Sometimes, moving away from your comfort zone is essential to move forward in your career. Here is a insightful personal journey.
I want to be in the league of women who create a niche for themselves and also pull along a mass of other women while moving forward. It is only then that I will consider myself successful. What I’m writing about now is only the journey I have started on.
It so happened that only two months had passed since I started working as a Content Writer at a technology firm in Pune, when my hubby shared the news of his being hired by a CMM Level 5 IT company; a big name and for the Kolkata location. That was the moment when my fear took over my delight and I couldn’t respond. The obvious consequences of quitting my job and relocating left me crying the entire night and being sleepless, I was feeling sick the next day and took a leave from office. As usual, I sent our daughter, Khushi to her crèche, so that I could cry out my heart in solitude.
By the evening I knew that I won’t relocate to be unemployed. Obviously, with that decision came retaliation from everyone known to me, except my parents. In most cases, with a woman’s career, the dreams are only yours, so you can’t expect everybody to have the same zeal to materialize them; yet some rare exceptions exist. So I knew that I had to convince my hubby and then the rest would be assured. At times my patience gave way, but I was determined.
I had heard many real life stories of women known to me who followed their husbands in such a situation and quit their jobs. But I also knew their post-relocation stories of depression and that frightened me. With that reference, friends and relatives told me, “This is the fate of all women”. I knew that was the conventional practice but in this Digital Era, I needed to go unconventional. Another factor that concerned me was that every decision of mine would affect Khushi, so I would also have to be wise.
Finally, I told my husband that it’s time we both needed to support each other’s careers and that would eventually be good for Khushi. I reasoned that if I remained unhappy then unknowingly I would pass on my unhappiness to Khushi and that would be good for no one.
Further I was in a probationary phase, but I felt my office needed time to hire another content writer and I couldn’t leave them amidst all the workload as that was against my professional ethics. So I decided to stay back and serve my notice period while he would relocate earlier.
The next day I went to the office, approached my Project Manager, and discussed the entire situation. During the discussion, I first requested him if I could get an opportunity to work from home. He was uncertain, yet he went ahead to talk with the seniors. By the evening I was told that I would be allowed to work remotely from Kolkata for Pune. I was humbled by their decision and the understanding of the managers.
The bottom line is that owing to my company’s generosity and understanding and my own dedication to work, I am working remotely from Kolkata for Pune, to become their first employee whose on desk job got transformed into a ‘work from home opportunity’. Post 6 months I got confirmed as their permanent employee and I’m continuing with my work.
Another factor which helped me in my professional journey was my hubby’s previous employer, who have their own creche facility for employees’ benefit. They too showed their understanding and extended their help by allowing Khushi to continue going to their creche in spite the fact that my hubby was not their employee then. My employers too extended their support by allowing Khushi to accompany me to the office on Saturdays as her crèche was closed at other times granted me leaves whenever required. I must admit that ‘work from home’ is not an easy task. Whether I am working at an office desk or from home, being a working mom, I have to balance both.
To create a balance you need a strict schedule, share your chores, take advantage of technology, include some ‘Me time’ and daily exercise. As a mother you need to spend time with your kids and last but not the least, find your spouse time, otherwise he would end up feeling like an alien! The ‘me time’ might sound selfish to many but believe me, a ‘me time’ of either 10 to 30 minutes will make you more balanced and fulfilled as well as less resentful of all the sacrifices you have to make.
Amidst all this, I do find some playtime with my daughter but the irony is that my 3 year old keeps reminding me, “Do your work; lemme do mine”, i.e. I must do my writing by the computer and she is allowed to play her casio, watch Youtube educational channels and create a mess all over. Since Khushi was 1 month-old I scheduled her sleep and eating time and hence relieved and rewarded.
To conclude currently I’m a #mumwithoutbabysitter, working remotely, an author at multiple platforms and have some plans to extend my contribution towards women’s empowerment very soon. This is my way of expressing gratitude for all the support I have received on my professional journey.
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Top image via Unsplash
First published here