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Why you should live with someone from a different profession

Sanjana Ray
28th Jul 2016
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We all know what real estate is like in a city like Mumbai or Bengaluru. After scouting the entirety of Andheri West, half of Andheri East and a bit of Powai, it can be safely said that if you’re able to afford a single apartment in the Maximum City, well, you’re probably related to the Ambanis.

If you don’t have bundles of Gandhis flying around the room for pleasure, it probably means that you are on the hunt for a roommate or a flatmate. Now that we have technology on our side and actually have the liberty to, perhaps, pick our future roommates or flatmates, our natural impulse would be to pick what we like on surface value. Things like if they type full sentences and use the correct grammar, where they hail from, where they work or study and whether they have any scruffy looking pets.

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Once you’ve scrutinised your potential roommate back to how she wore her hair in junior school, assuming you’ve factored in other important things like rent and other ‘basic amenities’ (Mumbaikars will get this), don’t jump at the obvious and pick someone who works in the same field as you because you think it’s convenient. Chances are it will end up in complete disaster. Living with a person from a completely different profession, unlikely as it may sound, will help you grow in ways you wouldn’t believe.

It broadens your spectrum of knowledge

For instance, if you are working in a dynamic industry like media or marketing, you’re probably specialising in one branch of it and hence may be an irritating know-it-all when it comes to that bit, but could be absolutely clueless about another. This is where having a roommate in a foreign industry can help you grow, because indirectly, you’ll witness an avid interest in it in spite of yourself. As countless individuals have said before, there is no limit to knowledge and learning.

It can improve your interpersonal skills

Be it working professionals or anyone else, you’ll know how to carry on a conversation with people you may have nothing in common with. This skill is especially great when it comes to networking, because a lot of times, your clients, partners, investors may seem to hail from a different world altogether. In such cases, you’ll know what to say and when to listen and, basically, win them over with well-practiced charm.

It helps enhance your friend circle

You’ll get to meet a whole bunch of new people through your roommate – people who probably won’t be frequenting your usual office space or hangouts. You may even go on to form close relationships with these individuals, and they can go on to become an integral part of your life over time.

It can avoid unwanted competition

Between two individuals from different professions, there won’t be a common ground to compete towards. Too often, even among the best of friends working for the same industry, envy raises its green ugly head, and you’ll be fake-smiling through their promotions and then feeling terrible about it because you genuinely want to be happy for them. On the other hand, if you have a roommate working in a different line of work, you will be genuinely happy for them when they get a promotion, a raise or even simple appreciation. This is because you don’t really have to undervalue yourself in the process.

So you see, having a roommate from a totally different walk of life can actually work in your favour in multiple ways. Have you had any interesting roommates like this? Tell us about your experiences below.

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