What is preventing you from doing the work that really matters to you? Is it lack of clarity or lack of courage or both? How do you go about addressing these challenges and being on the path to finding such work? Can this be really exciting and fun as well?
I have been a high achievement orientation person for a long time now. Setting high goals and standards and then doing whatever it takes to achieve them is a part of my DNA. That’s what got me into IIT Kanpur, into HUL as a Management Trainee and a successful stint in Castrol. At the same time, I have been an avid reader all my life.
IIT Kanpur has a huge library and we were allowed to issue up to 10 books at one time, a facility that I used to the fullest. As part of the curriculum courses, we were required to do 8 courses in Humanities and Social Sciences and the purpose of this was to widen the horizons of the nerds that we all were. I did courses in Philosophy, Art Appreciation, Economics, Psychology, Sociology and Linguistics. The collection of books on these subjects in the library was very impressive and I spent a huge amount of my time in the library and otherwise reading.
All this was mind altering in the sense that I became sensitive to what goals I really wanted to achieve. I certainly did not want to achieve goals conditioned by my life experiences till then which was lot about escaping poverty (not that we were poor relative to most others, but most of us in India were), not by socially accepted norms of success, not by the fact that I studied to be an engineer or whatever. I had to find out what I really wanted to do with my life and live accordingly.
I graduated in 1983 and I didn’t have an answer except that I knew I didn’t want to study engineering any further, despite having enjoyed it and done pretty well too. I wanted to do something that felt real and influenced my life at a broader level than go deeper into Chemical Engineering.
I wanted to see and feel what the real world was all about. I joined HUL as a Management Trainee because it seemed like the place where I would be able to apply my engineering knowledge as well as learn how to manage people, department, factory maybe a business eventually. I reasoned that all this would be useful for whatever I would want to do. So, I joined HUL, which anyway was a great choice for learning how to manage without having to do an MBA.
I worked in HUL for a little over 3 years and things started getting repetitive and my rate of...........Read More
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