Is mid-career shift a right thing to do?

Well yes, perhaps you’ve have been thinking about a mid-career change for a while now. You have grown to realize and more importantly acknowledge that you were never really cut out to be an accountant or developer. But your education and the subsequent chain of events led you to build your current career. Now you look back and think, if only you could go back and start again, you’d probably do something that was way much closer to your heart and something with which you can identify. You’d be a happier person had you been a writer, entrepreneur, chef or an event manager. Don’t fret or panic! You are not alone on the boat.

The number of people ‘thinking’ of making an altogether new career move is on the rise, but the number of people who actually take the leap of faith is dismal, simply because there is too much at stake and the fear of making a wrong decisions pales their courage. As a result, we have more and more dissatisfied and under-productive workers.

Making a career shift is not something you can do in a day, week or month. It takes intense planning and precision. The days prior to making the actual shift are often filled with anxiety, frustration, self-doubt and uncertainty.

But how do you know that you actually want to move from your current role or industry to a more exciting and rewarding career?

“You will know when the calling comes! Mondays will become unusually monstrous, the monotony at work will kill your insides and continuous dissatisfaction will take its toll pushing you to take the much desired yet dreaded leap.”

Well, now that you are almost sure that you are going to re-design your career, how are you going to plan for it?

  1. Pinpoint what you plan to do: A friend’s sister was on a maternity leave when he decided she did not want to join back the corporate world. She was always interested in simple stitching and patterns and made lovely dresses complete with matching accessories for her newborn daughter. Soon other women noticed, appreciated and enquired about availability and cost. In less than a month, she made up her mind to open a boutique for baby clothing. She now has a virtual boutique and sells primarily through Whatsapp and Facebook. She will hire more staff and take it to the next level in a year when her daughter begins play school. And yes she is happy.
  2. Assess your current stakes: Assess your current financial situation and liabilities including EMIs, investments and household expenditures. Discuss with your spouse and immediate family and share your vision and plan and let them know that you will need their support.
  3. Chart a robust master plan: The thought of starting afresh may be overwhelming for someone who has been in his or her comfort zone for long. Hence being amply equipped with the right kind of skill set and functional know-how will go a long way in making you comfortable in your new role. You may feel the need to do a short certification course, volunteer somewhere for experience, or read exhaustively to know about the new role.
  4. Discuss with a mentor or knowledgeable person: Look for and connect with a mentor who can offer an objective and professional view to help you choose your career path and plan the transition.
  5. Network skillfully: Getting in touch with the right set of people who could be or may be strong propellers for your career is a skill that you will have to fine tune if still not done. Why only LinkedIn, you can also network through your alumni channel, seminars, institutes and many other forums. Use social media judiciously to give your resume a modern makeover and fill your stance with confidence and intention. A survey shows that a well-designed resume can draw the attention of recruiters on the social media and get your interview calls in a matter of days, taking you eventually to the place you dreamt of being in.

Now, many others who have been standing at the bus-stop but have been too scared to get on the bus often think aloud “Is making a mid-career shift a right thing to do?.” Well, this is a question that only time and you can tell. But undoubtedly if planned well and executed perfectly making a mid-career shift could be the best thing to have happened to a professional in years, bringing with it a sense of satisfaction, achievement, pride and ownership.

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