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 […]

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: […]

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 […]

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.   […]

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 […]