August 1st, 2012 – I enter my fifth year at IIM Bangalore this month. From a travelling salesman in Qualcomm, to a nobody today, it has been a fantastic joyride – something I really feel blessed that happened to me. I call this state a “Plunnge” from where I was to where I wanted to be. And I wrote a book on the same topic (More details on www.plunnge.com ) which has 15 stories of ordinary people like me. We all were doing regular jobs but always wanted to do something else – something that is our passion.
What is the relevance of Plunnge and our PGP students? I don’t exactly know the answer because I didn’t write it keeping an audience and objective in mind. I just documented my experiences in this journey. But I see a fascinating trend in our students that makes Plunnge an interesting case in point for them to consider. As our country is becoming economically noticeable by the world, the newer generations are also becoming very different from the previous ones. And thanks to a massively interconnected world through internet, this generation has begun to choose careers in a very different way than how mine or the one before me did. I am thrilled to see students dropping off the placement process to follow their passions – some open companies with other fellow batch mates or friends or some just space out for a year, travel, see the world and take time to decide what to do next.
I have always believed that if one gets to choose a job which is your passion, it’s no more a job. To give you a simple example – if you really like to play chess, and you are really good at it and can play all the time without realizing how time goes by, there is no harm in taking a Plunnge to be a professional chess player. Who knows, there could be a new chess champion in you that we see. Who knows, there could be a Chess Premier League that you start and carve a niche for yourself by adopting the business of sports into your passion. The possibilities are immense once you identify your passion.
A word of caution though. Be sure that your passion is something that you don’t confuse with your hobby. Hobbies help us re-energize. To give an example, cooking may be one of your hobby. You can do it once a day. But not all the time as it bores you beyond a point. Also, the skill required to pursue your hobby may not excite you beyond a point. So if you take a Plunnge and become a cook, chances are, you will get bored and not give your 100%, and probably will become an average chef or even worse J
Do read Plunnge if you get a chance. It has stories of people who have become farmers, runners, singers, quiz masters, teachers, dancers, travelers, artists, financial planners, writers etc. Each story also has some lessons you can learn. There is also a group on Facebook called Plunnge. Do join it and meet interesting people who might help you in your Plunnge. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Plunnge/
Give it a try. After all, you will never know what the fishes feel like, unless you dive into the water. You have nothing to lose. If you don’t like the fishes on this side, just come out and find out another sweet spot and Plunnge again
Rakesh Godhwani, PGSEM ’04, calls himself a nobody. He currently heads the IIMB Alumni Association, teaches at few colleges, irritates his wife, reads a story to his son every night before he sleeps, bicycles his way to work and saves the environment in his own way, does yoga, writes, earns a fraction of what he used to, but lives a million times better.