Working Woman On The Move

Indian women relocating for work is no longer rare; the story of one working woman and her challenges - and how she got around them.

Indian women relocating for work is no longer rare; the story of one working woman and her challenges – and how she got around them.

Gone are the days when Indian women moved to a new city, simply to follow their husbands. Women relocating for work from one city to another for career reasons are not taboo anymore but it is still considered a daunting task that should be avoided if possible. A general lack of safety for single women coupled with the notion that a woman’s destiny is in marriage, only leads to anxious parents. No wonder then that the confidence of single Indian women gets ruined through such overprotective and conservative family pressures. Nidhi S*, 23 is one such woman.

They kept giving her advice on getting married and then to have a bodyguard for all these adventures. Eventually all the negativity got to her and Nidhi also started feeling angry and depressed. She began to have second thoughts and started worrying about things such as finding an accommodation in the new city, which is well known for its space scarcity and travelling daily in crowded public transportation.

Her relatives tried to convince her that it is not worth going so far ‘just for work’. They kept giving her advice on getting married and then to have a bodyguard for all these adventures.

But she did not give up. Instead she started finding her way forward through some simple but effective steps.

Women relocating for work: New city, old friends

Technology has indeed shrunk the world and staying connected with friends is no longer difficult. Nidhi got in touch with her friends who were living in the new city and updated herself about the lifestyle and vibe of the city. She realized that despite cribbing about the heavy traffic and high living costs, her friends were happy to be living there and that cheered her up considerably. To offset her expenses she decided to find accommodation near her office.

Indian women’s careers: Parents still matter

Being assured by her friends Nidhi spoke patiently with her mother and explained her dissatisfaction in her old job and how her new job could bring in new opportunities of learning. She reasoned that she had indeed tried applying for all suitable job positions nearer to home, but they did not work out. After a lot of discussion her parents’ attitude changed and they too started seeing things in a new light; the others did not matter to Nidhi. They reached a compromise wherein Nidhi’s father offered to accompany her initially, so that he would also get a better perspective about the place and the office of Nidhi.

Beginning the relocation journey 

As Nidhi’s office did not provide her with guest accommodation, she booked herself into a well-rated hotel after some research on popular travel websites. The remaining days flew by with Nidhi busying herself; buying train tickets, packing and repacking her stuff and understanding the geography of the new city through google maps. Nidhi was particularly glad that she had saved some money, which she could use while relocating. She also made sure that her friends would be around to help her out in the first few days.

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More resources on travel websites: Make My Trip, Yatra

Getting used to a new city

Arriving at her destination, Nidhi soon realized that staying on her own meant that there there was so much to learn and to discover! Having her friends as well as her father around was a big relief. Since the initial days at work were not too tight, she spent time exploring various restaurants and getting a feel of the city, which was to become her home soon. The biggest dilemma (as for most Indian women) was finding a nice place to stay. A deluge of choices as well as details such as advance payments and commissions to slick agents with no strict laws governing them, in addition to her father’s departure, all made her terribly homesick.

More resources on restaurant reviews: BurrpTimes Of India, Zomato, Tripadvisor

Working women’s hostels/PGs

After sifting through numerous ads offering a range of accommodation options for working women, Nidhi finally decided to share a room in a reputable PG. Sharing her room with another is not new to Nidhi. But Nidhi has started noticing the differences in sharing during her college days (where her roommates had become her family in 4 years) and now. Now the sharing is more formal and less intense.

Nidhi knows that roommates will always keep changing; but after long hours of work, she is happy to come back and see some other friendly faces equally tired. They bond by relaxing while watching TV and eating their home-delivery or cooking something in a jiffy. Her roommates are new to her but the interactions and fun are not. She is at ease now and continued making friends, enjoying weekend shopping  and most of all long distance calls to her family back home.

More resources on accommodation & shopping choices: Sulekha, Magic Bricks, Accomodation in Mumbai, Snap Deal

Photo credit: Highways Agency (Used under a Creative Commons Attributions license)


About the Author


A science researcher finding ways into broader science careers. A women enthusiast to the core and a keen observer of life... read more...

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