The one question to ask if you want to change career – Interview with Ravi Raman

by May 1, 2017career change1 comment

Chances are, that if you are reading this post then you have an interest in Career Change.  What are the questions you are asking yourself at this very moment? Are you focusing on the late night emails, your difficult boss, maybe your working hours or you are you focusing on what you want from your career?


If it was any of the former, you are probably stuck and haven’t made much progress with changing career and probably won’t be leaving your job anytime soon.  If this is the case, a read of the advice below from experienced Career Coach Ravi Raman could give you the push you need to get you moving on your journey to fulfilling work.

“Ask yourself what you want from life, take a 30,000 foot view instead of focusing on what you don’t like in your job” – Ravi Raman

Career Change from the Tech Industry

Regular reads of this blog know, that I’m constantly on the lookout for experts in the world of Career Change. This interview is with Ravi Raman of, who focuses on the tech industry.  His Career Coaching practice caught my attention due to his past working for Microsoft and his focus on helping tech industry professionals create the careers and lifestyles of their dreams.  In the UK, the tech industry, whilst not the size of the USA, is a hugely important sector and also one that shows high levels of employee disengagement.  I  was, naturally, intrigued and wanted to know more.  Fortunately, Ravi agreed to the interview and here are the main learnings

Building from passion

  • In 2014 Ravi left his job in order to travel, he was worried about waking up one day with his life over, having not done what he wanted to do
  • He took a 3 month sabbatical and then realised he needed a year plus – that was 2014 – 2105
  • Upon returning, he decided he was hungry to settle down and build something new around passion
  • His Career Coaching practice is the result

Typical Tech Career Changers

  • Ravi sees some common themes in professionals that want to change career from the tech industry to something new
  • They are  hungry for bigger and better things in their lifestyle and career but they haven’t acted on what they need to do
  • Mainly due to the fact that they aren’t able to find a way forward themselves
  •  The biggest thing holding them back is that they are trying to fix their career, when they should be looking at what they want from life as a whole.  Sometimes a 30 thousand feet view is needed in order to take stock of your situation.
  • Ask yourself what you want from life instead of thinking about what the boss said or the late night Saturday night email
  • If you ask this question then it’s a huge and powerful step and put’s you in a more resourceful frame of mind

Take stock of your life from above

On the Positive Thinking v Acceptance Debate

  • Positive thinking is great, but he cites an example from Tony Robbins who said that if you go into your garden and say ‘no weeds, no weeds’ they will still grow
  • Thus, acceptance of thoughts is a wonderful way of understanding problems that you have, instead of trying to constantly battle a situation that isn’t working for you with positive thinkinh
  • Therefore both acceptance and positive thinking should co-exist. One to understand your current thinking patterns and the problem might be and then positive thinking to consider what is next

The Career Change Interview

  • As any regular reader knows, I believe that the skills required for a Career Change interview are very different to those required when moving within your current field. So I asked Ravi about this;
  • Ravi has observed in helping people that the job market is very different to what i was 15 years ago
  • We used to be talk abut a career path, but this is a broken metaphor for today’s careers, people now switch and switch into completely new fields e.g. Artists to Engineers
  • There are a lot of jobs that no longer require credentials, rather a base level of skills and the ability to solve problems
  • If you can demonstrate these, then you will be on the right road to change

Building Your Network

  • You need to build your network, this means real human connection with people in the industries in which you care about
  • Actually get to know people and find out who is playing the game you want to play, and spend time building a connection with them
  • This is how jobs come about
  • Ravi mentions a book called ‘The End of Average’ by Todd Rose which talks about how the average skill level has increased amongst the population
  • So yes, you need hard skills, but also supplementary skills:  in a Career Change interview situation you need to convince someone to make a bet on you
  • Every career changer should be on linked in with a modern profile

Get to know people with real human connection, get to know them

On Psychometric Tests

  • At best they are neutral and can sometimes be a hindrance; do they create understanding?  are there better ways?
  • Yes as they are very contextual
  • 360 reviews are the most useful thing that people can do for themselves or their teams as they are about how do you see others and how do they see you
  • A smart coach knows how to use questions to help develop self awareness, which is much more powerful than 1000 questions in a psychometric test

Work Disengagement

  • 70% of people are disengaged with their work; they are not fully engaged
  • We spend around 80k hours at work in our lifetime so this is terrible
  • We live in times of great opportunities to do things we want from anywhere.  It can be hard to navigate, but with the right coach, there are some great opportunities
About Ravi Raman

Ravi is an Executive Career Coach and 14-year veteran of Microsoft Corporation. He is an expert at helping people build outstanding careers, businesses and lifestyles! Connect with Ravi at: or at Linkedin

1 Comment

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