Anamitra Chatterjee, Executive & Career Coach, discusses the key aspects of a decision to switch from your existing area of specialisation to a completely different career.
Q. I completed my MBA from MDI, Gurgaon in 2012 prior to which I had three years of work experience in TCS. I did my summer internship at NetApp in analytics and finally got placed in Cognizant Analytics. I have been trying to switch to an equity research role but to no avail. I don’t like my current line of work but I have come to realize that my age and non-related work ex go against my breaking into an equity research profile. I have cleared CFA Level 1 and wanted to know if it would be a smart move to prepare for Level 2 or should I give up my finance dreams for good. Also, what are the exit options from Analytics, as I don’t like the technical nature of the job? I would be very thankful if you could provide me some guidance.
A. Good to hear from you. Let me commend you, it takes courage to own up to feelings like ‘I don’t like my current line of work’, as you come to terms with your present career ‘impasse’.
I see that you have fairly evaluated the present, but in two separate compartments:
- A reality – that you don’t like your current line of work i.e. analytics – and that you are dissatisfied with the technical nature of analytics jobs.
- An assumption-inference – that your age and non-related experience could be the stumbling block to move into a role around equity research.
I would challenge the second and RETHINK that with proper training/education you could transition into other areas, but the game-changer is really your interests-motivators-skills.
You have traversed the ‘typical’ route few years of work experience followed by an MBA education from a respected B-school, and now you work in a big global company but after all this , I sense your ‘stuckness’ as you mention about éxit’ route options. There are many options, but firstly I would request you to read practical career book ‘Getting Unstuck’ by Dr. Timothy Butler, (Harvard, USA) and then urge you to think about your responses to my TWO key questions:
1. What INTERESTS me more as a work area?
Is it a specific subject area – equity research (quantitative analysis and preparation of reports focused mainly on industry sectors and financial markets)?
A broader generic area called data analytics (also based on quantitative analysis but the underlying data could be from many areas, and may include capital markets)?
2. Do I have the requisite SKILLS (through work & education) to work in equity research?
Are my present knowledge and implementation skills enough for entry into ‘equity research’ which may require not only a deeper functional area knowledge/expertise in finance but also other skills say, report writing (communication) and analysis (quantitative)? If I don’t have this now, will further education/training help?
As a Career Coach to two reputed programs (IIM Calcutta-PGPEX , & INSEAD Singapore-ILPSIE), I advise working executives to understand their own interest, motivators & skills areas. If you take the reliable Career Leader test yourself, you may very well discover that you have a ‘personal high’ or a ‘least scored’ area in ‘Quantitative Analysis’ or ‘Application of Technology’, the two areas which are more relevant to you (for a correct decision). This will allows you to introspect with relevant data. Please check this data out before you come to a firm conclusion about your way forward.
Data Analytics is thought of as the next big wave in industry. In my opinion, both Analytics and Equity Research can be very rewarding for those with the right interest and skills.
Last but not the least, Do you DO what you know? OR Do you KNOW what you do?
Finally, I would say, believe in yourself and go for what really interests and motivates you. Best wishes!
Anamitra clarifies: As an Executive & Career Coach, while I motivate my clients to explore and attain their career goals. I use a variety of lens i.e. including Resume, interests and skills. This is what I do not have in this case yet. Hence, I will focus on the written words, and the assumptions and inferences drawn.
Anamitra has rich and diverse experience in the areas of HR-Training-Leadership-Coaching across consulting, education and financial services. An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, London School of Economics & Ashridge Centre for Coaching (EMCC), UK, he now works as an Executive & Career Coach, motivating his clients to explore and attain their career goals. He is the recipient of the ‘Best Career Coach’ Award, World HRD & Coaching Congress, Mumbai in 2013. He is a member of our expert panel to answer career related queries.
Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
*The ideas expressed are the writer’s personal opinion and are not being made in any official capacity.