Article by Dr. Divya Kumar, Associate Manager – Research, Avtar
It was a Saturday evening. The mall was gearing up with shopping enthusiasts who were eagerly awaiting for the Grand New Year Sale. I was running around to grab my best choices amidst completely charged kids who were playing hide and seek with their clan. A young mom unexpectedly was sprinting to catch hold of her kids. I was surprised and thrilled to see Nita – my career role model when I started working for a MNC, eight years back. Currently, Nita has taken her career break for her maternity. Five years on, Nita has no clue on how to get back on aboard.
Nita’s is not isolated story rather a sample of 36 percent of Indian Women Professionals take a break from work. Interestingly, almost 91 percent of women who take a break want to come back to work. Women professionals take career breaks due to 3M’s – Maternity, Motherhood and lack of Mobility. In Indian society, women take career break for Elderly care too. Gone are the days where career breaks was considered as invalid resumes. Times have changed! Array of initiatives have been taken by companies to bring women returners. Therefore, what is stopping or holding back to make her re-entry to her career.
Here are some Career Returnship pointers women utilise their career break usefully and forward it for their successful come back
Upgrade your Skill-Sets
In era of digitalisation, woman on career breaks can deal with up with the fast changing job market and a gap in their skill-sets from home. Returnees can upskill via Paid and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free online courses available from top universities and colleges. These platforms provide reasonable and flexible way to gain knowledge of new skills. Such courses enables you to upgrade both technological and non-technological domain. In addition, there are life skills coaching such as Time management, Prioritisation etc. that will be value add to your curriculum vitae.
Build a Strong Network
Women are good networkers by natal. It is important to build your networks that will support in your career come back and advancement. Construct your Relationship Inventory in order to your identify networks. Network effectively utilising powerful networking strategies. LinkedIn is a potential medium to serve the purpose for positioning in career comeback. Never, miss opportunities to attend training sessions, workshops and webinars a window to meet like-minded people.
Invest on Support system
In Indian society, we are constrained to the support extended from our immediate family. Nevertheless, this support cannot be depended on all the time respecting their personal commitments. You need to invest on a continued external support like friends or day care centres or baby sitters/nannies.
Create your Personal Branding
Personal branding is a form of promoting an individual customs to create an image that exhibits his or her tenets and overall character. You can write a powerful introduction of yourself – countering what you are the best at, who you serve and how you do it uniquely. Reinvent yourself with by creating your own signature style!
Wipe off Self-doubts
Women often believe in the limitations set by others on her not to be over – committed. It is imperative to have distinguishing makers – what defines an individual from others. Be matured and prepare your family to be independent from the beginning. So, wipe off all your self-doubts. Be BOLD and CONFIDENT that you are not alone anymore!
Remember – A decision to take career break is more difficult than a comeback.