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Identifying Opportunities for Executive Career Transition

The opportunities for executive career transition have not diminished, regardless of what you have read in the media.  As the world shrinks and industries converge, a systematic approach to identifying opportunities can yield the best results. Based on my experiences over the years and seeing several senior executives make successful transitions, here’s an overview of five options that are available for executives seeking a career transition:

1. Allied industries: If you are in Banking or Financial Services, you can look at the Insurance industry or the Outsourcing industry. A senior ex-colleague in Financial Services, who had experience in car loans (large ticket size) and personal loans (small ticket size) made the shift to Insurance, by convincing his future employer that his former experience was the right fit for Life Insurance (large ticket size) and the latter for General Insurance (small ticket size). Every industry has close neighbors; by identifying the right transferable skills, you can create opportunities in those related industries.

2. Passions becoming professions: Who is not on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? If you are an avid user, you can become one of the pioneering social media professionals. What about looking at opportunities in sports, such as celebrity management firms, or in any of the other areas you're passionate about? Some months ago, the CEO of an insurance company made a successful transition to become the CEO of one of the teams in India’s premier cricket league.

3. Formal education: A formal education (such as an executive MBA) 6-10 years down the road is one of the best routes to a new career. Many of us have heard of people quitting work after 6-8 years to work on an executive MBA, to then later move on to greener pastures. A couple of executives in my network were keen on a “twin” quantum jump – Retail Banking to Consultancy and Emerging Markets to Advanced Markets. Since this required a considerable industry leap, they opted for an executive MBA at one of the premier international b-schools. Both executives then leveraged their new alumni networks and found new senior management roles.

4. Networking with specialist functions: Specialist functions (IT, HR, finance) are fungible across industries. Networking and building relationships with colleagues in these functions, while you may not necessarily interact with them day-to-day, can open up opportunities you may not even have envisaged. One of my earlier line managers moved from financial services to e-commerce when his “buddy” in a specialist function made the switch and opened a window of opportunity for him!

5. Giving/getting back to source: Opportunities for guest lectures at your alma mater or other educational institutions can get you in touch with the latest happenings in nascent areas, such as Big Data, so that you can join up and coming industries early. One of my classmates from business school went back as guest faculty, realized the abundant opportunity in a niche technology solution area and swiftly set up his own firm!

As these examples show, opportunities abound if you are seeking or end up requiring a career transition. With the right mindset and approach, you can stop letting them pass you by and start noticing them!

NB: All views stated in the article are personal.
 
BlueSteps Executive Guest Writer

KV Dipu BlueSteps Executive Guest WriterKV Dipu is a people-centric CXO-level corporate executive, from India, with extensive experience in financial services. With several certifications & accolades to his credit (certified lean six sigma black belt, certified ezinearticles expert author and an expert on transformation at selfgrowth.com), he applies his experience to writing and mentoring (he is an IvyExec Network Mentor). Please connect with Dipu on LinkedIn or contact him at kvdipu@gmail.com.

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KV Dipu is a people-centric CXO-level corporate executive, from India, with extensive experience in financial services. With several certifications & accolades to his credit (certified lean six sigma black belt, certified ezinearticles expert author and an expert on transformation at selfgrowth.com), he applies his experience to writing and mentoring (he is an IvyExec Network Mentor). Please connect with Dipu on LinkedIn or contact him at kvdipu@gmail.com.

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