Balancing Two Careers: I am a Chartered Accountant and Radio Jockey

The Finance Story

  • 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. 
  • Hi, I am Aashna Bhatia a Chartered Accountant from India. I am working full time at a Big 4 Accounting firm and also a Radio Jockey since Jun'14 with All India Radio's FM rainbow Channel (107.1 Mhz).
  • I have 200 plus shows as an RJ and still counting. If managing two careers is on your mind this article will help and motivate you greatly.
  • Here is my story.

My Love for Radio and Studying to a Chartered Accountant

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.

After grade 12, most of my friends I 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.

Academically I have been very strong throughout my school and college days, so CPT (first level CA exam from ICAI) 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 first attempt and again in the second attempt.  It felt miserable but I knew I had to keep going so I pushed myself and cleared PCC in the third attempt! 

I then started my three years of articles 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.
  • 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.

Was I upset with all the failures? 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 but I did not give up.  And in my 4th attempt - I cleared and was a 'Qualified Chartered Accountant...woohooo!

What Next? Big 4 and RJ

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 colorful life.

Also Read

This Chartered Accountant Quit His Job To Follow His Dreams; Here’s What He Has Learned

"How I Manage Two Careers - Working as a CA and RJ?"

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.

In Conclusion...

  • 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.

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.

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