In Conversation with a Working Mother

Article by Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Ms. Ashika Agarwal

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

My name is Ashika Agarwal, married to a loving husband and have a daughter who is 4 year old now. I am a B.Tech in Biotechnology & Masters in English and have worked in the Sales & Marketing departments of companies like Nestle India, Luxottica India, Guardian Lifecare & Posh Baby and Kids India, I am currently working at William Penn and have a total work experience of 8.6 years. I am passionate about keeping fit, healthy eating, adopting ecofriendly ways in daily life and Zumba as I am a licensed Zumba Trainer. I dream and aspire to be at a higher level position in the Corporates where I have been working. Also I want to raise my daughter to be a responsible person.

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

Yes it was a conscious decision and I took a career break of 1 year due to high risk pregnancy. The obvious fears were that I will not be paid as per my skills or I might not get a job after the break.

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

My family was supportive and I did not face any opposition.

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

Yes I wanted a 5 day working environment so that I can spend the weekends with my family, also flexible working hours was something I was looking at.

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

Yes like a lot of emphasis was laid on the fact that how will I manage my daughter, means too many questions on the family front and less on my skill set.

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?

Flexible working is extremely important since I have a small child and yes it is a must for all women getting back to career after a break.

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 and Jobs that gave me flexibility while working

8. How did you prepare yourself for the interview?

By reading comeback interview Q&As on Google, watching You Tube videos and adding my insights to it.

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

Please look for a 5 day working company with flexible working hours so that you can spend time with your child as well