How Do You Transition To A Career In Giving?
The Hindu Business Line|November 07, 2019
Vineet Nayar shares pro tips on preparing for what he calls the third stage in life — entering the social sector
Chitra Naryanan

You are in your fifties and, after having put in 30 years in your chosen profession, wondering about your second innings. There are consultancies available, offers coming your way, but ideally you want to give back to society and searching for ways to do that.

This is a question that plagues many of us. We have had a deeply satisfying career, impacted many in our profession through mentoring, but want to make a difference to the country at a societal level. Where do we start? It may sound counter-intuitive but Vineet Nayar, former CEO, HCL Technologies, who transitioned beautifully after a successful corporate career, into the social sector, says that you should not start with a bleeding heart, but apply your logical mind.

The former HCL honcho, who is impacting the lives of two crore children through his Sampark Foundation that has set in motion educational interventions, shares some pro tips:

How do you transition from a corporate career into serving the social sector?

Let me first start with the philosophy of why so many of us want to give back when we hit our forties or fifties. The lowest rung of satisfaction for all of us is financial security. Nowadays, people are becoming financially secure faster. You have a fair predictability that kids are independent and can earn. Therefore, satisfaction out of annual salary increases goes away. On the next plane of satisfaction is the need for recognition. This comes from professional excellence.

By the time you are 45 or 50, you have either achieved this or not. You have got your buzz of recognition and so you are over it. If you haven’t, then you are resigned.

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