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Three tips to re-launch your career

Meera Siva | Updated on April 27, 2013

Networking with those in your field can come in handy in securing a job.

Nidhi Chandra Sahni, an MBA in Advertising and Communications Management, was head of marketing for ICICI Bank at Mumbai. After taking a break to care for two children, she wanted to rejoin the corporate world, but was worried. Were her skills updated? How would her 5- and 10- year-olds cope if she took up a full-time job again?

For women, a second stint in the corporate world after a career break can be overwhelming. Questions such as, “Am I still competent enough?”, “Can I manage full-time work along with personal commitments?” tend to nag many of us. So how can we smoothen our way back into the mainstream?

Stay in touch

In many cases, employers are concerned on your ramp-up time, particularly for fields such as IT where obsolescence levels are high. So staying up-to-date with the industry developments helps. Besides, networking with those in your field of work can take you a long way too. It could come in handy in landing you a job. Remember, your contacts would know your competency and could be ready to endorse you too.

Internships to your aid

You could also consider short-term courses / internships to upgrade your skills. This also helps in improving one’s self-confidence. Additionally, one can consider a programme run by the Tata Group called Second Career Internship Program (SCIP), which helped Nidhi.

The programme does not require any fee and runs for about six months. It is project-based and offers a stipend in the range of Rs 2-4.5 lakh. A work certificate is also provided on completion.

Candidates enrolled for this programme are matched with active business projects in different domains in various companies of the Tata group. They will work with managers who will be their guide. Usually, the projects require around 500 hours of work. The engagement is on a flexible schedule spanning five to six months.

Manjiri Khanzode, who was also enrolled in this programme sometime back observes that presence of supporting peers and flexibility in hours help in easing the transition. She now continues to work in part-time positions within the Tata group companies. As for Nidhi, she has joined a full-time position at L&T Insurance.

Other big names such as IBM, SAP, GE, Mahindra Satyam and Hindustan Unilever also have a re-entry programme. In November 2012, Microsoft IT-India, for instance, launched a programme with a focus on returning women software engineers.

Realistic expectations

Women getting back after a break help in solving the talent shortage faced by companies and also help create a more diverse workplace. Priya Verma, co-founder of HR outsourcing firm Crossover, observed that talent shortage is changing the industry mind-set and certainly easing the re-entry of women as employees or consultants. “Staying abreast of developments in one’s field, being confident and having realistic expectations on salary and designation are needed when returning,” she says.

Published on April 26, 2013

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