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Guest Blogger Lavanya Sampath is a young working mum, an Indian living abroad, a budding entrepreneur and a singer. Music, arts and photography are her passion. In her own words, “I jot down my personal & professional experiences to reach out to women in similar situations.”
It is a bright, crispy morning as I cross the road to get to the official training I am scheduled to undergo for a week. I put a faster rhythm into my steps and march ahead, as I need to hurry and make it on time for my second session. As I walk, my eyes wander on passers by, the hip clothes trotting the city, the smiling cute guy selling muffins (yes, it is very much allowed J) and then I stop. I want to take the next step, but I am not able to. The force is too strong for my weak legs and my weaker purse strings there is a sale on my favourite home d cor store and it is a FULL 50% off.
I reiterate to myself how important it is for me to get to the training and of course, console myself with the fact that we do get a 30-minute lunch session.
Clock ticks at a rate so slow, that even the labour for my baby seemed quicker! Finally the doors open for me to glide out and take that quintessential trip to one of my Meccas my favourite store WITH the sale! To all honesty, it is a really good sale which is making it very difficult for me pick and choose from the fine array of like to have s’ and must have s. I do enough justice to the store directors who conceptualised this sale, and to my wonderful partner who will love the chic serving bowl made entirely of sandstone art and that is just one of the few arts I have collected today.
The word ‘Eureka’ would not have emitted as much excitement as does the word ‘Sale’ to most of us. What is it in a Sale, that makes all of us go and give that extra 5 minutes of our valuable time that we usually do not give to a sales rep or that well-deserved long shower or that 10 minute me time that we want with our cuppa? I do agree that it gives a great deal of excitement when you are able to buy something you want for a price lesser than what you could have bought it for. But do we realise that by giving in to the sale, we have turned a probability into a reality? In the place of buying a single object, we end up buying a cart of stuff that we may use sometime in the future (maybe when the Queen visits or when the cow jumps over the moon!!).
The intent is not to criticise any of us who go through this blissful journey often in our lives, but to put on my thinking hat as I normally do when working on strategies and analyses for sales teams. I really think we should have some Do s and Don ts as part of our shopping mantra.
Here are a few tips based on my experience:
1. NEVER go into a shop with no idea of what you might want to buy this is a very dangerous exercise. If you do like something, you WILL end up buying it without a lot of thought. So know your stores and brands.
2. NEVER buy something that is placed near the checkout counter; they are kept there JUST to entice you.
3. Talk to the sales staff and ask them for information. Chances are there is a sale starting soon on the item you want to buy now.
4. Brands like IKEA are kings when it comes to understanding their customers. Having gone to buy a single item, you will end up with a basket full of things that you can justify at any point to anyone as a necessity. (For those not aware, Ikea is a Swedish International home products company with some very modern designs at very affordable prices).
5. CLOSING DOWN sales are usually good. You can get a good bargain, especially if it is a distress sale.
6. Always when you buy something, picture in your mind where you will need it and how you will use it if it is a d cor piece where will you keep / hang it? Chances are if you cannot picture it, you most probably do not need it.
With all these pointers in your head, do not forget to enjoy the whole experience of shopping for what you want, getting that exact piece that you cherish to own and buying it with all your dreams to house it. Nothing can beat that feeling!
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.