The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

243: Reframe & Reset Your Career with Harsha Boralessa

May 07, 2024 John Neral Season 4
243: Reframe & Reset Your Career with Harsha Boralessa
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
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The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
243: Reframe & Reset Your Career with Harsha Boralessa
May 07, 2024 Season 4
John Neral

Send us a Text Message.

We are all on a journey to find a level of career satisfaction that brings us the greatest joy we’ve ever had in our careers. Chances are, if you are listening to this podcast, you are searching for exactly what your job happiness and satisfaction are. Well, let’s figure that out!

Today, I’m joined by Harsha Boralessa, the founder and host of the “Reframe and Reset Your Career” podcast and YouTube channel. In this episode, you’ll learn why being curious is one of your best career moves as you seek to achieve mastery in whatever you want to do.

We wrap up with a heart-to-heart on those pesky limiting beliefs that hold back even the most skilled professionals. With practical advice and shared experiences, we show you how to bulldoze through psychological blocks and stay resilient amidst interview setbacks. It's about daily steps and the consistent grind that crafts your mid-career GPS.

Connect with Harsha Boralessa
Website | Podcast | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram | X (Formerly Known as Twitter)

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

We are all on a journey to find a level of career satisfaction that brings us the greatest joy we’ve ever had in our careers. Chances are, if you are listening to this podcast, you are searching for exactly what your job happiness and satisfaction are. Well, let’s figure that out!

Today, I’m joined by Harsha Boralessa, the founder and host of the “Reframe and Reset Your Career” podcast and YouTube channel. In this episode, you’ll learn why being curious is one of your best career moves as you seek to achieve mastery in whatever you want to do.

We wrap up with a heart-to-heart on those pesky limiting beliefs that hold back even the most skilled professionals. With practical advice and shared experiences, we show you how to bulldoze through psychological blocks and stay resilient amidst interview setbacks. It's about daily steps and the consistent grind that crafts your mid-career GPS.

Connect with Harsha Boralessa
Website | Podcast | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram | X (Formerly Known as Twitter)

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening to The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.
Please leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here.

Visit https://johnneral.com to join The Mid-Career GPS Newsletter, a free, twice-weekly career and leadership resource for mid-career professionals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn here.
Follow John on Instagram @johnneralcoaching.
Subscribe to John's YouTube Channel here.

John Neral:

We are all on a journey to find a level of career satisfaction that brings us the greatest joy we've ever had in our careers. Chances are, if you're listening to this podcast, you're searching for exactly what your job happiness and satisfaction are. Well, let's figure that out. Today, I am joined by Harsha Boralesa, the founder and host of the Reframe and Reset your Career podcast and YouTube channel. In this episode, you will learn why being curious is one of your best career moves as you seek to achieve mastery in whatever it is you do. Plus, we talk about how limiting beliefs hold you back in your career. Plus, we talk about how limiting beliefs hold you back in your career and we commiserate over a few interview pet peeves you definitely don't want to do. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is the Mid-Career GPS Podcast and I'm your host, john Neral. I help mid-career professionals like you find a job they love, or love the job they have, using my proven four-step formula. I have followed Harsha Boralesa on LinkedIn for a while and I'm so grateful we were able to find some time to record this interview.

John Neral:

Harsha started his top-ranked and recognized Reframe and Reset your Career podcast because he was inspired by his passion for neuroscience and psychology and their interaction with career and personal development. His aim is to empower his listeners to be more strategic and take control of their career development. With a background in finance, harsha has worked for over 15 years in front office and advisory roles in investment banking, investment management and the big four accounting firms, and you will learn more about his career journey in just a few moments. Harsha became interested in high-performance development from a young age, through cricket, and he played for the junior teams of Middlesex and Essex, two of the top professional teams in England, from the age of 10 to 19. This culminated in him playing two matches for the Essex second team. So technically, as Harsha says, he is a professional athlete with a very short career. So let's take some time to reframe and reset your career with Harsha Boralesa. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Harsha, welcome to the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. It's great to have you here with us today.

Harsha Boralessa:

My pleasure to be here, John.

John Neral:

Harsha, you and I have been chatting and connecting for a while. I'm honored you and I get to sit down and talk about your career path and history, but as we get started, tell us a little bit about what was your mid-career moment that brought you to this moment today.

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, during lockdown, like a lot of people, I had time on my hands and I actually started a podcast and I think that was a very crucial thing for me. I had actually been looking at neuroscience and psychology because I wanted to improve my decision-making and I wanted to find it, and I was doing quite a lot of research into that area and I wanted to find a way of sharing that knowledge with other people, and that's how I ended up starting the Reframe and Reset your Career podcast.

John Neral:

Your curiosity of learning things, particularly about you learning Japanese. Talk to us a little bit of where this natural curiosity has come from.

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, the funny thing, john, is that I started with Ernst Young EY, one of the big four accounting firms, and I started with 200-odd graduates and I was trying to think how can I stand out from the rest of the crowd?

Harsha Boralessa:

And I thought, well, learn a language. And I happened to pick Japanese. And the really interesting thing with that, john, is that it didn't actually lead to any direct working on Japanese clients or improving my employability directly within the firm. But I found that within EY there was a Japanese business group and I managed to connect with them and quite a few of the people who worked in there were taking these Japanese lessons and I ended up taking lessons with these people and they worked in the tax department and through that I ended up getting a secondment in the tax department and worked for there for seven or eight years in EY and PwC seven or eight years in EY and BWC, when you think about improving your knowledge base or your skill set and thinking about how that's going to grow your career, did you ever think that taking those lessons in Japanese would move your career in the way that it did?

John Neral:

Was that part of the plan for you?

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, in one sense it was, but then I actually found out. I enjoyed learning Japanese, but I think the interesting point about that, john, is that sometimes you start doing something and you think it's going to go in one direction, and I actually thought I would be working on Japanese clients on the audit side, but actually it took me in a completely different direction, to working in the tax department.

John Neral:

And actually I found tax was a much better fit for me. I have a very, very dear friend of mine who, she, is one of the few female partners in tax accounting here in the United States, and that clearly is such a specialty and a niche. If you will, that I'm sure is very overwhelming to a lot of people. But for when you think about your career in finance and everything that you did, harsha, tell us what was something you truly enjoyed about working in the finance industry.

Harsha Boralessa:

I think trying to get a deeper understanding into financial products, things like derivatives, interest rate swaps which I think on the outside, if you're not in finance, they actually seem quite much more complicated than they really are. But actually I think with all these products it's just breaking them down into their basic building blocks and their constituent parts. And I think in a way, not just in finance but in every sector, there are things which on the outside look very complicated but you can actually break everything down into that sort of simple constituent parts and building blocks, starting in new industries or new areas. It's don't be overwhelmed by the complexity, just try and break it down into simple bits and then put them together and then build it up.

John Neral:

What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions or falsehoods that people have about working in the finance industry that they just don't understand?

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, I think one thing is that if you go into the finance industry just to make money, I think that's a terrible motivation. I think that you know clearly, if you do well, you will make a reasonable living. But I think what you need to do is think what is my skill set? How can I best apply the things that I'm good at into a particular sector? And I think it's about achieving mastery or really good skill set in a particular sector. So you stand out and I think it's all about trying to find out what you're good at, what are the available options, and try and make sure that you line yourself or set yourself up in a situation where you'll come across and you'll perform as well as you can, and not thinking about the short-term gain, but really thinking about the long game.

John Neral:

Within finance, there are risks. Within any career path, there are risks and decisions to be made. How would you describe yourself as a person who either enjoys taking risks or is fearful of taking risks? What is your risk personality, if you will?

Harsha Boralessa:

The funny thing, john, is that when I started out in my career I was very fearful of taking risks and I think in a way I had maybe a fixed mindset. But I think the further on I've gone in my career, I think I would much prefer taking more risk than less, and I think sometimes in life it's about trying to take managed risks, not betting the farm, but maybe making small experiments. So if you're coming to a point in your life where you're thinking about going in another direction, just make a small experiment. So if you're looking to move in another direction, take a course, go to night school, learn Japanese on the side, whatever it is.

John Neral:

Just try and continue with your current job if you can, but then do something on the side, because then you're not putting all your eggs in one basket we are four years after lockdown and certainly when we think back on it, the world changed dramatically during that time and also how we have worked and lived and adapted and connected in so many ways some for the good, some for the worse, depending on everything. But you shared at the top of the interview that your mid-career moment happened in lockdown and really making you reevaluate what you wanted to do. I want to go back to that with you for a moment, because leaving a job with a big four accounting firm in what would look on paper to be very stable and secure, certainly with your background and your skill set and expertise, there is no question you were highly valued and respected in the work that you were doing. Highly valued and respected in the work that you were doing. What makes you take the leap and go all in on a podcast that is intended to help people reframe and reset their careers?

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, john, sorry just to go back a couple of steps. I had actually from Big Four, I'd gone into banking and then I'd done some other things, done some consulting, so it wasn't just I came up to Big Four to do reframe and reset your career. So it's not as big a leap as you're making it. I prefer your story. It makes it sound much more sexy, but, but, but, in a way, I think, um, during, during, like a lot of people, we all had time on our our hands and actually, probably before lockdown, I would never have even contemplated going down this road. But I did a few test episodes. They came out well and then I thought look, let me share some of my knowledge with people. I got a good response from the audience, so in a way it created a momentum.

Harsha Boralessa:

So I think sometimes, in a way, you think when you look back on your career, it's like Steve Jobs and connecting the dots. Sometimes there's this um, a seamless narrative when you look back, but actually when you're going through it, you're experimenting, you're taking risks. So I think your story gives me much more credit than the reality of the situation. But really it was about trying to take the knowledge that I had acquired and to share it with people. And if you take, reframe and reset your career, it's probably it's been going for probably three to uh yeah, three over three years now. Um, and whether it goes on into something more we'll wait and see. But I think sometimes it's about trying to create content, trying to take risks, see what happens with the material, and it could be that it doesn't go anywhere beyond this, but on the other hand, it could do so. It's a quite interesting situation to be in now, and we'll see where the chips fall.

John Neral:

Yeah Well, I appreciate you clarifying my narrative there for you and painting that picture. I don't want to overlook the fact, though, that it's bold. It's a bold move in doing what you have done, and, having listened to your show and following you and the people whom you've had an opportunity to interview, it is very apparent that your mission and purpose of helping people have much more fulfilling careers is so important to you.

Harsha Boralessa:

Well, that's a very kind thing to say, john, and really I think for both our shows, the real message I think we're both trying to get across or at least myself is it's about empowerment. Trying to empower the listeners to, if you're in a difficult situation say you're not happy at work, say you've lost your job, say you're interviewing, you're looking for a new job it's trying to help the listener to take back control of the situation. Reframe Clearly there are difficult situations, but it's about empowering you to take charge rather than let the situation unfold.

John Neral:

Hey there, we'll get back to the episode in a moment, but I want to give you something game-changing, a golden ticket. That is like having a roadmap to take you from career confusion to clarity in minutes, introducing the Mid-Career Job Seekers Checklist. It is your secret weapon in your job search and if you feel like navigating your job search right now is like navigating a maze blindfolded, don't worry, my friend, I got your back. This checklist is a powerhouse of organization and preparation, crafted to make you say goodbye to feeling overwhelmed and hello to a career transition made easy. I want you to head on over https://johnneral. com to snag your free copy of the Mid-Career Job Seekers Checklist. It's not just a checklist, it is a career compass to help you find that job you're going to love. Now let's dive back into the episode. What is the one area that you have learned from the guests you've interviewed and from your own experience in these conversations over the past three years? What's the one area that you believe people need the most support or help being empowered as they navigate their careers?

Harsha Boralessa:

I think a lot of it comes down to mindset and being curious. I think a lot of it comes down to mindset and being curious. So I think if you have the mindset, a growth mindset, and you believe that, okay, I am here now, but I can get to a better situation by putting in the work, putting in the effort. Now, clearly, you can put a lot of effort in, you can put a lot of work in, but you don't immediately get the results. But I think it's about continuously putting in the effort over a long period of time. One of my guests, dr Grace Lorden she's the author of Think Big. She talks about just doing a small thing, whether it's daily, weekly, but there's a huge compounding effect and by doing it consistently and I think that's another thing be consistent. So if you're applying for jobs, you can't just do a bunch and then do nothing of applications. You have to do a bit of work every day and hopefully then you'll get through enough to get to your dream job. But don't get dispirited if you don't get it immediately.

John Neral:

It sounds very much like a similar philosophy or approach to James Clear's Atomic Habits, in that we start small and build that momentum in order to yield those larger results, which is always validating when you hear people kind of talking about the same thing, right, because it makes you go oh yeah, so a lot of people are saying this. Right, we hear it from other people as well. So when you want to kind of build that momentum in that regard, harsha, you proudly state that you are fascinated with neuroscience and psychology. You have researched and studied these things and, of course, we know the brain is an extremely powerful and untapped tool in our bodies, right? And so when you think about how our brains work, especially when it comes to navigating our career paths, what do you believe to be the one thing that is holding us back from getting the success and fulfillment we want in our careers?

Harsha Boralessa:

I think sometimes we have these limiting beliefs and we believe that there are limits to what we can do or where we can get to, and sometimes I think you've got to stop yourself having those. I mean, clearly you have to have the qualifications, you have to have the experience. But sometimes even people with all those qualifications and experience, they talk themselves out of going for jobs, maybe going for that promotion, maybe leaving the company and going somewhere else where they'll get better paid and get the promotion. So I think sometimes we have to stop ourselves and that negative self-talk that we are not good enough, we're not deserving of the promotion. So I think, if you can almost get out of your own way.

Harsha Boralessa:

But I also think action is so important because you can think about things and you can analyze and you can strategize. But I do believe that taking action is key and that's where a lot of people stop themselves from progressing. They think and they plan, but they don't take action. And I'm not saying action will always get you to the right place, but I'd rather take action and maybe it doesn't go quite well, but then you can reevaluate, you can pivot. It doesn't go quite well, but then you can reevaluate, you can pivot and then assess another path, but at least you've got information from the action.

John Neral:

I like how you phrase that, and having that information is absolutely critical in making those kinds of decisions.

John Neral:

I want to stay with you for a minute on this idea about limiting beliefs and I'm going to propose a scenario with you for a minute on this idea about limiting beliefs and I'm going to propose a scenario with you for us to help our listeners today.

John Neral:

So one of the things that I'm seeing in my work with my clients and I'm getting confirmation from other coach colleagues and some HR professionals in my network is that we are seeing companies take longer time periods in terms of selecting talent and whereas pre-pandemic we wouldn't see this, but post-lockdown or pandemic, we're seeing people go through fourth, fifth, sixth, even seventh or further rounds of interviews as companies are trying to make their decision. For the person who's listening, harsha, who has gotten through multiple rounds of the interview process but has not gotten the job offer, not gotten the job offer. We know that those limiting beliefs about I'm not talented enough, I'm not good enough, I'm not lucky enough, right, don't have the right skillset, someone's always more experienced than me those limiting beliefs can creep in. What advice would you give them? To help them just reframe and reset their mindset as they head into their next job interview.

Harsha Boralessa:

I think that's such a great question, john, and really dovetails with the message of my podcast and, as you're saying, it's really about reframing it and what you need to tell yourself is look, you've got to that sixth or seventh round of the interview.

Harsha Boralessa:

Okay, you haven't got the job, but you're clearly far, your talents are far better than the other applicants, otherwise you wouldn't have got there. And it's like, say, going for any interview, if you've got to the interview stage, you you've done something very good. And actually, even if you go and to the interview stage, you've done something very good. And actually, even if you go and you're nervous, you need to reframe it and say to yourself the company values me, they value my skill set and clearly, if they didn't, I wouldn't be here. So it is very frustrating if you get to the last stage of the interview process and you don't get the job. But it's really, as you're saying, about reframing the situation and saying, look, I could be the out of 100 people, I'm one person away from getting the job or one interview, and sometimes people, the hiring manager may not make the right mistake, but you've got to just be persistent and keep going and I believe eventually things will work out.

John Neral:

Yeah, I agree with you on that too. Or a career transition or taking a lateral and going to a different company is important to somebody. It's that resilience and perseverance in terms of going through that process and realizing it is just the matter of finding the best fit for you and for them. And I always tell my clients Harsha, your job in any interview is to make the best connection possible, tell your story better than anybody can and assess the fit, function, finance and whether or not that job's going to move you forward. And if you don't get the offer but you made the decision really difficult for them, that's still a win. Right, it's still a win.

Harsha Boralessa:

And also, I believe, don't take things personally, because I think, unfortunately, too many people take it as a personal referendum on themselves. You have no idea what it is they want. You have no idea in the sense that there could be a compensation issue. Maybe they get somebody who's equivalent to you, but at a cheaper rate. It could be that other candidate has something which you don't have. So don't take it personally. Go through the experience. It's just like both of us are sportsmen. I think you're a bowler, John, aren't you?

John Neral:

I am yes, yes, yeah.

Harsha Boralessa:

So when you lose a match, you can't take it personally and say I'm never going to bowl again. You've got to get back on the horse and keep going for it.

John Neral:

So yeah, Right, yeah, I'm much better now than I was when I was younger in terms of not taking things personally, but you know, sometimes there's a little petulance in the car ride going home.

Harsha Boralessa:

I have to admit, my bowling is terrible no-transcript. Yeah, and I do think that yeah, if you can be resilient to bounce back, that does hold you in good stead for future interviews, or if things go wrong at work or whatever. It's a great skill to develop.

John Neral:

All right, so a couple of quick questions for you. You are a job candidate interviewing for a position. What is your biggest interview pet peeve as a job candidate that you would never want to have happen during an interview?

Harsha Boralessa:

well, once this did happen to me.

John Neral:

The interviewer got a phone call and left the room for about 10 minutes. Oh, which was a nightmare I can imagine. Yeah, talk about your. Time's not important with me, I'm just going to go ahead and take this phone call. Right, exactly.

Harsha Boralessa:

Yeah, that was frustrating.

John Neral:

Sure, you're on the other side. You're the interviewer. What's your?

Harsha Boralessa:

biggest pet peeve about a job candidate they haven't done their research. So I think at the end of the interview, when you have an opportunity to ask questions, the question shouldn't be anything that I could have got off the website or if I had done a Google search. So really think about the questions that you are going to ask, because actually that could be the, because it's the last thing you're going to leave the room. Having said so, really try and make that a good question which that person only really that person or somebody within the company can answer.

John Neral:

I really appreciate you saying that and I share that similar pet peeve. And when I was hiring talent and somebody hadn't done their research or they just asked the most mundane question and I would just go, no, I'm not answering it. You could look that up. That's a horrible question. Give me a different question and they would just kind of blank out and look and be like I don't have another question, but no, I'm not answering that today.

Harsha Boralessa:

No, what's the food like in the cafeteria?

John Neral:

Yeah, exactly Exactly Like do your research Ask something that's going to be, you know, important and relevant and memorable, and not that kind of stuff. Yeah, oh, my gosh. Well, look, I have so enjoyed our conversation today, and I know the listeners have as well. We're going to start wrapping up here. So, harsha, what advice would you give someone listening today to help them build their mid-career GPS to whatever is next for them in their career?

Harsha Boralessa:

I think it really starts off with mindset. I think it really starts off with mindset. I think you have to have a mindset where you are curious, open to new opportunities, even going down areas which you think are completely not random but different from what you've been used to. So for me, starting a podcast, I never thought I was creative. I still don't think I'm creative, but I've managed to produce 75 episodes and a ton of YouTube videos, so clearly I must have some talent. So, I think, be open to new opportunities. But also I think it's about execution.

Harsha Boralessa:

You need to take action activities, but also, I think it's about execution. You need to take action and clearly you have to do some planning. But just planning and strategizing are not enough. It's really, I think, taking action, and maybe that action isn't the right action or doesn't get you to the right destination, but, as we've talked about, it gets you information, information. And then also, I think that the final thing is try and utilize your network and speak to people, and especially the second and third order connections, because they may have information about jobs or intelligence which you just don't know or your first order connections aren't giving you.

John Neral:

Well, well said and really relevant to this entire conversation here. So thank you so much. All right, if people want to connect with you, find you, find your podcast, youtube channel, all those things. I'm going to turn the mic over to you. Tell us all the good things where people can connect.

Harsha Boralessa:

Fantastic On social media. I'm Harsha Bharadasa, so you should be able to find me there. My website is HarshaBharadasacom. The name of the podcast is Reframe and Reset your Career, and that's also the name of the YouTube channel and the podcast. It's on Apple Podcasts, spotify all major podcast platforms. I'm also on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, so I'm around and I think the only other harsher baroness is my mother, because we're both harsher, but she's doctor and I'm not a doctor. Okay.

John Neral:

I didn't know that about. Okay, well, that's good to know. I will make sure all of that is in the show notes for everyone to check. Harsha Boralesa, thank you so much for being a great guest today on the Mid-Career GPS podcast.

Harsha Boralessa:

It's my pleasure, John, and my honor to be on the show and I hope our listeners have got some value from today's conversation. And I hope our listeners have got some value from today's conversation.

John Neral:

Well, thank you so much. I hope so too. So, my friends, as we're wrapping up here, here's a big takeaway and, from my conversation with Harsha, here's what I want you to lean in on as you build your mid-career GPS. This was a conversation about taking action. Wherever you're at in your career, if you're feeling stuck, undervalued, underutilized, if you're feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, unmotivated, you have a choice, and that choice is you can either stay in that state where you're at, or you can start building a plan and a strategy to go do something else. That something else may look like a pivot into a completely different industry, and Harsha shared his powerful story about his career path and going all in on his podcast and YouTube channel to help people reframe and reset their careers. It might be just taking a lateral, and there's nothing wrong in that. You might love the work you do. You just want to go do it somewhere else. But the idea is this is about taking action, and so, as you think about your action plan, what I want to offer you after this episode is this Pick one thing you don't have to do everything Pick one thing that you want to commit to and start building your mid-career GPS towards that one thing and then build on it from there. So, my friends, remember this you will build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day.

John Neral:

Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and, if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple podcasts. Visit johnnerrellcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you and your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Darrell Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters. Thank you.

Reframe and Reset Your Career
Navigating Careers
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs in Careers
Building Your Mid-Career GPS