Wiser after 4M’s – An MBA, Marriage, Motherhood and Medical Issues?

First published on WomenInspiringWednesdays

How does anyone summarize more than 3 decades of life experiences to capture the essence, lessons and spirit of all that it entailed?

How does anyone share multi-facets of the 4M madness (an MBA from IIMB, Marriage, Medical issues (of self and in the family) and Motherhood) – many of which are relevant to very many women?

How do anyone summarize the ~15 years of corporate work experiences which encompass diverse aspects of business, process, domain, technology, team-work, customers, partners, travel, culture, leadership, mentor-ship and everything that define your career trajectory and make you what you are?

How does one say all that is to be said, read, understood and feel inspired in one blog post?

Well, here’s an attempt… Read on..

I’m Nischala Murthy Kaushik, and like to describe myself as a working mother, marketer, digital artisan, content crafter and blogger / writer / columnist. The penchant for ‘new’ and ‘novel’ experiences has fueled my life and career taking me across diverse life-stories. Most of these stories had a good dose of action, drama, villainy, emotion, humor and romance – just that the supporting cast changed every time based on the context, but I continued to play my part – which was obviously the lead role! And I still continue to play the lead role. This is my story!

As I crafted this piece, I wondered what story I should share here? One which was simple, powerful and universal to the trajectory of any / every woman’s life and career. Going down memory lane, each of the 4M’s has been a defining moment in my life; and has been a great experience of self-discovery, learning, strength, resilience, growth with its share of highs and lows. I’d love to share some of the key lessons which stayed with me at every point in this journey – with the hope that it compels you to ponder, wonder or meander in your mind or heart!

M1 – MBA from IIMB

I gave myIIM MBA entrance exam with very little preparation, and was sure I’d not get through. But I cleared the written exam, and sailed through the interview process. I also almost didn’t enroll in to IIMB because I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do. I had my reasons, or so I thought! Fortunately, my mother influenced my decision, and I did enroll into the MBA course. MBA from IIMB was defining for me because it exposed me to some of the best and brightest brains in India (both in terms of teaching faculty and student interaction) – Not to mention the learning was phenomenal.

What stayed with me?

  • As women, investing in formal (higher) professional education is always a worthwhile investment. If you get any opportunity to enhance your knowledge, skills or professional networks – don’t let it pass. If you are serious about a long term career, a portfolio of diverse formal degrees / qualifications always works in your favor
  • Mother’s always know what’s best for the kids. Listen to your mother with open ears and an open mind – especially after you turn 30.
  • Networks and bonds which you form with people as part of your education / learning journey are usually stronger and tend to stay for life. And these networks usually help you through many a rainy / stormy day – So invest in them, nurture them and treasure them.

M2 – MARRIAGE

Marriage is an important event in any woman’s life. It is defining because the man, themother-in-law and the maid become important influencers in your career / life choices after that!I’m no different. Also in my case, that also involved a move abroad.So finding my feet in a new environment took its time, but with a “can do” mind-set and a willingness to walk the extra-mile, things fell in place.

I was also clear that I would continue to pursue an active career. Fortunately for me, there was a job opportunity abroad which I gladly accepted. In addition, I also enrolled into a local university and earned study credits for subjects of interest, along with a foreign language (German).

What stayed with me?

  • As a woman, it is important to be clear on your personal career objectives and share it up-front before you get into matrimony. If you don’t say it out loud, chances are they’ll never know.
  • Marriage, as with any life relationship involves give and take. You have to be prepared to do both – in your marriage and career. The sooner you accept your reality, acknowledge your circumstances and unique constraints and find creative solutions to keep going, the better off for you are in the long run. The more time you keep looking at closed doors, the longer it will take for you to open new windows and possibilities.
  • As women, it is important to explore ways to expand your knowledge and skills – no matter where you are. This is especially true for many women who have to re-locate to a new city / country after marriage. Once you settle into marriage, explore ways to enhance your knowledge, skills and professional profile. Get a certification, organize an event, learn about a culture, hone your culinary skills – Key is to find ways to stay relevant for today and prepare for what tomorrow can bring your way

M3 – Medical issues (of self and in the family)

I’ve experienced up close and personal going through rough patches with my health, and going through medical crisis / emergency in the family for extended periods of time. Both are extremely trying – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, professionally and socially. Key is to be able to find ways to address current issues at hand, but also look into the future.

What stayed with me?

  • Health is wealth – There is only so far you can go – if health does not favor you or your loved ones. So make health a priority in life – when the going is good.
  • When you have good health, try to make as much wealth – Wealth can buy you (access to) good health – to some extent, and a lot of other things.
  • Life’s too short and unpredictable. So for the people who matter, spend time, say what you have to say and make it count while they’re around.

M4 – Motherhood (Not once, but twice)

Here’s the thing about becoming a mother – You’ll never be fully prepared for it. And no matter who you are / what you do, it will transform your life, thoughts, emotions, priorities, interests, lifestyle, actions, needs, … everything! No life experience can be as intense as that of being a mother, and the journey taught me a lot about myself, people and the world.

But looking back, I started writing during my maternity leave. It wouldn’t be wrong to say while I gave birth to my baby, she gave birth to the writer in me. Simply during those days when I was confined to the 4-walls of the house, I had to find creative ways to keep myself intellectually stimulated and relevant, and blogging gave me an excellent canvas to do it. There’s been no looking back after that.

What stayed with me?

  • Career choices after motherhood are very unique and personal to every woman. So accept your reality, get clarity on what you really want and slowly but steadily find ways to make it happen.
  • Work life balance or Work life integration or work life resonance or work is life or life is work – All mean different things to you and me, especially as women at work. So find your mantra for your context
  • Too many times, the biggest issue for working mothers is around (inflated) expectations and (continuous) judgment. Both are unnecessary – including self-judgment every day and unrealistic expectations every day! Accept that you are not a super-mom, and honestly I don’t even want to be one. I’m okay making reasonable choices and trade-offs – at work, at home and as a mother. As long as things are within boundaries, it’s all good!
  • Once you are a mother, there will be phases when you need to take career breaks / apply the career brake. That is true for most women. In my experience, what really makes a difference are a few things
    1. Being clear on whether you want to work or not
    2. If you want to get back to work, set a timeline for when. Plan the how?
    3. And while you are on a break (for whatever reason), find ways to stay relevant to your subject and connected to your industry / people who matter!
  • As mothers, we tend to be too accepting of everything. While acceptance is good, it can make your too comfortable – which is not good. Key is to push yourself out of the comfort zone by not accepting things.
  • Lastly, remember that focus on your priorities, flexibility in how you can operate and going with the flow are really what takes you to the destination – as a working mother. No short-cuts here!

As I sign off, I hope you find your way through the madness in your life..

 

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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.

The 10 M’s which affect the career trajectory of Women At Work

As I navigated through the journey of my career and life as a woman at work – I realized that there were many factors which strongly influenced my career trajectory. As I looked around, it appeared to be the same story for almost every woman I know..

Some of these factors stood out,
Some affected women very deeply,
Some can be make or break points..

So what are these many factors? Just being aware of them, and acknowledging them can sometimes make all the difference!
M

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Marketo | FinextraInc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | SheTheTVPeoplePaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among 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?”

The Power of Networking and why you should do more of it?

A few days ago, I was an invited speaker for a session on “Making your NETWORK your NETWORTH“. It was a pleasure and honor to be on the stage, interact with an esteemed panel and connect with an interesting and diverse audience – at different stages and phases of their career trajectory.

The event will be memorable for me for a few reasons:

  • It was one of the opportunities which came my way purely due to my writing / social media connections!
  • It was interesting to hear the narratives of many diverse individuals and what they endure on a daily basis to keep their life and career going!
  • It was one of the times when I have taken online relationships to the real-world!

Everyone will agree that Networking is important, is powerful and can be a real game-changer as one navigates their career and life. Some of the key points I made at the event are below:

  1. Be clear on why you want to network – Simply because in today’s day and age, it is so easy to connect with a zillion people  – especially on social media. If you don’t know why you are forming connections, there is only so much value you can derive from those connections
  2. Plan and Prioritize based on your context and circumstances – The value you can get from networking relationships varies based on the phase of life / career you are in and the workplace environment you belong to (startup, corporate, etc.). So plan and prioritize on the networks you’d like to build based on your context
  3. Invest your time and energy – Any networking relationship is like a sapling. It needs to be nurtured.  You need to give them time and energy – in terms of ideas, inputs, conversations, comments, experiences, thoughts, connections, solutions, catalysts, face-time, etc. The strength of networks is almost always linked to how much you invest in them. More the investments, more the returns!
  4. Be prepared to Give  – All networking relationships are based on ‘Give and Take’. If you expect to leverage your networks for personal / professional interests, be prepared to also be leveraged by others. So you get as much as you give!

As I sign off, I leave you with the many ways in which networking can help any individual.

Networking

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Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in :  Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Marketo|  FinextraInc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen |NasscomPaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among 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 my best posts on Working Mothers.

Happy Mothers Day

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day! So, Happy Mother’s Day in advance… According to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day is a modern celebration honoring one’s own mother, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world – most commonly in the months of March and May!

Social media is abuzz on whether mother’s need a special day to celebrate motherhood. Of course, NO! Once you are a mother, you will always be a mother – And no one can take that from you! But YES! If there is a day to celebrate a little extra and you can afford it, then why not?

The word “Working Mom” is somewhat obvious, and always compels me think. I mean, every mother I know works.. works hard…works every single day of her life…It is just “How she defines her work? Where all she works (at home or even beyond)? And how much her work is valued?” which makes all the difference!

Ever since I’ve become a mother myself, my respect and admiration for all mothers (including my own) has increased manifold. And if she is able to pursue a career beyond her domestic responsibilities – then that is truly commendable. Because from experience I know that it is no easy task! Whatever you do, where ever are you are in the world – if you are a  ‘working mom(or careerist mom)‘ , then my deepest respect, admiration, appreciation and applause is with you!

If you’ve read my blogs, you will know that several of my posts are around what it takes to make it work as a ‘working mom(or careerist mom)‘. So on the occasion of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a round-up of my best posts.. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as a I enjoyed writing them! And just so you know, my journey as a writer / blogger began at the same time as my journey as a mother – So both are somewhat co-related and dear to me!

After Maternity Leave | Getting back to work

Dilemmas of Working Mothers

Why is it so hard for working mothers in India?

300+ years of women at work | What were the key enablers?

The Questions which impact and influence her work life

The Working Mother’s Career Continuum : Focus | Flex | Flow

Getting back to work after a career break – What is required?

Working Mothers – Is there a Magic Mantra?

Productivity Lessons from Ants

Are you clear about your priorities?

Think about your ROTI (Return on Time Invested)

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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 Top Marketing Blogs in India, 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?”

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?”

300+ years of women at work | What were her key career enablers?

Today is 8 March 2015. So Happy Women’s Day!

Anyone who reads me knows that women at work is a topic dear to me, and I hope my writings make a difference for the case and cause of women at work. Last year in 2014, I did a survey on women at work, and “women speaking to each other / sharing their stories” emerged as one of the top points on how women can support the case and cause of women at work.

As I looked in my network (real / virtual), I recognized that I knew several amazing women at work who were doing their bit and best to make it work every single day – with their grand dreams, grit, hard work, perseverance, focus and intelligence. So I thought “Why not capture the collective experiences and wisdom from these diverse women at different phases and stages of career and life?

So I connected with each of them and asked “What were the key enablers which made a difference in her life as a woman at work?” . Every single one gladly obliged to share her views and perspectives. So to all you wonderful women who feature below, Thanks for sharing parts and pieces of your life. I’m hoping it will help, enable and equip some woman somewhere in her career path.

Personally doing this exercise has take significant time and effort, but has been rewarding since I recognize that just getting diverse views and perspectives on the same question can be such a delightful and insightful read.

I’ll take-away a few insights beyond what is shared below:

1) For a woman to start and keep her career, the family / environment / ecosystem plays a very important role. So if you are a woman at work, say Thank You today to all those who made it happen. And if have a daughter, recognize the importance of your role and play the part!

2) Enablers are very different for women based on the stage and phase of life (single, married, mother, etc) they are in. So if you are a woman, acknowledge that the key enablers will change significantly based on your phase, stage, choices and context in life

3) In general, women at work are open to speak, willing to share and happy to contribute to the case and cause of women at work. So that is heart-warming, and I’m hoping it will get better from here. So if you are a woman at work, don’t miss any opportunity to share the nuggets and factoids of your career journey. You don’t know whom it can help and how, but makes a difference in the long run

Just one request – read / view on; and spread the piece. One share on Women’s Day for the case and cause of women at work is all I’m asking! Thanks again

Nischala IWD Final 1
Nischala IWD Final 2

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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)
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?

Why should “SHE” work?

So the question is “Why should “SHE” work?” Important question, and the answer is probably more important.

Why she should work

Why do you think SHE should work? 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 Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Most Loved posts on Women At Work
My Secret Wishlist for my girls
What I wish all women understood at the start of their corporate careers?
Productivity Lessons for Women At Work from Ants
Will you let her fly?

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?”

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?”