SHEROES 16 Aug 2017 . 4 min read
“Women in tech can definitely get back to work without any fear. There’s no challenge they cannot overcome,” says tech geek and mother of two, Ruchi Gupta.
Ruchi had worked in the technology field for more than 17 years before she took a break. “My senior position in a multinational organization came with fair amount of challenges and high expectations. Taking a career break helped me realize what I needed at that point in my life,” she recalls.
Like Ruchi, many women in tech take breaks—to bring children into the world, to travel, to go back to school—and getting back into the job market comes with certain apprehensions, even once they have managed to find a job.
“Don’t worry about getting back to work. Be confident that you have not forgotten the basic skills you learnt. Besides, nowadays, progressive organizations are more understanding of women’s needs, “says Ruchi.
So, on your first day at work after your hiatus, throw all your fears out of the window and focus only on the future.
Here are some tips to help you transition back to work successfully:
Be confident: You may not be as sure of your abilities after a gap, but you’re not as out of touch as you think you are! As Ruchi Gupta says, “If you’ve worked before, you already have the technical knowledge, professionalism and decision-making skills you need to be successful. You don’t forget these things just because you’ve taken a break.”
Get back in the game: “One of the biggest challenges with re-entering the tech field is that technology changes so fast, it’s hard to keep up,” says Ruchi. However, there are tons of free resources available to help you keep up. With a little willpower and some help from online courses, you will be ready to be back in the game. Ruchi recalls how tried and tested online platforms like EdX and Coursera helped her regain her confidence.
Ask and you shall receive: There’s no shame in asking for help from your network of trusted friends, as well as colleagues and seniors at your new workplace. It’s not easy keeping pace with company policies, the various kinds of communications software and other new-age workplace trends. Learn to ask your network for help.
Say goodbye to the “mommy track:” Put to rest any ideas your employer may have that you want you to take it slow. Take refresher courses, get hands-on with your tasks, be proactive and ask for projects to be assigned to you. Make yourself noticed and leave your colleagues impressed by your relentless spirit and determination.
Pick your battles: Returning to work as a mom is empowering but it’s not always easy. Don’t feel guilty for occasionally having to put a work deadline before your duties at home (or vice-versa). Prioritize according to what needs your immediate attention and the rest will fall into place. Remember, patience is key!
Strategize: Be smart about organizing your work schedule. Keep a calendar and circle all the important work dates. Plan your day such that you can leave the easy tasks for days when you’ll be busier than usual. This will help you stay on track and accomplish every goal you set out to complete!
This is your opportunity to bring your skills and your imagination back into the workforce.
So, fight those workplace challenges, be confident on your first day, set goals, bust some myths and do what you have to do to #MakeItWork!