Runversation: Giving up a job for a true passion

An IIM man gives up his big consultancy job to take up something he loves.

Life is changing constantly and our careers and businesses are moving with it. The thought of pursuing a passion overwhelms us, but we never really get down to it. But there are so many opportunities to pursue a career around — whether it’s running, food, or communication. Many people are also passionate about health and wellness but aren’t sure on how to build those essential interests into full-fledged careers.

People around the world are runing for fitness. It does not top their priority list — what with all the jobs and busy lives — it’s just important to make sure that training fits around a career.

But armed with an engineering qualification and a management diploma from an IIM, Dharmendra was working at a global consulting firm. An avid and a passionate runner, he ended up taking a sabbatical from work... based on a whim.

“The trigger to take a break from work was to focus on my running and training,” says Dharmendra, or just ‘D’ to friends.

“Also, I had a supportive employer who was willing to have me back once I was ready for it. However, the break turned out to be absolutely invigorating and my running scaled new heights in a matter of weeks. And while I was still getting trained, a few friends approached me saying they wanted to be coached by me — they had been impressed with the rapid progress I had made. That’s how my journey as a coach began, rather unexpectedly.”

Some people truly know about their passion, others discover it, by chance. The search for fulfillment is universal... someone may find fulfillment either through something unrelated to a career or by changing careers.

For Dharmendra, it’s been a little over five years since he became an accidental coach. “The journey has been an enriching experience and the best part of it is the blissful sleep and early wake-up to coach the next day,” he says. Dharmendra also loves the freedom that owning his own business brings and the control he has over his own destiny. On his transition from a management consultant to a running coach, he says, “No matter what you do in your life, there are opportunities all around you that you aren’t seeing. It’s human nature. We ALL self-sabotage and we all think we are a lot better than we are at holding ourselves accountable, and as a famous running coach once said, ‘I may be really good at coaching others but you can’t coach yourself’.”

Passion is a funny thing. It keeps you up at night and sparks something deep inside you. It inspires you to try and change the world, or at least make your little corner a bit better. Many fantasize about turning their pastimes into full-time gigs, but actually making the leap is a little bit tougher. You need to make sure you have the skills necessary to succeed at this new endeavor.

Dharmendra quotes a famous Bob Dylan number. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”

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