How to prepare along with a job: Tips for working professionals by Sumit Kumar Rai( AIR 54)

1. First of all, you need to have a mindset about your current job. It should be treated as a temporary phenomenon in your life. Assume that it is just a job, it is not something where you want to spend your entire life. Your passion and that burning desire for civil services should be your guiding criteria at your work place. So, treat your job as it is: It is secondary to your preparation. By this I don’t mean that you become too negligent at work. That should not be the case and an aspiring civil servant should never do that. You should have that adequate level of efficiency and professionalism and you should be able to complete all your deliverables within time. Don’t run after appraisals. Even if you get a bad one, it is not the end of your life. A little sacrifice is needed for a noble cause.

2. I suggest that you keep your UPSC preparation a secret affair. I understand that this is applicable mostly to private sector as in public sector one might have to submit NOC and hence revelation.

3. Plan your time up to minutes and in some cases up to seconds also (I actually calculated how much time it takes to remove a laced shoes and a slip on shoes once I come back from office. I know it does not make much sense, but those who fight for seconds will look for all possible savings they can and that’s what I did. By changing from laced shoes to slip-on shoes I saved 30-40 seconds)

4. In initial years of preparation when the focus is on building foundation one will have to work extra hard. I remember waking up at 4 AM and reading for 2-3 hrs before leaving for office by 8 AM. So you have to show extra discipline and hardwork in initial years.

5. It gets difficult to read in evening sometimes due to office fatigue and stress. So set a manageable target in evening, don’t be too greedy.

6. Mornings are best for working professionals as chances of getting disturbed in morning is almost zero. So plan your sleep cycle accordingly. It is better to read with a fresh mind in the morning

7. Don’t wait for hardcopy of newspaper. Start reading pdf copies of newspaper (The Hindu/India express). These are easily available in various telegram groups.

8. Avoid reading on office computers, avoid discussing UPSC topics with colleagues. Stay committed to your work. You can read some news or some articles on your mobile though but do that during tea breaks or during lunch hours. I used to skip lunches and used to read something in that break. You see, you got to be hungry to qualify UPSC :p

9. You have to avoid social gatherings and office parties on purpose. It is just one of the sacrifices you have to make for UPSC.

10. Avoid confrontation at work place as much as you can. A disturbed mind is not good for preparation. You need to be calm as rock to keep your preparation on track.

11. Be respectful and kind: everyone you meet is fighting a different battle. Help someone at workplace if you can. I don’t know how it works but positive energy and blessings find a way to help you.

12. Use telegram extensively as it is faster, saves time and helps in network learning.

13. Use evernote or other online note making platform for making notes. As a working aspirant it is crucial to have an accessible note making platform in any situation. (I have shared my notes at the end of this write up, will give you an idea on how to use evernote).

14. Don’t take decisions in haste if you face any setbacks at any stage of exam: pre, mains or interview. Give a week time and get back to preparation again.

15. Quitting job is not really a solution. Take it as a challenge and assume that you might have to work in even harsher situations and deliver more difficult targets once you become a civil servant. Such a thinking will bring that positive boost to complete you assignments in your current job. It is important to balance UPSC preparation and your professional responsibility.

General Studies Notes by Sumit Kumar Rai on IWRA

All the best.

SKR

Author: Sumit Kumar Rai

AIR 54, CSE 2018| IIT(ISM) Dhanbad | Hindi Poetry | TV series

18 thoughts on “How to prepare along with a job: Tips for working professionals by Sumit Kumar Rai( AIR 54)”

  1. Thank you for your inspiring feedback and making my mind reiterated to keep calm and deliver without failing whatever comes. As every problem has a solution and it could be a best one if planned properly and strategically like your saving 30-40 seconds daily from just a single task. At numbers it will add up to even minutes or hours and also days which helps us in the end collectively..

    1. You got the crux.

      Being a working professional also means you have to focus on time optimisation, efficient planning and show brutal discipline in life. So one gets to become good at many things because of that.

    1. Hello Sumit Sir

      Did you join any offline test series for prelims, may be on weekends? Or was it all online? I’m working in Bangalore and wanted to confirm if it’s wise to join an offline classroom sort of setup for proper simulated env for Prelims. Also, how was it like before prelims for you? Did you quit or applied for sabbatical (rare case). Do share your startegy, thank you!

  2. Sir i think we can study in office if there is free time for study and we have completed our office work.

    1. You can. It actually depends on your job, your relationship with your managers and colleagues.

      I never wanted that my team members should feel that I am not there for the team. It might create a perception that this person is more interested in UPSC than in our work. So I always tried to maintain my professional commitment with my CSE preparation. And that’s why I worked on aspects like taking room near office, spending more on room rent, staying alone etc.

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  5. Hello Sumit Sir

    Did you join any offline test series for prelims, may be on weekends? Or was it all online? I’m working in Bangalore and wanted to confirm if it’s wise to join an offline classroom sort of setup for proper simulated env for Prelims. Also, how was it like before prelims for you? Did you quit or applied for sabbatical (rare case). Do share your startegy, thank you!

    1. I joined online test series for prelims. I used to take one week leave before prelims. No sabbatical or quitting. Gave all my 5 attempts with job. It is challenging but not impossible.

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