Changing careers…

Most of the mails I receive through MyZenPath revolve around changing career to suit individual preferences. It also happens to be one of the most searched Google query- how to make successful mid-career transition?

Career transition by itself is a major decision and might require committed self-exploration and experimentation. It is perhaps easier in twenties, and rather challenging in mid-life. Yet, I see most people gravitating to their individual work preferences as they gain better insight about their own self by mid-life. While working with few individuals I have seen such transitions taking minimum 6-8 months to couple of years.

In this article however, I am not discussing that journey. Instead, I am presenting few TED talks that provide insights from three talented individuals with diverse backgrounds. I’d suggest that you watch all three talks, see what makes most sense to you form each one of them – ponder, make your own notes and then plan your transition. It helps immensely if you have a mentor/coach during this process.

How to change careers when you’re lost – Felicia Ricci

The first lady is Felicia Ricci, she is an author, performer, voice teacher, and an entrepreneur. While talking about career changes in life, this is what she says –

“There is no final draft, keep revising your life to create your reality”.

She also discusses three tips that I find quite useful –

  • Ignoring odds – If you’re innovative, the odds will never be in your favor.
  • Embrace the fear – Revisions can be terrifying & stressful, and you will freak out at some point.
  • Action speaks louder – You can’t decide by thinking, you can only decide by doing.

It is fascinating to listen how Felicia Ricci elaborates these three tips with her own stories and experiences.

Career Change: The questions you need to ask yourself now – Laura Sheehan

Laura Sheehan is a lawyer who has lived in seven countries over the span of 15 years. She married a diplomat and decided to accompany her husband as he moved through various countries.

As Laura took up different roles and titles, she realized that she could do multiple thing successfully and transitioned into the role of global career strategist. She shares three steps to find success at any stage of your life or career.

  • Be open to, and ready for change
  • Embrace the experiences, ditch the titles
  • Make meaningful connections

She briefly discusses Charles Handy’s book – The Age Of Unreason, which suggests that careers could be a portfolio of different jobs instead of one position that lasts for decades.

She insists that skills we use consistently across everything are our real strengths. It is worth listening to her insights that come from diverse experiences.


Consider a change in career – Aditi Dubey

Aditi Dubey is currently a lecturer in the Centre of Applied English Studies, Faculty of Arts, at the university of Hong Kong. She has also been a BBC Radio news presenter and reporter, and also a flight attendant. Due to several career changes, she calls herself a professional career hopper.

During her talk she mentions the biggest reason for change in career, and it resonated with me so well.

The reason motivating you to go and change your career, one biggest one I felt is that you feel you’ve so much potential. You’ve done one thing but there’s a lot more within you, there’s so much to offer.
….
A part of you that is just not being explored, and that creates a feeling of unfulfillment.

Aditi Dubey also emphasizes that you’ll need to come up with your own definition of success which may not be fully explained in material terms. And I completely agree with that – so for example, you may decide a year is successful if you manage to publish a book, or finish a marathon.

Taking the leap

Well, it is your career and your life, and you decide what you want to do with it. Watch all these three talks and take what you find most useful or inspiring. Seek help if required, and once you decide to change your career for whatever reason, remember what Felicia Ricci said – “You can’t decide by thinking, you can only decide by doing.”  🙂


About the featured image:

The featured image for this article is found on the internet. Far too many sites are using it to give credit to any specific site. I am using this image here with gratitude and thanking the unknown photographer.