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Mid life Choices. Is this you?. Am I happy with my current career? -To the extent that I can pursue this for the rest of my life?

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Mid life Choices

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Mid life Choices

Is this you?

  • Am I happy with my current career?-To the extent that I can pursue this for the rest of my life?

  • I am in my 40’s- I have always wanted to start something on my own- but I wonder if it is too late for that? Will I be able to learn new skills? How will my family cope with lifestyle issues

  • This routine job is getting to me- I wish I could do something more creative; more original- something that is inherently ‘me’?

  • I have always placed my career second to my husband’s..Now that my children have grown up, I wish I could get back to a mainstream career for myself..

  • Is there a career that will allow me to do justice to home front as well as my professional talent

Mid life Career Choices

What is common across these people?

  • Captain Gopinath

  • Dr ShashiTharoor

  • Dr M S Swaminathan

  • Ms MeeraSanyal

Mid life Career Choices

Examples of successful mid-life career changes…

  • Captain GopinathFrom agriculture to Aviation to logistics company

  • Dr ShashiTharoorFrom Writer to UN Beaurocrat to politics

  • Dr M S SwaminathanFrom Government beaurocrat to Research Scientist to politician

  • Ms MeeraSanyal

    Country Manager of a foreign bank- ran for politics in 2010

Mid life Career Choices

Middle age is the time when…

  • We feel we understand ourselves better…

  • We feel we have probably achieved our initial set of professional and financial goals..

  • We feel we are in the process of building a stable family structure…

  • It is also the time we can ‘re-set’ the agenda for the rest of our lives…

  • We cannot have a fulfilling life if we believe we are not doing meaningful work…

Mid life Career Choices

In the last two decades…

  • India has thrown up many opportunities –thanks to liberalisation

  • Cost of experimenting with a new career is lower- as one can always get back to a job

  • Less stigma attached to failure- in fact a “premium” attached to exploring something new…

  • Economy has helped people progress significantly- hence most lifestyle goals are met..

  • Opportunity to live two lives in one!

Mid life Career Choices

How did we choose our first careers?

  • Did we ‘choose’ at all?!

  • Decision based on salary and perks opportunity rather than basic understanding of one’s own strength or passion areas

  • So once these goals are met, what next?

  • But the question remains- is it too late to try something new?

Mid life Career Choices

What are the options…

  • From corporate to :-Social sectorDo I want to make a difference through my skills and network to a larger community in a more direct manner?RakeshJinsi- Secretary General SOS Children Village did it- after being in Eicher for 22 years..- Childhood passionIs there something that I have always wanted to do right from childhood?Sriram –IIM Kolkata-Citibank did it- got back to pursuing carnatic music as a full time career..KalyaniCandade- advertising 15 years- moved to setting up ‘nature’ based corporate training outfit- ‘Wildertrail’

Mid life Career Choices`

What are the options..

  • From corporate to :- TeachingWill I find it too ‘passive’? Can I cope with such less pay?Associate Prof RamasamyRaju-Anna Univ did it- moved from Railways to teaching after 22 years..-EntrepreneurshipStart something on my own- what if I fail? Will I lose a lot of my savings?BadriSeshadri- founder cric info .com did it- started a regional publishing house as a second career..-PoliticsR K Misra- moved from software to joining politics

Mid life Career Choices

Points to ponder :

  • Simple questions do not have simple answers

  • Action does not ensure happiness- but there is no happiness without action

  • Mid life career choices are a REALITY to deal with…

Mid life Career Choices

Not as easy as it seems..

  • Evaluated myself in terms of :- What have I been good at- What do I enjoy doing- What do I need at this point of time in my life

  • Self –assessment by Marcus Buckingham

  • Analysis and communicationInfluencing people

Mid life Career Choices

Career options…

  • Public Relations Role

  • Sales and Marketing Role in a company

  • Training and Consultancy

  • Teaching

Mid life Career Choices


My Mid life Career Choice

Professor and Head of Department-Chennai Business School

Why teaching?

  • Utilises my natural strengths the best- academics and communication

  • Takes forward my work experience

  • Allows me flexible time as a home maker

  • Am more of myself at work..there is no divide

Mid life Career Choices

What really changed?

  • Work environment( team versus individual)

  • Social life setting

  • Lifestyle/ Pay

  • Student relationship building( task versus people)

  • ‘Staying updated’ on my specialisation area

  • More flexibility of time

  • Education-’Destination Career’….

Mid life Career Choices

What I have learnt through the book journey..

  • Family ‘Rules’- Planning for financial stability is key..

  • Need to “earn more” not a driving factor for mid-life career change..

  • Men and Women wired differently about careers..

  • Mid life choices are about aligning with one’s true nature..

  • One does not necessarily have to change careers around mid-life…

Mid life Career Choices

Sum up- how do you go about a career change?

  • Take a break ( mentally- and if possible- physically)-watch your mind/ where it takes you..

  • List will emerge- things that you always wanted to do..gather some more INFORMATION on these areas..

  • Let your instinct guide you on whether you need to ACT based on these..

  • ‘Acting’ on some is critical..gives you a feel for the ENTIRE aspect of the new career..

  • Study your parents closely for their hobbies/unfulfilled interests..

  • Look at your own childhood…

  • List out aspects of your job that you have enjoyed till date…


Mid life Career Choices

Mid life Career Choice- Mine is Teaching –What is yours?

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