Article by: Ms. Mamta Shanware, IT Professional turned Technical Content Developer.
When it comes to career break, most women professionals have mixed feelings. On one end, career break seems liberating, while on the other hand, there is a fear of losing your identity and being left behind in the profession. Whatever may be the reasons for taking the career break, one thing that is of utmost importance is to accept your current situation. That is, if your situation demands a career break, you must go ahead and embrace it with open mind, without guilt or fear of future. I know it’s easier said than done, but once you accept your current situation, it helps to bring a mental shift where you take your decision as a privilege, not a problem. Once you reach that point, you get the power of converting your career break from a problem, to an opportunity.
Moreover, a career break can prove to be a smart move in the longer run if planned well. The key is to start thinking afresh. Believe it or not, the fast-changing technological and business environment is anyway demanding every professional to reskill themselves more frequently than ever. Having a career break give you that space, where you are able to analyse the market, re-evaluate your skills and plan towards closing the gaps.
Today, technological advancements provide ample opportunities in terms of virtual offices and distributed team structures. Depending on your area of expertise, you can opt working remotely. However, if your current situation does not permit a full time remote work, you can always look for other options such as freelancing and flexi careers which allow you to work at your own pace.
The changing nature of industry and work is forcing companies to change their conventional hiring strategies, and most industries are moving towards having flexible teams. Businesses are forced to adapt agile approach and they require in-demand skills to get their work done. This situation is favourable for all talented people who are in for flexible working. Women on career break can make the most of it, if they think beyond the traditional way of working, and prepare themselves for myriads of flexible work and freelancing opportunities that are present in the market. Apart from providing the satisfaction of being constructively involved, it also helps when you are ready for a full time engagement.
In Indian job market, the perception about Freelancing or Flexi Working is changing. It is no longer seen as an option for people who don’t fit into the traditional workplaces because of lack of talent. Rather, companies are realizing that freelancing is a preferred choice for people who are talented and self-driven. At social level also, the acceptance is increasing slowly. However, in the coming years, the non-traditional working formats are definitely going to be a preferred way of work and will bring a big change.
Women on career break must also be open to explore fields beyond their core expertise. This not only opens gates for more work opportunities but also helps you get a wider experience. The changing industry nature is creating new type of roles and opportunities in the fields which were not present a few years ago. Considering the rapid change in businesses and industries, this trend is here to stay. Therefore, one must also be open to shift to new fields if it interests them.
Hence, career break can be the best decision of life for those who are ready to embrace the change in every aspect of life, whether it’s personal or professional.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer are purely personal