Fall, Don’t Fail

Based in Gurgaon, Rohit Goel is a senior professional who has worked in the automotive industry for two decades. As corporate vice president at an MNC, which decided to leave the Indian market, he was pink-slipped and kept a record of his last 30 days on the job in his diary. The result was Rohit’s first book, Fall, Don’t Fail. ‘I would like to share my journey as an author and the central idea behind my book, Fall, Don’t Fail,’ he says, as he writes this guest piece for BooksFirst.

I have worked for close to two and a half decades in corporations handling various products, leading diverse roles and managing regional and national geographies. Time went past with great speed. Professional and personal commitments left almost no time for any other interest or hobby. Then how and why did I delve into writing a book, you may ask. Well, my experiences in the corporate world were the inspiration behind my debut book Fall, Don’t Fail. Being part of this sector means accepting the challenges, downfalls and uncertainty that comes with it. In our social set up we are highly fixated on the idea of rising high without acknowledging the chances of a fall and how to rise above from that fall. In short, we are not trained to handle failures.

Life surely made me experience this a few years back, through a roller-coaster of unprecedented events. Under those circumstances, not only my own experiences but the situations of several people around me were horrifying. I knew I had to share this crucial moment of my life with everyone around me. But the question was, how am I going to do it? Then, I was struck with the idea of writing a book and that is how Fall, Don’t Fail was born. I wanted my book to serve as an inspiration to all those who have experienced similar downfalls in life or are vulnerable to such tough and uncertain scenarios. Fall, Don’t Fail embraces life’s uncertainty by capturing challenges faced by a close-knit group of corporate employees as they’re hit by an unprecedented professional crisis that threatens to take down their entire lives. 

The book captures the journey and emotions of Vikram, vice president – sales in an automobile MNC. He is living a life of comfort and privilege built by hard work and consistency until one day everything that he has built comes crumbling down. The organisation he works for decides to quit India, leaving him and thousands of other unsuspecting employees jobless overnight. Vikram is devastated. His mind is a whirlwind of emotions – anger, sadness, fear, dejection, loss and confusion. Fall, Don’t Fail captures the final moments of this epic fall through 36 diary entries in Vikram’s diary, demystifying his journey through the last 30 days at his job filled with emotions, betrayals, revelations, realisations and finally acceptance. The book ends with Vikram’s reminiscent take on the events he and his colleagues endure, summing up his insights and learnings on how such a crisis can be turned into an opportunity to begin life anew and, importantly, how corporate professionals of the 21st century can safeguard themselves against such upheavals.

It took me several months to prepare the first manuscript of the book. In these months I met and interacted with dozens of my fellow corporate citizens. Many of them were either already out of job or were facing a tough challenge to resurrect and reconstruct themselves. What I realised is that ‘skills’ and ‘people connect’ can come to one’s rescue in these situations. Unfortunately, we are so ignorant or misinformed about our own skills and people connect that we tend to live in a fool’s paradise till the situation shows us the mirror.

In a corporate career one should be in constant pursuit of reinventing their skills and must also consciously develop a high quality network of people. Fall, Don’t Fail features a framework on ‘how to make your career redundancy proof.’ The framework includes these two major aspects of life that can enable any individual to sail through turbulent times in their professional journey. Skills and connections along with luck play a decisive role in paving the path of every professional irrespective of the nature of their job or business. For obvious reasons, I have kept luck out of discussion. In this framework one can assess his/her skills on the basis of seven attributes and the commercial value of the skill. At the same time one can assess the strength of their network on the basis of two important parameters – ability of a connect and willingness of a connect. On combining these two 2×2 matrices, one can arrive at a conclusion of where he/she stands, as far as the safe zone of one’s professional scenario is concerned. 

As I mentioned before, writing was never my forte. However, my experiences compelled me to start my journey as an author. Writing emerged from a sense of duty towards my fellow corporates who have or are currently experiencing the greatest fall of their lives. So far, writing has been an interesting journey. It has provided me with a new and balanced perspective to life. Many people have also asked me if there is a real diary that exists or am I Vikram. I can only smile and say who knows?  

Lastly, I would like to quote myself from Fall, Don’t Fail: ‘We happily live in our myths. When reality hits and breaks these myths, we feel sad and cheated. Then, we accept it, move on and become happy again. In this reformed state we create our new happy myths, which are bound to be broken by a new reality again. This loop is infinite. Sane are those who can come out of this loop to permanently embrace happiness.’

Stay tuned, stay happy!

I would like to thank Sameer for inviting me to write an article about my debut book for BooksFirst. Heartening to see his love for good literature and his efforts for sharing it with the world – Rohit Goel.

Fall, Don’t Fail is available on Amazon

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