THE YEAR THAT WAS: 2017

As I sit in the familiar comfort of my Razai with a warm cup of Chai in my hand, I couldn't help but notice that it has been 12 months since I smelled the aroma of a cardamom Chai mixed with Delhi's fog! We say this every year, but didn't 2017 just whiz by faster than we could imagine?

2017 for me can only be defined as the year of big transformations. The year that brought with it momentous changes, of positive nature, in both personal and professional aspects.

time, year end, clock
Photo by Szűcs László on Unsplash

Professional Updates

After completing my MBA last year, I toughed out 6-odd months in an internship, then 6 more months in a temporary contract (known in French as Contract Duration Determinée or CDD). However, at the beginning of this year, I was finally able to secure a full-time contract (known as Contrat à durée indéterminée, in short CDI) in a leading global firm. 

Having worked in India for the most part of my professional life, all these contract types were very alien concepts for me. In my previous jobs in India, the process flow was as follows - a company hires you (usually from the first contact to final offer, I have never spent over 4 working days), and then you continue working there till you retire, or you leave by giving a 30-60 days notice. The company can also fire you if they don't like your performance by giving you same notice or compensation for the same. 

However, from what I have gathered, it is quite hard for even private companies to eliminate positions or fire employees due to labor protections in France. For all practical intent and purposes - it is deemed nearly impossible unless there is gross misconduct. Hence, large companies usually require you to go through a trial period of internship or a temporary (fixed duration) contract before they can trust you enough to give you a full-time contract. 

While there is protection for employees (which a surprisingly high number of millennials in France seek), this whole process makes employers very cautious while hiring new people, leading to lack of liquidity in the market. Therefore, you will see people sticking around in the same company or companies having to keep the same people around for decades, even if there is a visible mismatch. Plus making it hard for new talent to get hired properly for a job fitting well for their profile rather than in a firm which is willing to give them a CDI. 

However, having decided to have built my career in France, I am adapting to the prevalent system, and happy to report my CDI contract to you guys. 

Personal Updates

This is the big one - After ~2 long years living on our own, while spending Friday and Sunday nights in Eurostar to travel between Paris and London, the wifey has now relocated to Paris! As some people are calling it - The Khannas Reunited! :)

With that, we have now commenced The Grand Tour of Europe! As our weekly shuttles between London-Paris have come to an end, we have decided to spend our travelling budget on visiting a new country every alternate month - or simply 6 or more new countries every year! 

In terms of cities, this year we visited the regular London, Paris, Delhi, and Hyderabad, along with new additions of Prague (Czech Republic), Copenhagen (Denmark), Champagne (France). Ghent (Belgium) and Lille (France).

We also spent a lot of time exploring the streets, museums, and gardens of Paris. On that note, I think we should cover the Parisian expeditions in a separate post. Something similar to Sahil's post on Paris hall of fame

Onwards! 

For 2018, instead of making several small resolutions - which almost no one ever keeps - I have decided to do six '30 day challenges'! I first heard about the concept in this Ted Talk and was quite intrigued by it. With several small life improvements and personal projects that I am working on in parallel, I think dedicating a month to each of them would be quite interesting as well as productive!

Keep watching this space for more info! Till then...

Wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year 2018!

I should probably write more of these year-end reviews: THE YEAR THAT WAS: 2014