“Shaping your Career, Your Own way” by Deepak Sawhney – 2nd Financial Talent Summit, Delhi 2019

Shaping your Career, Your Own way


Speaker: Deepak Sawhney, Executive Coach and Story teller, Founder, Phrenimos

Moderator: Parijat Garg, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Quadeye securities

Written By: Jyoti Soni, CFA


Deepak Sawhney is a veteran coach, motivational speaker and people’s person. He interacted with almost every participant during networking time post-lunch.  He took no time to understand the problem areas and career requirements of CFA candidates and members and suggested them practical solutions.

He started his presentation with an interesting small video clip, wherein two people stepped on an escalator but unfortunately, they got stuck in between as escalator suddenly stopped due to some technical failure. They preferred to call someone for help instead of getting off the escalator themselves which further complicated their problem. His point was that jobs today are not the escalators like they used to be, where you got on at the bottom and they carried you to the top if you just stayed on it. He asked the audience, what they thought about career and how it should be defined. People came up with different views like career means job progress, developing skill set, monetary reward, or series of job.   He put it rightly, “career is the long path or journey of our work life”.  Deepak told that it is foremost important for a professional to have career vision in clear quantitative terms. One should know, what one would like to achieve in next 5 years and next 10 years.

Next he explained four trends evolving in the job Market:

  1. Blockchain: Block chain technology advancement has simplified issues like salary processing, tax issues management of offshore employees.  Many large and medium size companies are implementing new technology for their offshore offices and human resource management. Today, companies can easily expand operations beyond their home country. Eventually, professionals should look for these newly created opportunities.
  2. Contractual Jobs: For all Fortune 500 companies and other big corporates, there is a clear shift to employ human resources from payroll jobs to contractual job roles. This helps the organization to be more agile with limited liability.
  3. Flexible jobs: Companies have changed their employment approach. They do not want all fix/ permanent employees in fast changing world. Companies are looking for competent and talented people in the specialized areas and introducing flexible opportunities for skilled people. Companies are ready to take work from remotely located employees
  4. Networking: Freelancers and job searchers are using networking portals to seek opportunities

Deepak suggested, a job seeker should eventually understand above trends and explore most suitable opportunities for oneself. Then he started a new chapter, that how to define a successful career and command your professional life. He opined a monotonous work without any new learning does not add any value to someone’s career, so this kind of work experience is not of much use. He emphasized on vital ingredients for career recipe, as below:

  1. 101 Hours of training each year:  It is imperative to invest time on your learning. Everyone should engage in at least 101 hours of trainings in a year which is required for the next level growth.
  2. Work experience Visa: One’s education & professional certifications are like his or her passport. These certifications make him eligible to stand in a job queue only. However, he cannot get a job offer without required skills like soft-skills, technical skills and work experience. He stated that the requisite skill sets and work experience are like visa stamps on the passport. These stamps are mandatory to receive a job offer. Hence, it is important to verify, how many such stamps you have on your passport.
  3. World is “VUCA”: World today is Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. One should accept this very fact and be well prepared to face difficult situations.
  4. Have a Mentor: Professionals should seek for mentorship for next move in his career. One should identify technical knowledge or education required at a stage of his career. Role of a mentor is crucial for providing right direction and also helps in leveraging the skill sets for career growth.
  5. Social Media Profile: One’s social media profile, Linkedin, Facebook are used by the employers to reach out required candidature. Today, recruiters evaluate candidate with their social media profile. More than 60% of the recruitments are fulfilled with the support of social media. It’s imperative to have your strong profile presentation at social media.
  6. Have a Coach: A coach is the one who help you to understand yourself. Since most of the times, we are busy with our work and a routine lifestyle and we hardly have time to be conscious about our inner self. Our limiting believes can hold us back. A coach can stretch our boundaries and guide us in right direction for building right career
  7. Weak Acquaintances: Weak Acquaintances are those people, to whom we meet incidentally in an event or through social media contacts. We greet them occasionally on New Year, birthday or some festival. These acquaintances may turn very helpful at times, if we do not hesitate to share our need with them. Any of them can introduce a great opportunity to you.
  8. Keep your resume updated: Everyone irrespective of whether you are looking for a job or not, should update his resume after every six months. When, you don’t have any new certification, skill, Learning, work experience to add in your resume after six months, this means you are stagnant in your career.

When Deepak was asked, why he chose to become a professional coach and left his successful corporate career, he shared his own career story. He told that he always enjoyed his work and climbed the career ladder just the way he planned. When he was at a senior position, he loved to guide and train his team like a coach. He helped them to understand their key competence and goals, by questioning them. Questioning process is thought provoking, works like a catalyst for self-motivation. He opined if a good leader coaches his team rightly, it leads to wonderful outcomes. Deepak had proven coaching skill and passion about training and now this has become his key focus area for rest of his life.

At the end, Deepak again explained the steps which every professional should follow. First and foremost step is to have a clear vision of the career path, second step is to understand his natural strength and build it further, the third step is to work towards his career vision and to acquire the required skills along with keeping oneself updated, fourth step will be to invest money and time in himself and finally make yourself available at social media and look for right opportunity.


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