Navigating career crossroads: Insights from a panel discussion

Discover key insights from seasoned professionals on transitioning careers, from entrepreneurship to new professional roles

Antler Indonesia

May 15, 2024
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Should you dive headfirst into entrepreneurship or build a steady career in a corporation? This age-old question was tackled in a recent panel discussion titled "Turning Point: Choosing Your Next Career", co-hosted by Antler and Trihill Capital. The event gathered more than 100 experienced professionals, executives, and founders for an enlightening discussion on career transitions.

Seasoned professionals, Agung Bezharie Hadinegoro, Karina Saridewi, Andrew Soeherman, Dian Safitri and Dennish Tjandra, shared their diverse experiences, offering valuable insights and inspiration for those contemplating a career change. Their stories highlight the pros and cons of various paths, emphasizing the importance of self-discovery and strategic decision-making in navigating career crossroads.

From Startup Hustle to VC Vision

There are many reasons why an entrepreneur like Dennish Tjandra, who has built six startups, would choose to work in venture capital. Similarly, Agung Bezharie, who previously co-founded Warung Pintar, is now a Partner at Antler. Despite the difficulties of building a startup and the frequent challenges, reaching milestones and experiencing growth can be incredibly rewarding.

The discussion illuminated the truths of startup life. Financial instability and work-life balance challenges – it’s far from glamorous! Dennish Tjandra even remarked "capek bro…" to convey the exhausting and unpredictable nature of the journey. Now, Dennish is moving towards VC life and join Spill Ventures as VP of Investment & Portfolio Growth.

Together, Dennish Tjandra and Agung Bezharie represent a powerful force in the VC ecosystem. Their dedication to supporting entrepreneurs, coupled with their deep understanding of the startup world, will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the future of innovation.

Passion Fuels Perseverance in Agritech

For Andrew Soeherman, the CEO of Eratani, the decision to build an agritech startup was not an easy path. Andrew also emphasizes the internal and external pressures that the founder feels. However, with family support and a strong passion for improving the welfare of farmers in Indonesia, he became increasingly committed to developing Eratani for the future.

Finding Purpose Beyond Startups

Dian Safitri, who has extensive experience in both startups and leading tech companies in Indonesia, views her current career journey as a long path to self-discovery filled with challenges. She believes that overcoming these obstacles has led her to her current role, serving the country as a special advisor at the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises.

One thing that Dian Safitri emphasized during the panel discussion was the following statement, which quite accurately represents the concerns of professionals when considering a career change: "We begin with 'The Necessary,' progress to 'The Possible,' and ultimately must embrace 'The Impossible'—pursuing the seemingly unattainable path."

From Corporate Comfort to Entrepreneurial Courage

Karina Saridewi, who has enjoyed working in corporate and multinational companies from the start, sees her current endeavor of building WeNetwork with her co-founders as a pivotal moment. Her experience and ability to navigate the corporate world have been key to her success in transitioning to entrepreneurship. Karina also highlighted an important aspect – the significance of "transferable skills" that can be utilized for successful career transitions.

Be Prepared to Pivot and Adapt

The shared experiences of the speakers can be summarized as follows: it is important to approach all jobs with open eyes and intelligence. If you feel the need to change professions or careers and choose a different path, it is entirely valid. 

Each individual holds their decisions in their own hands and mind. The crucial aspect to consider is ensuring that your strengths or special skills can advance your future career journey, whether as an entrepreneur, a corporate employee, or a civil servant in the government.

Remember, the key lies in self-awareness and a willingness to adapt. There's no one-size-fits-all approach. Take inspiration from these leaders, and chart your own unique career journey!

Ready to launch your startup journey with us? Find out more about Antler in Indonesia here.

Antler Indonesia

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