10 Challenges A Career Oriented Indian Woman Certainly Faces At Some Time

By incorporating discussions and lessons about the challenges and experiences of women on career breaks, the education system can foster greater awareness and empathy among students, leading to more inclusive attitudes and behaviours.

I have always been a career-oriented person. In school itself, I had set a goal to get into the college I wanted. I worked for it and achieved it. The subjects I wanted to study were planned well in advance. My aims and goals were crystal clear. While I walked out of school, I knew I had to complete my graduation and MBA. I did just that. I was also very happy to get the job I wanted and in the company I wanted.

Doesn’t it sound so smooth like a dream? Am sure it does.

Earning well and enjoying work was a blessing. It was all because of the guidance I received from people around me. When you grow up in an environment, you learn from it. That’s what got inculcated in me.

I worked carefree for a couple of years thinking I had achieved what I had to and was on the right path towards being more successful, until life happened. Like many other women, I got married and was blessed with a baby. That is when reality struck! I had to leave my well-paying job at a time when my career was on its peak of progression. Without a second thought, my priority list was right in front of me.

They don’t teach you how to deal with an inevitable career break

Almost 5 years into a career break and as a Content Writer from being an HR Professional, I have learnt a lot and the one piece of advice I would give to a child is – Your family is your priority and at some point, in life you will have to make a difficult choice.

Nobody will tell that to you in your entire academic life. Everyone will tell you what career you should opt for, whether or not you are on the right path, how you should earn money creating a work-life balance, etc. but there will be nobody to stress on the fact that what if Plan A does not work, do you have a Plan B, or a Plan C ready?

You have to have these alternative career plans ready while you work for your main goal, because what if….!

Career breaks can happen to anyone, irrespective of the gender. However, here I would like to talk about the less talked about career break that a woman goes on.

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A few of the many changes that a career-oriented woman faces

  1. Sudden change in financial independence and freedom
  2. Low confidence and self esteem
  3. The haunting feeling of disappointment of what she could have achieved professionally.
  4. Suddenly, the once-upon-a-time smart working woman is given unsolicited advice on how she should mingle around, keep her mind fresh and learn new things.
  5. She wants to return to work but is unable to because the family is now dependent on her to go about their own daily life and routine.
  6. She wishes she could go back in time and tell herself that there will be a break in her career, and she should plan things accordingly.
  7. She cannot apply to the Returnee Programs by corporates because they have limited work opportunity and of course conditions apply.
  8. If at all she gets back to work, most of the time, she has to re-start her career from square one because gender stereotypes are ravenous and waiting to gulp her down.
  9. If only she was enlightened that she will have to up-skill herself during the career break, when she was a young adult, a part of her will, confidence and strength would have still been alive somewhere to help her to gather herself up and do what needs to be done.
  10. Most importantly, the mommy guilt of thinking in such a way breaks her more.

How can our education system make this easier on us?

I feel, the education system can play a crucial role in breaking gender stereotypes by educating students about women on a career break. By incorporating discussions and lessons about the challenges and experiences of women on career breaks, the education system can foster greater awareness and empathy among students, leading to more inclusive attitudes and behaviours.

Here are some ways the education system can help in this regard:

  1. Inclusive Curriculum: The curriculum should include diverse perspectives and stories that showcase women who have taken career breaks and successfully returned to work. This can challenge traditional gender roles and demonstrate the value of a diverse workforce.
  2. Guest Speakers and Role Models: Inviting guest speakers who are women on career breaks or have successfully transitioned back to the workforce can provide students with real-life examples and inspiration.
  3. Workshops and Discussions: Organizing workshops and discussions on topics related to career breaks, work-life balance, and gender equality can encourage students to reflect on their own biases and understand the challenges women face.
  4. Skills Training: Providing training on life skills, career planning, and resuming work after a break can empower students, both male and female, to approach career breaks more empathetically and confidently.
  5. Promoting Inclusivity: Creating an inclusive and supportive environment in schools that values diversity and challenges gender stereotypes can help break down barriers and foster a more equitable society.

By integrating these initiatives into the education system, students can develop a deeper understanding of the challenges women face during career breaks and beyond. This, in turn, can lead to more open-mindedness and a greater willingness to challenge and break down gender stereotypes, contributing to a more equitable and inclusive society. Women will also be mentally prepared for the future and act accordingly.

What advice do you think you did not get, and you would like to give to the future generation based on your career gap as a woman? Do comment below.

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About the Author

Natasha Perry Thomas

Blogger, Writer and Content Curator. Author of 'Infidelity-An Outrageously Funny Affair and The Ultimate Rom-Com' - available on Kindle. read more...

53 Posts | 241,491 Views

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