I am so fortunate that I have found my passion professionally. Rather, it is my passion that found me as I muddled along in life like driftwood, swept by the current of social pressures and norms. I became an engineer and then went to business school because that’s what everyone did. Then I did my Ph.D. because that’s the only way you could come to the U.S. from India. I stumbled into teaching and into marketing. Luckily, I was stumbling in the right direction. Now I really enjoy what I do – examine the intersection of technology, marketing and innovation. And sit at the intersection of research, teaching and consulting. Every time I’m in a classroom or speaking before and audience, its a huge high. I feel I’m getting paid to enjoy myself. That’s my groove, and it will last me for a while more until I figure out what’s next for me. Maybe in 3 years when I turn 50? I will see.
I talk to lots of students and ex-students as well as friends who ask me for advice on what do do with their careers and their lives. In some cases, I see them struggle to define their groove. If you don’t know your groove, you can meander along in life without much purpose or much passion. And you are always left with a gnawing feeling that there must be more, that something is missing. I know. I’ve been there earlier in my life. It is frustrating to just do a job, and to just go to work for a paycheck.
So how do you find your groove? Do you have the luxury to experiment? Introspection helps. But so does being open to opportunities. And finally, recognizing when your passion calls, and following your passion. I hope more of us find our groove.