I met Swati Naidu at a JobsforHer event in 2018. She was a software engineer on a break with a five year old son, and wanted to do what I call ‘soft assignments’ - part time, not too demanding. The spark in her was evident, and I assumed she was held back by circumstances or a lack of suitable opportunities.
I mentored her on Social Media Rebranding for a returning professional, and there began an association which was to see better days. We kept in touch on WhatsApp talking about training content, assignments and opportunities.
It is a pleasure to have her in the fold of Lean In Women Returners, as a full-time working professional working from home today.
In her own words,
“I had been very active during my career break with voluntary and freelance assignments. There wasn’t any income, but a lot of networking did happen.
I prepared on a personal level, by hiring domestic help. I tried part-time jobs but was not happy.
Then, I gathered myself and started applying for full-time jobs. I stressed on the flexibility part, more than emoluments.
I did get a job, but joining was delayed due to Covid. I accepted all terms and adapted to the situation. Then, work-from-home was declared, which suited my convenience.
Today, my working hours are spread throughout the day with breaks, where I manage the housework. I don’t count working hours and remain available on mail and calls any time.”
Kudos to you, Swati!
I did think Women Returners will be in a better position to find work, as work-from-home becomes the New Normal or Next Normal. Swati’s experience corroborates that.
Are you prepared to be head-hunted by recruiters?
What is your social media narrative?
What kind of networks are you in? Do they know what you do or can do?
Are you listed on relevant sites?
Do you have a flexible resume format, or a video pitch ready to be sent across?
Are you mentally prepared to get back to better, more satisfying work? We never really stopped working, whatever the world thinks.
I look forward to more stories being shared, whether you are on the journey, or have reached somewhere.
Meanwhile, have a look at the recording of the 2018 event where Swati and I met.
Keep sharing, keep writing …