July 11, 2023
2 min read

Homecoming: How I found my way back to Parallel in just 4 Months

Archit Ahuja's story of rejoining Parallel in just 4 months after leaving

Archit Ahuja
Archit Ahuja
Product Strategist & Designer
“Home is where the best designers are”
Archit Ahuja

Starting my career with Parallel in 2021 was one of the best decisions I ever took, and I’m not exaggerating! From being a star intern (according to our founder Robin), being offered a full-time position in the first week itself to my work on Co-win being recognised on founding day, it was as close as it gets to being a dream job.

If everything was great, then why did I leave? One word, curiosity!

Product Management was the fad 2022 and it had my attention. In July 2022, I got an offer for a Product Management role from a product company based out of Amritsar. What pulled me towards the role was that firstly, it was product management which I had a considerable inclination towards at that time. 

Secondly, the role being in my hometown was a big plus. 
Thirdly, a little bit of extra money. 🙃

I joined the company which had a great product with a huge global user base. I initially enjoyed the challenges of the new role as a Product Manager but soon I hit multiple roadblocks. 

Being accustomed to the high of doing top-notch work and producing an impact at Parallel, I found my role not challenging enough. There were moments when I felt directionless because I didn’t know what I was solving for due to weak problem framing. I was also finding it difficult to build a team because of the location being Amritsar and the talent pool being significantly smaller than in Bangalore.

Everyday lunch scenes at Parallel HQ

All these problems were new to me and frankly non-existent at Parallel. Robin always provided sharp clarity in strategy, direction, and expectations to focus on producing top-notch work. Moreover, there were always more than ample product designers willing to join us. 

The Product Designers and Design Managers I had worked with at Parallel were some of the best designers, colleagues and friends. The open floor culture at Parallel where everyone helps everyone, all thoughts welcome at the table and the quality of conversations, I missed all of it.

Zero Hour Friday Workshops

On the work front, I wasn’t enjoying product management as much as core design and problem-solving. I was constantly weighing one against the other in my head, which in my opinion is a big red flag. Because if you’re constantly thinking about being somewhere else, you’re definitely in the wrong place.

Long story short, I was kinda lost on what to do next and how to navigate my career. So I did what I always do in a similar situation- I spoke to Robin. In a very long chat with Robin, he helped me weigh the pros and cons of both Product Design and Product Management and how my career would look in choosing either. It helped me realise that I wanted to lead my career towards design leadership. And also that I’d need to leave the comfort of my hometown to accelerate my career.

The next step was to restart my career in product design which in my head was going to be a task. I was wrong. Robin ended the conversation with - “I’m sure the team will be glad to have you back” and I was back home at Parallel in just under 4 months.

How’s it going now? Now I’m a Design Manager here at Parallel, happily leading multiple projects and mentoring designers along the way. One of my key clients is Urban Piper- One of India’s largest restaurant management systems which is now expanding globally at scale (who by the way absolutely love our work). We've also been working on some interesting problem statements creating new design patterns around using generative AI for legal. Basically, we’re doing a lot of cool stuff.

Tom Ahuja's Homecoming

How did it feel coming back? Very similar to visiting your home town after a long time - welcomed and at home. After all, homecomings are always special :)

Homecoming: How I found my way back to Parallel in just 4 Months
Archit Ahuja
Product Strategist & Designer

Archit is a Product Strategist & Designer at Parallel driving collaborations with product managers, researchers & UI designers to create valueable products for our partners.