Follow Your Heart

It was a day of celebration on Saturday. A whole lot of alums had come down for a marriage at Lucknow. People asked me today how I could strike a conversation lasting for hours with INDEX seniors 3 batches upstream. I proudly boasted that my committee INDEX shared a healthy culture - that we naturally got along well and had hot topics of discussion including administrative issues, tent vendors and ways to plan sponsorship brochures. Somehow, that truth didn't impress them at all. So I related another conversation to convince them that it wasn't all futile.

During the marriage while squirming on cold scoops of ice-creams, we were chatting with the alumni about career paths. As prospective recruits for top MNCs (tomorrow's CEOs, cream of society etc etc) we were clueless about our life's direction. As an answer to a short question, Pranav ended his opinion with - "XYZ will be things you should consider. Of course, follow your heart..."

I clarified, "I am sorry...Follow my what ??"

He repeated, "Follow your heart. Don't you know from inside what you want to do in life ?"

As perplexed as the vodafone pug, I subtly conveyed my ignorance.

"I have no clue what that phrase means. Can you please give me a personal example."

He explained his logic - "On campus, I had analyzed my strengths and weaknesses. Combined with my gut feeling, I realized FMCG-Sales is where I want to be..."

"Amm...didn't you join a bank ?"

"Yes. I really wanted to spend time and be with Deepti. And for that I had to be posted in Mumbai. So I went ahead with banking instead. Of course, I am in love with this BFSI sector. I am logically moving up in this field with all the right career moves...."

I clarified, "So you chose FMCG. Then threw it away, and picked up a job in Banking, which really satisfies you now ?"

"Yes, thats correct."

I nodded in bewilderment.

Moral 1- The logic I use while on campus may/will be irrelevant. The other choice may be the right one for me.

Then Pranav added, "Of course my work at this bank is not Marketing at all. The title says Marketing, but truly its more of Operations than anything else..."

Moral 2- The job title which you yearn for may be deceptive. Hence, basing your decision process on what the company claims is also not a good idea.

Deepti felt that another truth deserved to be told at this juncture. She warned us - "Even within an industry, each company has its special culture. Hence you may be a fit for Cadburys, but what you receive at Marico may be an extreme contrast. Its hard to predict whether you'll fit in a company."

My neurons efficiently killed that piece of link in my brain.

Moral 3 - Selection of an industry is not helpful by itself.

Then to top it all, Deepti said, "Of course, whatever you do, your boss will be the biggest factor. If you don't get along with him...Oh boy, he can really screw your happiness."

Tacitly, Satbir and I steered the conversation back to tent-waalas of INDEX...

To sum it up, it is futile to apply logic to choose a sector. Even if the logic of selecting a sector is correct, the profile one receives can be a mismatch. Even if the profile promised is correct, the company culture may be conflicting. And even if all things fall in place by bountiful Karma, my boss may very well screw my happiness.

Thus, I now share the same belief - follow your heart.


  1. Do you think any of the elements mentioned above are happening now? :)


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