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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.   […]

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 […]