12 Questions to discover your brand new career

Unlock your brand new career with these 12 Questions

You have a job or a business.

But you feel stagnated.

You want to do something different but don’t know what that could be.

You would love to discover new career paths suited to you but don’t know where to begin.

Several years ago I was in the same spot.

15 years in the advertising business, I saw ‘creative’ co-workers start their ventures. They either started an art products line or became independent film directors.

Being in a business role in a creative industry I didn’t understand what I could do ‘by myself’.

I was craving work that would give me freedom and fulfillment. I was looking for work that matched my values.

Work that made space for my strengths, interests, gifts and non-negotiables.

I spent several years feeling lost and tirelessly looking for meaningful work.

Years later I quit my corporate job. I took up consulting assignments as I trained to become a business and career transition coach.

But reaching here took me several years.

Now you don’t need to wait for years to figure out your new career path.

All you need to do is answer the 12 questions below and you’ll begin to get an idea about what your new career path could be.

Put your ass where your heart wants to be: Candid and inspiring

Steven Pressfield’s new book is the best commentary on the commitment to a creative life. And bringing your dreams alive.

It’s a clean, easy straightforward read. It’s a book you can read in a day but it has the potential to change the rest of your life.

This inspirational book is a must-read for writers, actors, artists, entrepreneurs. It’s for anyone working on a creative project.

It is obvious that you need to show up and do the work to achieve your dream. For example, a writer needs to show up at their desk, a painter at the easel and a singer at practice, every day.

Pressfield explains in great detail and simplicity, how and why we must overcome resistance to show up regularly. It’s not an easy task, Pressfield not only makes it easy but also inspires.
Book review of Do what lights you up by Cherine Kurdi

Do What Lights You Up: Beautiful Journey of Self Discovery & Reinvention

If you’re in the midst of career or life re-invention, Cherine Kurdi’s book is the ideal handbook.

This book is a must-read if you’re seeking to uncover your heart’s longing and to create a joyful life around that.

If you’re seeking to do what makes your heart sing, here’s the book that will handhold you through that process. If you’re craving to make sense of the fire in your belly, you’ll enjoy reading this book.

Cherine shares how she listened to her intuition and left her corporate job in advertising. She wanted to create space for creativity and freedom. She wanted to create an impact by sharing her philosophies with the world. She launched a programme to help people discover what lights them up. This was relatable as I’ve had an identical journey.

The fact that Cherine is also introverted, highly sensitive and multi-passionate resonated with me.

She encourages you to embark on a journey of self-discovery to uncover what you love and where you want to put your focus.

She emphasises that your passion or purpose does not need to be a wage-paying career.
Quietly Ambitious: A warm & encouraging book for introverted business owners

If I don’t hustle & grind, how do I pay my bills?

The conversation around workplace burnout is gathering momentum.

Self-care, resting and not allowing your productivity to define your worth is taking centre stage.

Social media is full of anti-hustle and grind work culture messages. You’re encouraged to rest and relax.

This is well-meaning advice and offered in good spirit.

But how does one not participate in the grind and yet manage to pay the bills? This is an often unaddressed question.

You may think, ‘I too wish I could rest, but I don’t have a choice.’

In fact, messages encouraging you to do less may irk you. You may feel misunderstood or under-represented.

‘Don’t they get it, I have bills to pay - how can I rest?’

Taking time off to rest may seem like advice for the privileged, not you.

Seems like participating in the hustle is the only way to earn a livelihood, even at the cost of our well-being.

Everyone seems to be grinding. Putting in long hours, with no breaks and working weekends. All this while managing deadlines, people and familial responsibilities.

This is the dominant way to work as modelled to us. We saw our parents work hard and long hours until retirement. We’re following suit.

All are in the grind - from intern to CEO, from the blue-collared worker to the white-collared one. No one seems to escape the grind.
Vision Board Collage

How To Create A Vision Board: 5 Astonishingly Simple Steps

You have dreams. You want to fly.

You want to give it your best.

But you’re not sure how to make it happen for you.

There’s one thing that gives great clarity and power to manifest your dream. It’s called a vision board.

A vision board is a picture collage of your dreams and goals. It’s a visual representation of your deepest desires and aspirations, so it can serve as a source of inspiration and motivation.

The process of building a vision board can help you dig deep to know what you want.

It can help you declare that with courage, clarity and confidence.

A vision board gives you

Perspective on where you want to go
A chance to put out who you want to be
A chance to get attention on what you want, so you can focus on it
“We attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly,” says Shakti Gawain.

A vision board is a sure-fire way to give shape to your life and work.
The Benefits of a Side Hustle: How it Can Help You Launch Your New Career

The Benefits of a Side Hustle: How it Can Help You Launch Your New Career

Are you pursuing a new career path?

Sure, it’s exciting yet career transitions can be challenging and tricky to navigate.

You have to learn new things and unlearn old ways.

You may wonder if your new career path will take off.

That’s why it’s prudent to walk that path slowly and steadily.

One way to do that is to pursue your new career path as a side hustle.

What does that mean?

It means that you stay with your existing career and pursue the new career path on the side. You can work on it after office hours or on weekends.
Big Magic: Simply Superlative, book review

Big Magic: Simply Superlative

Big Magic is one of the most magnificent books I’ve read on creativity. Not a surprise it’s been a bestseller.
The finesse with which Elizabeth Gilbert shares her view on creativity is extraordinary. It’s refreshing and encouraging from anything I’ve read, heard or known.
Here is such a rare commentary on pursuing a creative life mirroring reality, yet inspiring and encouraging.
Liz Gilbert’s experience and understanding of creativity are deep and intimate. She generously shares it throughout the book.
Her take on creativity is mesmerising and optimistic. It’s also freeing in many ways.
Love her emphasis on showing each one of us is creative. How it’s our innate nature and not reserved for a chosen few. She permits you to be creative if you’re still hesitant.
Her perspective on fear is intriguing and insightful. Her commentary on how to detach from whether people like your work or not, is incredible. Especially as she inspires you to keep creating, irrespective.
The piece on managing people’s reactions to your work - be it good, bad or ugly is extraordinary. Her writing grants you a sense of permission to deal with your creativity more lightly.
Love how she explains that to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection. Her example of persisting and pursuing a creative life is exemplary and motivating. She beautifully shatters the myth that suffering is a prerequisite for creative purists.
Her perspective on martyr v/s trickster is enjoyable and pragmatic. It makes creation a lighthearted process.
Big Magic is an enchanting and well-written book on creative living. You’d love to read more than once.
Why a bridge job might be the secret to a successful career change

Why a bridge job might be the secret to a successful career change

What is a bridge job?

A bridge job is temporary employment that one takes while exploring a suitable new career for the long term. Bridge jobs can provide financial stability while you work towards a new career.

While transitioning careers, taking up a bridge job can be incredibly helpful. It can provide financial stability, keep you creatively occupied and networked. Having a bridge job as you work on your new venture, allows it to breathe and take its course. A bridge job eases the pressure on your new venture to be immediately successful.

You can craft a bridge job for yourself by packaging your current skills at work to do part-time work.

For example, a Human Resources (HR) executive working in a corporate job can work as a part-time HR consultant while she sets up and tests her new gourmet food restaurant. The consulting work keeps money coming in to pay bills while she explores her passion for cooking as a career. The consulting work also keeps her updated with industry trends and practices should she want to come back to her career in HR.

You can also create a bridge job by turning an area of interest or passion into work. Or packaging any other transferable skills to create temporary employment for yourself.

Which long-held interests can you turn into a bridge job?

Have you been doing mixed media art for years? Are you fabulous at planning events? Are you good with writing and can help professors with writing white papers? Are you in your element with social media and can create content for small businesses?

A bridge job is an important step in your career transition journey, so take the time to make an informed decision about it.
3 Extraordinary Pieces of Wisdom That Can Make Writing A Joy

3 Extraordinary Pieces of Wisdom That Can Make Writing A Joy

Almost a decade ago I took to writing as I moved out of corporate jobs to launch my coaching practice.

Initially, I needed to write one-page profiles required for speaking assignments. Later I required content to market my work through my website, blog and social media channels.

I struggled with writing. At the start, my writing was robotic and business-like. The process was exhausting. It took a lot for me to write a single blog post. I wanted to express myself through writing. But the process felt self-exploitative and unsustainable.

Yet the desire to express myself through writing kept me at it. Over the years, I learnt a lot about the writing process. Especially about how I could make the process joyous and regenerative. I now feel energised by writing v/s drained. The process is life-giving and not self-extractive. I write speedily and enjoy my time writing.

I’d love to share 3 rare writing insights from celebrated authors. These insights made my journey as an introverted intuitive writer simple and enriching. Hope these insights help you as much as they helped me.
Indistractable: A practical guide to tame your distractions, book review, nir eyal

Indistractable: A practical guide to tame your distractions

ndistractable has been one of the most fantastic books I’ve read this year. I’m thrilled to share a review of this pragmatic book.

Like me, if you have innumerable ideas you struggle to bring to life, then this book could be incredibly helpful.

Here’s why.

Nir Eyal’s deep and detailed understanding of why we’re distracted makes it easy to address distraction. It helps normalise it as a human tendency v/s a flaw that we need to work on.

He explains with patience, dexterity and research how distraction is not a technology issue rather how we’re wired as human beings.

Nir generously offers simple, practical and effective tools to manage distractions. These tools helped me create spaciousness and improve my productivity. The solutions he offers are sustainable.

I’ve been able to break unhealthy habits and develop more nourishing ones. That has helped me prioritise what matters to me in life and work.

It's helped reduce the sense of guilt, self-blame and failure that comes with distraction.

The piece on kids’ overuse of technology is fantastic. The best part is that most of it applies to adults too.

Through the book, he shares powerful, convincing and actionable methods to cope with distraction in the modern world. That makes this book delightfully practical to apply and experience shifts.
Discover Your Dharma by Sahara Rose: Spiritual, Strategic and Delicious, book review, sahara rose

Discover Your Dharma by Sahara Rose: Spiritual, Strategic and Delicious!

Discover Your Dharma is one of the most incredible books I’ve read on discovering one’s life’s work.

Sahara presents an exceptional mix of spiritual and strategic perspectives, in this book. It’s uplifting and inspires you to live your highest truth.

As a young millennial Sahara brings a fresh and fun perspective that’s relatable. At the same time she shares deep wisdom like an old sage. Complex concepts are made amazingly simple to understand, absorb and apply.
Sampada Working at Cowork Crowd

How working with absolute strangers skyrocketed my productivity

I’ve been ‘working from anywhere’ for close to 10 years now.

When I left my corporate job to launch my coaching practice, I worked from cafes, co-working spaces, my home, clients’ offices and the homes of co-workers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed location-independent working.

I most loved working in co-working spaces. It was energising to meet fellow business owners pursuing ideas with passion and dedication. Mixers and meet-ups were set up. We could hang out with other business owners. This developed a unique sense of camaraderie and comfort. Such support was critical for me as a solopreneur, especially at the start. I liked that this was an introvert-friendly way of working. Most co-workers were focused on their work and business conversations. No small talk.

The best part about working from a coworking space was my productivity shot up. When you work as a solopreneur some days can be unproductive. You may not feel motivated to work or you get distracted by shiny objects a.k.a. social media.

With the pandemic of 2020 coworking spaces closed. They opened a few times between lockdowns. I missed the benefits of working from a coworking space. It made remote work challenging. I thought I’d need to wait until I could cowork once again.

I tried several productivity techniques but nothing turned out as effective as coworking.

Quite by chance I found Focusmate, a virtual coworking platform. I was delighted at the idea of virtual coworking. Focusmate pairs you up with another coworker from anywhere in the world. You can work together for either a 50 min, 25 min or 75 min live video call. Yes, you work with absolute strangers.
My Top 3 Reasons To Start Journaling Today

My Top 3 Reasons To Start Journaling Today

Most likely you’ve heard of journaling.

Maybe a few friends practice it. Or your colleague in the office loves journaling.

Chances are you’ve tried your hand at it, but never stuck to it.

You’ve wondered whether journaling even works.

So while you’re tempted to try it, you’re not sure how it will benefit you.

I’ve engaged in journaling since my teenage years.

I was never a shy kid. I made friends with ease. I spoke to strangers without effort.

Yet I loved being in my own space.

A space where I could be in solitude and my world.

I loved to take out my journal and write about everything going on in my head. I wrote about what I loved, things that bothered me and the kind of life I would’ve loved to create.

Over time journaling become a regular practice. It was something I enjoyed.

I used my journal to pen ideas, thoughts, emotions and feelings that I could not convey to others. I was unsure whether people would get what I wanted to say. I feared being reprimanded or ridiculed.

My journal was a safe place where I could write down how I felt without being judged or misunderstood.

As I continued to journal, I realised its benefits went beyond helping me express my feelings.

A single episode of an Oprah show on journaling influenced me to strengthen my practice.

Oprah spoke about her own experience with journaling as a teenager. She raved about the therapeutic benefits of journaling. It felt like she’d experienced certain magic with journaling. And I was longing to experience that magic myself.

Over the years journaling became my go-to bouncing board, a shoulder to cry on and my canvas to create new things.

Journaling, a practice I started by chance has become significant in helping me shape my life.

When I graduated from business school I started working in advertising. My journaling practice became more robust, regular and deep.

Journaling allows me to access wisdom and intelligence that I can’t access otherwise.

It brings insights and guidance far richer than strategies the best minds can conceive.

The benefits of journaling were extraordinary and the process soon became effortless.

And I’d say in the last decade, journaling has become magical.

I’m delighted to share some of that magic with you. And here are my top 3 reasons to journal.
Company of One: A fascinating perspective on running a small & profitable business, book review, paul jarvis

Company of One: A fascinating perspective on running a small & profitable business

Company of One is one of the most remarkable business books I’ve read in a long time.

Paul Jarvis questions the traditional definitions of success and growth, in this book. He presents a refreshing, alternative and at times counterintuitive perspective on building and growing a business.

He brings alive how a highly profitable business can be run with small scale operations, especially in today's digital and automation era.
The Great Resignation: Time to Make Our Workplaces Nourishing

The Great Resignation: Time to Make Our Workplaces Nourishing

Since 2021 the business world has been rife with conversations around The Great Resignation. With a record number of people moving out of their jobs, the discussion around toxic work cultures gained centre stage.

I recently chanced upon an article about Chinese youth in a bid to stand up against the ‘always-on’ work culture who made a lifestyle choice to opt out of it. They lowered their professional and financial ambitions while prioritising their well-being while also financially managing their own essential needs funded by odd jobs and lean savings. This ‘Lie flat’ movement is a defiant rebellion against a culture of being overworked and underpaid.

Whether such movements including The Great Resignation are short-lived or a turning point in history, we’re being forced to wake up and repair a damaged work culture.

Modern work culture has been toxic even before the pandemic began. The pandemic has amplified and brought to light a broken system.

The roots of this toxic work culture can be traced back to the feudal ages and serfdom. This was long before the industrial revolution began and gave it modern packaging.

Our present-day work culture is marked by long hours including weekends and holidays, employers’ inflexibility about working from home during a pandemic, competition, sales pressure, long commutes and no commensurate remuneration.
Book review of Do Less by Kate Northrup, A Ground-breaking Approach To Time Management

A Ground-breaking Approach To Time Management

As a multi-passionate person, I’ve always struggled with managing my time.

No doubt, I’ve accomplished much in work and life, but I’ve also battled with productivity.

I’ve felt disheartened about not being able to do as much as I aspired.

Over the years, I’ve read a ton of books and articles on time management.

Most of these approaches encouraged me to fit more into my time to improve my productivity. This kept me running a race against time that I never seemed to win.

Bringing me back to the same place — i.e struggling with managing my time. It left me feeling utterly defeated and unproductive.

In 2018, I was delighted to come across Kate Northrup’s Do Less philosophy.

It’s a revolutionary, fresh and feminine approach to managing your time (well, actually your energy).
It's time to rewrite our definition of success

It's time to rewrite our definition of success

In our world, the dominant definition of success is profit in business. It's often considered as the only metric of success.

We indulge in excessive consumption mistaking it as a badge of success.

Owning bigger homes, fancier cars, trendier clothes and gadgets have become markers of success. As have aspirations for designations and sending kids to beyond means expensive schools.

It’s good to honour what we deeply desire and work towards achieving it.

But, if we’re doing it at the cost of our health, well-being and relationships, it’s time to stop and re-think.

If endless hours in a stressful job, are crushing your soul and giving you lifestyle diseases, it’s time to reconsider your definition of success.
The extraordinary adventures of an introvert at work

The extraordinary adventures of an introvert at work

For those of you who know me, you may recall me as a sociable person & hence an extrovert. But the truth is I'm an introvert - an extreme introvert. Our educational & work culture glorifies & rewards extraversion. In fact these spaces are created for extroverts. Introverts need to bend like a pretzel to fit into these cultures. Sharing my story as an introvert. How I navigated this culture & have now created an introvert-friendly work-life. Hope you enjoy reading it.