Mother’s Day Series – In Conversation with a Working Mother (Part 3)

Article by: Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Dr. Suja.M.K. – Associate.Professor & Chairperson, Department of  Social Work, Amrita  Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore.

1. Please tell us about yourself, your passions and dreams.

I am very passionate about my profession that is Social Work. At 50 my dream is to help people especially women and adolescents come out of their mental barriers and short comings to live their life to the fullest. All they need is a little push.

2.Was your break a conscious decision? What were the obvious fears when you started looking out for openings?

After marriage work was not my priority, looking after my home was. I was employed before marriage and chose to stay at home. When my son was four  I decided to work part time. My fears when I started to look out for full time openings was that “ Was I good enough?”

3.What kind of support or opposition you experienced when you discussed about your comeback with your family and friends?

My family was very supportive especially my husband. He was the one who did all the application work. I had lost touch with my friends…. So it was just family. 90’s was not a time of social media interactions.

4.Did you have any expectations from the new job?

I always wanted to teach, so the job of a lecturer in a college was a dream come true. I wanted to do the best for my students.

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

They were very happy with my performance. One of the senior trustees commented “Very intelligent girl”

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

It is not the question of men or women. All must work. More so for women, because their independence starts with their own income. So does their status in the family. I talk from experience of how people treated you when you did not have a job and how they do now.

7.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?

Jobs that matched my skills.

8.How did you prepare yourself for the interview?

Well I read up the institutional profile. Because I was out of touch for 5 years I looked up the latest developments in my area of work. Prepared all the documents needed. Decided to be their early.

9.Would you like give some tips to I-Winners on career comeback.

You have to climb the stairs for success. There is no elevator. If you are passionate about your profession nothing else matters, You will pick up skills as you work. It will not be a bed of roses but it will be worth it.