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How Durjoy Datta became a bestselling author

Last updated on: April 26, 2018 07:49 IST

"When my friends used to go for movies, restaurants, vacations etc, I used to write."
"Do not make an excuse that you do have time for your passion because of your career."
In an interactive session with students, Durjoy Datta revealed how and why he chose his passion for writing over a cushy corporate job.

Durjoy Datta at UPES, Delhi

Durjoy Datta speaks to students at 'Unleash,' an event organised by UPES in Delhi. Photograph: Kind courtesy UPES

It's not everyday that a bestselling novelist and television screenwriter visits your college and gives you career advice.

On April 23, students of UPES University had an interesting session with author Durjoy Datta.

The author of books like Of Course, I Love You and When Only Love Remains spoke about the importance of choosing the right career.

Some takeaways from the session on Career vs Passion:

"When I was seventeen, the question of career vs. passion was not a big one.

"I had no passion. I had never interacted with a writer so I did not know this profession even exists. All I was to do was to choose between medical, engineering, teaching, arts

"But for you guys the options are not limited. You know that you can transform your passion into alternative careers and that is where the question begins

"Your career is your safety net which your career may or may not be. You do not have to choose between career and passion. You can focus on both. It is not passion if you cannot find time for it.

"When my friends used to go for movies, restaurants, vacations etc, I used to write because I truly enjoyed doing it.

"When people complain they don’t have time for what they enjoy doing, it is a lie.

"Having done engineering and management I can tell that engineering students have a lot of free time and if they want they can utilize it to add more aspects to their personality.

"Do not make an excuse that you do have time for your passion because of your career.

"P&G (Procter and Gamble) didn’t hire me after my management program because they thought that I will leave soon to focus on writing.

"It made me angry because I wasn’t even thinking about full-time writing.

"For my next interview with American Express I removed the ‘writing’ part from my resume. I got the job. But 4-5 months into the job I realized that P&G people were right. Writing was my true calling, I actually wanted to write for a living. I quit my job and started writing full-time.

"When I was in a corporate job I earned a lot of money. It seemed lot because I was used to spending much less when I was growing up.

"I realised that if I leave my job for two years to pursue my passion and come back to a job at the same salary I will still be able to live a comfortable life.

"In that moment when I was choosing my passion over my career, it was my career that was pushing me to choose my passion because I have built up that security.

"When the P&G HR told me that I am going to write I was 100 per cent convinced that I am not going to. There was nothing that could have changed my mind.

"This brings out a fact. Are you 100 per cent sure that the passion you have picked at 17 years is something you are going to do for rest of your life? So just focusing on your passion at such a young age is a huge risk you will take."