CareerHacks for Women | What skills are key at what phase of growth?

Last week, I posted about my session at Intel on “Career Investment which are important for women at work. I had highlighted 9 areas of importance.

One of the senior leaders in the audiences asked an interesting question.

She said “9 is too much for anyone to do at any point. Can you highlight top 3-4 skills for women at different phases of growth“.

My response to this question is in the infographic below.

CareerHacks

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Columnist / Byline In:  Economic Times | Huffingtonpost |  Wipro NewsCred Marketo |  Finextra | Inc42  |  Business2Community | ProBlogger  | Famous Bloggers | TheNextWomenNasscom | SheTheTVPeople | PaulWriter |  WomensWeb |  Sheroes PeopleMatters |  YoWoTo | 12Most.com  | Parentous | The Change Blog | Women Inspiring Wednesdays

Blog:  Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [ Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian BloggersDirectory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]

Twitter:  @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014), 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

 Industry Associations / Mentorships: SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – An IIT Mumbai initiative) | TLabs | Inc42 | SheroesIndia | BackToTheFront  

Interviews and Media Mentions:
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle)
Featured in | #PowerWomenAtWork – the drivers of change
Featured in | 101 inspiring women aka rockstars
Featured in | Passionate Bloggers you should follow
Quoted in “Open letter to women looking for job
Quoted in “The best advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Speaker Sessions, Panel Discussions and Events (Real and Virtual): 
Career Investments that every women at work should make” ; Speaker session at Intel
Navigating careers in large organizations” ; Tweetchat hosted by Wipro
Making your network your net-worth” ; Panel Discussion hosted by BTTF (Back To The Front)
MyDigitalStory” ; Tweetchat hosted by SheThePeopleTV
The Art and Craft of Content” ; Speaker session at Wipro
“Importance of Mentorship for women” ; Sheroes Summit

Other events / conferences that I’ve graced : Bhasha Shakti (Mar 2016),Surge (Feb 2016), IAMAI (Jan 2016), TIE – Women Entrepreneurship (2015), EuroFinance Cash Management Conference (2014), Sheroes Summit(2014), PaulWriter -The Futurist CMO (2013)

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My session at Intel on “Career Investments that every woman should make”

A few days ago, I was invited to Intel at talk about “Career Investments that every women at work should make” [PS: The request came out of my article on EconomicTimes]. From what I gathere, they conduct such sessions regularly as a part of their initiatives to enable and equip women to craft out long-term careers. Usually, internal women leaders are invited.

But starting 2016, they decided to invite people from industry. I was excited since I was the first external speaker, and that was an absolute honor.

It was a full house (much to the pleasant suprise of the organizer’s themselves), and very engaging and well recieved session.

My presentation is here.

The response and feedback from the session has been awesome. Some excrepts from the feedback are below:

“This was one of the best sessions I have attended on this topic. I can see what mistakes I am making and what areas I need to work on”

“Very true and loaded with real-life wisdom and experiences. Given me lots of food for thought”

“As a working woman, I know that I don’t invest enough in my personal brand and professional networks. Time for me to take action”

“It was great to listen another Indian woman who is experiencing a lot of similar issues like me. Sometimes just knowing that I am not alone is a great feeling”

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Columnist / Byline In:  Economic Times | Huffingtonpost |  Wipro NewsCred Marketo |  Finextra | Inc42  |  Business2Community | ProBlogger  | Famous Bloggers | TheNextWomen|Nasscom | SheTheTVPeople | PaulWriter |  WomensWeb |  Sheroes PeopleMatters |  YoWoTo | 12Most.com  | ParentousThe Change Blog | Women Inspiring Wednesdays

Blog:  Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [ Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian BloggersDirectory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]

Twitter:  @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014), 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

 Industry Associations / Mentorships: SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – An IIT Mumbai initiative) | TLabs | Inc42 | SheroesIndia | BackToTheFront

Interviews and Media Mentions:
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle)
Featured in | 101 inspiring women aka rockstars
Featured in | Passionate Bloggers you should follow
Quoted in “Open letter to women looking for job
Quoted in “The best advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Speaker Sessions, Panel Discussions and Events (Real and Virtual): 
Career Investments that every women at work should make” ; Speaker session at Intel
Navigating careers in large organizations” ; Tweetchat hosted by Wipro
Making your network your net-worth” ; Panel Discussion hosted by BTTF (Back To The Front)
MyDigitalStory” ; Tweetchat hosted by SheThePeopleTV
The Art and Craft of Content” ; Speaker session at Wipro
Importance of Mentorship for women” ; Sheroes Summit

Other events / conferences that I’ve graced : Surge (Feb 2016), IAMAI (Jan 2016), TIE – Women Entrepreneurship (2015), EuroFinance Cash Management Conference (2014), Sheroes Summit(2014), PaulWriter -The Futurist CMO (2013)

“Looks & Cooks to Voices, Choices & Joys” | 29 power voices. 8 questions | A Women’s Day Special Series

WD-Summary-Last

Below is a curated list of links to access the individual posts:

Education – includes Chetna Mehrotra, Prof. D.V.R.Seshadri, Bharti Dekhate

Aspiration – includes Kavi Arasu, Tara Sharma Saluja, Gurprriet Siingh

Career Choices – includes Kiran Manral, Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, Mansi Zaveri

Health & Wellness – includes Yashodhara Lal, Bharti Dekhate, Veechi Shahi

Marriage – includes Seema Raghunath, Shanta Vallury

Money Matters – includes Monica Jasuja, Monika Halan, Rachna Monga, Kripa Krishnamoorthy

Networks – includes Ansoo Gupta, Tanvi Gautam, Deepali Naair, Ruchita Dar Shah, Nita Kapoor

Skills – includes Meera Sanyal, Sandy Carter, Shalini Kamath,Manisha Lath Gupta, Rachna Kumar

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Columnist / Byline In:  Economic Times | Huffingtonpost |  Wipro NewsCred Marketo |  Finextra | Inc42  |  Business2Community | ProBlogger  | Famous Bloggers | TheNextWomen|Nasscom | SheTheTVPeople | PaulWriter |  WomensWeb |  Sheroes PeopleMatters |  YoWoTo | 12Most.com  | ParentousThe Change Blog | Women Inspiring Wednesdays

Blog:  Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [ Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian BloggersDirectory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]

Twitter:  @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014), 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

 Industry Associations / Mentorships: SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – An IIT Mumbai initiative) | TLabs | Inc42 | SheroesIndia | BackToTheFront

Interviews and Media Mentions:
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle)
Featured in | 101 inspiring women aka rockstars
Featured in | Passionate Bloggers you should follow
Quoted in “Open letter to women looking for job
Quoted in “The best advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Speaker Sessions, Panel Discussions and Events (Real and Virtual): 
Career Investments that every women at work should make” ; Speaker session at Intel
Navigating careers in large organizations” ; Tweetchat hosted by Wipro
Making your network your net-worth” ; Panel Discussion hosted by BTTF (Back To The Front)
MyDigitalStory” ; Tweetchat hosted by SheThePeopleTV
The Art and Craft of Content” ; Speaker session at Wipro
Importance of Mentorship for women” ; Sheroes Summit

Other events / conferences that I’ve graced : Surge (Feb 2016), IAMAI (Jan 2016), TIE – Women Entrepreneurship (2015), EuroFinance Cash Management Conference (2014), Sheroes Summit(2014), PaulWriter -The Futurist CMO (2013)

Does she have an ‘Aspiration Deficit”?| Part of series “Looks & Cooks to Voices, Choices & Joys”

WD-Aspiration-Final

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Columnist / Byline In:  Economic Times | Huffingtonpost |  Wipro NewsCred Marketo |  Finextra | Inc42  |  Business2Community | ProBlogger  | Famous Bloggers |  TheNextWomen |Nasscom | SheTheTVPeople | PaulWriter |  WomensWeb |  Sheroes PeopleMatters |  YoWoTo | 12Most.com  | ParentousThe Change Blog | Women Inspiring Wednesdays

Blog:  Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [ Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian BloggersDirectory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]

Twitter:  @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014), 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

 Industry Associations / Mentorships: SINE (Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – An IIT Mumbai initiative) | TLabs | Inc42 | SheroesIndia | BackToTheFront

Interviews and Media Mentions:
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle)
Featured in | 101 inspiring women aka rockstars
Featured in | Passionate Bloggers you should follow
Quoted in “Open letter to women looking for job
Quoted in “The best advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Speaker Sessions, Panel Discussions and Events (Real and Virtual): 
Career Investments that every women at work should make” ; Speaker session at Intel
Navigating careers in large organizations” ; Tweetchat hosted by Wipro
Making your network your net-worth” ; Panel Discussion hosted by BTTF (Back To The Front)
MyDigitalStory” ; Tweetchat hosted by SheThePeopleTV
The Art and Craft of Content” ; Speaker session at Wipro
Importance of Mentorship for women” ; Sheroes Summit

Other events / conferences that I’ve graced : Surge (Feb 2016), IAMAI (Jan 2016), TIE – Women Entrepreneurship (2015), EuroFinance Cash Management Conference (2014), Sheroes Summit(2014), PaulWriter -The Futurist CMO (2013)

What are the must-have skills for B-school students?

A few days ago, I was an invited guest for a tweetchat with B-school students from all over India. One question which was particularly interesting during this interaction was “What are the must-have skills for B-school pass-outs?

In this post, I am sharing my views based on my experiences, interactions with B-school students and basic expectations from any professional enterprise.

1) Be a Google Power user

A few years ago, I was officially mentoring a fresh B-school graduate and asked him to get some information on a newly passed financial regulation from the public domain. 1 hour passed – no response.. 2 hours passed – no response.. The whole day passed – no response.. The next day when I quizzed him on what he had gathered, here’s what he said “I Googled and Googled the whole day, but could not get any information“. Honestly, that was the last response I expected. So I asked him to open Google and type the keywords which he did.. The answer we were looking for was listed right at the top on Google search. Google did its job (like it always does).. Now you can guess who wasn’t doing their job?

Here’s the thing – Any B-school student should know how to use Google – to get data, information, visuals, news, research insights, people profiles, etc. etc.. You should know how to use to power of Google to do your everyday work.

2) Fantastic analytical skills

When I was a student at IIM Bangalore, in my innocence and curiosity as a student I asked my Strategy professor “What is the biggest benefit of doing an MBA program?” He said something which I will always remember “An MBA program opens your mind to different ways of thinking“. Looking back, I can say he was 100% right. Most importantly the rigor of any good B-school program gets one to think analytically – under any circumstance. And that analytical mind-set comes naturally to some, but to many it is a skill that needs to be nurtured and most B-schools lay a solid foundation for analytical thinking (which included problem solving). The reality of most enterprises is that there are all kinds of problems which exist – technology, product, process, people, customer experience, design, architecture, user experience, customer expectation management, etc. And one’s ability to truly understand and solve a problem usually makes all the difference So any career choice you make, the expectation from you is that you will be able to think analytically..

3) Effective communication skills (both oral and written)

Clarity, Correctness and Confidence are the most important 3C’s of effective communication. For clarity in expression, the only pre-requisite is clarity in thought. For correctness, one needs knowledge or access to knowledge (data / information / insights, etc.) to state his / her point of view. Confidence is a function of individual personlity and experience – which comes with time and practice. But there is a start somewhere, and for many B-school students the beginning is in B-school. So it is important to hone your communication skills (both oral and written) as that is a key exqwpectation from any corporate role.

4) Have Knowledge on the areas / topics of study / specialization

So if you are an Marketing major by education you should “know” what you learned by virtue of your degree. After all, if the threshold qualification for the job is of a B-school Marketer, then you should at least demonstrate that you have the marketing knowledge and background to qualify for the job. So this will be reflected in the way you participate and understand ‘marketing talk’.. and your competency to complete any marketing related tasks.

 5) Be Willing to learn

Learning is a continuous journey, and those who show that they are willing to learn – be it new technologies, domains, processes and ways of working are the one’s who end up with more opportunities, challenging work assignments and diverse projects as a part of their career portfolio. This is absolutely true for anyone, but even more for B-school pass-out students since they come with the a plethora of knowledge and diverse experiences which can be leveraged in any work environment

(6) Be Open to work

Again, you should be open to take up work assigned to you – at least in the initial few years of your career. Every single assignment adds to your own understanding of the business, and as you grow – you will appreciate how understanding different facets is so critical in your career growth. As long as you get to do “real work”, and are contributing towards the success of your team – you should be willing to do work.

(7) Be professional

Make an effort to understand the company policy and corporate culture – Be it in work hours, employee perks work attire, etc. Be professional in your interactions with colleagues and managers. Most importantly, draw the line between your personal life and professional life – It makes a lot of difference in how other perceive you!

 Helped you? Share it with anyone in your network who might benefit from reading this..

As I sign-off, I am sharing some links / references which might help any B-school student who is starting their career…

Important lessons to learn early in your career

Address to young graduates joining the workforce

Importance of mentors

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Interviews and Significant Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Featured in | Passionate Bloggers you should follow
Featured in | 2015 101 Inspiring Women aka Rockstars
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Columnist / Byline In : 
EconomicTimes | Huffingtonpost |  Wipro NewsCred Marketo | Finextra | Inc42 | Business2Community | ProBlogger  | Famous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | SheTheTVPeople |  PaulWriter |  WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com  | ParentousThe Change Blog | Women Inspiring Wednesdays

Online Initiatives for the case and cause of Indian #WomenAtWork

Over the recent past, my conversations with women at work (at different phases / stages of life) has gone as below..

She: Hi.. Good evening

Me: Hello, How are you?

She: So you are a blogger.. Very nice

Me: Thank you

She: What is your blog about?

Me: My blog is called “Nischala’s Space, Thoughts and Expressions” in which I write about topics of professional interest – which revolve around women at work, marketing, social and leadership.

She: OK. Nice. I’ll surely read it. So, apart from your blog are there any online resources which can help me or any woman in her journey at work and life?

Me: Yes, and my answers are in this post. So read on 🙂

Listing them below in alphabetical order

Back To The Front (A Rize @ People Konnect Initiative)

Back To The Front aims to facilitate second careers for women by guiding them to incorporate work back into their lifestyle and reclaim their career. They  provide meaningful job opportunities by way of full time, part time, project based assignments and contractual assignments for women who have decided to get back to work. They also provide various customized programs to guide and coach through the entire process of on boarding to a fulfilling second career.

BizDivas (An Altavis initiative)

Biz Divas provides a platform for the women of our region to come together and raise a common voice for promoting women leadership across all walks of life. We identify invest and bring visibility to extraordinary women in business, corporates and public leadership. [Src: Corporate Website]

P.Inc

P.inc: Women Power@Work is an initiative supported by The Times of India that aims at bringing women who have taken a break from work, back into the workforce. The initiative, through seminars, training workshops and access to employers will provide career resources and a service support system to mid-career professional women enabling them to overcome challenges and return to working life. [Src: Corporate Website]

Sheroes

SHEROES is a woman’s career destination. With full time jobs, flexible jobs, mentorship & entrepreneurship opportunities, it’s the largest community for women

SHEROES welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest OpportunityScape for women. There is a diverse and large range of opportunities to pick from — these include opportunities with women friendly employers, flex friendly formats, mompreneur programs, partnership programs and more. The SHEROES Community gets access to career resources, information and community sharing. SHEROES Mentors engage actively to help women attain career success on their own terms [Src: Corporate website]

SheThePeople

Women across the world are actively joining the workforce, asserting themselves on issues and networking to become a strong force. In India over 60 million women are set to get online. From leaders, game-changers, board members, executives and entrepreneurs, sportswomen and politicians and every woman engaging in her goals, we are changing the conversation about them. We believe we are an active positive part of that change.

Companies and countries perform much better when they include and engage women in their workforce. Women in India, whether in farming communities or city centers, are taking steps toward becoming fully integrated and valued members of society. Many are setting up their own businesses, others are joining organisations that are ‘thinking’ women.

SheThePeople is their platform. A video story telling space that inspires women, strengthens their efforts, exchanges leadership ideas, fosters networking and reinforces their ability to contribute to growth. [Src: Corporate website]

Shenonmics

Shenomics is a success and leadership coaching platform for professional women. We help women build a success toolkit to thrive in their careers and their lives on a foundation of inner mastery. Shenomics offers practical tools, guidance and inspiration to accelerate your professional development by helping you hone the skills needed to shine as professionals and leaders, while supporting the inner work you need to live with purpose and passion. [Src: Corporate website]

WomensWeb

Women’s Web is THE place for the Indian woman who wants to stay engaged with the world, who believes that she has a place in the world, and ideas to offer. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! [Src: Corporate Website]

Now it’s great that there are so many initiatives, but “What’s in it for me as a woman?” might be your next logical question. To help you answer that, I’m drawing a comparative analysis of the offerings / services provided by each of them based on what I’ve read in the public domain

Job Postings / Opportunities Events / Meetups (online / offline) Mentoring Learnings and Inspiration (through content) Leadership Coaching / Training
BackToTheFront Yes Yes Yes Yes

No

BizDivas

No Yes Yes Yes

Yes

P.Inc

Yes Yes No Yes

No

Sheroes

Yes Yes Yes Yes No

SheThePeople

No No No Yes

No

Shenomics No No Yes Yes

Yes

WomensWeb No Yes No Yes

No

POINTS TO NOTE:

  • All the companies provide services beyond what is listed below.
  • Above comparison has been compiled based on my interactions with women at work, and what emerged as important factors
  • If there is any initiative which I have missed, please leave a comment below.

My 1st Economic Time article | The Women At Work Manifesto

According to the World Fact Book, the 2014 gender sex ratio is India was 892 females per 1000 males. So she is born, then what?

According to the latest Indian census, literacy rate among Indian women is 65.46%. According to the District Information System for Education (DISE) (2011-12) report, girl’s enrolment at the primary level (Class I-V) stands at 48.35%. At higher education level, 45% of female are enrolled in under graduate and post graduate courses. So she managed to study, then what?

According to ILO (International Labor Organization) 2015 World Economic Social Outlook Report (WESO), the female labor force participation rate in India was 31.2%. Also, India ranks among the bottom 20 countries in a list of 131 in female labour force participation (FLFP). So she got a job, then what? Did she keep the job? How long?

 According to 2014 Sheroes India Women At Work report , 5% of women are at senior/ leadership levels. That number speaks a lot

Bottom-line | From birth till the last breath – she struggles to survive, chooses to endure and strives to succeed.

While the numbers look dismal in an absolute sense, every day I come across real stories and narratives of real women at work who are trying and striving to make it all work – with grand dreams, grit, hard-work, passion, confidence, determination, perseverance, ecosystem support and divine grace. So there is hope and inspiration.

With about 15 years of corporate work experience during which I have experienced the highs and lows of a corporate career, and also experienced the 3M madness – Marriage and Motherhood twice – I can confidently say that it has been a mixed bag of experiences. On the positive side, it has been a truly enriching, evolving and exciting journey this far.

And so the topic of women at work is close to my heart. One, I am a woman. Two, I’m a working mother. Three, I honestly believe that gender diversity at the workplace is critical for balanced growth and continued success of an organization, the economy, the society and world at large.

Along the way, I have recognized that for women at work to have a fair chance at a long term career and a possibility to reach the top, some early investments are critical and make all the difference. And sooner they are made, the better for her career.

In this post I’m sharing the 9 investments I believe all women should make at the start of their careers.

ET - Women At Work

Knowledge Capital

We live in the knowledge era. Where knowledge is a source of competitive advantage, where knowledge is critical for you to get a job, keep your job, perform your work and also get paid for it. Education of the girl child is the first step to build a strong foundation of knowledge. But beyond that, a lot of knowledge is critical to stay relevant at the workplace. The good news is that in today’s era, knowledge is easily accessible and free – thanks to technology. In the long run, the knowledge which truly makes a difference is specialist knowledge (depth), applied knowledge (experience) or multi-disciplinary knowledge (combination of two / three knowledge areas).

Many women tend to stop learning consciously once they start their formal careers; and not investing in upgrading one’s knowledge can cost any professional dearly in the long run. Hence, it is important for women to consciously and continuously invest in building, enriching and enhancing their knowledge base.

Good-Health Capital

The number of health-related issues is only increasing by the day, and this impacts woman too. It is common knowledge that a vast majority of women tend to put their health and well-being as the last priority. Consequently, the number of women who give up on their careers simply because health does not permit them to work beyond an age or stage or phase of their life is increasing by the day. Physical heath, emotional heath and intellectual health all play a part in one’s overall good-health; and good health can sometimes be the only key factor which determines a woman’s career longevity.

So if you are a woman at work and serious about a long term career, make it a priority to invest in your overall health and well-being. In the long run, that will hold you in good stead.

 Work Performance Capital

There is no substitute for excellence in year-on-year work performance. This is true for everyone, and applies for women too. Hence it is important to ensure you deliver at work what you signed-up for.

Good-will Capital

Almost all women who had long careers will vouch that if there was one thing that helped them navigate through the lows / fluid-phases of their careers, it was purely good-will of the employers, managers and teams they were a part of.

As a case in point, marriage and motherhood are important milestones in the career journey of any women at work. And both almost always make her vulnerable, and compel her to make tough career choices. In such situations, the only grace which enables women to keep their careers afloat can be good-will.

The thing about good-will is that it has to be earned – With time, with your work performance and with your attitude. Good-will can be earned in many ways – By going the extra mile when a team needs it, or stepping up when there is a crisis, or making a difference when it truly matters. So as women at work, make it count when you can; and earn the good-will capital.

 Network / Social Capital

After a point in anyone’s career ‘professional networks’ play a key role in providing career opportunities, growth possibilities and new paradigms of work. This is true for anyone, but more important for women as they are not naturally wired to invest in building their professional networks – both in the real and virtual world. Especially in the context of women, personal networks and support systems also go a long way in providing the elusive work life resonance.

As women at work, it is important to take the time and effort to invest, nurture and build professional and personal networks and relationships beyond your immediate line of work. Agreed it takes time, effort and energy. But what if by that one social connection you invested in, you land your dream job? Or you get the next career break you’d always wanted? So make an effort to build your network / social capital. In the long run, it will see you in good stead.

Skill Capital

A long term career is about having the right skills to take and make the next step in the career ladder. There are some skills that you are born with. But in the long run, self-acquired and personality development skills make all the difference.

In the context of women at work, the following skills are key to survive and thrive – Career Planning, Business Communication (Oral / Written), (Salary) Negotiation, Creative Thinking, Political Savviness, Complex problem solving and Decision Making. It is important for women to understand lacunas in their current skill matrix and to consciously find ways to build and enhance these skills over time.

Technology Capital

You think it, technology can do it. There is a technology solution for almost everything that needs to be done on a daily basis. There is a mobile app for just about everything you’d want to do. You just need to search for it, install it and make it work in your context.

Especially for women at work, knowing and embracing technology and mobile apps for making everyday life simpler, faster and efficient is critical for long term career sustenance and growth. Be it grocery shopping, meal planning, bill-payouts, child safety, education or whatever your need is, ensure you invest in finding the technology solution relevant to your context and circumstance. And use it. The power of technology is in the application.

Financial Capital

This hardly needs any explanation as money does make the world go round. While the highs of financial earning and freedom tend to cloud one’s thoughts, emotions and spending patterns during the initial career years; it is important for women to understand that true long term financial freedom comes from making an effort to understand how personal finances work, to invest money wisely, spend judiciously and review your finances periodically. In the long run, it all adds up to building your financial capital.

Personal Brand Capital

Personal branding is really about you and your work shining through among the crowd. Key to this is to own up your work, speak up when it matters and ‘stand out’ where it counts – so you can positively influence and manage others perceptions of you.

A key pre-requisite for personal branding is to have clarity on what you’d like your personal brand to stand for, and to find compelling ways to make your work and brand stand-out. This is even more important in the context of women at work because very many women are naturally wired to shy away from the spotlight or find comfort, solace and satisfaction to play a supporting role. One effective medium which women can use effectively is the power of social media and (real / virtual) communities to make your views, voice and work sparkle.

“As you sow, so you shall reap” – This is true for money, for careers and for life. What career investments did you make today? What investments do you plan to make tomorrow?

Leave a comment to let us know.

First published on Economic Times

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

What determines “HER” Career Path?

I’ve been in the corporate world for about 15 years now. In this tenure, I have been fortunate to experience in my career (up close and personal) the great, good, bad & ugly; and I survived.

Along the way, I’ve also seen a lot of women / mothers navigate their career trajectories very differently at different phases. Everyone’s context / circumstances are different, and hence so are their choices. And yet, there seems to be some drivers on how she makes those choices to make peace with her work and her life.

So what are those variables which determine her ‘career path’? Sharing my views in the infographic below.

Career Path

As I sign-off, I leave you with a thought..

For a very long time, I used to believe that making a choice was tough!

But now as a working mother, I believe that living your choice everyday is the toughest.

What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes 20 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Mention in | “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Mention in | “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in | “Are entrepreneurs born or made?

The Key Questions which impact and influence “HER” work life

I believe there is power in questions.

The right questions at the right time can make all the difference.

Just acknowledging that the question is important, right and relevant can sometimes be the best thing that can happen in life.

As I observe, converse, analyze and appreciate the complexity of issues of Women At Work, I find that there are some questions which are more important than others. These questions determine her career, and eventually her life.

What are these?” you might wonder

Sharing them below in the latest infographic I created. Like it? Do you think there are more questions which affect the life of women at work? Leave a comment to let me know

Women Key Questions for Career

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Round-up of the Most Loved Posts on Women At Work

If you’ve ever read or followed my blogs, you’ll know that Women at Work is a topic very close to my heart.

So on the occasion of the upcoming International Woman’s Day (8 March 2015), I’m sharing the most loved (views / comments / shared) posts that I’ve authored on women at work.

Do read, comment and share in your network.

Why women should work? – Here are 30 good reasons

50 Things I wish I’d truly understood (as a WOMAN) when I started my corporate career

Will you let ‘HER’ fly?

My Secret Wishlist for my girls

5 Distinguishing Traits of a prosperous woman

What working women can learn about productivity from ants?

Mentors for working women : Essential, but do they exist?

Power of only women social networks

Why is it so hard for working mothers in India?

Working mothers career continuum : Focus, Flex, Flow

Know a woman (in India) on a career break and looking to resume work? You must read this post…

——————————————————————————————————————————————
Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”