I was a 9am-9pm working professional when I took my first break. For me, work had always been my priority and I had the tendency to give in 200 percent till I graduated to be a mom. I made a decision, not influenced by any circumstances, to stay at home and look after my cub. It was a delight to watch her grow and record every memory of hers and experience her devotional love towards me. It changed me as a person as well as a professional. I was in no hurry to get back on my feet and was enjoying every moment of being a stay at home mom, which I found was extremely challenging. No fixed timelines no set working hours, exceptionally high expectations – all led to an extremely bad self-evaluation
But we managed our way through and survived the initial journey. The journey that should have been of a year’s sabbatical became a fulltime job of 3 years. It is then that I realized that I need to find a way to get back on my feet and at the same time be with her as now my cub was my top priority and more or less a habit which was difficult to leave.
I started working as a freelance Business Consultant with start-ups and tried my luck at it. With no Finance degree but a good amount of corporate experience, I decided to take a plunge and try my hand at being a freelancer. I worked in various sectors like software development, HR, pure testing companies to understand the flow and my capabilities. I started to challenge myself, and learn a completely new line of business to restart my professional world and at the same time be with my precious little cub. Well God had other plans, we moved out of India and came back after a year and this time I was carrying a new life, our second chapter to being a parent.
I was 5 months pregnant when my current company decided to hire me. And I will always be grateful to them for that. It is not an easy decision to make to hire a woman who you know would be taking some time off in another 4 months. But they believed in me and I was determined to prove the point that pregnancy is not a showstopper but a catalyst for any woman to work better. I started working in new vertical, corporate training as sales manager. My company was patient, understanding and always on their toes to get me started as early as possible. It was not easy but the journey became smooth because of the people that I was working with.
Things are indeed changing in India, management of small companies and understanding the fact that having a baby is no hindrance for a woman to work. It is not going to make her slow or unprofessional or demotivated. Having a baby is a privilege that comes with being a woman and does not mean that there is a full-stop in the career.
In India, we have had in the past and present very strong women who have dominated the leadership roles. We can find many
The mindset needs to change with today’s time. The flexibility given to work based on the scenario and irrespective of the gender will help both the parties to prosper. The key for the company to grow is to be employee-centric with the right policies in place. If we don’t concentrate on the right environment that we give to our employees, it becomes difficult to retain the talented associates in the company. The trend now is to get into an environment that is employee friendly rather than concentrating on just the salary. As work-life balance has climbed up on the priority list.
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