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Saturday, March 10, 2007


Before I move ahead into other posts, I thought I should return back to the issue of career change/switches once again. I will like to follow the question-answer way to illustrate on what a career change really is.

What necessarily is a career switch/change?
These kind of switches are normally a switch over to a completely different kind of work profile such that your previous work experience can be of very negligible utility in your new job profile. For instance, moving from hard core manufacturing to the finance part of investment banking. The general skills which a person gained in manufacturing might not be of any utility in the new profile. Under such a situation, it might be difficult to get a lateral profile.

Is switching industries necessarily a career change?
Not necessarily, as many roles in different industries carry the same fundamentals. For instance a shipping person, good in supply chain and operations can easily join the supply chain and operations of an IT or other hi-tech companies. Under such a situation, the skills of the past job are easily transferable to the new role and there exists a lot of respect for the past work experience. A merchant navy captain who joined the operations of the leading hi-tech company in a senior role is an example of such changes. Or a person from iron and steel industry who did the supply chain analysis, joining an IT firm as domain consultant forms yet another example. Such changes should not come under the category of career changes. Other examples are

1. Automobile sector to other manufacturing
2. Supply chain to retail
3. Architect to real estate consultancy
4. Shipping to domain consultant (IT)
5. Mathematics/economics to investment banking
6. CA to investment banking/other aspects of corporate finance
7. Corporate finance to banking and vice versa
8. IT supply chain to manufacturing/retail
9. Hotel to real estate consultancy
10. Media to marketing
11. Shipping to oil/energy/power

This list can be really long.

What are the transferable traits, apart from the typical job related ones?
A lot of companies look for traits other than the normal functional traits and based on these traits allocate fairly senior roles. For instance, an army major who joined a leading consultancy based on his leadership skills, or an energy sector person who joined another consultancy because of his contacts in the industry. Such traits like “leadership” and “seniority ” to get contacts are always in demand. Such traits are always associated with lateral roles even though the skills in the past job may not be directly transferable to the new roles. Normally these are the skills highly respected in the senior management.


Jayan R Nair said...

Hi Sabya,
I was unable to access the ISB website today. Is there any maintenance going on.

Sorry for asking such trivial question.



may be due to maintenance...or due to some network problems
...all set to join ISB???

Jayan R Nair said...

I am ..
bit scared because comming back to books after a long time..
feeling like brain is not working like it used to..
Have to go through the pre-term courses..
started off with statistics..

Nice to see your blog..
Is quite informative.

Jayan R Nair said...

Do you have any suggestions on preterm courses..


Frankly speaking, I was to lazy to register for the pre-term courses.

From the experience of others...
1) engineers need not take statistics
2) people from finance background neednot take accounting

The profs in the core term are really good...and it shouldnot be a problem to cope up with the will be tough but not without fun...

Swapnil Nadkar said...


a very interesting career switch - CA to marketing!!! :)


Swapnil..I would say that comes as an example of the last question....hihi...