Success Story | Everyday is a Day to Restart Again

I  am : –  Kalpana, a Software Engineer, wife & mother of two, multitasking homemaker. My Expertise: Web Development of apps for Androids, iPhones, thin client, set top boxes, tabs. My passion: Computers Work to me is: a way of creatively working on technology.  Having worked for almost a decade, I wanted to take a sabbatical to look after my family and two beautiful kids.   How I used the time of break:  A career gap of 8 long years and every day was the day to get started. I connected with friends who inspired me and helped me to upgrade myself through skype. I did freelance projects and developed some confidence. I kept looking for projects and opportunities and volunteered in neighbourhood training centers too. My Motto: Never give up and keep moving. Even the smallest step taken is an effort towards the goal. Do not shut yourself up. And keep meeting people. Start networking. Not everyday will bring required results, but a result is guaranteed every day. HSI platform: Her Second Innings, helps capable women professionals /homemakers to find their calling in their second innings. Women looking to get back to their careers, or starting a career and needing advice to pursue alternate career to be financially independent have a community to help them through HSI. Assessment: Assessment programs were conducted by the team and the feedback was that there was a knowledge gap. This was a great breakthrough, as now I knew exactly where I was lagging […]

Plan Your Career Break & Restart Journey With These Tips

career break and Career restart tips

The advancement in technology and artificial intelligence is about to achieve a whole new level in the world. In spite of it, these technologies are still not aiding women who had to take career break due to various reasons.  A woman is the central pillar of all the family. She is the essential need for the basic survival of humankind.  Her active role as a daughter, wife or a mother constructs the family as a perfect monument.  Women are so intelligent that their contribution to various industries has boosted the economy of the entire nation and as an individual unit. But, she encounters a phase in her life where a role in the family requires more weight than her career in the balance scale. When there are circumstances where your focus is needed in other areas rather than your own career is it essential to always take a career break? No, not necessarily. The decision to take a break has to be taken after thorough consideration of all available options. I have mentioned below a more effective method to achieve a decision by analysing the option’s weightage and outcome. It is always easier to analyse when the thoughts are written down or represented in some form of figures rather than contemplating it over in our head. List down your reason for the break and check in which category your reason falls under and plan accordingly. When it is confirmed that you have to avail a break in such case it […]

The Power Of Assertive Communication

The power of assertive communication

Assertive communication is the ability to express our ideas and feelings in an open and uninhibited manner. It is the trait of standing up for oneself and refuse to be taken advantage of by others. It is the recognition of one’s rights while still respecting other’s rights. Typically, women are seen as passive by the society and men are expected to be dominant. However, the behaviour of a person depends on his/her culture, upbringing, emotional support structure, work environment, genes and a whole lot of things. If we can ignore the stereotyping by the society, both men and women can be assertive by choice. For some, assertiveness is a second nature and comes very easily whereas for others it is like every other behaviour, schooled and practised. Given any situation, we have couple of choices on how we can react. We have a choice to be either meek or be assertive. A lot of confusion prevails as to whether a person is assertive or aggressive. Aggressiveness is the ‘fight’ response and is detrimental to relationships. Assertiveness is the logical response and is not driven by emotions. Submissiveness, on the other hand, is the ‘flight’ response where we tend to give away our rights. We are habituated to respecting authority and are told to adjust to situations right from childhood, so that we can live in harmony. But we do not shy away from using aggression over weaker sections when the situation is not conducive to us. Is there a need […]

Career Tracking while on a Career Break

Career tracking whole on a career break

Image Credit: Pixabay The most important dilemma faced by a woman today who wants to get back to work, is where to start from. Do you want to get back to where you left off or begin anew? I believe it is always good to start with an end in mind, to have a goal to chase. So how can you tackle your career tracking while on a break? Where to begin? Start with asking yourselves, what you want to do next? Is it the same role you would like to grow in or explore a new career? The advantage of a career break is that it gives you immense time to think of what you truly love to do and to chalk out your priorities, both personal and professional before you are ready to get back into the saddle. Basically, define a goal, an end you want to achieve. How to develop a career track? Define your Goals: Once you have your goal defined, the next step is to assess your existing skills and the skills you need to acquire in order to successfully achieve your goal. This will help you to find out the skill gaps and determine a list to work on. It could mean you will need to start from the bottom, in case of a new career option or exert yourself to pick up from where you left off. Skill enhancement techniques: You can work to acquire those skills through online tutorials, coaching, speaking to […]

Tips for Knowing Yourself Better

Knowing Yourself is the beginning of all wisdom

Do you really know who you are?  Irksome though the question may sound but this is the ground reality with most people, especially women. Most of us have been used to towing the given line for so long that we sometimes forget who we really are and what we really want. Knowing Yourself is therefore the critical pre-requisite before you push on the pedal to re-start your Career.   The process of knowing yourself is not only daunting but emotionally exhausting. In the process we unveil a host of new findings about ourselves that maybe we had been staving off our whole life. Continuing to keep the lid on these vital aspects will no longer be advisable as we need to rethink and reorganize our strategies all over again. Therefore it is always a good idea to revisit our inner selves and identify who we really are.   Perform a SWOT The biggest problem that we often face when we sit down to know ourselves more closely is we don’t know where to start. There are so many things that we wish to tell the world about ourselves but how best way to do it. The best and the most popular way of performing this self-introspection is by performing a SWOT. The SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis is a self-estimation technique that is almost always dynamic and can never be done at one sitting. You need to ponder over cups of coffee and come back to it every […]

Restarting Professional Career After A Break

Restarting Professional career after a break

Returning to the professional life after a career break seems very difficult for everyone. Companies often think that the candidate has lost the relevant skills due to career break and they start refusing such profiles. After being an efficient employee for years, an individual’s candidature is continuously refused by many companies only due to career break. Many women on career break are facing such difficulties to return back to their professional life irrespective of their passion to get back to work. Are you sailing in the same boat? Is this your story too? I must say, Women must not limit themselves due to the limited imagination of others. There are several ways to benefit from your career break. Some of them include: Bring more positive energy into yourself Your career break is the best time when you can motivate yourself more regarding your professional achievements earned so far. Try to cherish those professional achievements that you received appreciation for your efforts. It will help you to boost your confidence, and bring more positive energy. You will find more determination and focus to return back to your professional career. Improvise your skills Don’t just sit idle during this career break. Taking a course, learning new language or any other skills is of great benefit for you as you will feel more competent.  If you have interest in writing, you can start developing your writing skills like me. I have started writing after taking a professional career break. It helps me to […]

4 Tips For Effective Interaction With Management

Tips for effective interaction with management

Image Credit: Freepik How do you make yourself seen, heard and talked about by the top bosses? You work hard, smart and are valuable enough to provide inputs but are they listening? More commonly Management holds the responsibility of providing vision, inspiration and motivation for those being led and uses tools like surveys, focus groups, one-on-one meetings and communication activities. They follow the Top-Down approach. But effective communication is established when employees are provided with opportunity to ask questions, receive clarity and accomplish their task with clear steps to complete goals. Communication is only communication if the message gets where it needs to go and is received by those who need to hear it. Bottom-up communication (Employees to management) provides information about employee needs, values, perceptions and opinions. This helps the management to select and tailor their programs and policies to meet the specific needs of their employees. Here are few tips to communicate effectively through bottom up approach.   Make yourself seen – Communicate face to face wherever you can. Research shows that less than 10 percent of the meaning of a message is carried through the actual words. If we just have written communication without any face-to-face communication, people are going to miss the message. Even through technology through videos seeing each other’s’ faces makes a huge difference. Eyes do not lie and you can express better.   Make yourself heard – While talking, keep your voice and tone low, positive and yet assertive. Using statements like “I fully understand […]

See Sawing Life – Balancing With Fun

“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices’’.  – Betsy Jacobson Family or Work? – It’s a dilemma that most of us are set with…torn between the endearing love for family and fierce determination to succeed in profession. While it’s difficult to weigh one against the other, best way is to balance it out, thereby creating a very cordial environment. It’s alike a See-Saw, balancing with fun. Normal social construct is that spending more time at office portrays a person’s ambition. Being driven by this paradigm tends to take a toll on the concept of balance. Work – life balance is very vital so that one is not compromised for the other. While we are driven by family values, credit has to be given to the fact that Career is built through years of hard work and unyielding efforts. Both play an important role in our lives. Some tips to balance both:   Prioritize your day and plan accordingly: If you need to leave early or will be delayed coming home, set the right expectations with your family members. Check if your better half can come in early if you are held up at work.   The Art of saying NO: There is little need to take up every assignment that comes your way. Weigh the opportunity and judge how it will help you grow professionally. If it doesn’t add any value, let it go.   Delegate: Whether at work […]

Ways To Self-Motivation – Your Key To Success

Image credit: Pexels What can be greater than a few encouraging words by a friend? What can be better than your near and dear ones cheering you on or boosting your morale? The answer is “self-motivation”. Nothing surpasses being your own little motivator. Your lovely bunch of people definitely got your back. But, the urge to work towards a goal should come from within, always. Here are a few ways to be your own cheerleader.   Keep goals in mind: First of all, set your goals. Make sure the goals you set for yourself are realistic- getting back to a job, buying a new house, planning a dream vacation or even losing weight, for instance. Whatever work you’re engaged in, always let the goals be there at the back of your mind. Remind yourself of the goals after you wake up and before going to bed. You can write down your long-term goals on a piece of paper, too. That way you would be documenting them and this shows you are serious about them. Don’t let those dreams fade into nothingness. Let visualization of your goals be your first step to motivation. Do not, however, constantly brood or obsess over them.   Divide it into little tasks: Now that your goals are sorted, you need a proper plan to achieve them. Plan out daily or weekly tasks that you need to complete in order to reach your goals. If you are trying to lose weight, plan out your diet and […]

Gender Diversity in workplaces in India

History shows that women, the world over, have had to fight for equal rights, be it the right to vote, the right to work or even the right to reproduce. Even today when the world has advanced so much technologically, women are not considered at par with men and are often discriminated against even though there are laws that ban discrimination. In India, as elsewhere in the world, as more and more women have access to a higher education, have awareness of their rights, have aspirations and capabilities, their numbers at the workplace are steadily increasing. Indian women are not only handling administrative and clerical jobs but are also taking on managerial positions. But is this increasing presence of women at all levels in the workplace also fetching more rewards and success? Women are often discriminated against and receive less remuneration as compared to men for the same/ similar work. A woman may be more qualified but may be passed over for promotion. Gender diversity is the need of the hour. What is gender diversity? Gender diversity in a workplace is when an organization has equal and fair representation of both men and women.The advent of multi- national companies in India has played a major role in increasing gender diversity. But the Indian companies do not seem to be adopting this mantra of gender diversity. Studies show that women make better leaders than their male counterparts, women in leadership roles are more loyal to their organization, women are more creative […]