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 […]

Can Women be Successful Entrepreneurs?

Women Entrepreneurs

India is a country where we have seen Indian women remain restricted to household activities in earlier era. However, things have changed these days and we can see a lot of women entrepreneurs in India. They are coming up with an assortment of development in every sector, be it private or public sector.   Those days are gone when women had no professional status. Women are now changing the private and public sectors through their strength of purpose and determination. They are symbolizing the new India where women are enthusiastic to take challenges and gain knowledge from their mistakes and utilize them to become successful in future.   What are the things a woman must have to become an entrepreneur? Well, woman only need to develop consciousness, work on existing initiatives, have self-confidence, and zeal to do something. That’s it. These are the ingredients which can support women to bring a successful change.   Women have a significant economic, political, financial and social role in India. You can observe several transformational and structural reforms which are taking place in India these days. The time has come when women entrepreneurs are riding their waves successfully. There are women who do not have any background in the relevant sector of entrepreneurship but still they are overcoming the barriers through their determination and doing a remarkable job. From influencing others through starting their own ventures to making a social impact, women entrepreneurs are the influential one in today’s era.   Their ceaseless quench […]

The Tightrope Walk – Combining Career and Family

When I met a friend after a gap of 15 years and exchanged life stories, she spoke about a classmate who decided not to have a family for the sake of Career Advancement. The question that raced through my mind is “Does getting married signify the end of professional life or can we walk the tightrope and make both co-exist’’? Despite all these years of waging war for equality and establishing a stance in the society, I strongly feel that there are fewer men set with the question of Career after marriage. In a Country abundant with Culture and Family values, career tends to take a nosedive after marriage. Luckily in the past two decades, there is significant acceptance by the Extended families that career is important to Women as it is to a Man. Also, the concept of day care at work has made it easier to concentrate professionally without sacrificing our domestic responsibilities. As a person who started to work soon after college, I have never felt my thirst to restart my career take a back seat because of family. It’s certainly not choosing one over the other, but to bring all together in the potpourri of life. Of course, it’s not an easy walk.  There are always sacrifices on sleep or social visits, but these are the mandates for a better standard of living. I have been fascinated by the account of Indra Nooyi.  She goes on to narrate that when she went home with excitement to […]

Adapting to global work culture- locally

Adapting to Global work culture

We live in a global world these days. The growing interdependence of national economies has created a demand for managers and employees sophisticated in international business and skilled in working with people from other cultures. International businesses can be traced back for centuries but today’s escalation in production and distribution has created new demands on the competitive international business environment. Sometimes, it is our resistance to change and adapt which make it a little difficult to work in a setup different from us and our culture. For Example, IKEA has been present in India for 28 years in the form of sourcing products from suppliers and then shipping the products all over the world. In India, IKEA has 48 suppliers and by that extent employ 4,00,000 coworkers. When IKEA India was first being established, as much as 50 Indian workers were being employed and trained to work the “IKEA” way.  These are some of the best practices used by the company to merge Indian sensibilities with European work culture. And well, the practice could work for anybody working for a global brand locally.   Concept of “Being on Time” Indians tend to be late for everything. It may not be an intentional thought or a rude gesture but just something that has seeped into the system. It has almost become customary. The perception of time has been engraved into the Indian culture, where tardiness is accepted. Well, it does slow down productivity and in fact drags the deadlines further. Being […]

Why you need to prioritise yourself

Image credit: pexels Needless to say, women, especially in India, are expected to be loving and selfless beings who are willing to sacrifice their dreams, desires, and career for the sake of their family. Apparently, your nurturing nature is said to be your inherent characteristic. You are taught to put others’ needs before your own. And if you do not adhere to these unwritten norms you are looked upon as selfish, haughty and mean. And if you do, you probably end up neglecting yourself. Whether you want to be altruistic or a little egoistic is totally your call. However, most of you, I am sure, are more altruistic, which is actually great- for others. Of course, it gives a sense of immense moral pleasure when you do things for everyone else. But you also need to understand that you have duty towards your own self, too, as much as you have towards others. Why you ask? Here’s why-   Because your home revolves around you: You might be all involved in your household chores and the needs of your husband and children might be on the forefront. However, whenever any member of the family is in the tiniest kind of trouble, you are the only one person they turn to. Lost a sock? Can’t find the towel? Failed an exam? Couldn’t get a promotion? You to the rescue! In case you forgot, let me remind you: You are important. Only when you are happy, your family can be, too.   […]

No Man is an Island… Build a Network of Support System

No man is an island.. build a network of support system

‘’Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard I am captivated by the idiom “No man is an island”. Irrespective of Gender, Designation or Societal status, we strive to build a network of support system around us. I suppose that the innate need to belong to something…..a family, a circle or a like-minded group is quite human. Having left the comfort of my home a short while after college and relocating to a different city, I felt like a fish out of water often. Years of socialising gifted me the treasure of a well-connected network, and also a few friends who consider me a part of their family. The chain of people in your life- Family, friends, colleagues or mere acquaintances gives life its meaning.  No matter how successful you are, having someone to come home to is an indescribable feeling. I believe that it’s not the number of people in your life, but the nature of relationship you maintain that makes a difference. Despite the influence of external circumstances, we exhibit certain traits that we observed as children from our Parents and surroundings. In turn, it becomes our utmost responsibility to be good role models and pass it on to our future generations. Apart from Family and Friends, our Society plays a vital role in our lives, whether it is our Neighbours, the Charity activities we indulge in […]

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 […]