Return To Work Stories from The Frontline That Will Inspire You to Get Started

Are you a woman looking to return to work? Here we share inspiring return-to-work stories of three women who went on to carve out remarkable careers.

Are you a woman looking to return to work after a break in your career? Here we share inspiring return-to-work stories of three women who went on to carve out remarkable careers after the break.

Many Indian women take breaks in their careers for various reasons and the return to work after a sabbatical is often fraught with several difficulties, notwithstanding their potential to succeed. A lack of confidence, pay cuts, skill gaps plus the fact that companies may question the reasons behind the break make the comeback harder than it should be. However, women everywhere are breaking barriers and here we share three inspiring stories of women who found the courage to take that first step to forge ahead fearlessly. 

The onus is on yourself

Lakshmi Narsimhan, chose to be a Stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM) for three years as at that time her organisation was not offering options to work from home. She was also suffering from a slipped disc and this played a role in her decision as well. During this period, she was approached by a friend to set up a digital presence for her and with her previous experience in this field, she agreed. “I set up an entire website through a blog and the seed of Digital Marketing was sown,” Lakshmi recalls.  

She moved on to independent consulting, working with start-ups looking at their strategic marketing operations, marketing communications, etc. She also joined a women’s IT forum for networking with like-minded professionals. Eventually, she gained the expertise and experience to take up full-time jobs and started applying for the same. “Marketing analytics was also picking up at the time and I was keen to explore that,” says Lakshmi. Her efforts were rewarded with a job at an international IT firm where she worked for seven years. She is now an Independent Strategic Marketing Advisor and is looking to become a GIG economy specialist. Her advice to other women who are looking to return to work is to join forums and start networking. “Nothing is going to fall into your lap. Roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

Age is no bar

Devika Thorat only started looking for full-time work once both her kids were grown. Interestingly, she began her corporate career at age 40! Until then she had never held full-time jobs. She realised that she would not be able to secure a role in Software Development as she only had a degree but no experience in the field. The only work experience she had was 6 years of freelancing in IT recruitment. She had no formal degree, no training in HR and she laughs as she says “There was nothing much on my CV, no wonder I wouldn’t get calls when I sent it out.” What worked for her was her freelancing and through this network, she was able to start work as a Talent Acquisition Specialist in a software company. Within three years she was a Manager and she has never looked back. In January 2022, she started her own consulting firm which deals with Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. “Upgrade your skills, your certifications (I do one a year); you must prove yourself, it’s all about how you perform in the role” are the rules she sets for herself.  

Don’t get discouraged – you never know what’s around the corner

While Lakshmi and Devika were lucky to find companies who welcomed them back and made the transition easier, Suchi Shah Pathak struggled to find one who would employ her after she took a break for motherhood. After freelancing for two years, the urge to enter the corporate world again was strong but she was surprised when companies offered her the same designation and salary that she had been on when she left five years earlier. Desperate to start work, she overlooked this and took up a job but at times questioned whether she’d done the right thing by taking a break as she felt it had hampered her career. She wasn’t happy in her new job as the organisation never gave her a chance to grow; but she stuck it out and when she found an opportunity to apply for another job, did. At the interview, she was told that she was overqualified and should apply for a higher post. This boosted her confidence and her joy knew no bounds when she was appointed the Design Director of a global brand transformation company. Suchi says, “You must keep going, don’t give up, take a break if you need to for whatever reason, but when you go back, go back with a bang!” 

Upskilling could be your way up

It may be daunting to walk your way through returning to work after a break, but remember many organisations now encourage women to return to the workplace. If you don’t know where to start, upskill. There are several courses you can join in to upskill. What can really boost your resume and make it stand apart is to choose specialised courses from prestigious top-ranking institutes. 

ISB Executive Education is offering one specifically for those interested in a Digital Marketing and Analytics career. This course will make you industry-ready, for it is designed in keeping with what is trending and in demand, and helps you understand everything from the basics to the behaviour of the digital customer to build efficient digital marketing strategies. This online programme looks at planning and executing transformational digital marketing strategies and best practices, and is sure to help you navigate these unknown waters. 

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

Returning to work is not an uphill task as long as you don’t forget that you have the potential within you; simply harness it and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.

Image creditsWilliam Fortunato | Pexels

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author


Melanie Lobo is a freelance writer. She grew up in cities across India but now calls Pune home. Her husband and son keep her on her toes and inspire her with new writing material daily. read more...

8 Posts | 617,179 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories