Blogs

The 3 Mantras of Success for Women Coming Back to Work

  • Schonali
  • in
  • Back to Work,Expert Advice
  • |
  • 28 Nov 2017
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When a woman decides to take a break in her career, she always has good reasons.

Sometimes the heady excitement of a wedding and starting a new life with a partner can make you hit the brakes on the work-front and focus on the novelty of building your home and marriage.

The arrival of a first child can throw your world into absolute chaos, where you don’t know if you’re coming or going, sitting or standing, eating or sleeping (sometimes you don’t even realise you’ve been talking out loud about the baby’s last nappy change when guests have come for tea. No judgement.).

We also tend to step away from our careers when a parent in our family needs extra care – because while we may have hacked organizing childcare, we’re not yet ready to outsource our elderly care, here in India.

It is just not done. (Yet.) 

So far, rare is the case that a woman would choose a sabbatical in her career for herself. To reassess what she wants to do to earn a living, to explore her options, and/or to discover and nurture her latent talents.

(There ARE women who are doing this, but their numbers are definitely in the red.)

Women essentially give up their careers for the sake of someone else – a spouse, a child, or a parent/elder.

And when they want to return to work there are all these hurdles to address because of the ominous “gap” in their track record. (Our motto is, Don’t Let the Gap Hold you Back!)

So, how do we tackle these barricades head-on and avoid the deflating effect that they would otherwise have on us?

We’d say that there are 3 Mantras for Restarter Success.

1. Education (a.k.a. Reskilling)

Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world, and he was right.

Education can definitely change our worlds and our experiences in them.

If you took a long break, chances are that you have definitely lost touch with a lot that is going on in the workplace. You need to catch up and that fact should not daunt you in any way. You should approach it with the attitude one would have to any other exciting experience like dancing, learning a foreign language, or making plans to head out for the weekend.

There are definitely courses online to brush up on your skills, as well as short stint courses at local colleges and universities tailored for the always-on-the-go urbanite. But THIS is another EXCELLENT way to get on-the-job skills, training, and adaptation to today’s workplace if you live in Bangalore!

The JFH team is not that big in size, but we're bigger than life in friendliness and helpfulness, and together driven to our singular goal of bringing Indian women back to work one resume-match at a time. 

2. Networking

It is said that the world is made up of introverts and extroverts and that these broad categories define your approach to social and business networking. What is uncontested, though, is that attending networking events and building your personal connections with people adds social currency to your bank.

There can and will come a day when WHO you know matters. And, very often, it doesn’t have to be someone high up the ladder; just someone who is in the right place at the right time for YOUR restart to happen.

When I landed a dream job in Toronto after a 3-month layoff, I went to drop off my resume in person for the advertised role. Standing at the copy machine behind the reception counter was a girl who had been my very first boss after I’d graduated, and with whom I’d formed a rapport back then. She remembered me and my work so took my resume and put it on the desk of the person who mattered, and she vouched for me. You can't imagine how many stories I've heard of women and men in which this type of scenario played out in their professional lives, numerous times. 

This is social currency. You get it when you put yourself out there, sometimes outside of your comfort zone.

And it always, always helps. 

JobsForHer has designed an ingenious league of women who want to restart and aren’t yet ready, or who haven’t yet found the right job – The JobsForHer Ambassador Community. These women come together in cities across India, to reap industry knowledge from handpicked experts who work in different areas related to getting back to work, free of cost!

What they do in return is fan out into their own networks – both online and off – and talk about JobsForHer to other career break women who are searching for jobs across India.

What tends to happen is that networks give birth to infinite more networks, and one’s chances of meeting the right person who is in the right place at the right time for your restart, multiply.

As well, the joy that comes from giving oneself to mentor other women towards restarting their careers generates immense positive energy for your own career restart.

Giving is the gift that keeps on giving! And networking with the JobsForHer Ambassadors is the best way to give when trying to restart your career. 

3. Perseverance

“A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Unknown

The news has been reverberating recently with stories of famous failures – from Oprah Winfrey to Jack Ma to Amitabh Bachan to Albert Einstein[1]; they all went through failures in their lives before becoming the roaring successes that they are today.

But, they persevered, because they believed in their dreams and focused on their ultimate goals. 

When we stick it out, success will be ours.

Do not get disheartened by missed opportunities, application rejections, or bad interviews – it is all learning for the next step. Use those lessons to try new ways, devise new strategies, and approach new avenues for your restart.

Persevere through the rough times and smooth sailing is definitely in your future. 

There is a woman at our office who attended job interviews almost every other day, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, for SIX YEARS. And she never gave up. She tried every door that had a crack open and stuck her foot in it. Most companies told her that her gap was the issue.

JobsForHer, of course, didn’t.

In the end, if you want a job, you will find it. But you have to do the work required to get it back.

 

Because, with the passage of time, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and you need to ride the river back uphill for a little while before it evens out and starts working with your rhythm, and vice versa. Lucky for you, JobsForHer has a solid, sturdy raft for you to use while you navigate your way through the rapids.

We're chockfull of information related to restarting your career in our blog space, news regarding female diversity in the workplace at every level on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, networking, life-coaching, upskilling & resume-writing events to attend (virtually or in person) intimated on our events page, and, of course JOBS for women coming back to work after a break! 

Visit us at JobsForHer, create a profile, upload your resume, and let the browsing begin!

 

 

Currently the Head of Creative Content at JobsForHer, Schonali Rebello is a full-time mom to an athletic and bubbly 4-year-old, and has worked in a smorgasbord of jobs – from executive-assistant to a tech-CEO to fundraising for the classical performing arts, from bartending in Toronto to conceptualizing events at a supper-club in Bangalore, from heading communications at a family-owned group of agricultural and real-estate companies to handling Nespresso events with coffee planters in Coorg. After all of this she is finally living her dream as a Creative Writing & Women's Studies graduate, writing articles, blog-posts and reviews on women's issues in the Indian workplace. 

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