NEWSLETTER February 2020 Twitter Facebook In wikipedia  
  Overcome everything to achieve something

Ms. Tanika Gambhir,
Risk manager

  In conversation with Tanika Gambhir, who beat all odds to become a successful second career woman.

1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and your dreams.
Ans - I am Tanika Gambhir, a risk manager by profession. We are a family of three - me, my husband, and my son. I am passionate about my work, so I keep on learning, and I have recently completed my certifications at risk, which has helped me to keep abreast of the new updates. Also, I do follow my other passions, which are music and dance. I strive to do everything with utmost love and ensure I put in my 100% effort towards every aspect of my life.

2. Was your break a conscious decision?
Ans - Yes, it was a conscious decision and I took it a few months before my delivery due to some complications. And I don't regret that decision, in fact I cherish that part of my life. The time I have spent with my son and I LOVE every second of it. That's my message to my fellow female friends that do a little introspection before making that decision as to what will give you inner peace and happiness, and then take the decision of staying at home or going out for work. I strongly believe in one thing, which drove me too when I decided of taking a break, is that when one decides to bring a life into this world it is one's responsibility to be there to take care of him/her, and provide the child with a warm & loving environment to grow. And if you don't have financial issues I think a mother should (at least initial 5 years), not because of the societal rules like (a woman should and all that stuff), but I think 'kudrat ne maa ko kuch alag hi banaya he' no one else has the guts. It takes a lot of courage to make that kind of a sacrifice which only a MOTHER is capable of. A mother is the only one who can selflessly devote her life r her children and that's the beauty of it. And it is very important for a child to live in this world happily and positively. I'll tell you why I am saying that. Whenever I feel low and dejected at times, during those times my 'happy place' is when I remember that time, when I used to come back from office and my mother would be ready with a bowl of salad for me so that I am not hungry, and at that time she herself was suffering from cancer, and was so much in pain herself, yet thinking of her child first... Who does that? Only a MOTHER can... And this memory instills a ray of hope back in me, helps me to believe there is goodness in this world... So I have immense respect for housewives... They are not just homemakers but also life makers. And it takes a lot of COURAGE, I again say that .. A LOT OF COURAGE to be that selfless and to be able to sacrifice your dreams and aspirations for someone else, that too in today's world. So the Key is to INTROSPECT. The day you will realize where your true happiness lies, you will fight for it and make it happen. And DO NOT let anyone make you feel bad about your choice either way. If the decision is to be at home fight for your rights - like monthly expenses and help with chores and all. And if you decide to go out, work and plan out together the support system for the child.

3. What were the obvious fears when you started looking out for openings?
Ans I am a very ambitious person, and I had a lot of dreams for myself so the biggest fear was that I will not be hired again as time passes on. Also, even if I do get hired I won't be able to continue it for a long time because of the lengthy duration & odd working hours in companies as I didn't have any support and even the daycare centers at that time didn't use to function during late evening. Also, the CCTV cameras weren't available and the biggest concern as a mother you have is your child's safety and security.

4. What kind of support or opposition you experienced when you discussed about your comeback with your family and friends?
Ans: Sadly, I had no support from anyone except friends who have always been a great emotional support for me. So the biggest concern as a mother was, where I would leave my child when I am at work as my husband had a job which required frequent traveling. My ambitious nature was not the sole force that drove me to work but also, my financial instability. I like to be financially independent. So just in order to balance those parts in my life (my child and my financial position), for a couple of years I took up part-time work from home kind of jobs which didn't even match my qualification and skills, but gave me some money to support my personal expenses.

If you have a support in life, value it and be grateful about it and ignore few faults & glitches here and there. But if you don't have then become your own support, stand for yourself. Believe in what you want in life and create your own support.
  1. Build good relations with your neighbors
  2. Have friends around so that in case of any urgency a help is just a call away,
  3. Train your Help (maid - I had a part time)
  4. Have a heart to heart conversation with your child, you can't even imagine how supportive and understanding your child can be at times
5. Did you have any expectations from the new job?
Ans: The option of flexi hours or work from home. The suggestion I would give is to be vocal about your requirements with your leader. In my experience, if one is delivering the work on time and meeting the deadlines, the manager too cooperates and adjusts to the few relaxations to the working hours as and when it is urgently required.

6. Would you like to share some of the questions that you didn't have an answer or found them irrelevant in the interview?

Ans: Why did you take a break (pregnancy/child care are very obvious and well-accepted reasons now) but there could be many reasons and situations when one has to take a break or leave a job. I would suggest, answer it with full honesty and confidence.
A question which I found totally irrelevant was -Do you have any plans for a second child in the near future?

7. How important is flexible working to you? Do you think it is a must for all women getting back to career after a break?

Ans: Yes, Very important. Totally! In times when technology has advanced so much, work from home or flexi hours is something every company should provide if they really want the right talent and skills for the role. It also attracts more loyalty to the company. So it's a win-win for both.

8. What was your job preference when you were looking to comeback - Jobs that exactly matched your previous jobs, Jobs that matched your skills or Jobs that gave you flexibility while working?
Ans: Honestly, I wanted both - A job matching my skills along with the flexibility. After numerous rejections that were countered by my strong perseverance, I landed in the desired role. But before that, I took up many part-time earning options too.

9. How did you prepare yourself for the interview?
Ans: Go through the JD and see how well you can be a match and then prepare accordingly. Prepare with the examples which prove and bring out the skills which are required for that role. Prepare about the company's culture and latest news.
If possible, get the training on a specific skill if it's required for the role. Even if you are in the middle of the training and you get the interview call, you can always mention during the interview that you are taking the said training for the role. Nowadays, there are many online training sites where you can get a lot of options.
Be confident and just go for it!

10. Would you like give some tips to I-Winners on career comeback.
Ans ; Yes, A lot
First - DREAM: Have aspirations in life, as to what you want to be and have in life. What will give you REAL happiness in life and don't be ashamed of it. Introspect and be clear about it. And once you get that clarity, JUST GO FOR IT
Second: Don't Shy away from asking help. Either it's for your job or for little help around like for the chores at home. Just ASK!
Third: BE resilient. I just can't tell you how many times I got rejected, I have lost count. In the beginning, when I got rejected from a couple of job interviews I felt dejected and began to have self-doubts. But then I did a lot of introspection as to whether going back to work is the right decision to make or not and when I realized that the answer to that is YES, then my drive to get through the job interview became stronger after every interview and after every rejection. Finally, I landed up in the right job and that too in a really good MNC.
Fourth: Build your support system around and flourish them. Especially for the nuclear families, you need to have help around. So, the first ones to rely on in case of any emergency are your neighbors and friends around. So build those relations and nourish & flourish them.
Fifth: Take good care of your health. We females generally tend to be ignorant towards our own health and that's the biggest mistake. Our health must hold the top priority as we have to take care of everyone and everything in the house, so if our health suffers it's the entire house which will suffer along. So delegate work and defer the trivial chores, there is nothing wrong in doing that. Agar shelf pe rakhi hui book do din tak wahi rahegi to pahad nahi gir jayega ?. So CHILL!!
Sixth: Stay strong and take pride in what you do. There would be people around you who would question your decision and will try to make you feel guilty about little things. If you decide to be at home, they will make you feel less intelligent & smart than the one who is earning and out there. And if you decide to go out to earn, they will still make you feel bad as you are not able to focus on your priorities in life (kids/husband & house). So, if you are giving your best just don't succumb to that unnecessary pressure. In fact, stay strong and hold your head high.
Last: Be supportive of other females. Extremely important. Build the SISTERHOOD and try to be understanding & empathetic to each other's problems than being critical about it.
Wishing each one of you a Life you deserve!

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer are purely personal


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