Magic inside you

Three years ago, I met this ex-software engineer who returned from the US to take up a nondescript admin job at a private college in Karnataka.

He quit software because he was trained in old technologies that got phased out, making him redundant.

I asked him gently, “Since tech is so hot, is it not possible to learn the technology skills currently high in demand?”

He said, “Even the leaders in my previous company would keep asking us to re-skill. If it is so easy, why don’t they do it first and show it?”

At this point, I wanted to tell him so many things. I wanted to say, “That is not true. There are amazing learning programs to help you learn anything you want. Within 6-12 months you can restart a new career.”

But instead, I said nothing.

He had lost his self-belief and nothing I said would have helped him.

I have changed my career track many times, and here is what I have learned — everything starts with mindset. If you are determined, age, background, or experience can’t come in the way.

When I started consulting at McKinsey, I had worked in the private sector for zero days. How does it matter? There was a 38-year-old guy working as a first-year associate at McKinsey, who was earlier a super-specialized physician in the US.

If you believe you can do it, then slog. And if you slog, you can do it. There is no magic here.

And if there is any magic, it is inside you — what you believe is the magic.

– Rajan


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