From A Banker To A Mompreneur, I’ve Switched Many Roles
My parents always wanted to see me as an independent and strong woman. After finishing my studies, I joined Standard Chartered Bank and worked there for almost 6 years, while being appreciated in each role and project I handled. It was during my maternity leaves I realized that I may have to leave the job, as I was unable to find a sustainable support for my six-month-old son, and creche or daycare seemed too early for him. Also as a Banker, there was no flexibility in the nature of the job. My quest to get my son a proper upbringing that he deserves, made me resign from the job.
The Maternity Break
Maternity break did affect my career but I ensured that it turned out for a better delight. The day I resigned from my job, I promised myself that I will not brood over it. I decided to engage myself in a manner which would help me fill my role as a mother and as an independent woman too.
I have realized that despite having a strong force of talented women working in all fields, very few organizations have any career map for those who wish to take a break for any reason. And thus, most of the talented women ambush themselves after maternity as they have no support from anywhere.
Workplace & Societal Woes
I still remember when I was trying to get back to full-time jobs after freelancing for more than 3 years, one of my interviewers sadistically questioned my decision of switching the role. He whimsically made me feel how nonchalant I am about my career, notwithstanding the fact that I have mustered up the courage to start afresh, along with fulfilling all my responsibilities.
In our corporate world, there’s an old saying, “Women can't have everything.” It is popular because of these shallow societal norms which start judging you, your kid, your house the moment they realize that you are a working mother. If your child is not doing well, it is because you are working and not spending enough time, as if those women who are housewives have super kids that are flawless!
I always believe and advocate the same to other women - please do not give into false and unrealistic standards set up by others. It is your life and you know what you are doing. Your house may be a mess on most days but your life will be sorted out and happy in the days to come.
After The Break
Due to my interest in digital marketing, I started learning, while working as Freelancer, with one of the popular IT & Digital Marketing Consultant Vishesh Shrivastav and very soon I was writing for many top-notch organizations.
I decided to move ahead in my journey by joining a full-time job as a Content & Social Media Manager with one of the e-commerce startups. It was an enriching experience and gave another meaning to my voyage, as I decided to work as a Startup Specialist from thereon.
After that, I joined another startup as the Digital Marketing Head and got an opportunity to steer the digital marketing drive for the startup alone. Within 1 year, the company started to perform and with the help of the founder, I was able to set up a structured team for the same. And then it was time for another leap.
My entrepreneurial journey as an independent Digital Marketing Consultant started in the year 2016. I was now creating job opportunities rather than seeking one. Yes sometimes it is tough to keep a balance but the sense of achievement and an instigating attitude to take up new challenges keeps my spirit up.
There were two major forces behind my entrepreneurial journey. My son because the passion to raise him in a manner that I do not miss out on any special moment or problems of his life, gave a new direction to my journey. As a child grows, he needs more of you and thus when he was 6 and a half, I decided to take a deep dive and fortunately, came back swimming on the top.
Secondly, as I was associated with various startups, I really enjoyed their journey of doing something which will allow others to be a part of your dream. As an entrepreneur, you not only become independent but you also create jobs and help the economy. I have a network of a team working with me, they all are independent workers and some of them are women working from home. It's such a nice feeling.
No, I was not born with this plan. But I was flexible and not afraid to choose something new or untraversed before.
Yes, leaving a steady job and starting your own venture is really difficult. Financially also initially, you have to spend more and expect less in return. People will also doubt your worth and at times, clients leave unexpectedly. But these are teething problems and if you will continue to give your best shot one after another, you will sail far.
There were days that made me question my decision, it was also challenging as a mother and a wife to balance it out but I kept talking to entrepreneurs and tried to learn from their experience.
I knew if I survive the powerplay, I will make it.
All mothers have their own impact on kids and they try their best to bring them up as the best human being. But I feel working mothers make their kids realize the importance of money, independence and their responsibility towards society.
Pragya Shree is an independent Digital Marketing Consultant. She loves to eat, read books, watch movies and spend time with her family. She will be speaking at the upcoming event, Restart Her Career, hosted by SHEROES and Lean In India chapter. Find out more details abou the event and register here.