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Sairee Chahal
18 Nov 2013 . 4 min read

Mentor Notes – Career Hour


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 A day in life of Fleximoms’ team means responding to community queries, handholding customer through technical issues, offering information, occasional long calls from all over the country and more. The buzz is always on! But something was missing. A concerted effort to put respond to career queries in a personalized efficient manner. Some of these conversations would not happen on Facebook, Twitter, mail or even through round the clock phone support.

There we have it. Our weekly Career Hour, passionately supported by mentors at Fleximoms. So out of over a dozen calls, there are some which might be useful to many women out there. I took some notes. Sharing them here.

 S a Fleximom from Chennai is an Oracle Database and Enterprise Solutions specialist. Having pursued a corporate career in enterprise solutions, S left the corporate world, with no child care support and a majority of parenting responsibility. She reinvented herself as a trainer in her domain and rejigged her work hours to finish before 2pm everyday. The dilemma S faces now is to move laterally and pick up other skills or grow deeper in her area of expertise. She felt that while she is great at her job, people do not know very well. There is also pressure from some professional quarters to follow not ‘best practices’ as she works outside of a large system and independently. We had a little chat with S. But do you have any advice for her?

 P is an IT Recruiter, who has spent 4 years on internal hiring mandates for IT Services companies. Most of these mandates are large companies with fairly commoditized skill sets. She really enjoyed her stint and had to take a break because of familial reasons. Two years later, the IT Services market is slow, a break unwelcome and recruitment a changing landscape. P is trying to find a fit in the new scenario, where her need for flexibility, her experience in managing customer facing delivery and her understanding of hiring processes need to come together.

 V is a operations professional in a bank. She ran banking operations for a branch in a large private sector Indian bank. She took a break to be away for family. As she goes back, her core skills lie in operations, customer account management and financial services sales. She is not keen to go back in a 9-9 job. Need for workflex at one level and a desire to stay connected with her career, which grows over a period of time is an objective  V chases today.

 While we have individual recommendations and indicators to all three women, here are some things we feel are significant to all professionals re-engineering their careers.

1) A good look at your core skill. What is your top of the line skill. Which skill puts you  in the top 5 per cent of the class. Capitalise on that if workflex is a need. One cannot be a learner while in workflex mode. Be an ace at what you know and do

2) Reinvent and reimagine application of your skill. The business landscape changes every quarter and your skill can be reapplied to a new space. For example, someone with account management can move to sales, someone with training skills can become an author, someone with client interface skills can move to social.

3) Openness and gentle change: Be nice to yourself. Career tweaks are hard, but that is not reason to be hard on yourself. Keep scouting for support and there is lots. Find mentors, networks and resources to power that change. Being open to a wonderful thing. Make it work in your favor.

Good luck!

Until next time

Ciao

The Career Hour is scheduled every Tuesday at 11:00am. Dial in and get expert advice for that successful career. Call at 91-9910105861


ba524ae07f4f3b227db8fdd73d050619
Sairee Chahal
Sairee is the Founder of www.sheroes.in - 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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