Turning a job transition into a career building move – Part 2 : Changing Industry

In my last post, I explored transitioning from one organisation to another. Many of us(myself included) shift industries as part of our career journeys. Everyone has different reasons for doing this. Some do it in order to follow a passion while others do it for involuntary reasons like layoffs. A lot of people also transition from a job to starting a business and vice-versa. Changing an industry in your career requires being open to both learning and unlearning. Challenges of Changing Industry Your network may be limited: Your past network may have been very strong but not all of those contacts will be as relevant to your new work and domain. Since a strong network plays a big role in building your career this may be a cause of worry when you are changing industry. Your knowledge may be limited: If you experience is primarily in the domain you are exiting then, your knowledge of the new domain may be limited. If you are starting a new business then, the whole process of starting a business may feel unclear and ambiguous. Fear of the unknown: Stepping into unfamiliar territory can be daunting especially when you are coming from a place……

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Turning a job transition into a career building move – Part 1 : Changing Organizations

In today’s fast-paced world jobs are no longer for life. Career moves are part of the journey and even recommended as a way to grow your skills and experience. Millennials and iGens are known to hold 2-3 parallel jobs and thrive in them. In the course of your career, you are likely to encounter multiple job transitions. Some of the transitions will be voluntary, others enforced by circumstances. How you manage a job transition can become a defining factor for you and your career. When handled well a job transition can become a building block in your career. Job transitions broadly fall into 4 categories: Changing your organization–  Where you move from one organization to another. Changing your industry – Where you shift to a new and often unknown industry. This could also include moving from a job to running a business or vice-versa. Role changes -where you move laterally or vertically with the same organization. Career breaks– when you take time off either to introspect or manage life or career changes like layoffs, industry decline, maternity, illness, family situations, etc. In this blog, we will focus on moving from one organization to another. Challenges of moving from one organization to another Typical……

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How successful leaders handle a “no”

Successful leadership is often about getting stuff done. Which means convincing, requesting, delegating, directing and mentoring people to take on work that you need to get done. As the saying goes, good leaders make people want to work for them. And one of the traits of such leaders is the finesse with which they handle a “No”. Some leaders start taking it for granted that, when they ask someone to do something, the other person will obey. Infact, research suggests that of all the people who struggle to say no, 78% claim they find it most difficult to refuse their boss’s request, even if the request makes excessive demands on their time, energy or work-life balance. There is enough literature available on the internet and books on how to learn to say no. But rarely do organisations work on teaching their leaders to handle a no. Why is it so difficult for most people to hear someone say “no”? When people hear a no it may trigger certain beliefs and feelings which are often based on past experiences rather than the present situation. We all have an intrinsic need to be accepted. Hearing a “no”  can mean that we are not and this can……

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What your manager means when he says that you need to be more strategic?

The most common developmental goal for executives today is that they need to be more strategic. If you are part of the middle management and aspiring to be a senior leadership, there is a strong chance that at some point you have already received this feedback- that you need to be more strategic. Some managers get this feedback either in a 360˚ assessment or performance appraisal. Others realise this as a shortfall once they step into a leadership role. As one of my clients put it, “I’m great at fixing things and solving problems; but now I seem to be required to create a strategy and vision for the business; I’m not sure I know what I’m doing.” What does it mean to be strategic? In a nutshell, becoming more strategic means moving from an execution mindset to that of thinking and creating. Managers are often great at executing tasks derived from someone else’s strategy but not effective in developing their own strategy for their business. In individual roles “Getting things done” is what counts. In leadership roles developing the vision of what needs to be done counts. This is a critical metamorphosis in thinking that needs to happen when an……

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Newton’s first law of motion and how it applies to your career

Recently Prashant came to me seeking support in his career. We discussed the goals for the coaching engagement which were primarily about reviving his focus on his career.  Prashant told me that his career had been going great till a couple of years back. Then a new manager who was both demanding and dominating took over. Prashant found it difficult to adjust to the new boss’s working style. His performance dipped and he lost interest in the job that he used to love earlier. He needed the paycheck so he stuck with the job. Two years later the boss moved on but Prashant continued to experience a lack of interest in his job. Something like this is a very common with career professionals. They are doing great when something triggers a dip in performance, interest, and motivation. In this case, we were able to identify the source of when and where Prashant lost interest but for most people, it is not always so simple. They just know that something has shifted and they no longer get any pleasure from the work they do. They define the time when they liked the job as” I use to feel charged up”, “I was excited……

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3 steps to start breaking free when you are feeling stuck in a rut

We all go through phases in life when we feel stuck. Getting stuck  generally happens when: You are emotionally part of the situation and are not able to look at it objectively. There are negative emotions attached like anger, frustration, boredom. You feel you have no power/control on what’s happening. It could be in your career or business or in your personal life but the feeling is pretty much the same. Of being caught in a situation where you feel you have limited control in breaking out. Below are some powerful ways to break out if you are feeling stuck   1.Take back your power and the responsibility: When we start feeling stuck it is easy to fall into a victim mindset or accept the feeling of no control. It then becomes a vicious cycle of getting further pulled into the situation and feeling an even lower level of control. The first step is to connect back to the most powerful version of yourself. Ask yourself, “When I am feeling powerful, who am I?” We all have moments of strength and weakness. Taking on a more powerful mindset puts you in a more resourceful state where you find it easier to find solutions. Understand that the situation is not you. Like everything……

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What is the little voice in your head and what does it want?

Imagine this; you are outside an interview room waiting to be called in. The interview is for a job you really desire. You know you possess the right skills and experience. You are well prepared and dressed right. In spite of all that you are feeling a wee bit nervous. A close friend is accompanying you. As you look through the glass door of the interview room, your friend spots the interviewer and says, “That guy looks mean. He probably won’t like you. He may give you a hard time” Hearing this, your nervousness jumps up a notch. As you step into the interview room and come face to face with the interviewer you find that he does look intimidating. You somehow fumble through the meeting. As you walk out of the room you know that you’ve blown it. And your friend says, ” You are a stupid oaf. You couldn’t even get the simplest of answers right. Even if you did get the job you would probably have screwed it up.” By now you are probably thinking that this is not a great friend to hang out. But would you be surprised if I told you that this friend……

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If you are a manager – get good at sharing bad news

The dilemma of sharing bad news Leaders are often the messenger and sometimes the creator of bad news. While the saying goes “Don’t shoot the messenger” unfortunately that is exactly what some employees want to do when they hear bad news. Bad news can be of different proportions and impact. It could range from mass lay offs and salary cuts to asking someone to work over weekends or asking a low performer to leave. Often the manager may have taken the decision due to circumstances or business needs. At other times the decision may be taken by someone else and the manager is expected to deliver it to the team. At such times leaders often feel uncomfortable with doing the job because at a human level they may not want to impact another human being. Often managers anticipate a negative reaction from the team or are uncomfortable dealing with emotional outbursts. Some managers avoid sharing bad news or delegate it to someone else. Some try to mask it with jargon or logic. At the same time there are a few who handle it with finesse . Why is it important to get good at sharing bad news: As a manager it is part of your job and it will be……

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The difference that makes the difference

This week in India was marked with the sudden demise of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the Missile man, the extraordinary scientist and most importantly the man dubbed as the People’s President during and after his tenure in the Presidential office. What made him so admirable was not just his academic and career success, his knowledge and simplicity but everything that he stood for. He came from a poor, rural, Muslim family in Tamil Nadu and rose to the highest office in the country, through sheer determination and hardwork. For young India he is an Icon of what is possible. In the midst of scam, corruption, high competition and unequal opportunities Dr. Kalam’s life was an inspiration of aspirations, dreams and success. This post is a dedication and a reflection on the great man and his greatness. What makes someone who comes from a life of hardship and challenges make it the way someone like Dr. Kalam does? And more importantly what prevents others in similar circumstances from doing the same?   The biggest difference is not what the world throws at us but how we perceive it. Perception is the way we see and experience the world and it varies from person to……

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3 Steps to take control when change happens

take control

Change is difficult!
Occasionally its manageable. More often than not it is tough to deal with.

Some changes in life happen voluntarily for most of us. A lot of them are a result of circumstances. Whether we like it or nor change is part of us; professionally, personally, physically, financially and in all aspects of life.
All of us have heard the saying “Change is the only constant”. But, knowing that we must go through change repeatedly in life does not make it easier.

Perhaps what makes change so difficult for us is the fear of the unknown. We feel threatened by losing what we are comfortable with and stepping into unknown territory. We fear that the safety of what we know will get replaced with the insecurity of undefined terrain. Sometimes this fear is so big that we continue to hold on to things we are unhappy with because we fear that the “new” could be worse.  This is often a reason why people continue in abusive relationships or unfulfilling jobs. What if the next relationship is worse or what if I don’t find anyone? What if a new job is more demanding or does not offer the same financial security as this one?
Belief systems also sometimes hamper our need to change. If I walk out of this relationship that I feel trapped in am I being selfish? If I let go of a secure job to follow my dream am I being impulsive and rash?

And behind this fear and belief systems lurks the discomfort of letting go of control

Sometimes we willingly take on a change and then find that we can’t deal with it and going back to the old and familiar seems like an easy choice.  We may have started with wanting this change but when we get into the new situation it becomes extremely difficult to deal with.

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