As teenagers or maybe even as children, we are always taught to follow our passion. We are expected to have some fancy answers, befitting social norms, for questions like “What’s your passion?” or “What are your career plans?” If we haven’t figured out answers to these, it’s embarrassing and worrisome! I believe this is because many of us have a dangerously limiting idea of passion and success. I call it “dangerously limiting” because we are conditioned to believe that we have a singular passion and it is our primary duty to discover and follow it all our lives, to the exclusion of everything else. If we do that, then we are successful and if we don’t, we’ve failed. It is quite intimidating to me how people expect us to pick a passion like we are picking a major for life.
Refuting this customary concept, I firmly believe that flawed notions of passion, career and success only bind a person and don’t allow us to explore our capabilities to the fullest. It is even more so in a country like India, where women are expected to sacrifice their careers, following marriage, or dedicate themselves to motherhood. It is important for such women to understand that they are way beyond just a passion and that by defining success, they could be blocking themselves from a world of opportunities. Also, defining success could mean that there is nothing left to pursue. Aligned with this chain of thoughts, here are five tips that a woman could follow to revive and refresh her career.
- Re-establish yourself – The only thing constant in life is change. Women must learn to embrace it and move ahead in life. They must stay up to date with the times, as it is imperative for doing well and rising fast. Feeling lost and useless after losing a job that you were passionate about, is deteriorating. However, if we understand that passion is just a feeling and feelings can change, then we can consider other options and work on reinventing ourselves. Remember: passionate people are passionate about anything that comes their way!
- Continue adding to your expertise – There is so much to learn in this world and one life is not enough to discover and absorb everything. However, the one with a passion for life can go a long way. For example, if you are already an expert at something, there is no harm in supplementing your expertise with another qualification or certification to rebuild or refresh your career. There are various courses for obtaining qualifications like Project Management Professional (PMP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) etc. Such courses can enhance your professional profile and help you to grab better jobs and explore different avenues.
- Socialising is essential – If you had a social life that you have been neglecting for a while, you might want to reconsider that. Your social circles are an asset and engaging with them, once in a while, could help you to rediscover yourself. Try and rework on the networks that you had; in other words, rebuild connections with ex-colleagues. Contact your ex-boss or manager who knows how you work and can vouch for you. But before sharing your resume within your networks, ensure that you are ‘job ready’.
- Keep reading – If you are looking at reviving your career, it is important to keep yourself updated with changes in trends. Reading blogs, newspaper articles and listicles could be uplifting and helpful in terms of gaining knowledge.
- Gain more knowledge, hone your skills – Simply relying on work hours to gain skills will not take you anywhere. What you do after work determines how far you can reach. Develop a hobby that complements your skills and make some time for that hobby. Such practices can give a new direction to your career.