Myah Payel Mitra

“What career would you choose if you had no fear?” a question by Sheryl Sandberg, whom I first met in 2019, that changed my life 180 degrees and helped me manifest a life I have shaped into my reality. Dreaming. Daring. Doing.

Armed with an engineering and MBA degree, I started my career with one of the biggest tech companies in the world.  Here, I was lucky to find a mentor in my boss, who trusted me (a fresher) to work with senior executives and global leaders from day one. I was also entrusted with the responsibility to lead a remote team (this was back in 2007).

As one of the few women in tech, success came early and I won several accolades for innovations well ahead of their time. Having followed a linear path from one tech company to the next, I knew I was good at my job. But I realised soon enough that it wasn’t something I enjoyed completely. In fact, the closest I came to gratification was leading an award-winning CSR project in bio-diversity which became a pioneering project.

2014 in particular, was a year of professional highs and personal lows, and I was in a deeply introspective phase in my life. Call it serendipity, but this was the first time I chanced upon a movement therapy workshop that kindled my explorer spirit. Blown by the transformational impact it had on me, I applied for the newly-introduced Movement Therapy Course at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. 

I was an unlikely candidate among sociology majors but I was hopeful. My passion and diversity were honoured and led to my selection for a 9-month-long course over weekends as I continued with my job. 
During this time, I took a sabbatical to work with women and children who have been victims of trafficking and abuse. Working with them had a deep impact on me that inspired me to become a certified movement therapy practitioner.

But I did not make any sudden moves. At every step, I prepared rigorously, took calculated risks and course corrected. I solo backpacked around the world where I learned to plan for the unplanned, and self-exiled in a remote village where I spent 2 years introspecting.  In 2022, I finally arrived at my destination as an entrepreneur, perhaps taking longer than most.

As an employee engagement and career transition coach today, I tell my coachees/clients that career transition is no instant noodles so do not expect any overnight transformation.

What’s imperative is to keep going, and whenever the fear comes, instead of asking yourself ‘What if I fail,’ ask yourself, but what if I fly?’ 
And even if you do fail, fail on purpose.”

Myah Payel Mitra🎯is #10 of our #100careertransitionstories