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Journal of Management Research and Analysis


An Exploratory Study on “Self-Renewal” in Mid-Life Voluntary Career Changes for Managers


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Author Details: Rajiv Phanse, Ravinder Kaur

Volume : 2

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-2770

Print ISSN : 2394-2762

Article First Page : 204

Article End Page : 213


Abstract

In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous) world, Managers have to work smarter and harder to achieve results. While the world is shrinking due to technological improvements in all fields, the complexities of the world seem to be increasing many-fold too. As a result, in spite of the recent focus on work life balance & all round wellness, Managers are finding it extremely tough to continue to excel in their chosen fields. Things tend to get increasingly tougher for ageing Managers (> 40 years age) for a variety of reasons. Of late it seems that more and more Managers across various industry sectors and functions are choosing to opt out of their current careers & try their hand at completely new careers. Typically such Managers change their careers post reaching their 40s after having 18+ years of work experience. Many of them are at the peak or near the peak of their careers. This “Self-Renewal” decision is an eventful decision in a person’s career requiring a strong desire to change, significant amount of preparation, detailed planning and effective management of change. It also involves a significant amount of uncertainty & is definitely fraught with risk.

This study is based on 60 interviews from respondents who have undergone similar mid-life career changes. The study carries out different types of analyses & focuses on finding out the drivers for such decisions. It also tries to explore emerging trends in this phenomenon of “Self-Renewal” & looks for patterns to successful “Self-Renewals”. It is observed that there are multiple reasons for mid-life career changes. “Self-Renewal & spiritual reasons” and “Desire to do something new & creative” were the top two reasons for mid-life career changes. Majority of respondents took 2-3 years for settling down in their new careers. Having a firm action plan and executing it well seem to be the two keys to successful mid-life career changes as observed from this study. The study also confirms that there is dearth of adequate assistance, support, guidance at present within and outside the existing organizations where such career changes occurred.
 
Keywords: Self renewal, Mid life, Career changes, Mid life crisis