Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MY LIFE- MY CHOICE- Mid life career choices

My life-My Choice”- A book on Mid life career choices By Rajeshwari

( published by Macmillan)


Ten real stories about real people...

What is my ‘ideal’ job? Which career would suit me perfectly ?

Around our mid-lives, many of us are faced with the question- is this the career that I would like to pursue for the rest of my life? Or are there alternatives that I would like to experiment with ?

The experiment itself maybe an expensive proposition- if you are the only bread-winner in your family- but that still does not deter some to take the plunge in an area that feels close to their hearts. This book deals with ten such people who have moved out of the cocoon of stable, lucrative first careers and tried something completely new and different around their mid-lives. It outlines the triggers , barriers and implementation mechanics involved in arriving at such a decision .

The alternative career choices discussed here range from joining politics to taking up teaching or joining a NGO or starting an entrepreneurship venture or even getting back to one’s own childhood interest..These are full time career choices and not part-time pursuits. And these are actively considered after one has met one’s initial set of professional goals. The shift may be done for various reasons ranging from- stagnant learning in the first career ( boredom at work is yet another reality that the current working class has to deal with) or having a “larger than life social calling” or “ wanting to impact young minds” or even wanting to pursue one’s childhood passion. In some cases it is also because of family circumstances that one has to re-look at one’s career. And by giving a flavour of the different options that people take up, I hope readers will get a perspective of what these entail both in terms of the new career understanding and that of self- understanding ( this is more critical- so you get a feel of whether you are suited for those options). The book is not comprehensive on the range of issues covered – in fact every chapter has the potential to become a separate book. But I have touched upon aspects that I believe maybe some of the most important ones- thereby leaving the readers to ponder upon the rest.

Middle age is the time when we re-set the agenda for the rest of our lives; and work defines a large part of our agenda in terms of who we are . So we cannot have a fulfilling life if we feel we do not have a fulfilling career- hope this book inspires you to take that first step..

FOREWORD ( in part..)
By Captain Gopinath
Founder Air Deccan

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." Goethe

Rajeshwari’s book on “Mid life career choices” has brought together a group of people who dared to dream and followed through on their dreams. And as I read the book, it brought back all those memories of moments of inner strife, the struggles, and the jubilant moments of the changes that I made in my life in terms of various careers. Amongst the many career choices that I made, I started India’s largest Low cost airline, Air Deccan, but before that I also successfully ran my farm, which I had converted from a barren piece of land that the government had given us. I also ran a Udupi restaurant, was a motorcycle dealer and joined politics!! Some I was successful at and some I wasn’t…but the journey was exhilarating. I believe that the ingredients that go into achieving what we want in our lives are hard work, courage and determination-much more than just talent. With the window of opportunities being plenty, there is a set of Sabeer Bhatias, Narayan Murthys, Ambanis to draw inspiration from. My advice to my daughters or to my friends has always been to find their true calling. It is a long drawn process but is completely worth going through. In the final analysis, I believe it is not about the money or the privileges that a well settled job can get you. It is actually about finding where your heart belongs. And that makes work a pleasure, brings out the best in you and makes your life worth living.
Rajeshwari’s book talks directly to those who are sitting on the fence, evaluating career change, but are not taking the plunge because of various reasons. The insights from the book are very real and I was able to see myself in many of those situations. Each story is a reminder of the fact that ultimately we alone are responsible for what we wish to do with our lives and that we need to make our work/life choices with great care.