Where skill, mindset and work-life balance come together

A manager who wants to switch to a consulting career is concerned about starting over and the issues that could affect family life.

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Q. I have been a logistics manager for the last nine years, and have a Management degree. As logistics has limited vertical scope, I am planning to switch to either business development or consulting.

My first option is to pursue ERP, but the concerns are:

a.it will make me restart my career
b.I will be "a visiting husband and father"--my understanding is that during initial phase as an ERP consultant, I will have to travel both with my family and alone. If one has a child who is schooling, then it's difficult to move family as per a project.
c.I am not an engineer

My second option is to pursue an executive MBA course. This would give me the edge of starting better as far as placements would take me, at better positions and my current experience. But it's costly. Still, if I take a look at the investment returns, it is very good.

I am confused because ERP is growing and everyone is talking about it? Can you help me to choose the best in terms of current and future monetary and non-monetary perspective?

Career advice from Tay Kok Choon, country manager of JobStreet Singapore:

You will need to examine your mindset, work-life balance, skills and prospects when you are considering a career change.

Let's examine each of the above in relation to your question:

Mindset: You have concluded that logistics has limited vertical scope. In reality, as we progress along our career path, the pinnacle gets sharper and opportunities at the top become less abundant. You will face the same challenge in any other career that you plan to pursue.

The way that many people overcome this is to ensure to be the best in the field. Our experience shows that the best always prevails--they never fall out of the game.

Work-life balance: This is seriously considered as part of today’s career pursuit. In other words, people will not blindly choose a career and neglect their family life. I see that coming across in your question--that is a healthy move.

Like all new career moves, we need to spend an extensive amount of time to familiarize ourselves with the new environment and getting into the details of the job. That will expense a huge amount of time/nergy and to some point neglecting of your family.

Please ensure your family fully supports this new venture.

Skills: It poses the least problem of all issues. Our capacity to learn and acquire new knowledge has been very much enhanced by the Internet and further learning. Upgrading of skills may be necessary to keep up with your peers in the job market.

Prospects: All job opportunities provide good prospects. We need to seek out what best suits us and pursue it with passion.

Having considered all of the above and assuming your family is in full support to turn your dream into reality, our feel is that an MBA program will be relatively more useful. It will position you well for either a business development or consulting career. For these careers, a strong technical foundation within a vertical like logistics will be extremely helpful.

To re-establish yourself in the ERP field may come across as a longer path to your goal.