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As A Young Woman Starting Work, How Can I Start With My Best Foot Forward?

Posted: September 22, 2020

Stepping into the workplace as a young woman brings with it many questions. Here was a very ‘real’ conversation that addressed them.

‘What kind of internships will help me?’ ‘Is networking that important?’ ‘How do I look great in front of my new boss?’

These are just a few of the gazillion questions that run through one’s mind before starting their first job or internship. Many young woman still in college who shall soon be stepping into the workplace (like me) are often confused as to what to expect and how to be prepared to step in with our best foot forward and to make the most out of our experience.

Like many others, I too had all these questions, not knowing where to seek answers.

Luckily, I had the privilege of attending the Women In Corporate Allies (WICA), 2020 organised by Women’s Web, where they held a session especially for young women stepping into the workplace for the first time.

The panel consisted of women with decades of experience in the corporate world, who shared some valuable insights on how to prepared for one’s first work experience.

The session began with all the panellists (Devapriya Khanna, Brand and Business Strategist, Founder 212 Degrees; Rubina Khan, Marketing Manager – Hematoglogy (APAC), Novartis; Sneha Banerjee, Content Partnerships, Dailyhunt & Student Mentor; and Kala Anand, Director – Communications, Partnerships and Career Services, Krea University) and even some of the audience members, recalling their first job/internship, be it for an evening newspaper or a marketing agency, and what they wished they knew when they were just starting out.

Get out of your comfort zone!

The panellists then went on to talk about a number of things which are imperative to ensure a good start to one’s career trajectory. They emphasised the importance of experiencing different things, and pushing past one’s comfort zone in order to learn more. A number of people do not necessarily work in the same industry where they first started in the long term, which is why one must experiment and try to expand one’s knowledge base by taking up tasks beyond one’s current role.

They also talked about the need and importance of self-branding, networking, and communicating. In today’s world it is extremely necessary to build one’s own brand and the panellists talked about how we can efficiently do so.

Apart from focussing on being the best version of oneself, it is also important to focus on the workplace culture before stepping in. An organisation that gives importance to training and mentoring new comers is always preferable, since it would greatly contribute to your overall development and learning.

These are just a few of the many wonderful insights that were shared with us. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this talk. It truly was like no other, since the panellists talked to us from a place of experience, being successful women with years of experience in their respective fields.

The new normal is virtual!

Apart from the content of the session, another thing which I really appreciated was how smoothly it was conducted virtually. It is not uncommon to miss out on key points during an online session due to tech or connectivity issues.

Airmeet, the platform used here, particularly ensured that everyone had a smooth and comfortable experience by constantly having a person from their team present on chat to resolve any tech issues, anyone faced. Airmeet is an all-in-one platform where community managers can host interactive
virtual meet-ups and events to engage their communities.

Another thing which I found really impressive was the feature to network and connect with different people by sitting at virtual ‘tables’ during breaks and having interactive sessions. The importance of networking was emphasised in the talk, and Airmeet gave all of us an opportunity to do so virtually.

It was indeed a privilege to listen to and be amongst such exceptional female industry leaders, and Airmeet made it even better for me.

Image credits Ridofranz/Getty Images Via Canva Pro

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Anjika is a student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, pursuing honours in English

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