Career change often involves huge risk one of which is not having a job offer in place before you leave your current job and even the career line. Thus, it is important to have a contingency plan in place before one decides to change careers, should the original plan not work out as expected (Huo-Tsan, Chang, Feng Chia-Yi, & Shyu Chi-Lih, 870).
Engineering was my first major as an undergraduate student but I had changed it to management by the end of my first year in college. This meant letting my first year go in waste since I had spent it studying engineering courses and also more uncertainty regarding my career prospects. I had never taken a management course before and in addition, I was quite clueless as to where I may be working upon graduation (De Vos & Nicky, 1827). I had no backup plan or people to depend on at the time. I also had not explored any career choices by then nor had I any intentions to start a business of my own.
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But my confidence grew after I started enjoying management courses. I performed much better in my classes and as I gained more knowledge and skills, I started getting clearer idea of my potential career choices. I topped many courses I took and was overall ranked third in my batch after two years of study (Coetzee and Potgieter, 65). In addition, I also showed leadership potential which resulted in me becoming a class representative who assisted instructors and act as a liaison between instructors and students during second and third year in college.
As someone who had always been a car enthusiast, the major change had little impact on my career ambitions. After working with Volkswagen India for 30 months, I started my e-automotive company in partnership with a conglomerate. At Volkswagen India, I was part of sales and dealer management teams in used cars category. Thus, I had ample opportunities to apply knowledge and skills gained in management courses (Berk 20). My e-automotive company, based in Middle East, also focused on used cars sector.
My experiences with career change have given me confidence that I can adjust in any company and within any industry. In the end, it requires a proper plan in place, strong work ethics, and perseverance to succeed. I am fortunate all companies I have worked at, allowed me to use both my engineering and management skills and knowledge.
I am excited to gain experience in the U.S. automobile industry which has finally regained its innovative spirit and has been growing again. My knowledge will be beneficial to my employer since India is one of the major markets every U.S. automotive company is targeting.
It is clear I took a risk in changing career but managed it well and in the end, it didn’t have material impact on my career ambitions. I was also able to minimize risk because the industry I worked in, could use my knowledge and skills from both former and new academic major. It was a little difficult in the beginning but good performance at both college and work boosted my self-confidence and inspired me to work even harder. I have also acquired strong leadership and people skills by managing instructors-students working relationship. I am confident I will perform well at any company and in any industry because I can adapt to change well.
Berk, Beth A. “Avoid A Career Stall.” Journal Of Accountancy 218.3 (2014): 20
‘Career Development’, 2014, Healthcare Executive, pp. 2-4.
Coetzee, M., and I.L. Potgieter. “Mediating Effect Of Self-Esteem On The Career Self-Management And Career Resilience Of Early-Career Staff In The Business Management Field.” Southern African Business Review 2 (2014): 65.
De Vos, Ans, and Nicky Dries. “Applying A Talent Management Lens To Career Management: The Role Of Human Capital Composition And Continuity.” International Journal Of Human Resource Management 24.9 (2013): 1816-1831.
Huo-Tsan, Chang, Feng Chia-Yi, and Shyu Chi-Lih. “Individual Management And Counseling As Moderators In Achieving Career Competencies And Success.” Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 42.5 (2014): 869-880. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Jan. 2015.
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