Over the years a thought has come to my mind countless times but somehow I never got around to writing about it. How many people do we meet who say “I am satisfied with my job”, one or two in a lifetime. Today a job is where we spend more time than even our home. What is also true is that most people are unhappy with their jobs. I have thought long and hard as to why this happens. Why is it so hard to find jobs that one would enjoy, be passionate about, or be happy with? I am sure most of the people want such a job, then why can’t they get it? The answer lies within each one of us.
What I have noticed is that people from good colleges, even IITs and IIMs, are unhappy with their jobs. Why I point out the colleges is because these are the most elite institutions in the country and passing out of such an institute not only gives you a much better chance to get a job than the rest of country, most of the times it also gives you the privilege to choose. Is the problem then in the factors that our decision is based on? Do we not assign a proper weight to passion or interest? Maybe. Let me give an example. Back in 2007 there was this person who left a job which paid him 17k/month for a job which paid him 13k. That was not the end of it. In 2012 he did it once again, left a job paying 75 grand/month for a job which pays just 50 grand/month (These are take-home figures). I think a lot of people would call this person crazy. “Abey thode din aur kar leta na kaam, acche paise toh mil rahe the”, “Itna bhi kya bura hoga, salary toh achi hai na”. Well I did it, and I don’t regret it at all. For me, passion will always weigh more than CTC.
Today we live in a world where we are judged 24X7. When we go to office, go for a meeting, go for a party, go out for coffee or even go to the kirana wala to buy bread n eggs. So what one values is how he/she is perceived by the world. Uncle aunty package poochenge toh kya batayeinge? MBA ke baad bhi itne hi paise milte hai? Saath wale toh keh rahe ki unke beta ka package isse double hai. I want to ask the saath walon ka beta, ‘Dude even with a package of 20 lacs, Are You Happy?’ Each and every person who steps into the world for a career is reduced to just three letters, CTC. Most poeple who ask don’t even know what it means. But, what they accomplish is to push people away from doing what they would love to, what they are passionate about.
One of my professors told me this story and that became my inspiration for writing this article. Once a baby camel asked his mother “Mom, why do we have a hump on our back?”, the mother replied “So that we can store water for a long time”, then the son asked “But why do we have such huge feet?”, the mother replied “So that we can walk properly on sand” and then the son asked “Then WTF are we doing in the Zoo?”. If you are made for the desert, you belong in the desert. Another inspirational message for this piece came from a book written by Sir Ken Robinson, The Element – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. He also has the most watched talk on Ted.com about how ‘Education Kills Creativity’. Its a must watch (attached at the end). I strongly believe that this problem would not have been so bad had education been a little different.
Basically what I am trying to say is Do what you Love, Its not that difficult. The first step to doing that is to get out of your comfort zone. (Yes even though we are miserable in our jobs, we somehow manage to be comfortable as it is routine). Remember what Joker said in The Dark Knight, “No one panics when things go according to plan”. So I insist very strongly to ‘Take A Chance’. Come out of your comfort zone and make an effort. If you want to work on something you are passionate about then you need to make things uncomfortable for yourself. This is not that difficult if you are unmarried and don’t have major responsibilities.
If for some reason you think all this is not possible in your case then I suggest you find time to do other things that you are passionate about. Read, write, play a sport, catch up with friends. If you are packed during the week, find time on the weekend. If sports is something you like then getup at 6 and go play. I am sure you can find time at 6 in the morning. Unless you are happy, you are just wasting time and these lines from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara say it all…
Dilon mein tum apni Betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum; Nazar mein khwabon ki Bijliyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum; Hawa ke jhokon ke jaise Aazad rehno sikho, Tum ek dariya ke jaise Lehron mein behna sikho; Har ek lamhe se tum milo Khole apni bhaayein, Har ek pal ek naya samha Dekhen yeh nigahaein; Jo apni aankhon mein Hairaniyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum; Dilon mein tum apni Betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum!