top of page

Question answered in Quora - I just got promoted to project manager (which requires full time commit

I would do the PhD, because the fact that you applied for the PhD and got the scholarship says that you are more into research and analytical activities, you seem to enjoy that more.

Where as a Project Manager role is a sales role, essentially you need to herd cats, round up people and get things done, that is more of a sales and leadership role. I think the way the world is going, being a technology specialist and an expert in a certain area is much more profitable, in the sense that not just only in terms of money, but also will open lot more doors in the future, and if you are from a different culture not the typical North American type, I would seriously consider PhD over Project Management, and you can or probably will land in a Project Manager role one day anyway, at that time having a PhD and some laurels through that PhD will make things easier.

Having said this, see if you can find out what your true purpose in life is, why do you think you were born in this world, what do you want to be known as when you die, think thorough all that and pick the one you enjoy the most, because when people are passionate in what they are doing everything is different

Passion for what you do shows in the job you do. There is a big difference in the quality of work performed by people that are passionate about what they do versus the people that do their job just to complete that task and go home. When you passionately do something, you want to make it the best ever, you want it to be a great work, you want to put your own signature to it, you display so much energy, there is a sparkle in the eye, you want everyone to tell Hey look at this guy’s work, see how well he/she has done it you will automatically go an extra mile, nobody needs to tell you that. Where as people that get the job done just for the sake of getting it done, they do it without engagement, they do their work as if they are a zombie, there is no love in the creation they did, there is no going the extra mile, there is no energy, there is no sparkle in the eyes, you can clearly see the team that enjoys the work, they are having fun, they are laughing, they eat together (eating together is very important because it brings the tender side of people together), they are helping each other, they have each other’s back, they form such a cohesive relationship that work so well together, there is a lot of communication that happens between them, also keep in mind that the team in which team members that communicate the most produces the best results, this has been substantiated by research, all this creates a great work environment, which is contagious and spreads throughout the entire organization. This is when the whole becomes much greater than the sum of the parts, which is the environment every manager/leader strives very hard to create. (This is an aside here, this is often debated a lot the differences between a Leader and a Manager, a Manager is a guy who manages things, meaning it could be managing bunch of machines on a shop floor, managing a timeline, which is managing resources, but keep in mind here the resources are not people, where as the leader always manages people, because people are different from machines, machines always have a constant output, meaning a machine can produce certain number of parts given all the inputs that are required for it to run, for example if a machine produces 100 parts per hour, if I run it for 8 hours, I get 800 parts, and if I had 10 machines I get 8000 parts if I run all of them for 8 hours, so I know exactly how many parts it can produce, so a manager can come in and manage these machines and produce the best output based on these numbers, and by changing the schedule the manager can maximize the outputs. Where as people are different, people have this thing called emotion that makes them work different in different circumstances, when they emotionally connect with each other, when they display energy, when there is sparkle in everyone’s eyes, when they understand each other, develop empathy for each other, they help each other, they watch each other’s back, they work so well together as a team, but when they hate each other, they don’t work so well together, even if one person does not fit in the team, that creates disastrous consequences, so that is why they say one bad apple can spoil the entire bunch, that is why it is very important to have a great leader that can inspire the team, but when there is a great leader that truly inspires the team, sky is the limit for what the team can accomplish. These people are even ready to go on a war on behalf of their leader, nobody needed to tell the individual how well they needed to do their job, everybody liked their leaders so much, had fierce loyalty for them, were inspired by the leaders they did a great job (also another observation is people are loyal to the leaders that hire them, that is why often the leaders that are taking up new teams are asked to do the hiring themselves). Also keep in mind that there may be other issues, when people don’t work well together, especially in this day where everybody is connected so well together, people coming together from different cultures, people that don’t have that cultural intelligence make things difficult as well.

Here is an argument, why you should take up a job that you are passionate about, but pays less, than the job that you are not passionate about but pays more, in other words, don’t do something just for the money, but do it for the love of it, where you can give more, where you can do the best job ever.

When you are passionate in what you do you do the following

You do a great job - people like your work

You go the extra mile – people love this

You are happy – this makes the people that work with you happy, so they enjoy working with you, this happiness and enthusiasm is contagious, that is what every manager or leader is working very hard to create, when this happiness spreads more people join this happiness and the mood of the organization changes, everybody is enthusiastic, a great momentum builds and people get this feeling that if they do it together they can accomplish anything, 

Your creativity blossoms – you come up with new stuff, then you start sharing your stuff with others in the form of the blog or something else (I personally believe that every person needs to have their own blog if they are serious about taking their career to the next level)

 You automatically innovate – you find new ways to do things, you find better ways to do things

Your work speaks for yourself – Word gets around, people talk about your work, so you are recognized as a leader in what you do and you are one of the best in the business. When that happens opportunities automatically find you, because people always want to hire the best to get their job done, so naturally you end up with more opportunities and when demand is high and supply is less, you get to ask more

You give more – remember Karma the more you give, the more you get

When you are not passionate you are doing the following

You are finishing your work just for the sake of it

You just want to go home

There is no going the extra mile

Your mind is always thinking about something else, not about the work

You are looking at the money you are getting and comparing your remuneration with others

You are paying attention to other’s rewards and asking for the same from your bosses

That is why it is very important to do something that you love. The sooner you find it, the better it is.

Also check out my book Puga Sankara's Supply Chain Blog - that is a must read before spending Hundreds & Thousands of $$$ on your MBA or Masters Degree to get the best ROI or before starting your Entrepreneurial journey.


Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology consisting of Smart Gladiator Wearable Scanguns, Tablets, Mobile Tech & Apps for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 100 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard, texting&video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at or visit the company at Also follow him at

bottom of page