Women Leaders – Series 2

#SecondCareer

This post is dedicated to my bestie! It is my gift dedicated to her on her special day, the day she came into this world. She is as fierce as a lioness and as gentle as a flower. I know her for as long as I know myself.

She has been my role model, since I was a kid. She was always the captain and me a player (and sometimes a substitute). I take pleasure in sharing her  career decisions she took to have a work life balance. Not many can always take this tough choices. Let her move be a motivation to the many who feel that there cannot be a second career.

There are definitely many sites and options for the Moms who choose to be at home, not so until a few years ago.

My friend Trupti decides to give up her lucrative job as an Accounts Manager and decides to spend her time raising  her two lovely daughters. The decision yielded good results and the kids are fairly independent and on their own today.

During our chats one thread of discussion which would often come up were the various options of how she could kick start her career. My enthusiasm in guiding her in this path, led us  to explore multiple options of work from home assignments. There were certain risks involved in dealing with unknown entities. Further the US slowdown added to our worries as some jobs stopped coming to India. In the meantime there were companies which has assignments which can be done as per her convenience. While she was happy doing those tasks, I would get restless, as I always believed she was made for something more bigger.

She’s a task master and a number cruncher and has balanced the accounting sheets all her life. Hence the routine tasks meant under utilising her capabilities and potential.

She was not far away in her quest for a meaningful second career.

There were many who approached her for joining the Insurance company. Though the advisors have been around for a long time now, the value propositions which the current service provider offered, gave her a strong reason to pursue this  option. She was now in the business to  educate the folks about covering their risks.

As an individual we are all worried about the unknown and the unforeseen. Having seen some close mishaps due to lack of awareness of the right insurance policy, she decides to take this assignment.

My rational mind did not support her initially. I always felt  ‘selling’ was the most toughest job. I wanted her to take up an easier task.

As the saying goes, one cannot refuse the ‘calling’, and if it is someone as genuine as this Lioness, success cannot be far away.

Within a year of her joining the team, she has climbed up the ladder. She continues to live life on her terms and she dictates her work hours.

‘GIG economy’ is here to stay . The ones who have  the fire in their belly and a genuine heart can flourish in  whatever they chose as a profession.

“True Happiness lies in being content” that’s been her status for a long time.

She breaks all my myths about the rules of the game. To me it’s not a novice to look at her fiercely chasing her goals. In the younger days it was the swiftness of her pace with which she won over the opponents at Kho Kho, today it is crunching the numbers with her team. This lioness is here to stay ..

 

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Is your Net Working?

 

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Vikrant is in his late thirties .He was working in a leadership role in a mid size company , the company was not doing well for the past several months. He did not move out thinking the situation will be revived. The #management took a  tough stance and asked Vikrant to leave. He got this blow when he was least expecting it.

Rachel is an HR Manager , she receives a call from her ex colleague , Maya enquiring if there are any opportunities for a #Technologist. Maya is trying to help her husband find a job as in the #IT downturn ,he is on bench along many of his colleague. Rachel is in a senior role and is well connected.

Shilpa works for an #NGO and often looks for sponsors to conduct welfare programs for rural development. She has a wide reach  and is well known in the political and social #network.

Does these folks and situation seem familiar ??

Vikrant , Maya and Shilpa turn to their close aides in such situations.. Family provides the best shelter during tough weather, however a trusted group of professionals tide you over a career hurricane . When you climb up the ladder of your #profession, we often ignore the importance of having a reliable bunch of well wishers. Whenever there is a fall from a greater height , your professional safety network of friends , spare you the brutal crash .

 

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Safety Professional  Net 

In this age of digitisation , where the #milenials are hooked to use #socialnetwork and #GenX are re establishing their careers ,having a  strong network is very crucial.

 

Some points to ponder while Networking :

  1. Be Active: We are all part of many social and professional forums on different networking site. It may not be possible to be online always. Ho#wever as a member of the group, you are expected to contribute. Whenever there is a need from a fellow member, be there to respond if you can. It is important to contribute, so that you have responses when you seek information.
  2. Be Genuine: Some members are all well connected and highly influential. However, when they are approached for a genuine connect or a support, they vanish. Remember that your current role or position is pivotal to many in your network, don’t just pretend to be there, “Be there” for your fellow colleague.
  3. Networking groups are not career sites: Networking groups are not career groups , do not expect to get you your dream job in any of the social networking seminars or programs. You can build your visibility , it does not guarantee you a job. Keep your ears open, but try not to be labelled as a “job seeker” within the forum. It dilutes your “ personal brand value.
  4. Avoid over marketing: Do not use your network to bombard with personal / company’s marketing information. Share the information with absolute tact and prudence.
  5. Choose the right forums : For HR folks there are established forums like #NHRDN, #HRIA, #MTHR, etc. Similarly   each profession has its groups. Be associated with the right bunch of experts!

In the financial parlance, to increase your net worth by investing in SIP in your early years. For your professional security, start building your net work, early in your career, it will help provide you the comfort, when you need it the most!

Happy Networking!

Pink Roses and Slips

Friends are the family we chose for ourselves. At workplace where we spend maximum of our waking hours, can we make real meaningful friendship? If you are in #HR can you maintain a good friendship? These questions I try to explore while I travel down memory lane.

The first Sunday of  August  is celebrated as World Friendship Day. My first memory of celebrating Friendship Day was during our college days, the celebrating environment, the excitement of tying bands to close friends, known faces and absolutely unknown faces !

The relevance of friends in our life also changes with passing years. During the earlier stages in my career in #HR, I was extra careful of not making friends within the organisation. The old school theory laid importance on #HR being the neutral member and having an unbiased opinion. Hence taking unbiased decisions at work place, maintaining confidentiality for sensitive matters and taking tough management  This  made it difficult to make close friends within the organisation.

As we approach August, I remember some of  my very close friends just disappearing away from my life. There were many reasons, interests change, common problems vanish or career paths differ. Though we loose connects with some good work pals who change organisation. The dilemma whether a Manager can remain a good friend continues.

On one hand HR has to be friendly but maintain the equilibrium of not getting too close. Most of us feel like a split personality, when you giggle with friends during tea breaks and at another time raise alarm when the tea breaks extends.

Some cautions in general when as #HR or #Manager we make friends within office:

  1. Personal information: Sharing too much of personal information and worries can form opinions. Every friend has a best friend. What you think was shared in confidence could be the latest grapevine.
  2. Taking tough decisions: When you have to convey a strong message or an unpleasant news, it is tough when as HR/ Manager.
  3. Professional rivalry : It is difficult to rule out professional rivalry which can happen between close friends.
  4. Goals : Our decisions are based on the goals we aim at, hence there are bound to be clashes , if there is no common goal.
  5. Feedback : It becomes tough when as a Manager you have to give feedback to your best friends on areas of improvement. 

    Some relations are beyond the boundaries of personal and professional realms! Lets continue our journey with good pals around 🙂

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