In Conversation with a Working Mother

Article by Kanakadurga Ramani, Manager – Consulting Services at Avtar with Ms.Anuradha V

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

Like every other ambitious girl, when I was out of college I thought I would conquer the world.  Thought I can do everything.  There was no IF or BUT or CAN I DO.  Everything was possible.  Was to be a very successful corporate executive with an intention to make a difference to the organization I work for and also to the people who worked with me. I now have an Art store where I sell stuff that I handmade.  I also have a unit to recycle stuff and make new items.

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

Yes it was a conscious decision to take a break.  There were many fears in my mind when I decided to get back to work,  the world has moved forward, will I be able to adopt to the new work environment, how will I adjust, will the organization or the Manager be biased since I am back from a break.

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

My family and friends have been really supportive about my coming back to corporate life.  They always felt that I could make it and my husband was a pillar who believed that I have it in me and could make it happen.  He understood my passion and always was a great supporter.  I could talk to him for hours and tell him what I want to do and where I want to be.   My father was another source of encouragement; he taught me that you can do it come what may. Age did not matter, situations did not matter.  He himself after retirement would discuss new ideas and opportunities with me.  Gave me the courage that yes I can.

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

Yes wanted to grow fast, prove myself to the organization and for them to understand that yes she took a break but is now back with all the vigor.

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

Yes. Once I decided to go back after the break – at the interview they would ask me what were you doing between —— year and —— year.  Initially I would try to beat around the bush for the answers.  Like had to take care of my kids etc.  Then after a few interviews I got bold. I started to tell them – I WAS MAKING BABIES.  And now I am back to work. –  In the days I took a break the corporate did not know about work from home or the women worker benefits and likes.  They would ask questions like – how can you focus on work with kids are at home or are you a home kind of a person or are you a career women. The concept of being both was not there.  Things have changed now and you can talk to the organization and tell them.. YES I WANT TO BE BOTH!

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

Yes it is and now with the technology that we have it has made it easy for us to work remotely and also have Flexi hours.  The option must be given to people, initially it will help them settle in the work space.

  1. 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?

I looked for jobs that matched my profile, wanted to desperately get back to work and catch up on my career from where I left.   I also tried doing some other jobs while I had taken a break so that it kept me up to date with the industry and also made me feel self motivated.

  1. How did you prepare yourself for the interview?

Tried reading up on the latest happenings in the Industry, had long discussions and chats with friends who were working, kept myself upto date with news and other developments. This was the time when computers and internet was just being introduced.  Read up about what was this revolution and how can we be part of it.

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

Yes.  Be absolutely motivated and don’t give up on your dream. The small breaks we take in life may be temporary pitstop.  Try to get your engine in shape when you are in the pitstop.  You will come back and be part of the Industry.   Keep yourself abreast of what is happening in your industry.