Career Hour – Mentor Notes

Last updated 11 Jun 2018 . 1 min read

Are you forgetting your own expertise?

The phone line dedicated to the Career Hour rings and I pick up. The woman on the other side confesses she does not know what her real skill is. I utter to myself, don’t worry lady. Most of us don’t.

We get talking. She obviously is an intelligent woman, a great professional and was earning really well. I can make out from the details I learn about her.  More details tumble out. She is an environment management professional. Rarest of the rare skill within that. Professional achievements to the hoot.

Why on earth did she say, she does not feel upto it!

Moving cities, countries, marriage, children take a toll of a different kind. We begin to forget who we are. Where we started. What did we enjoy doing.

Apart from that, we talk further. She has tried work from home but it wasn’t great. There are no other binding interests or hobbies. She studied, worked, got married, children – a drill many of us have done without really digging deeper. No questions asked. That really is many of us. We didn’t over step. We excelled. We were good. We followed the line. But things catch up

Sometimes the template runs out.  We stand at roads we cant recognize the road or us. The journey seems lost on us. Many of us do at some point or other. I have to say I hear more women being honest about it. Men are not supposed to get lost or maybe ask for directions.

Anyway, I digress.

So my friend on the phoneline is a super specialist in a technical field. I ask her why isn’t, she out there with the great expertise she has built over the years. She shrugs her shoulders. I cant see her but I can. She isn’t committing to why she hasn’t but she knows like many of us that we need to share our goodness, our skill, our expertise, more so in times like ours. I coax her a bit more. She says she is willing to give it a thought. I hope she does

Another call.

This time it is the very lovely M. She came to meet us at the Job fair we had organized. It has been a while since she worked. Over 7 years or so. First time we met, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, but was sure she needed the flexibility to manage her day – kids, in-laws, hectic Delhi life. This time when we spoke, she had figured her inclination to do something with kids and parents. She did her research, put together modules on parenting, made contact with corporates, did some pilots, built a little service offering which she can call her own.

M called to say, if we can generate clients for her. I ask her what is the challenge. My network is limited, she says. Do you have a website? Can I see your facebook page, I ask. Let the world discover you, I say.

I have some clients I got through referneces. But why do I need a website or a facebook page? I am inviting some of you to share real stories on why she does? What is an online presence likely to do for her business? Or if she really upto, to start a business!!

Willing to share? We have made it easy for you on Sheroes App.

Sairee Chahal
Sairee is the Founder of - a platform connecting women to corporates and offers career opportunities, resources, mentorship. A believer in work-life redesign, serial entrepreneur, mentor, an occasional writer and mother of an 8-year-old, Sairee is India’s foremost women at work evangelist. She earlier co-founded Fleximoms and also worked with CII, Heidrick and Struggles. In 2000 she set up Newslink Services, world’s first newspaper for mariners. A winner of the Devi Award 2014, and a L’oreal Award nominee, Cartier Alumni and TED speaker, Sairee has an M.Phil in International Relations from JNU

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