“Work to become, not to acquire.” Elbert Hubbard
Till five years ago …
“Hi Sushma …. How is your job? Are you enjoying it?” These were the questions any friend of mine or relatives would ask me. A very casual question…. I used to have two answers … ‘Yes’ for others and ‘No’ for myself.
Inspite of being associated with branded companies, I wasn’t really happy. I was just going ahead with the flow!
Once, it so happened that I had a conversation with one of my managers, Santhosh Anand a gem of a person – one of those rare people who helped employees build their careers. He made a statement “You must be so interested in your job that even after 6 PM, you must still be thinking about some ideas which can help you.” He meant that I needed to be really passionate about it. It was an eye-opener for me. I was hard-working in my previous career stream but was not happy about my job because I wasn’t passionate about it. Coding was not my cup of tea!
During the last year of my Corporate journey, I started exploring alternate career streams. My focus shifted towards the exciting field of Behavioural and Leadership Training. I attended several trainings in my organization and the more I attended, the more I got attracted to that field.
However, was that the right choice? Would I be capable of making the shift? Even when I did, would it be the right choice? Would I be keen on staying in that profession for a long time to come? Questions flooded my mind. I had to be careful because you do not get opportunities to come back to your earlier career stream whenever you want.
This is what I did. I started testing myself. I started giving training sessions in various Corporate and Community Clubs associated with Toastmasters International. Toastmasters infact gave me a platform to practice my speaking skills and boosted my confidence. I tested myself for six months over and over again just to make sure that I indeed wanted to make the shift. I was convinced by then as I had got really good reviews from others too that what I told them was very useful and they would never forget it. I was also happy with what I was doing. The enthusiasm never died down.
Slowly and steadily, I got an opportunity to work with Satish Rao, one of the leading Life Coaches in India. I now made my foray into the world of Coaching and my career decision was made. I was there to stay! Next, I got an opportunity to become his business partner and High Performance Alchemy Pvt Ltd, our company was formed. I had slowly and steadily entered into the world of Entrepreneurship! It became all the more exciting!
Ever since the day I started my second innings till today, I am having the same, no… no… more enthusiasm than I had on the first day. There is a long way to go … I am aware of it. However, I am also aware that I will surely make a mark in this field going forward.
Having said all these, a few questions do come to the fore. The first one is …
Do I Love My Job?
How many of us have heard these statements?
“Any job will do. The money is important!”
“Focus on a Software job only … It will help” Yeah … to get yourself enrolled in the matrimonial section … That is all! I am yet to come across people who speak about their “Software” job without opening a parallel dictionary which we would have kept for special occasions! If you are really passionate about your Software job, it’s a different story altogether. It is something absolutely wonderful. It means you are truly passionate about it and will make immense progress for sure… which is good.
There are a lot more statements which you might have come across.
I would say that the above statements are highly misleading. ANY job will not do! Each of us spend a majority of our waking hours and a huge chunk of our lives in our jobs and it doesn’t really make sense if we do not enjoy what we are doing. On the other hand, if you love your job you will end up adding more value to it. Value will be your motivator and not deadly deadlines. You will give yourself permission to come up with original ideas.
The second question that comes to the fore is …
Do I Need To Make A Career Shift?
The answer to this is … it depends!
There is no need to change a career stream unless you feel that it’s absolutely necessary. What’s more important is refine your work, add more value and make it more interesting.
Do not change your career stream just because you find the current stream competitive. Infact, don’t get bogged down by competition. Healthy competition is required. It challenges you and brings out your best.
Do not change it just because you find it difficult. Change it only when you are not passionate enough about it. Change it only when you do not connect with it. Change it only when you do not see yourself in a better position going forward.
Test yourself first if you are making the right choice. Do it only when you are convinced enough that doing so is a practical move too.
The third question that does pop up is …
Do I Become An Entrepreneur?
A trend is being picked up, off late and it is turning towards business. You must have surely seen so-called motivational yet impractical quotes splashed across the internet. “Be your own boss!” Few do jump into the Entrepreneurship wagon to be their own bosses. Few of them do so because they do not want to work under anybody else.
Let me tell you something … Even if you have a difficult boss, it is still okay. However, if you become your own boss and you turn difficult to manage Trust Me! you will not find an escape route.
If you get attracted towards entrepreneurship seeing just the profit part of it, STOP! The picture isn’t as rosy as it seems.
Genuine entrepreneurs walk on a lot of thorns and make their way smooth by stepping on them again and again. Forget about Entrepreneurship being a different game altogether, I would say it is a different way of life itself.
The entire thought process gets redefined. Profit will come naturally because if you cannot make profit then, you are not an entrepreneur. But, to get to that phase, it is a Himalayan challenge in itself!
Entrepreneurs generally think on these lines
- What is that I can do to revolutionize the industry?
- How can I make the lives of people around me better and easier through my business?
- How can I create employment opportunities for people around me?
- How can I create an amazing work culture such that people who join my company will stay for the value of their work and not just money?
- Can my business help in improving the economy? If so, how?
And so on …
If you really want to get into the Entrepreneurship wagon, you are most welcome J However, test yourself before making the shift.
Think about all the above. Ask yourself relevant questions. Reach out to a Professional Coach when you feel it’s required. From personal experience, I would say it is a good choice!
Do what it takes to love being in your profession because it is surely the backbone to a happy and fulfilling life ahead.
Authored by Sushma Krishnan,
Co-Founder, High Performance Alchemy