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Changing Career Direction at 30,40


Do you think your job is "THE ONE" ?

Think again.

Today in India, professionals are changing jobs and careers more than ever before. The days of a linear career path or the idea of having life-long employment at a company are no longer the norm.

An interesting survey by LinkedIn revealed that 1 in 3 Indian professionals feel like they are ‘career sleepwalking’. They feel stuck or stagnant in their career. And 57% consider pivoting in their career because they wanted a more fulfilling career.

Changing careers at 30 or 40 doesn't have to be hard. As long as you know in which direction you want to go. What job do you see yourself doing well using the skills you've acquired in the past 10-15 years? Are you thinking about transitioning from a generalist role to a specialist?

Do you want to take your career in a different direction?

career direction

Changing Career Direction at 30,40

Here are a few things you can do as you explore different opportunities and take your career in a totally different direction.

Identify your strengths

First step, know yourself inside out. Better than anyone else. Whilst it is important to take feedback and assessment from friends, the final call is yours. Because your dreams, your vision, and your career path are best defined by one who wants to ride on it. And that is you. Identify your skill set. That will tell you if you are armed enough for a career switch.

Don’t limit yourself

Limitations come from limited vision. It could be based on a failed experience or resources of meagre supply. It could also be because the current job seems to appear as ‘the one.’ So the question of exploring an alternate career is not even thought of. It’s time to look beyond what you are doing and consider what you really want to do. Embrace options with an open mind, and you will realise that the world is truly an oyster of opportunities.

Try a collaboration

Collaborating with someone as you embark on a new career path can give you the confidence you require. Start with basic steps such as consulting. Offer ideas and see how you could execute them if it were your job. Initiation is the key to a career switch.

Start believing that a career change is possible

As cliche as it sounds, it is all truly in the mind. The more you believe in yourself, the higher you can go. If you think you can, you can! Start with the belief that a career change is indeed possible. The rest will fall in place.

The only limits you have are the limits you believe.

We do not realise it, but more often than not, we are the ones that limit our progress. It is our fear, our thoughts, and our inhibitions that become our obstacles. Progress is but just a few steps away if we could stop to understand what’s stopping us in the first place.

Are you limiting yourself thinking -

  • It’s beyond my capability. I don’t have it in me.

  • I don’t have anyone to back me up. They will put me down.

  • I don’t know the right people for this career change.

  • I don’t have sufficient savings in my account.

Don't let negative self-talk get to you. Have faith and take a leap. A career transition is just a few steps away.

Don't make the mistake of making a reactive shift

Promotion missed. Hard work didn't equal reward. The increment was insufficient. No work-life balance.

Have you ever been in this situation before? If yes, did you feel like quitting and finding a new job?

If you answered YES, you might be headed for a reactive shift. A reactive shift is where your career shift is primarily driven by your past. They are knee-jerk reactions, that may not work out in your favour sometimes.

Instead of letting your past affect your current career decisions, slow down and think about what you've learnt from your past experiences. Create a multi-dimensional picture of both the past and the future. Think about what works and what doesn't work for you.

Now, with careful consideration, choose your next career steps. Gently shift gears and see the road ahead.

Write a plan of action

Always document what you plan to do. Create a career action plan and here are some ideas on what to do -

  • Write down the Whys - Know why you do what you do.

  • Do a SWOT analysis - Your strengths and weaknesses speak volumes about you. Opportunities and threats decide actual limits.

  • Explore various options based on your interests - You know what they say. Do what you love, and you never have to work another day in your life.

  • Pick a path and set career goals: Decision—a critical part of changing career direction. You cannot dabble in multiple areas if you are looking for a steadfast professional career. Pick a path that suits you the best.

Consider freelancing

Want to trial a career path? Try freelancing. You could also apply for an internship or volunteer for some experience. Get to know how it feels to do the job you're interested in.

Build your personal brand

Branding is critical to a successful career, and what better way than LinkedIn? Create content, give value to people. Make a difference with your presence, and see the wonders it can do to not just your career but your morale and confidence as well. Talk to a career mentor if you need help building your brand.

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