Changing Careers for Mid-Career Professionals: Rajeshwari Victor, ep20

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Rajeshwari Victor is a faculty at XLRI in Jamshedpur and author of the book “My Life, My Choice: Midlife Career Choices.” She is an alumnae of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and has over 15 years of experience in the corporate sector. She has worked with organizations such as Hindustan Unilever, CavinKare and Nippon Paints. She loves listening to music and she is a marathon runner. She is a columnist for the Business Line, where she covers the topics of sales and marketing.

“In order to be a good teacher, you have to be a good student first”

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Discussion with Rajeshwari on Career Choices

  • Rajeshwari Victor took a sabbatical after a 15 year career in the corporate sector to assess where her career was heading and to focus on her family. She interviewed people who were faced with a similar dilemma. Her work ultimately resulted in her book.
  • Her book My Life, My Choice depicts the stories of 10 individuals. These people left their corporate careers to take up professions as diverse as entrepreneurship, academics and politics. One of these individuals is R K Misra, who is a politician.
  • She sent sample chapters of her manuscript to a few publishers. MacMillan showed an interest in her book. My Life, My Choice was ultimately published in 2011 and released by Shashi Tharoor.
  • The foreword to her book is written by Captain Gopinath. He is an entrepreneur and a former armyman who went on to launch India’s first low cost airlines.
  • In her opinion, Macmillan offered very little support for marketing and distribution of her book. Since her book was neither a textbook nor a self help nonfiction book, Macmillan was not able to position her book effectively. Rajeshwari used her background in sales and marketing to devise her own marketing plan for the book. She invited local celebrities and the media at book launch events in a few cities.
  • Macmillan were impressed with her work and she was offered the role of a consultant for book marketing and distribution.
  • Rajeshwari has two pieces of advice for first time authors. Firstly, she believes that if they want to get their books published the traditional way, it is important that they go with a brand name publisher.
  • For any author, having a good presence (branding and visibility) is essential. Authors need to have a strong marketing plan in order to ensure the success of their book. The onus of marketing of the book lies with the author..
  • If not academics, Rajeshwari’s preferred career choice would have been politics.
  • Rajeshwari has also made a documentary titled “How Cooking Resolves Value Conflicts” which she had made as a part of her PhD Thesis at IIT Chennai. This documentary was screened at an International Film Festival in Baltimore in 2014.

Resources and References :

Ways to Contact Rajeshwari

Email : rajeshwarivictor at gmail dot com

Link to Rajeshwari’s Books

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