Author: Nalini Gujrati
Joining the workforce after a significant break was both exciting and challenging. I had mixed emotions as I embarked on this new chapter in my professional life after a gap of almost 12 years. For a successful transition, I made sure –
a) I had confidence in my abilities and didn’t worry about being out of touch with industry trends. Using my previous work experience and strengths as a guide, I focused on what I did well and what I learned.
b) I focused on skill updates, took online courses, and attended workshops to learn about the marketing industry.
c) I was open to learning new tools, technologies, or processes. I realized that to adapt quickly I need to be proactive in asking for guidance or mentorship and seeking out training opportunities.
But managing the transition back to work after a long break along with juggling family responsibilities, was not as easy as I thought! I was all over the place and felt 24 hours was not enough. I talked to my employer, colleagues, and family about the challenges. I realized transparent communication helped me manage expectations and allowed others to provide support or offer flexibility. Also, I took advice from women who had been in a similar situation and followed tips that helped me cope with the balancing act. I developed a structured routine that accommodated both my work and family commitments. I understood that effective time management and organization are key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Since my work was client-facing, at times, I couldn’t establish clear boundaries between work and family life, so to manage such situations, I asked for help and delegated responsibilities, both at work and home. I didn’t shy away from seeking support.
While I am finding a harmonious blend between my work and personal life, I have to admit that I have been lucky to have cooperative co-workers, an understanding manager, and a supportive spouse that have greatly contributed to achieving work-life balance, particularly when restarting a career after a long break. I realized building positive relationships with co-workers can foster teamwork and make the transition back to work smoother. My husband understood the demands of my career and was always willing to share household responsibilities and provide emotional support. Open communication and collaboration with your spouse can help you navigate challenges and ensure a harmonious balance between work and family life.
Remember that work-life integration is a dynamic process. What works for one person may not work for another. Find a balance that suits your unique circumstances, and be patient with yourself as you navigate the challenges and joys of integrating work and personal life.
*The author is a skilled performance marketer who began her professional journey in the NGO sector before transitioning to digital marketing.*