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One of the main themes of the movie 3 idiots is to follow your heart. In the examples shown in the movie, the people concerned already know what they want to do but many times it does not happen that way as Amitabh Bachchan said in one of his interviews “I was lucky that early in life, I knew correctly that I wanted to become an actor. I have come across several people in my life who do not know what to do with themselves”. To my mind, he is the best example of "Follow your heart". He went to the film Industry in 1969 after five years in the corporate world and what a stupendous success he turned out to be. It goes without saying that for every such case, there are bound to be failures as well. For that matter, a good degree also cannot ensure commercial success for a lifetime but chances of success are better where real passions and strengths lie if the concerned profession pays reasonably well.

There is a saying that “In work, we have the possibility of discovering ourselves”. Whenever we discover ourselves, we have to face the prospect of career transition.

My earlier posts on this subject drew no reponse in this forum:-

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I may have appeard like “Alice in Wonderland’ in the above posts but since the movie has brought out the theme so well, I will also give a real life example of someone who switched from being a dentist to a photographer( as against an engineer to a photographer shown in the movie)

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Since nobody is this vast forum was interested in the subject, I did not post my article on Lateral career transition which was published in Management compass in February 2009 and has examples of Jack Welch and Jawaharlal Nehru among others. I am attaching a pdf for those interested. It may not be out of place to mention that earlier, I had written articles on movies like Tare Zameen Par, Apna Aasmaan and Rock on for the same theme.

One dialogue in 3 idiots that keeps getting repeated is “All is well”. In reel life, all maybe well but in real life, it could be a case of misplaced or misinformed optimisim if you go by some strange book titles(written by Americans on misery in the wrong profession) that appear on the opening page of my blog- Make your passion your profession- http://mypyp.wordpress.com/. Apart from the titles, if you read my article on “Soul of a profession” which is a link to the main blog, it reveals how frustrating being in the wrong job can be. Some articles under “Work hatred” on the right hand side of the blog under relevant links and books are also worth a look.. One may not realize at the start of one’s career but by mid life, it can become dicey as revealed by one Sanjiv Bhamre from Tata consultancy Services who wrote an entire book on the subject- , “By the time people find meaning in their lives at the age of 40, other responsibilities in life may make it too difficult to alter anything. Those who can, retire at the age of forty five or engage in social projects to find meaning, while others continue to live the same grind unable to gather energy to change anything.”. Another Indian book worth mentioning is by Virendra Kapoor who was on the HR committee of CII at the time of publication of the book by the name of “Your passion Quotient- the greatest secret of success”

What amazes me is that the western world has so many career coaches( by that I don’t mean the CAT and other exam coaches but those who help people in making the career shift). I did a coaching course from the Results coaching system in February 2009 and I am surprised that they are not offering career coaching as a specialization because other books on the subject reveal what a complex and vast subject it is.. That apart, one needs broad minded employers(In my articles, I have given examples of Dhirubhai Ambani, Bill Gates, Jack Welch etc) who are willing to take risks with talented people without formal background and career transition experts.I have read many interesting posts on this forum on out of the box thinking. Many times, this happens more naturally to people who are not formally trained in the subject and there have been instances of people winning the nobel prize for this. However, not very many employers would take the risk.It is not just the education system that has limitations. Movies like “Rang De Basanti” may raise awarness of corruption but it is too deeprooted and compex a problem in reality. Follow your heart is still possible to tackle if we have the kind of career coaching available in the west like some of the coaches at www.careershifters.org . We are not immune to this problem as there are plenty of Indian examples as well which get published in magazines and newspapers from time to time.

Despite doing well in my Coaching and Training courses, I was not successful in making a switch as the opportunities offered have also been somewhat half hearted. . I am however greatful to this forum and the management magazine which published most of my articles on various HR themes. Thanks for tolerating me despite not being formally from HR.

Happy new year to all of you. Maybe someday, it will be happy for me too.

From India, New Delhi

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Lateral moves Feb 2009.pdf (141.9 KB, 250 views)

One thing I forgot to mention above is this article "Hire talent and passion over skill and experience" by Joe Santana- <link outdated-removed> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google ) .How many employers would do this? The book "Your soul at work" states that very few take a chance even in the US. I am mentioning this as Aamir says in the movie emphatically to his friend " Engineering is my passion. Why don't you become a photographer as that is yours." One site actually lists in the order of passion, strengths and skills- Next Generation Career & Recruitment Services - Careerspice.com. Meybe future generations shall be well off.

In case anybody knows about career transition expert/career coaching course or proper specialized career coaches in India, do let me know.

From India, New Delhi
You have given a vibrant information so compressed & interesting to read.Im not sure how i missed your earlier post! Being a HR i keeping saying my candidates who come for interview not to take jobs for the sake of employment.Understanding our skills & aliging it to our goal is something most of us fail to spot.Keep contributing & a very Happy New year wishes to you & all.

From India, Madras
I had read somewhere that the world's most famous investor, Warren buffet had said that he had not met any extremely successful person who did not enjoy what he was doing. Somebody sent me a link to Steve Jobs speech at Stanford University on the importance of loving one's work. Elsewhere in the forum, it is there as a pdf file and in excerpts but this complete speech"How to live before you die"(audio) may interest some-

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die | Video on TED.com

Though the movie is undoubtedly good, one thing needs to be pointed out. I read in one of it's posters "Chase excellence and success will follow". If this implies commercial success, it is not absolutely necessary. In my earlier articles I have given examples of how people like Nandan Nilekani and Amitabh Bachchan considered themselves lucky to be the right people at the right place at the right time. The reverse could be equally true. Actor Shashi Kapoor who, as a producer made very good films in the late seventies and early eighties had to suffer big losses because of lack of commercial appeal. In the book The Kapoors by Madhu Jain it is mentioned that Kapoor lost 10 lakhs, 40 lakhs, 24 lakhs and 1.5 crores respectively for his “wonderful” films Kalyug, Vijeta, 36 Chowringhee Lane and Utsav. Ajooba, the commercial movie that he had made to make up for these losses, lost Rs 3.5 crores. This is what can happen when one ignores popular demand or does not give it its due weightage. In a recent interview, Kapoor mentioned that had the kind of multiplexes that are there now had been available then, his "wonderful" movies would have had better chance of commercial success. Kapoor might have achieved success in terms of personal fulfillment as the movies were good.

Commercial success happens when personal, business and market profile are in congruence. The last in not in anybody's hands but the first two can be managed better with the right HR practices.

From India, New Delhi
I heard Steve job's lecture(link above)again and when his second story begins, he says exactly what Amitabh Bachchan says(mentioned in the beginning). Jobs says" I was lucky. I found what I loved to do early in life".
What I don't understand is that if its is no critical to success, why is management education and practical HR activity not directed towards that. Where are the Indian websites equivalent to www.vocationalcoach.com or www.passioncatalyst.com?

From India, New Delhi
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