“I never wanted to be a teacher.
23 years later, here I am – embarking on my journey as a trainer and a coach. It’s funny how these things work out.
Born in mid-70s Bihar into an academic family, I was raised with a very linear mindset – study well, get a stable government job, and build a predictable career. And so I tried.
I got into the science stream (because good students study science), attempted engineering a couple of times, and finally graduated with a physics degree.
But science as a profession never appealed to me. Despite being an introvert growing up, I wanted a ‘people oriented’ career. So, I moved 2000 km away from my protected life at home to pursue my MBA degree in Goa. The culture shift and the people I interacted with during those 2 years helped me grow and broaden my perspective beyond what Bihar had taught me.
With a double major in HR and Sales & Marketing, I got my first sales job in Hyderabad. And thus began my 23 year stint in corporate sales. I moved across cities and industries, worked in established organisations and set up teams in startups, and over the years built a brand for myself in my domain.
Sales was never an inborn passion. In fact, there are aspects of sales I still don’t enjoy. But over the years, I started to appreciate the ‘people engagement’ aspect of sales. It also made me appreciate new challenges and made me learn how to create opportunities. That’s what I harnessed when 23 years later, I left my ‘safe and stable’ corporate sales career at the top of the game, to start my journey as a solopreneur.
But all this didn’t happen overnight.
It actually started as an attempt at self actualisation when I was hospitalised with COVID in 2021. This was the first time in 22 years that I’d taken such a long break from work, and questions like ‘Where is my career headed?’ and ‘What is the impact I’m creating?’ started popping in my head. I enrolled for a course in coaching to answer my own existential questions, but soon realised that coaching itself might be an answer to my questions. I had done sufficient research to understand that the digital business market was growing, and was never one for a routine 9-5 job anyway.
So, After almost 2 years of preparation that included introspection, market research, upskilling, financial and scenario planning, in late 2022 I took the leap, quit my corporate career, and started my journey as a Sales Coach and Business Consultant. Less than 3 months into my transition, I’ve built an instagram community of over 9000 people, and acquired my first few clients for my coaching and mentoring services. Most importantly, I’ve been able to create an Impact in people’s lives. (continued in comments…)
Manish Tiwari is #2 of our #100careertransitionstories