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Careers for women: tips for managing a career transition for women at work, especially relevant to IT professionals but also for others
Guest Blogger Sairee Chahal is Co-Founder, Fleximoms. Fleximoms works towards creating, enhancing and co-creating workflex opportunities for women professionals. She recently wrote a detailed article for us on career options for software programmers who want to move from coding after some years of experience. While that piece highlighted the available career options, this one has more inputs on “how” to manage the transition. You can follow Sairee on twitter @sairee
Tips for managing a career transition (especially for IT professionals, but also relevant to others):
Assess your strengths. While this is easier said than done, working on this objectively may pave the way for a long term roadmap for you.
Don’t shortsell. Never begin a career conversation that begins with “I will do anything.”
Assess your skills and competencies. Imagine if you were to redefine your CV by telling the other person what skills you have or more simply put what you can do – rather than your designation and programming platform you work on. Feel free to use professional assessment tools to view this in relation to the job market.
Interest areas Are you a programmer with a gift of the gab or way with words? You love Bollywood and are known for getting projects with multiple stakeholders done on time? If you have specific interest areas, things that excite you or you haven’t let go of – these might be your clues to your next career. At Fleximoms, we have alumni who have gone from being project managers to culinary divas, from being IT Analysts to Tech PR pros, from being internal programmer to specialised consultants. What binds them is a conscious decision to reshape their careers and lives and ability to take help where it exists.
Network. Where are your networks? Do they know you exist? Are you valuable? Are you seen and heard often? An average man is more likely to know people in his domain than an average woman – alumni networks, colleagues, geek communities, start ups, tech events, clients – people work with people they know everywhere.
Coaching and mentorship. Undervalued propositions, especially in the context of women making career transitions. A good coach can be the bridge between your aspirations and your reality. A great mentor can be the support system you never imagined you had. Behind every success – big or small there is an objective brain and a committed heart of a mentor pinning for you. Don’t let that go waste!
Things are changing, especially with the emerging opportunities and availability of new terms of engagement and there are women who are transiting and not leaving this industry. An encouraging sign after all!
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