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 […]

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 […]

Career Break landed me on a road I never dreamt of travelling

Image Credit: Novak Yesterday I was on 365th Day of 28th year of my life. Only one year in 20’s then I would be a Trigenerian. Last night before falling asleep I sat for a while to look back into my past, First fifteen years of life is as same as any other kid, catching up on my milestones as an infant, learning fundamental education, running an academic race. During my teenage years preparing for board exam, sailing in science stream to get enrolled into a professional college. With all expectations I started pursuing my professional degree. Like every other individual I had dreamt of how my college days would be fun filled, explore a lot. But it remained same as my previous years. Model exams, practical were integral part of our routine. I reached pre final year where soft skills was introduced which would help every student to grab an opportunity in MNC. Final year sowed the seed of responsibility as a daughter and as an individual. I knew after this I could never relive the life of a student. Landed in a decent job. Initially I was overwhelmed about coding for a specific reason (It was my favorite since my college days. I felt it dealt with getting more creative). I had chosen my career. Days passed I realized somewhere deep in my heart my goals were spoon fed by my boss in addition to someone else having a hold on me as well as my time. I […]

Sabbatical – A Leap Of Faith

Image credit: Freepik “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter into one of the most creative periods of my life.” Strictly not sabbatical, the above words mark the wilderness years of Steve Jobs, period during which he was on a hiatus from Apple. Capitalising on the opportunity, he built his ventures – NeXT and also went onto transform Pixar as a giant in the entertainment Industry. Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, and rebuilt it to be a mammoth that its today. In my opinion, it’s productive to take a leap of faith and go on sabbatical for betterment. When set with adverse situations in life, whether it is health, family or any other reason that necessitates a break, there is no need to buckle down and give up your hard built career. All that’s needed is a whiff of fresh air, stay away from the hustle-bustle and start over. Aside from compelling factors, some utilise sabbatical for rejuvenation – to start afresh with enlightened ideas, improved knowledge and invigorated spirit. Fortunately, we live in an age where it’s possible to take a break and disassociate from work for a few months or even years. Sabbatical serves as a refresher for the mind that’s cluttered with frenetic activity. Few do’s for a sabbatical: Secure your position in the company intact if you plan on returning. Have a healthy discussion with your Manager and […]