Home > Ideas > Career … No room for Doubt!

Career … No room for Doubt!

I met a young man today who had taken on a Sales job with one of the leading Resort Hotels, an international chain, for little more than half the salary he was earning in his previous assignment. I was shocked to hear him say that but asked for a little more information.

He had graduated from a Hotel Management School in Chennai and received an offer from this Fashion Retail chain – the salary was attractive (more than what the hotels were offering him) and it was a popular and up-market brand. In 6 months he realized that retail was not where he wanted to be – the money was good but his heart was not in it. He hated the very thought of going to work. So, when the hotel made the offer he left without a backward glance; he grabbed their offer in spite of the cut in salary. The young man knew that the income would improve with time, but right now he just wanted to be happy doing a job. Now that’s smart thinking!

That is is the bottom line …. You have to love what you do!

I joined a Courier Service Company as a Sales Executive on April 2, 1984. All the while I had believed that a career in theoretical physics beckoned. Having been a talent scholarship holder and a keen student of physics it was expected that I would pursue science – but during the 2-year Masters program in Physics I found the complicated Math difficult to handle and accepted defeat – I didn’t complete the course.

Unknown to me the seeds of a career in Sales had been sown long before that. In my under– graduate years I used to sell consignments of T-Shirts and other Sports wear sent from factories owned by my dad’s friends. They had asked whether I was interested in taking up a small business activity. Those days pocket-money was hard to come by and so such activities seemed useful ways to earn some extra rupees for all the fun things that were waiting. They also established my interest in selling.

The passion still has not waned!

6 months with the courier service start-up and I landed an offer from one of the biggest names in the Indian Business landscape. The early years were tough, mainly because we had a manager who played it by the book – there was no flex; he hardly had any time to coach people either. The initial months were tough but my colleagues and I hung in there learned the ropes.

I think it is important for everyone to go through that grind – maybe that tough manager of ours was scrapping away all the rough edges and making us smooth and shiny!

Soon we were sure of ourselves and knew how to keep things moving. Fortunately our organisation had enough people development activity by way of training and job rotation – so I got trained in Selling Skills, Major Account Sales, Negotiation Skills and Channel Management; we also got opportunities to try our hand at Channel Management, even training, after spending the first few years in Direct Sales.

The juicy bits come later .. you have to wait for it; give up too soon and you ending up missing a lot!

Each new assignment I took on gave me experience in some new area of activity – Supervisory Skills, Managerial Skills, Leadership Skills, Man Management Skills well all picked up along the way.

Such valuable lessons were possible because I enjoyed what I was doing – and I dared to make a change whenever I seemed to be reaching a dead-end. There were times when it seemed that there is NO WAY but then mysteriously, much like Platform 9  & ¾, a new path opened in front of me and I was on my way again.

didn’t someone say – The harder I work, the luckier I get!

I think all the magic happened in my career because, like the young man mentioned at the start, I too strongly believed in what I wanted and subconsciously knew I would be able to succeed in my efforts.

But that is not all. It is important that we keep adding to our portfolio and keep learning all the time. An MBA acquired 25 years ago is of no use today – the rules of business have changed. So it is important that you gain what is relevant and current. The is true for every discipline … stay in touch with the changes in your domain.

Being tentative and half-hearted won’t help either; that will reflect hugely on your performance – when you do something you don’t enjoy doing, it soon becomes evident. You act and respond without clarity, conviction and interest – it is easy for everyone to see that you are just keeping things going and don’t wish to do anything out of your way; such attitude towards work won’t promote peak performance – it isn’t good for you, nor is it good for the organisation.

Find something you really love doing, be passionate about it; find something new to learn, a little bit each day; keep reading on the subject; share what you know – talk about it, write about it; teach someone. That’s how you grow!

Unless you really look forward to doing it, a job or an activity isn’t worth doing … When in Doubt, Don’t!

Categories: Ideas
  1. Jamy
    May 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    What can I say Jay; my journey started with Mechanical Engg back in 1989 and here I am a Guest Relations Manager in the hotel industry. I can’t think of any other industry where I would fit in unless there is a Customer Service cell attached to it and more importantly given it’s due importance 🙂

    • JayadevM
      May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Jamy,

      Glad that you found your true calling … & congrats for doing a good job for over 2 decades.

  2. May 11, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Today’s generation seem to be so much more focused – they are willing to go to lengths to follow their heart and I admire them (and that includes Nikhil 🙂 ) for that

    • JayadevM
      May 11, 2012 at 5:36 am

      That’s true, Bindu!

      But I am meeting a lot of youngsters who are either groping in the dark in search of an answer or get pushed into some line on account parental pressure.

      As compared to before more kids are doing what they wish to do … but I think we are seeing more of the ones who made it good; the picture overall isn’t such a happy one.

  3. ram..
    May 14, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Jayadev,when i read this for aminiute i thought you are talking about me,especially the young man in your blog.Sticking to what one likes and keep updating on that will make one a performer.Good one,Jayadev.Enjoyed reading it.

    • JayadevM
      May 14, 2012 at 9:47 am


      Hope you’ve found what you love doing the most. Best wishes!

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