Notes From My Second Life | Celebrating the First Year of a Second Life

Dear Friend ,

Greetings !

Have connected with you sometime during what I now call my “Second Life”. Or I may have missed putting you correctly on my update list – apologies. In Sep last year I quit my job with Accenture at Singapore and returned to India to embark on my ‘second life’ journey.To do the things I’ve been passionate about doing and hopefully along the way make a difference.

I have since then been penning a (almost!) monthly ‘Notes From A Second Life’ – both to keep friends updated with what I’ve been up to and share some reflections from my journey. I hope you’d like to be on my mailing list.

Below you will find two updates – the latest one I sent out this month, and my first one in Sep 2011 which will give some context.

Look forward to staying connected.

God bless.


P.S: Please, please do not hesitate to hit delete or “unsubscribe” on these mail updates, if it gets annoying. With the deluge of emails
you have to deal with, knocking a non-work one off – I of all people would absolutely understand. But if not I hope you will enjoy my
‘postcards from the world of the second life’ and give me your feedback.

My Sep 2012 Update – Celebrating the First Year of a Second Life

I can’t believe it myself, but this week I completed the first year of my Second Life. It has been an amazing journey of creativity, faith, fun
and meaningful time with the family. It’s a decision I have never regretted. It’s also a time that I remember with gratitude the many
people – family and friends – who helped make my Second Life journey possible. A warm thank you.

To celebrate, I decided to ask a few fellow ‘second lifers’ to share what they have enjoyed most about their Second Life. Here is what they
had to say:

Harish Devarajan

( Harish started his second life on 1st July 2008 after a 23 year corporate career. He last role was as the Vice President – HR Services for
Unilever (Asia, Africa and Australia). )

“What I love most about my second innings is the freedom and flexibility I enjoy in choosing what I get to do, when I decide to start doing it and how much of my time I spend on it. I am now able to give time to interests that I have for long ignored or pushed to the back burner on account of work priorities. One of the greatest satisfaction I have is the top priority I am able to give to my family members’ needs and organise my work around their convenience. Since I started my new life I have greater variety in my network and am having a sense of better balance. I am certainly having more time to spend on the little things which make a big difference to life !”

Poh Moi
(Poh Moi topped off a 17 year stint by getting started with her Second Life. She was last with Singapore Computer Systems as Head
Instructional Design. She founded and now runs alacarte Learning and is committed to growing and enabling the Learning Design community )

“What I love most about my second life journey… to be able to respond speedily to events, circumstances and situations, to constantly learn
and use the learning to adapt to requirements, seeing my passion bear fruits and the absence of office politics. To be able to engineer
‘win-win-win’ decisions where company, employees, clients all have a ‘win’ is the icing on the cake. For example, doing market research
while developing training platform for talents, creating fresh anecdotes to train talents while navigating challenging customer relationships.”

Aakash Ganju
(Aakash refers to 1st July 2011 as his Independence Day when he started off his Second Life after quitting his job as Senior
Director, Health Information Sciences, Johnson & Johnson.)

“What I love most about my second life journey is the fact that it is a journey and I have the freedom to chose a destination. I’m still looking for “what I want to do in life”. And I suspect, I’ll want to be searching for “what i want to do in life” even when I am 70. My second life allows me to do just that.When I started my second life, it was with a promise to experiment with the different things I want to do for myself, not all of which fit within a corporate remit. Most importantly, this life is serving to remind me of and serve my personal priorities,which include my family and myself. And finally, it is a reminder to myself, and hopefully a message to my young children, that we alone can and must chart our own course in life.”

Raj Sekhar
(Raj kicked off his Second Life on Feb 6th 2009 after completing a 32 year corporate career. He was last with IBM as General Manager for two BUs across the Globe responsible for Career Development.)

“What I Like most about my 2nd Life : The Freedom ! The freedom to spot the developmental needs in people, design creative learning solutions and sell it without the constraints of organisational policies and budget limits. The freedom from lobbying with the various stakeholders in the matrix for approvals for rolling out new initiatives. Freedom from unproductive calls and meetings.The Freedom to work across Industry and finally the Work Life Balance!”

Stephen Remedios
(Steve began his Second life on 22nd sept 2011 after a 11 year career with Unilever, where he was the Head of Customer Marketing.)

“There is no feeling quite like the joy that comes with doing meaningful work coupled with the freedom to choose what you want to do. Whenever I choose my work, I’m committed to deliver a masterpiece.”

That’s a great note to sign off with. Thank you for staying with me through my updates in year one and I hope you will enjoy hearing how my journey keeps going. Thank you to all the ‘second lifers’ who celebrated with me by sharing what they love about thei second lives.

Until next time,

“Problem or Opportunity – the Leader’s Choice” – By Leo Fernandez
Cover Feature in the Jan 2012 issue of HR Matters

Looking for Recorded, on-demand courses? Visit