Finding Purpose in the Era of Instagram

– I like how you’re carrying your C.V., it’s rare these days
– I am judging you not from your C.V., but on your attitude to take challenges

The meeting with the Managing Partner of my firm in a nutshell.

Who am I?

What is a person who breathes, sleeps and lives Bollywood doing in the World of Renewable Energy, Healthcare and helping people realise the importance of Climate action? If I sit down to retrospect my journey, I probably would have an anxiety attack and I do not use this term loosely. I remember the first question my Manager asked me during my interview at OnPurpose, ‘Why this? Why such a boring life after such a glamorous one?’ Trust me, I am still confusing everyone with my answer.

I have always been restless in life, I don’t like to plan my days and by extension, I have never had a fixed plan for life. I live by, ‘One Day at a Time’ and that translates into why I am working in an Energy sector after working as a hardcore PR professional in Bollywood. An English Major and a fresh PR graduate from Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai, I waltzed into the world of Consumer & Entertainment. Set-visits, chilling with the actors, influencer-engagement, making strategies for Bollywood talk shows wasn’t work for me, it was a dream I was living for someone else.

My life was good, my friends were jealous of my Instagram until it all came rushing in, all the things I had put on hold. My weekends were occupied, so I had bookmarked ‘things to feel’ later and in that moment, I realized that I was living my life for the world and for Instagram. I had started out in the world of entertainment wanting to create meaningful content, I had wanted a series on ‘consent’ to be supported by dedicated bodies like Breakthrough and UN. It was like a switch had flipped.

Without any backup plan, I quit my job after a year and a half and moved back to Delhi. From Instagram to LinkedIn, my search began to find a job, to be honest I was looking for something meaningful. I had wanted to change the world, but I didn’t know where/how to start. That’s  when I stumbled upon On Purpose.

What’s next?

From hardcore traditional PR, to hardcore digital, from Entertainment to Energy, to Breakthrough, The UN, and IRENA, from Mumbai to Delhi, from an established agency to a start up with a Purpose, the switch has been maniacal and H.U.G.E.

Do I regret it? No. Can I explain it? NO. Have I found my purpose here? I will get there.

Life in Digital world is fun and at On Purpose, it has been dynamic. Working at a start-up is fun, the energy is sky high and the fire to prove oneself is immense. I’ll share what I have learnt in my time here:

  • Take ownership
    It could mean different things to different people and situations. For me, it is to be responsible and be accountable. It keeps you focused
  • Thoughts into action
    Translate your thoughts into action, that is the only way they’ll get implemented. Theory, is just theory if doesn’t translate into actionable outcomes
  • Don’t be apologetic
    Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we do. Don’t back down if you think differently. Be relevant, and have the courage to own your thoughts, ideas, actions and accomplishments
  • Add value
    Be anything but boring. Bring a perspective, and add value. In an industry, that replaces resources at a drop of a hat, have something that sets you apart, even if you are dealing with the same set of brands/people everyday.

In a nutshell:

My biggest challenge here has been to overcome my reservation as a professional and the constant buzzer in my head that nags, ‘Is it relevant? Was that idea good enough?’

I am still coming to terms with it, and the only solution I have found to deal with it is address it and share it. If you don’t, you’ll never know.

The highlight has been to pitching to a dream brand and attending the 3 rd UN – Gender Equality Summit. It was a moment I’d like to describe as, ‘Yaar, mazza aa gaya!’

To take notes, learn and absorb so much energy, with so many people with a mind of their own was phenomenal.

I’ve learnt in life to not attach yourself to a place, but to people and to practices, to attach yourself with the larger mission. Sounds heavy, but it is as easy. Here’s mine: If you’re going to call yourself a storyteller, have stories to tell. For now, I am choosing to build mine. An exciting, rich on experiences story and I think, I will have good ones with a purpose. The journey has only just begun, and there are miles to go before I sleep.