Getting back to work after a break requires confidence

17 Feb 2018

Are you a woman on a career break? And, want to get back?

Did you know that nearly 25-30% of women in metro cities, who recently had their first child, quit their jobs. Most of these women are highly qualified women who work in large Indian and multi-national companies.

In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg says, “43% of highly qualified women with children are leaving careers or off-ramping for a period of time.” If we could put it all down to a strong maternal instinct, that would be OK. But it’s not just that. The socio-cultural landscape we live in doesn’t seem encouraging enough of the aspirations of new mothers to have their children and a high-growth career. Unfortunately it seems to be a foregone conclusion in some places that a woman can either choose motherhood or a high-growth career but not both. That is not the best choice we are offering women of today who are well qualified to do both.

It’s a fact that women who wish to get back to work after a break, find it difficult to come back.

New diversity policies in many companies are making it easier for women to have a child and a career. But there is still a long way to go.

As a coach, I am interested in the psychological aspect of this story, and in helping new mothers navigate this path with the right story in their heads. Because often, if you’re a new mother and taking a break to raise your child, you tend to have the wrong story in your head. You tend to think you are losing time, or becoming irrelevant, or worse, you think you can’t have a child and a career. You must choose. But this kind of thinking is wrong and purely conditioned by the environment we have been raised in. As a coach, I want every mother on a work break to be proud of her choice and confident about her chances in the marketplace when she returns. And I have some tips for them to feel and act better along the way:

  • Stay determined: During the break, most mothers become complacent and start enjoying the break. The stress-free life can become addictive. If you want to get back to work, stay relevant by updating your knowledge and skills.
  • Stay motivated: One must be motivated to get back to work after a break. Choose a job that means something to you. Don’t end up building your life around your child.
  • Stay connected: Though you are on break, stay in touch with old colleagues, bosses and other friends who are still working. This will help you be ‘in the circuit’ for work opportunities that may be good for you.
  • Stay flexible: When you get back to work don’t be hung up about what you can and cannot do. Be open to new ideas. You never know where your next wave of growth is going to come from.
  • Know where to draw the line: Just because you took a break doesn’t mean you are vulnerable to exploitation or discrimination. Know your rights and demand them.
  • Ask for support: The first few months after joining back work may be overwhelming. Have a friend or a coach to keep you anchored.

Our culture doesn’t as yet make it easy for every woman to both be a mother and be an equal opportunity employee across the board. Changes are being made but you need to stay ahead of the game if you want both. Correct the story in your head. You are not lesser than those who choose not to take a break. You are on par, if not better. Keep learning. Stay connected. Appear confident always, despite inner and external doubts. And your transition back to work will be smooth and successful.

To help young mothers, I have introduced 3 new short term coaching programs on the website at a discounted price. The idea is to make the programs affordable to all subscribers.

Here are the details of the 3 programs:

Program Name: Brainstorm with life coach Sandhya Reddy

In this 60 minute 1:1 coaching program the client gets to talk to life coach Sandhya Reddy and go on a journey of self-discovery to understand what is the best course of action for them.

Brainstorming session duration: One 60 minute sessions on skype

Session cost: Rs. 3000

User can sign up for as many sessions as they want if they want more.

What does the participant achieve by signing up for this program:

By end of the 60 minute 1:1 life coaching program, the client will be able to

  1. Lay down the best options for them to pursue in the future
  2. Ensure that the option chosen is in live with their values so that

This program is different from career counselling session as it is a live coaching session with a life coach where the client comes up with options suitable for them through a process of self discovery.

Program Name: Show up with confidence to achieve success

In this 60 minute 1:1 coaching program the client gets to talk to Life coach Sandhya Reddy to get over with confidence related issues that come in the way to achieving the goal to getting back to work.

Session duration: Two 60 minute coaching sessions on Skype

Program cost: Rs. 3000

What does the participant achieve by signing up for this program:

By signing up for the 2 hour coaching session with Sandhya, the client will be able to

1)      How to deal with negative self-talk
2)      Develop confidence, grit and determination
3)      Develop a positive self esteem.

With a new positive mindset the client will be ready to face the job market with confidence.

Program Name: Get Unstuck: Live a life of your choice

In this is a personal coaching program with three 30 minute sessions of 1:1 coaching with Coach Sandhya Reddy over skype.

Coaching engagement duration: Three coaching sessions of 30 minutes each

Program Cost: Rs. 4500 for 3 sessions

What does the participant achieve by signing up for this program:

By signing up for the Unstuck program, the client is going to achieve personal transformation that is going to put them on the path to success.

From career challenges to issues related to poor confidence and self-esteem, Unstuck advocates a fresh, three-step approach that will give the client three powerful things:

1)      Identifying the ‘stories’ in your head that hinder your progress

2)      Rewriting them to align to your goals and values

3)      Finding the tools to stay the course

Sign up for any program or programs of your choice and make it easy for you to get back to work.

For more details on the courses visit Jobsforher website and check under Expert Services for Chapter Two Programs.

About the Author:

Sandhya Reddy is a Life coach and Leadership coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.

Sandhya, a life coach in Bangalore, who runs a life coaching academy, can help individuals with a desire for change to examine their beliefs – or their ‘stories’ – and change them for the better, so they can achieve their goals.

Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.



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