Here is a post, by Nischala Murthy, that will help you find the answers to the question ‘How to resume work after a career break?’.
There are so many Indian women who choose to take a career break. If “What options, possibilities and opportunities exist?” is your question, you’ll find the answers in this post.
She is well educated.
She was financially independent.
She loved her work.
She loved the professional identity.
She really enjoyed having an active work life.
As she traversed the journey of life..
The inevitable happens
Marriage, motherhood or ill-health (of self, spouse, kids, ailing parents/in-laws/relatives) come knocking at her life,
And then it happens..
THE inevitable CAREER BREAK
Sometimes it is by choice,
Sometimes it is by lack of choice,
Sometimes it is the cause and effect of the circumstances,
She has no escape,
Whether she likes it or not, she has to take that CAREER BREAK
For some it is 3 weeks, for some it is 3 months, and for some it is 3 years, and for some it is 30 years, and for some it is a lifetime!
Here’s the thing that I learned when I interacted with many women who had been/are going through a career break.
In this blog, I’m listing down many resources that can help (m)any women across India, who are on a career break and are looking to re-enter to join the active workforce.
I personally believe that many kinds of resources help. One is surely a list of job postings. Anyone can choose from the available listings based on your skill-set, priorities and terms with which you want to work on.
However, beyond that, a lot of planning and mental/emotional preparation go in for many women to re-integrate into the workplace. Whether it is upgrading of knowledge/resources or a trust-worthy community who shares experiences and perspectives or mentors to answer questions (however basic they may be!) – they all make a difference.
For ease of navigation, I’ve logically grouped these into 3 categories.
P. Inc – An initiative supported by The Times of India that aims at bringing women who have taken a break from work, back into the workforce. The initiative, through seminars, training workshops and access to employers will provide career resources and a service support system to mid-career professional women enabling them to overcome challenges and return to working life. P.inc aims at being a one-stop solution in empowering working women with everything they need to regain their jobs.
ReLauncher – An initiative and a professional returner program for women professionals with the aim of helping them with their non-linear career needs. They offer two kinds of value-added services. The first is enricHER, which helps women professionals enhance their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and master the art of giving interviews. The second is ‘Freelancer and SelfstartHER’ which helps professionals create online presence and support to establish them as entrepreneurs.
Sheroes – A community that welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest opportunityscape for women. There is a diverse and large range of opportunities to pick from and these include opportunities with women friendly employers, flex friendly formats, mompreneur programs, partnership programs and more. The SHEROES community gets you access to career resources, information and community sharing. SHEROES mentors engage actively to help women attain success in their career on their own terms.
Reboot – A network of and for women professionals. It is a platform where women professionals and the corporates in India, come together. Reboot will help you re-build your confidence, help you with resumes and interview preparation and in short, be with you through your transition, your journey. Reboot is a network for women professionals, who want to get back into the workforce as well as those who are already there and now want to explore flexible and smart, effective and efficient options of work.
FMC (First Mom’s Club) Rebooted – A network to share stories and narratives of women (mothers) who have re-invented themselves to manage the elusive work-life balance: managing and balancing work and motherhood.
Womens Web – The place for the Indian woman who wants to stay engaged with the world, who believes that she has a place in the world outside the home. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! While the site shares a lot of diverse content, many of the posts speak about ‘real issues’ from ‘real women’ on how to navigate your career path in case of a break
Some of the portal that lists job postings for women are listed below.
AVTAR I-WIN (Interim Women Managers) – AVTAR I-WIN is India’s first staffing service, providing interim women professionals for part-time, flexi-time career options with corporates.
Work from home options for women – Work from home opportunities for women. An ever growing community of well qualified women, who are as dedicated towards our work assignments, as to our families. Women in the group are experienced and are from almost every domain. Currently 6000 + in number and is still growing.
FMC Job Bazaar – Periodically, FMC conducts a Job Bazaar, which provides a marketplace ecosystem for women to share their profiles and job postings/requirements.
Vapasi from ThoughtWorks – This initiative is aimed at IT women who are on a career break and keen to resume active work, this program spread over four weeks will help women sharpen your programming skills.
Micorsoft Women in Tech – This initiative aims at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months.
Tata Group Second Career Internship Programme (SCIP) -“A career transition management programme for women professionals who have taken a break of 6 months or more for any reason, and wish to re-enter the professional space. The programme provides opportunities for such women to take on flexi-hour assignments with various TATA group companies. Tata Group companies provide live business projects requiring approximately 500 hours of engagement spread over 6 months on a flexi time basis. There is no placement guarantee at the end of the project. However, SCIP consultants have the option of exploring full-time employment on mutually acceptable terms with the respective Group Company if the same exists.” The programme offers live business projects with flexible schedules and project-based employment to women who have taken a career break of six months to eight years. Women are taken on as consultants in departments such as HR, marketing, finance, legal, manufacturing, communication, engineering and other corporate domains, for six months. After this, those who are ready for full-time jobs are absorbed.
Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) Career By Choice – This initiative is based on the insight that there is a need for a gradual transition for women on a career break to step back into the working world. To ease this transition, HLL designed a comprehensive programme that balances a woman’s personal and professional needs. Career By Choice allows women to structure their work around their life and the other way around!
IBM ‘Bring Her Back Program ’ – This initiative is meant to attract back women who have taken a mid-career sabbatical. Any woman professional with the requisite skill-set can apply, and anyone with, at maximum, three years of personal sabbatical qualifies for the programme. This began in 2011.
SAP ‘Stay in Touch’ – This initiative ensures that women employees return to work after a sabbatical or maternity leave.
Mahindra Satyam : Start Over programme – This initiative enables the organization to reach out to women who have taken a career break.
Axis Bank India: ‘Re-connect’– This initiative offers jobs to former women employees who have left the system in the past 10 years, in select states. The bank now plans to take it national. Began April 2014. To know more about this initiative, click here.
General Electric: RESTART at GE John F. Welch Technology Center – This initiative enables the hiring of female technologists and engineers returning from career break at this largest of GE’s global research centers. Send your resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goldman Sachs Returnship – This initiative is for women returning after a break.
Google India: gCareer – This initiative provides an opportunity for qualified women professionals who have taken a break from active working life for a year or longer, to work with Google. They launched this initiative in Jaunary 2014.
CapGemini – This initiative is a part of the exclusive, women-only campaign at CapGemini. It invites resumes from enthusiastic and talented women—currently on a career break—who are looking to get back to their careers.
Women Scientist Programs – This initiative provides opportunities to women scientists and technologists between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists.
While it is heart-warming to see so many initiatives for the cause of the Indian women at the workplace, I believe we still have a long long long way to go.
NOTE: I have not personally used all of these services, nor do I know the exact current state/status. However, I have read/heard/known of women who have used some of them. Also, the description for this list is mostly from publicly available information.
Did you find this useful? Please share it with any woman who many benefit from this
Did I miss any specific initiative in this list? Please leave a comment to let me know
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This post has been previously published at the author’s blog.
Image of a lady via Shutterstock