
After grade 12, most of my friends decided to pursue CA from ICAI.
It is very normal for students in India who score well in school to go ahead and pursue Chartered Accountancy (if in the commerce stream). So I went with the flow and did the same.
What about my dream of becoming an RJ? I had no immediate plan of becoming an RJ or pursuing it, so that was on hold.
To be a Chartered Accountant from ICAI, one needs to clear 3 levels of exams:
- CPT: First level. You have to give this exam if you register for the CA course before graduating. I registered for CPT after class 12. Cleared in first attempt (most people do!).
- IPCC: Second level exam. This consists of 2 groups – Group 1 & 2. Cleared in 3rd attempt.
- CA Final: Last level of CA exam and has again 2 group – Group 1 & 2. Took many attempts again.
- 3 years of articleship training: This starts after you clear IPCC, either both groups or anyone of them.
Academically I have been very strong throughout my school and college days, so CPT was not at all difficult to crack. I cleared it in ONE GO.
Then came IPCC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 & Group 2 which is now known as IPC).
I failed IPCC the 1st and 2nd attempt by a few marks.
It felt miserable but I knew I had to keep going so I pushed myself and cleared PCC in the 3rd attempt.
I then started my three years of articleship at a CA firm in Mumbai (India).
CA Final Journey:
Now I just had one last level to clear – CA Final Exams.
Here are the nos of attempts I gave for CA Final exams:
CA Final 1st attempt – Failed
CA Final 2nd attempt – Failed.
A lot of people gave up on me, some even went to the extent of TELLING ME on my face that I would NEVER EVER become a Chartered Accountant.
Was I upset? YES.
Did people JUDGE ME? YES.
Did all this HURT ME? YES, I am human I felt like crap.
Every time I failed I CRIED. I used to feel GUILTY.
At the same time, it wasn’t fun studying the same thing again.
CA Final 3rd attempt – Failed.
I kept telling myself – Cry as much as you want to, but make sure you don’t cry for the same reason ever again.
The fighter in me DID NOT GIVE UP.
CA Final 4th attempt – I cleared and was a ‘Qualified Chartered Accountant (CA)’.
My Journey becoming a Radio Jockey
I cleared CA Finals in July’ 13 and just a few months later i.e. in Oct’ 13 All India Radio came up with their auditions.
A month later, I was informed that I am one of those 10 people who got selected from 200-250 applicants all over Mumbai.
We were given one week of training in Mar’14 in order to understand the technicalities.
And since Jun’14, I have been doing Saturday evening shows (7 pm – 10 pm) on All India Radio’s – FM Rainbow Mumbai (107.1 Mhz).
I do not know what do you call it, but I was rewarded for being BRAVE. Destiny did plan everything so beautifully.
Along with being an RJ, I am also working with Ernst & Young.
So Mon to Fri I am a CA and Saturday’s an RJ, such a colourful life.
How I Manage Two Careers – Working as a CA and Radio Jockey
It’s tough managing two professions, considering every other month there is some or the other deliverable to be taken care of at work.
At times I even work on Saturday’s, still, I have not missed any of my show THANKS to my seniors who understand my passion and let me leave early.
Also hosting a radio show can be quite a challenge – scripts need to be timed down to seconds and I have to write for the ‘listener’s eyes’ because the words I speak need to create a picture in their minds.
I write my own scripts and choose my own playlist (most of which is done while traveling from home to work). And all my shows are LIVE. Nothing is pre-recorded.
All this has inculcated a huge sense of responsibility and freedom.
Radio Jockeying also taught me values like DISCIPLINE & TIME MANAGEMENT.
Messages and calls from listeners stating that my show made their day or brought a smile to their faces makes life amazing.
It is a privilege to be a part of All India Radio family – a place which gave us Radio jockeys like – Mr. Ameen Sayani.
My advice to all the other aspiring RJ’s / CA’s or anyone who wants to pursue alternate professions:
- IT’S ALL POSSIBLE. Just follow your heart, it knows what’s right for you.
- Believe in yourself. It’s okay to be IMPERFECT.
- It’s okay to FAIL, as long as you realize what went wrong and double your efforts the next time.
Bonus: Advice from Chartered Accountant who Balance Two Careers
Rohit Mittal, Chartered Accountant & Singer
“I always knew I wanted to be an EDUCATED MUSICIAN.
I am working full time and also pursuing my career in Singing.
Being a Chartered Accountant gives me the liberty to pursue my dream – To be a musician without any fear.”
Keshav Aggarwal, Chartered Accountant and Radio Jockey
“Fortunately I cleared all the Chartered Accountancy exams in the first attempt at the age of 21.
My life was sorted from the outside however from within I was still looking for something.
One day on a holiday, I realized – I had to live my dream of working at a Radio Station. After all, if I did not, I would regret my entire life. On returning I quit my job and chased my dream.”
Now It’s Your Turn…
Would you want to pursue work and passion?
Have you ever dreamt of being a Radio Jockey (RJ)?
Comment below and let me know.
You can follow me on – Aashna Bhatia.
Also please Tune in every Saturday on All India Radio’s – FM RAINBOW channel (107.1 Mhz) at 7 pm IST to hear me.