The best time to change a mismatched career: TODAY

Years ago, I met a woman named Ruma who lived in Guilford, CT where I had an office at the time.  She heard that I was an education-entrepreneur and came to see me to figure out how to break into the education industry.  Ruma was in the pharmaceutical industry but believed it to be a big mismatch.  She seemed passionate about her interest and I thought that our next contact would related to her move into the education space.

Two years after our first meeting Ruma contacted me again and sheepishly noted that it was in relation to the exact same topic.  At the time of our first meeting, Ruma was 28.  Now she was 30. Still, she was very young and had plenty of time to change her career.  While I understood her reasons for staying put – all the typical security stuff -, I warned her that soon enough her desire for being in the education field would not be taken seriously.  “But I love what you do and what others do in the education industry.  And I hate what I do and hate my whole industry.” (I note that my Dad spent his career in the pharmaceutical industry so I do not share her sentiment!).  I tried to light a fire under her but apparently to no effect as she contacted me again three years thereafter.

“I just got laid off.” Ruma said. At this point, Ruma had spent 11 years in the pharmaceutical industry and 0 in the education space.  “I need a job asap.  Can you put me in contact with your education industry network?”   As expected, she had no immediate success in getting a job because her pharmaceutical experience made her a mismatch.  Moreover, one of my contacts directly told her: “if you really wanted to be in the education space, you would have made efforts to be here years ago.”   Panicked, Ruma took a job back in the pharmaceutical industry.  I haven’t heard from her since.