Sabbatical- Blessing or Curse for Women Professionals?

Sabbatical blessing or a curse for women professionals

You can find a number of Indian women who have taken a break after a successful career. She was well educated, loved her professional identity and financially independent. She was really enjoying her professional life but suddenly what changes her mind to take a break? An inevitable situation such as motherhood, marriage, ill-health of self or family member during her professional journey and so she had to take a sabbatical. I am sure most of you can relate this situation to yours. Sabbatical could be either by choice or due to circumstances from where she cannot escape. Many a times, she was not ready but had to take sabbatical because of unfavorable circumstances. It could be 2 years, 2 months or 2 weeks depending on the situation, but for some, it is for a lifetime. I have several friends who had taken sabbatical and still haven’t joined back, still struggling to get back to work. In fact, I am on the same page too. Took sabbatical in 2016 but I haven’t stopped myself there. Being from a Pharmaceutical background, it was tough for me to get back into industry. However, I searched for other opportunities and I started working as a Freelance academic and content writer and now I have started publishing my technical and non-technical articles in various websites. So, what are you waiting for if you are on your sabbatical? Start exploring new opportunities which can help you to be in race again. Though, it will take time […]

Emotional Awareness for Personal & Professional Success

Emotional Awareness

The Harley Therapy Counselling Blog defines Emotional Awareness as “the ability to recognise and make sense of not just your emotions but also those of others.” This means that being aware of what we feel is not enough to make us emotionally aware. We need to enhance the awareness further by identifying, acknowledging and accepting that feeling in others as well. Also successfully predicting our reaction towards this feeling is crucial in enhancing emotional awareness. It is only then that we will be able to handle our emotions in the desired manner.   As humans we all have emotions. Enhancing our emotional awareness is crucial in ensuring our social well-being. It is deeply linked with how we perceive and build our relationships with our personal as well professional associates. As professionals we go through a whole gamut of emotions, and being able to decipher those early on will help us improve the way we handle ourselves as well as our relations with our co-workers in the professional space.   Build Better Communication Radha was a marketing professional and often had to make presentations to her clients. However, before every presentation she would get sleepless nights. The next morning her eyes would be red and she would be really snappy with her team. Her other team mates would avoid her on such days and made fun of her weird behavior behind her back. Gradually this created a distance between her and her team resulting in an overall poor performance. The above scenario […]

8 Advantages of Online Tutoring as Work From Home Career

A career break could be for many reasons. It could be Maternity break, ill health, health, move to another city, state, country or a perpetual break. To return after a sabbatical and start again is quite frustrating for most women. Reasons are internal as well as external. Externally, the market scenario has changed, technology has changed, pay scales, working modalities etc. Internally there are life events that have been added to the timeline and with it family dynamics as well as responsibilities have changed too. So, practically and realistically, it is a  little harder this time to start from where one has left and restart from the same field of work. The route could be a little different now, but worth taking it.  Well, as long as the motivation and passion is there, one must keep going. But until then there are few alternative options one can look into in their field of work. practically and realistically, it is a  little harder this time to start from where one has left and restart from the same field of work. Online tutoring is one such option, where you can work from home, and its easy and fun. Here are some advantages: Flexible hours – A big advantage is that these type of jobs have time slots of 2 hours per session and one can choose to go up to as many number of sessions in a day. So with a minimum of 2 hours per day one can get engaged in […]

Stand Tall and Face it all with Confidence . . .

Stand tall and face it all with confidence

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence ” – Helen Keller During my first year of college, I had the privilege of being an Air cadet in NCC which presented me the opportunity to fly Gliders. In my first session, I vividly recall my Wing Commander saying “Flying is all about gaining Confidence”. Little did I know the significance of those words until a later stage in life. I always had the attitude of “Stand tall and Face it all”. Confidence is something that can’t be built in a day. I believe life is a series of occurrences with each experience and challenge presenting us newer opportunities to strengthen and gain conviction. While there is no ‘’One approach fits all” methodology, I am listing a few pointers that has helped me over the years. Get out of your Comfort zone : It is cosy to bask in the familiar, but to progress, it’s necessary to step out of the zone and be prepared to feel awkward. Pushing your limits and embarking on the unknown will provide you with immense confidence. Avoid Comparisons : Many a day is lost in comparing our lives with others. The advent of Social media while a boon, casts gloom when used to equate our living standards. It’s highly pertinent that we develop the maturity to be happy with what we have. Look for happiness in the littlest of things : It’s not always the money or […]

Challenges after a Career Break and their Solutions

Career break challenges & solutions

  To all the stay-at-home moms, to all the housewives and to those ladies who have taken a career break for reasons of their own: getting your career back on track or returning to a job after years is a tough task and you have a lot to catch up on. All this while you have been engaged in chores of the house and the thought of being financially independent like before seems like a long lost dream. There is no guarantee for success. However, you must pursue your passion and try to win the job you deserve. You will face a lot of challenges on your way to the goal. But don’t worry, you are a woman of grit and can overcome these challenges easily.   Low Confidence: Your confidence would take you to the zenith of your career, but unfortunately, this is the time when your confidence is most probably at its lowest. A good way to avoid this situation is to start early i.e. prepare yourself mentally beforehand. It means utilizing your free time for some classes like public speaking, learning a new language or any other course. The main aim here is to interact with new people while you learn something new which, if possible, should be connected to your field. This won’t take much of your time and will gradually boost your confidence. Start gaining confidence on a small scale and you are good to face the bigger challenges.   Missing out on new skills: […]

Importance of Networking for Success in Your Career

Importance of Networking

Networking is not collecting contacts! Networking is about planting relations. – MiSha A while ago, I read a statement that during layoffs, the person to let go is not the one with low performance, but the one without friends.  If that be true, then so powerful is networking that it’s a necessity than an option. In today’s world, the concept of Synergy is crucial not just for the Individual, but for the business as well. As human beings, we have the vital need to converse, share our thoughts and exchange ideas. It’s wise to have a circle of varied categories – Peers, Friends, Mentors, Ex-colleagues etc. Normally in most organisations, after a level of hierarchy in top management is reached, recruitment happens through word-of-mouth – i.e. the feedback given by an insider with influence has better weightage than recruiting an outside candidate. Summing up few important aspects of Networking: Keeps you in the game: While the business world is flooded with intense competition, it’s hard to stand out. A well connected network will help to get easy identification. A person with an established support group has more chances of landing an opportunity due to the word of mouth influence and access to job openings.   Helps you stay connected : As we move on from one company to another, there will be people who are good resources – whether it is in terms of knowledge or as a friend. It’s unwise to lose contact with such folks. Networking helps to […]

Gear Up For A Career Change…

How to identify new career…… Career change or an alternative career can be built based on your talents and interests. But if neither are working out you can build  a career by analysing the market demand with sheer willpower and passion for new learning. Few key points mentioned below for new career choice You should acquaint through knowledge of the new career you are about to choose You should make sure this new career must provide for your financial needs. If not at the beginning but must eventually in the future You should know your competitors of the new business You should know the scope for growth if you choose to work in different industry You should establish a steady clientele, so marketing skills are mandatory You should possess the passion to learn and adapt to your new career My journey…… Couple of years ago, when I was struggling to find my foot back in my previous job industry I got rejected again and again due to my gap in career. I was frustrated and looking for alternative career. My native place is famous for silk sarees. Whenever, I returned after a vacation or holiday from Chennai I used to buy Kancheevaram sarees for my friends. One of my friend Manjali, suggested me to start a home business to sell South Indian sarees.  And so, I started a small home boutique shop, its now 2 years. During these two years I faced innumerable hurdles and breakdowns. The journey was not […]

9 Effective Tips for Writing a Resume

Resume writing tips

There are thousands of people who are looking out for a new job and the resume is the first point of entry that he / she can make to the company. So, it is very much essential that the resume reflects the person’s capabilities and achievements and gets the attention of the recruiters. The following guidelines will help in drafting an employable resume: Keep it Brief and Concise Recruiters spend only a few minutes screening the resume. So, ensure that your resume does not run into pages. Highlight in brief your achievements. 2. Reverse chronological order There are different ways in which the resume can be organized but the traditional way of stating items in reverse chronological order is always preferred by many. Do not leave any obvious gaps. 3. Career break If you have taken a career break, do not try to hide it. Specify the activities that you have done during the break period, even if it may not be completely relevant. For example, you could have completed some certifications, or been part of some community drive or even participated in some event in your neighbourhood school. It is essential to stay updated during the break period. If you haven’t done it, start reaching out and explore what is interesting to you before you start looking for a job. Get enrolled in refresher course. State it in the resume to show what you have done to stay relevant in the field. 4. What You See Is What You […]

Career Restarting for Women on a Career Break

Career Break

Image credit: Rawpixel Women today have proved to the world that they are competent to take on any role and job they aim for. Be it Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space in 1963 or Stacey Cunningham hitting the headlines for being the first woman to lead New York Stock Exchange in 2018. But in reality, they are the exception than the rule. Most women are still struggling to keep afloat in a corporate setting and it’s even more challenging for those who want to come back into the workforce. The world is not kind to a career break on your resume. It raises a lot of eyebrows and concerns. Let us throw some light on this subject to understand better.   What are some of the major reasons women take a career break? There are several reasons women opt for a career break. Some of them are: Childbirth Relocation of a partner Migration to a new country Redundancy or end of contract Higher Education Sabbatical – travel, volunteering   What challenges women face returning to the workforce after a career break? Skill gap: In skilled labour like IT or finance, one needs to be up-to-date with the changes. A long career break creates a bigger skill gap. Employer’s skepticism: It raises questions on one’s capability, seriousness and time commitments which makes the employer skeptical to hire women after a break especially mothers with young ones. Position/role offered: Usually the position and salary offered to women after her break is […]

The P-C-R Approach to Achieve Financial Stability

Financial Stability

In simple terms, Financial Stability is the ability to ensure that you have enough financial reserves for a rainy day. It is a matter of significant importance for both men and women, however, for women this becomes a doubly crucial factor for consideration as the ‘rainy day’ occurs quite frequently and in most cases, in an unplanned manner.   It has happened to me a couple of times and believe me I have not only been severely drenched by the sudden shower but have also caught the chill quite unexpectedly. Experience is the best teacher. Hence, I always adopt the Plan – Change – Re-plan (P-C-R) approach to help me keep myself well- perched on high ground, safe and dry from the deluge.   Plan The first thing I do is to Plan a budget. It took me a good many years to realise the importance of a monthly budget and how it can keep your finances well within check. Once the budget is defined, I chart out a path along which to direct my finances in order to make them stay aligned to my budget. However, we are all mere mortals and can seldom refrain from indulgences. Nevertheless, if such sins do creep in make sure that you do not go overboard. An occasional splurging for an expensive jewellery shopping, Dinner at a fancy restaurant or even a luxury vacation is fine. Ensure that you do not tend to make these a regular item in your budget or else […]