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In this edition of the Q&A for working women in India, life coach Jaya Narayan helps a mother find work that does not require travel.
After working close to 11 years in the field of International Business (IB) as a Sales and Marketing professional, I quit work to have my baby. Now my baby has turned one and in the not so distant future might start going to play school. Given the nature of my role which involved extensive travel abroad, I realise that I would not be able to pursue a similar role, at least not for a while, unless of course it is a role in IB involving work that does not require travel. If I venture into a totally new field, am not sure whether my past experience would be given due weightage. Ideally, it would have to be something that can be seen as either an associated kind of profile or a logical progression, but I might be totally wrong here. Would appreciate your feedback on the segments I can pursue.
Thank you for writing in. I can relate to your need to re-build a career on similar or allied lines. You have 11 strong years holding you up. Even if you choose a longer break, taking a role that entails travel you will not lose the edge. It goes without saying that the nature of work after this break would be determined based on the age of the child and nature of work (including travel requirements).
To begin – determine the time period after which you will be ready to begin. Use the time available to plan, prepare and create a supportive ecosystem for your child.
Considering travel constraints for the next few years, here are some ideas that you could explore to stay in a parallel/allied stream:
Teaching or Mentoring has always been held as significant professional contribution in a resume. With your rich experience, you can make a noteworthy contribution. Your USP could be to realistically mentor aspiring young management professionals on a similar career path. Teaching as a profession has inherent flexibility. You could choose to be a visiting faculty (a few hours each week) or take on a permanent role. In return, you can consolidate your experience, learn new aspects of this function or tune into future research possibilities.
India has become a start-up hub. Each day we hear of many ideas (services, technology, product or brands) being born. Many of them have the vision to reach beyond the Indian shores. Here is another opportunity you could leverage. With your experience you could be a great resource to anyone who wants to set up an International Business. You will need to find alternative ways to understand the market, product needs without actually travelling. From your perspective, this experience could be a stepping stone in case you want to become an entrepreneur in the future.
If you always wanted to study or research further, here is your chance. With the number of distance learning and virtual university accessible from the comfort of your house, you don’t need to step out of home. Adding credits via learning is a great way to invest your time until you are ready for a full-fledged career.
If travelling to Europe or North America is impractical at this life stage, you could explore a role in emerging markets. In times to come, these markets would significantly contribute to revenues in organizations. Especially in Asia, you could drastically reduce travel time and yet build a similar portfolio. There would be a component of learning about these countries, which I think will add a wider impact to your profile.
I hope these trigger the process of idea generation.
My suggestion would be to get atleast 10 BOLD ideas before you start taking them to action. This process itself could also be a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals.
I wish you all the best – hope you can experience a true balance of life – career.
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*Photo credit: Wayan Vota (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
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