Organizations are built brick by brick by the people that they on-board, develop and retain. 40% of the freshers hired from colleges leave their first jobs within the 1st year of starting work. They quickly get tired of what they do or their work environment. Many of them seek a different kind of work. Some of them face personal situations to leave their job and settle down in the new world that they embrace. A second career awaits them all!
Why Second Career?
Often choices about our career are made just because there is a hero or an idol who took that path to success. Many a times, the concerned individual has a limited knowledge about the possibilities and hence, leaves the choices to the others who are supposedly better at doing it. Family, individual choices and individual’s abilities and attitude play an important role in this critical step of one’s life.
One must invest energies and efforts in introspecting and seeking feedback from the significant others to understand one’s areas of strengths, aptitude and natural instincts. There are psychometric tools available to assess one’s personality traits, inherent strengths and so on. One’s current occupation might not be in sync with one’s abilities and personality traits. So, it is fair that one shifts into something that can leverage one’s strengths better and help one flourish as an individual.
Engineers move to finance, IT professionals move to politics, bureaucrats move to medicine, accountants move to business, HR professionals take up career in IT, Salespeople to music and so on. Choice of occupation as a family tradition is slowly getting obsolete. These transitions are drastic, but not impulsive. They are normally well-thought and could be a result of multitude of factors: could be a loud cry of the heart, wear and tear due to the mundaneness of a certain kind of work, rising demand of a certain kind of skill, lack of stimulation offered by the current job or just a window of opportunity to fulfil a dream!
Our times are dynamic and uncertain. A skill which is in demand today might go out of reckoning in the next 5 years. So, a choice made today might not be in good stead 5 years from now. So, one has to be flexible about the choices that one makes rather than looking at the career choice as a line engraved in stone. Second careers and third careers are likely to be the order of the day, as we go forward!
The first few years in the first job
Millennials are impatient; some say that they are well-informed and want quick gratification. These could be word-play, the fact is that they tend to look for favourable outcomes rather quickly compared to the generation born a decade or two ago.
Demands of industry have been changing so fast that our education system has not been able to keep pace. Students seeking excellence have to supplement their studies in mainstream institutes of education with specialised courses. Someone joining as a salesperson has limited skills in selling unless he or she has taken special courses, carried out extra-curricular assignments involving sales. An accountant is not ready to start real work right from the first month because the knowledge is swallow and inadequate.
Businesses are competing globally and are in a hurry for quick results. So, they need the fresh hire to get into the day-to-day business quickly. However, given the reality of our education system, they are not ready for the show and hence are given less significant tasks. Millennials looking for quick results ad recognition are disenchanted with the experience. Work-related stress plays a vicious role in work life. The need to do something else starts raising its head slowly.
It is important to recognize the triad of business context, competency and realistic expectation before one takes the plunge into a second career.
How to go about it?
There are several triggers that spur one to walk away from the current job. They could be related to the work, the environment, the boss or situations at home. However, once one walks out impulsively, it is normally a one-way route. So, one has to be rational rather than passionate about dropping the ball.
Financial resources are another important factor that need to be tied up well before one jumps into the unknown world of second career. Grass is greener on the other side. So, it is easy to be misled by the inner-calling, enthusiasm and passion for the new possibilities.
There are many who are risk-averse and fear the unknown. Nobody knows the future. The current job could be unimaginably transient and hence, certain amount of risk has to be embraced. It is important to evaluate one’s own strengths, determine areas of interest, believe in oneself, study all possibilities and take the plunge!