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Mid-career Transition: A Dilemma of Leaders in Digital India

The new economic environment has forced present day employers to maintain a pool of workforce that possesses relevant and current skills. Companies have already started preparing for the future business needs. Consequently, mid-level working professionals are at the highest risk of losing their jobs if they do not upscale themselves with new-age skills. A mid-career transition has become a need for today’s workforce so as to align themselves with the ever-changing demands of the employers.

Reasons for Mid-Career Transition:

The shifting focus in business has made it obligatory for working professionals to constantly re-skill themselves. Thereby, mid-career transition has become a necessity to stay relevant and employable. Apart from this, employees opt for transition in the middle of their career to upgrade themselves to a higher salary band. According to the Hays Salary and Employment Trend report, 52% of employees said that their salaries were not revised as compared to the previous year. However, salary is not the only reason; factors like career development, the current market trend and learning & development opportunities are some of the other driving forces behind the decision to transit.

What Can Professionals Do?

The increasing technological advancement requires an assessment of the skill gap and an appropriate action to fill the identified gap. Mid-level managers need to constantly upgrade to new age skills to overcome to the risk of becoming outdated. If they do not consider upscaling, the present skills will become obsolete and the managers will remain in the rut. Getting a job in the current scenario is completely centered upon updating oneself with practical and demonstrable skills. Some of the factors to consider while making planning a change in the middle of one’s career are;

Get Out of the Comfort Zone:

Over the years of service, working professionals tend to get into a comfort zone. By this time they already acquire sufficient expertise in the work, they are performing. Anything new at this stage makes them uncomfortable and they resist changes. But only when one explores the uncomfortable, new avenues open up and the real progress begins.

The digital transformation has created an urgent need for working professionals to welcome changes. Embracing change is a process which requires a lot of energy and it is a continuous learning process. Looking for growth opportunities outside the domain of one’s expertise can help in getting a competitive advantage over the peers.

Consider Going Back to School:

In a survey study for the National Career Development Association, it was found that about 53% of respondents feel the need for more training or education to maintain or increase their earning power. The power of data in the existing job market cannot be denied. Data literacy and smartness is imperative for career growth in the era of digital disruption. Acquiring data science and analytical skills can boost one’s chances of getting hired while looking for a change.

Technology-led innovative products are getting created on a day-to-day basis to amaze the digital age consumers. Consequently, the demand for modern project managers is also on a surge. To become popular among employers, it is important for prospective product managers to acquire multiple skills like; understanding of design, strategic use of technology and aligning business with consumers need. Basically undertaking a holistic project management course can help in bagging a lucrative career and promising growth rate.

Start Networking with Professionals:

Industry experts consider networking as a critical factor in getting the next-level career opportunity. Professional networking and industry associations have proved to be elemental in career transition. When shifting career, professionals should consider networking with people associated with their field of interest. It is one of the most fruitful ways of connecting to the leaders and remaining updated with the latest changes.

How Can Organizations Help?

The transformation of business due to digital disruption not only revolves around technology and technology-related skills. It is also is connected to how a company plans to re-skill its existing workforce. A Gallup Survey finds that around 32% of employed adults have already received training to improve job skills. Radical organizations are proactively investing both, time and money to make their employees more productive and engaged. For instance, CA Technologies in India has recently put its entire PM/PO team through a course on product management conducted by the Institute of Product Leadership. The organizations should start offering skills training for its employees to help them step up in their career ladder. Companies are already realizing the need to upscale their people to remain profitable in business.

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Institute of Product Leadership is Asia’s First Business School providing accredited degree programs and certification courses exclusively in Product Management, Strategy, and Leadership.

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