Article by Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager – Research, Avtar

Reunions are very always special. It is the time when we take off from our routine eagerly await to see of our pals, relive our cherished moments. It is always a beautiful take a trip down our memory lane. It becomes even more special when it is with our all-girls gang. Every year our college alumni association team would send our batch meet invite. But it was always the “regular few” will come together. This year we speculated whether the meet will be called amid the COVID’19 and our alumni team sent our first-ever “virtual reunion” invites. To everyone’s surprise, it was a full house! It was lovely to meet “virtually” every one after so many years. It was amazing to see little kids and families coming together. Truly, we all have come a long way and each of our lives changes so much. It was amazing!

Reena, our college topper joined the reunion for the first time. She is working in a multinational bank and mother of two children at the junior school level. She is in mid-stage of her amazing career and one of the identified Hi-Po talents at her organisation. I was super excited to hear but Reena did not have that vibrancy as she spoke. Her mother’s guilt and more expectations from her at work is not supporting her in any direction and is in the dilemma to choose between family and career. It was just not Reena with this mind-set but few more working moms shared the same.

So, I decided to decode the questions that were pondering within me. Why woman like Reena(s) who have made significant progress in being recognized as outstanding managers, aren’t making it to the top? What is derailing them?

In today’s competitive corporate environment, women employees find it a bit more difficult to charter a plan, especially at their mid-career stage. Work-life balance is a major problem for today’s working women. The demands of full-time work conflict with the relational factors in their family life. Women feel they have to make difficult decisions that sacrifice their career or family, with little understanding of the influences that affect decision making. With the technological advancement of our work modules creating a clear boundary between home and work life is no longer possible. The traditional concept of work-life balance has now evolved as work-life integration. Work-life balance is a separation of your professional and personal lives whereas, work-life integration is a connection between work and personal life. Interestingly, organisations have started to embrace the idea of work-life integration with their career enablers like flexibility, remote work, childcare support etc.

But again, what is still that one factor often disrupts or derails women professionals? Hay Group examined the performance and paths of 12 of the highest leading women in one Fortune 500 company and other executive women of global organizations. The study reveals that the highest-performing women had in common a strong orientation toward achievement. It is instrumental in driving an advancement to a large extent. To have control over your career requires you to be INTENTIONAL. The word “intent” refers to my mindset at the time of a specific action, and it’s something many don’t think about. While being intentional may mean you have to think more, purposeful actions yield better results as it the ability to change what requires to be changed with maturity.

Here are the steps which can help you to create alignment of your goals, values and actions

  • Identify a clear goal that you want to achieve professionally
  • Break down identified big goal into small objectives attached to timelines
  • Assertive and strategic planning enables you to be disciplined with your time and priorities.
  • Invest in professional development by staying open to new opportunities
  • Finding innovative solutions to your workplace problems
  • Networking and discussions with peers and colleagues to gain new insights
  • Tracking the progress will motivate to steer it in the direction of attaining your goals
  • Never hesitate to communicate and negotiate on what you want to your reporting managers

Be INTENTIONAL as you will certainly make a DIFFERENCE with more maturity and purposeful engagements to reach your desired GOAL!