Unleashing Nepal’s Passion
In my recent conversation with Kiran Joshi, the Co-founder and CEO of Incessant Rain Animation Studios, he talked about the importance of following your passion. He stressed that one should do what he or she loves and passion is necessary in order to overcome the early struggles of doing something innovative. I concur with his belief.
Why is passion so important? Why should you find and do the work you love? I believe pursuing your passion is key to your personal and professional growth and ultimately your happiness. Discovering what you love to do and then pursuing that work offers numerous benefits. First, because you know what you truly want to do, you can work on achieving your dream wholeheartedly. If you do not want to do something in the first place, it is hard to be motivated in the short run and the long run. In Nepal’s context, at times following your passion can be challenging when it contradicts with what your parents want you to be. I urge parents to be more understanding of their children’s talents and dreams and the youth to be proactive and focused on what they want to pursue.
Second, I believe the productivity level increases greatly when you do something you love. The quality of your work improves and because you enjoy doing the work, you will do the best to overcome the challenges that come along. Any job can be challenging in its own way so to be productive and efficient, it is necessary to love the work itself. It can be much easier to come up with excuses if we do not love the work we are doing. Third, passion allows you to perform at your highest level and increases your chances of getting recognized in the company or community. While passion is not the only factor that determines your professional success and accomplishments, what are equally as important are a strong work ethic, people skills, time management skills, experience and education among others.
From the employer side, passion becomes a true asset in a company especially a startup one. A startup company can succeed or fail depending on how passionate the founder(s) and the first few employees are about the product or service (given that it was a good idea that solved a problem in the marketplace). Established companies are always in the hunt for the right people and a good financial compensation package alone is not enough to attract the brightest talent. Management is looking to hire passionate individuals for myriad reasons. First, when the employees of the company love their work, the management does not have to provide many resources to motivate its staff over time. This saves the company valuable resources such as time and money. There are plenty of challenges an employer in Nepal faces everyday and having to motivate their employees consistently can harm the company’s productivity. When the employees enjoy their work and find the work challenging and fulfilling, they will surely contribute to the company’s productivity.
Second, if an employee is not passionate about his or her job and is only motivated financially to work at a certain company, then there are higher chances of that individual not sticking around too long. If that employee finds a lucrative offer, he or she will most likely join that company. Thus for the company, hiring the right person for the job (meaning hiring someone who is passionate about the company’s work or what it does) is significant. Third, most companies care about their company culture and do not want to hire people that can affect the company’s internal dynamics. Many companies can easily spot the candidates in the interview process who do not fit the company culture and become hesitant to hire those individuals. The companies that care about their company culture look for individuals who are passionate about the company’s mission, values and its work.
Kiran Joshi makes sure to hire people who love animation and arts at Incessant Rain Animation Studios. He added that it is easier to separate an individual motivated by the love for animation from the one motivated financially. He further elaborated on the culture at his animation studio and I was assured that the true asset of any company is its people.
Nepal has a huge talent pool and bright students who graduate from our colleges and universities each year. I have met smart students at colleges, conferences, Startup Weekend Kathmandu and Entrepreneurs for Nepal’s Last Thursdays. I encourage students and young professionals to find what they love to do and pursue that work or project wholeheartedly. It is never too early or too late to discover your true love. School is a perfect time to explore what you want to do long term and internships can help to figure out if you really love being in a certain field or industry. Sometimes even if you know early what you want to pursue in the long term because of certain reasons you might not be able to go after that goal right away. The reasons can be financial constraints, family situations or educational level among others but you should always work towards your dream and take action when the opportunity arises.
In the coming years, more companies will look for candidates who have passion for the company’s work and your degree alone will not be enough to secure a job in your area of study. Ekaterina Walter wrote in her book Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook's Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg, that Facebook encourages its workers to form teams around projects they're passionate about, because Facebook's leaders clearly understand that great work comes out of doing what you adore.
Finding what you truly love to do takes much introspection and time. I found a good website that can help identify your passion or keep inspiring you to follow your passion. In the Live Your Legend website (www.liveyourlegend.net), Scott Dinsmore shares 27 questions to help find your passion. Scott puts forth questions such as: What makes you happiest in your life? Who do you look up to? Who are your mentors? Who inspires you? Why? If you trusted that your art (creativity) would support your life, how would you live? When was the last time you couldn’t sleep because you were so excited about what you had to work on? What was it?
When you find your true calling, I am sure that you will lead a successful, meaningful and happy life. When individuals are doing what he or she loves; a company, community or country can benefit tremendously through higher employee productivity, better employee job satisfaction, increased innovation, improved company bottom lines and employees leading more meaningful lives. Thus, we critically need more people following their passion especially in Nepal’s context.
(Thapa is a Visiting Faculty of Sales Management at APEX College, Kathmandu.)
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