In Pursuit of Happiness, Former Techie Does 28 Jobs in 28 States in 28 Weeks - The New Indian Express

In Pursuit of Happiness, Former Techie Does 28 Jobs in 28 States in 28 Weeks

Published: 07th March 2014 08:25 AM

Last Updated: 07th March 2014 11:17 AM

Choosing a career can be a difficult decision, one which requires years of pondering. But, some people have it easy and let others make that crucial decision for them and end up hating what they do for the rest of their lives.

Jubanashwa Mishra gave into the middle-class Indian dream of becoming a successful IT engineer, but two years into the job he found himself stuck in a rat race he didn’t want to chase, which led to an introspection on his career choices. In his endeavour to discover what he was passionate about, the 29-year-old former techie from Odisha found himself at the backwaters of Alappuzha, assisting a houseboat driver, atop mountain peaks picking up garbage, rubbing shoulders with Bollywood stars and selling sundals (snack made with chickpeas) in Tamil Nadu.

In his ‘One week Job’ project, Jubanashwa did 28 jobs in the 28 states in 28 consecutive weeks from May to December 2013. This saw him don the role of a photographer in Haryana, tea leaf picker in Assam, sevak at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, a rafting trainee in Jammu and Kashmir and movie marketing executive in Mumbai, among others.

Some of the other jobs Jubanashwa undertook were of a tattoo artist, journalist, emotional consultant, data entry administrator, Bullet mechanic, hotel manager and mud artisan.

Jubanashwa worked as a cremation assistant in Uttar Pradesh, which left him with nightmares. “The smell of dead flesh stayed with me days after leaving Banaras,” he says.

He also had to try and change the conservative attitude of villagers in Bihar, while working as a field supervisor for a rural contraceptive campaign.

His trip was part of his mission to encourage youngsters to discover and follow their passion. Jubanashwa, who works as a writer and motivational speaker now, says if it weren’t for his parents he wouldn’t have become an engineer.

“Due to parental intervention and lack of guidance most youngsters in India get stuck in the medical-or-engineering dilemma and end up living someone else’s dream. I want to help break that trend and encourage others to do what they love.”  

“People who live their passion are the happiest,” Jubanashwa goes on, adding that he saw several examples during his trip. Be it the German woman who dedicated her life to cleaning the Himalayas, or the founder of an adventure club in J&K or his boss at the movie marketing job, all of them had left their comfort zones to pursue what they loved, and the happiness they found was priceless. 

Jubanashwa is working on a book and a documentary on his experience.

So did the unusual journey help him discover his passion?  “Yes,” the part-time writer replies.

“The toughest job I did was in Hyderabad, where I worked as a playschool teacher, but it was also one I found very fulfilling. So I plan to take up teaching kids as a full-time profession and also start a school.”

He said the school would stay away from “marks-oriented” goals, and focus on developing individual skills and inspire and guide students to live with their passion. For he feels it is high time India taught its younger generation to dream beyond the most obvious professions.

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