Over the last three years, we at indePenn have spoken to over 500 women, who are on a long break from their careers. They’re keen to restart their careers but are unsure about the ‘how’.
Take the example of Nalini – after completing her engineering degree, she worked for three years as a manual test engineer in a large IT Services company. She got married and gave birth to her first child and found it difficult to find childcare that was available beyond 6 PM. Her office location and the commute meant that the earliest she could pick up the baby from the childcare center was 7 PM, and that was if she left office on the dot at 6 PM. So, she quit her job, hoping that she could figure out the situation and return to work in a couple of years. It has now been ten years. A long career break, indeed!
Some of the questions she faces are -
- Could she go back to testing as a career? – But the industry has moved on and manual testing is no longer a growth space
- Is this the time to upskill to a different area like mobile apps development or data analytics?
- Which is the right area? How expensive would it be? Can she trust the courses offered on various online platforms? Will the theoretical programme translate to being able to code in the real world?
- Should she explore a completely different field? – maybe HR? maybe Admin?
- Her children are still young – can she work from home?
- Is part-time work a possibility?
Her mind goes round and round with these and other similar questions and she freezes. Every option looks attractive and scary at the same time. She is unable to take the next step. She needs a guide who will address some of these concerns and help her find her way on this journey.
At indePenn, we believe that professional women on a career break are the most untapped and under-served section of India’s demographic dividend.
Our 4-step process helps women on a career break return to work.
Assess – Identify your strengths through psychometric tests – this provides a basis for her to systematically explore various options for her preferred area of work and identify those that appeal to her.
Bolster Confidence – every woman we have spoken with feels the need to rebuild self-confidence in herself as a professional – we do this through multiple webinars and workshops and one-on-one coaching.
Build Competency – upskill through the right courses and certifications with guidance from a Subject Matter Expert.
Develop a plan – a career restart is only the first step in becoming a respected professional with a long tenure.
Psychometric assessments helped Nalini understand her. She attended webinars and workshops to rebuild her confidence as a professional. We encouraged her to systematically explore various options for her preferred area of work. Once she chose data analytics, we connected her with a Subject Matter Expert who advised her on the right courses and certifications.
indePenn also helped her to set expectations – with herself, her family, and her community.
The first and foremost person to convince that going back to work after a break is worth it, is yourself. The most common concern is whether it is the ‘right thing to do’. “How Would it impact the family? Would the children understand and cope? Will the home continue to be run as well as it is today? Will I be seen as self-centered?”
To help her arrive at her own answers, we offer one-on-one coaching with a senior woman, who has been through the same life journey.
A mom restarting her career serves as a role model for her children. She teaches by example that each one of us can choose to be the best version of ourselves at any time in our lives. It takes courage, patience, discipline, and endurance. The result is a fulfilled, independent career woman who carries the glow of confidence and achievement.