• Rahul Guha

Secret strategies to battle common career shift challenges that may fail you.

Most people get driven by purpose or passion while opting for a career shift. I did mine, and it was not an easy decision.

I will share my experiences to help you identify the challenges and deal with them early to ensure that those do not become a trap for you when you are busy building your next career.

There is an easy way out to those hurdles if you trace those at the early stage and remain prepared mentally to deal with them.

Most fail as they are hard-pressed with drainage of funds, time, or lack of bandwidth. Intelligent people do enough planning before plunging into a new venture or something that is relatively new to them.

Initially, you will have all the excitement and grit; the critical factor is accelerating the pace and not letting the spirit subside.

I found that doing something new is relevantly

easier than a decade ago; plenty of support,

technology, knowledge, and references will not

let you fail unless you decide to leave the

driver’s seat.

Most feel that their field of expertise is saturated, and dealing with something new may ruin the prospect. Let me clear the air about this myth.

You will excel in exploring your niche when you design your offering focussing on solving the user problem and not keeping it generic.

Precisely, the concept of old wine in a new

bottle is passe unless you propose compelling

health benefits of wine that interest people &

trigger a binge for more. Just a new bottle

may generate curiosity but does not ensure

sales conversation.

This deliberation is about two circumstances.

(a) when you decide to start on your own, either entirely by yourself or in collaboration.

(b) you are advancing towards a ripe career and keen to have a CXO role in a futuristic allied industry.

Let me share the hurdles that you may encounter at the planning stage.

#1 When you market yourself, the most crucial factor determining your success is “why should people buy” your talent or your offerings.

Is there a compelling reason to buy your offerings, onboarding you for a top job, or pay for your services?

Most remain confused at this stage.

As you mature in your profession, you tend to

manage a larger spectrum of operations; in a

process, you may dilute your one unique skill

or competence that may allure your audience.

You need to dive deep into your mind and find that one specialization. Let me share some examples; say, you are the head of Procurement of a company, and your specialization is Automation. I am not talking about ERP alone but using many other tools to project, predict and align teams for outstanding performance. So here your hook is Automation, as you could save time, energy, and money in the business with your unique skill.

If you can place yourself as a specialist with a

proven track record and ability to churn a

profit, people will be keen to hire you or your


#2 Next is deciding your path. People procrastinate at this stage for a long, and the career shift never happens. If your purpose is vital, I firmly believe you will sketch your path with clarity.

You will have this mounting block of inaction when you dribble with uncertainties to discover “What’s Next.” You can only break it by deciding.

A classic example of people with experience

deciding on any career shift is fear of venturing

into the unknown.

They are uncertain about sacrificing a cushy job till they are compelled to leave that or never fear venturing to learn new things afresh.

Like in any job, you always need certainty. Meet your target within a deadline, secure the promised saving in the budget, and show gains in number to prove that you have performed. You know this process; adopt the same actions for yourself.

For example, if you venture for a CXO role, plan how many target employers you like to reach out to, your communication strategy, metrics to check your growth of the network, etc. It would help if you built a solid plan for every stage to derive results. If you start your business, this strategy will be no different.

In the job, you will get replaced if you

fail; you do not have a second chance in your self-

employment either.

If you make mistakes, you alone need to bear the burnt.

Plan Option B is to remain on the growth path even with jarks & diversions.

#3 How strong is your financial backup? Let me break a myth here.

Shifting career is not an exotic vacation or

doing a luxury detox session at a gurukul.

You do not always need to invest initially or are required to maintain a vast fund back up. Say you need to build on your public speaking and critical thinking skills when you eye for a CXO role. Please take it as an example. You may need to learn new skills to build on your competence and abilities.