Here are inspiring true stories of women who were on the brink of giving up their careers but chose to stay on! What made them change their minds?
Ambition is no longer a bad word in a woman’s life, and many women are making it to the top with determination and hard work. Yet, there are moments in a woman’s life when navigating personal challenges seems too hard and she decides to quit. At such pivotal moments, some women find the inspiration and support they need from mentors, managers and families – to continue investing in their careers. Here some such powerful stories of choosing to stay on at work.
Quitting is not an option
Asha Kaul managed to get back to work as a banking executive at a large bank after the birth of her first child. She enjoyed her maternity leave but decided that she would be a better mother if she had a career. But, soon enough, Asha started questioning her decision to stay on at work. Her father-in-law was in and out of medical emergencies and her mother-in-law could not possibly handle the child all by herself. Since her husband travelled frequently, the brunt of the home responsibilities fell squarely on Asha’s shoulders.
When Asha discussed the situation with her husband, she was surprised to know that he felt that having a career was not a choice for anyone. Instead of her quitting, he believed that they needed to find solutions. If they employed a stay at home nurse for his father and he cut down on his travel temporarily, would the situation ease up? Asha says that even during that stressful time, her husband’s clarity and encouragement that she should not give up on her career was an eye opener for her.
Talk about expectations
Rohini Dutt was a project manager working as an onsite coordinator in the UK. She was surprised that after her second child’s birth, her account manager assumed she would leave the company. Apparently, managing one kid was fine but adding one more was life changing.
Rohini says, “I feel that as women we over-analyze any given situation but under communicate it. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, my husband and I agreed that we would not make any changes as far as our respective careers were concerned. But I had not conveyed this message to my superiors. I had assumed that until told otherwise they should assume my employment was final and binding.”
Rohini held a discussion with her boss and communicated that post maternity leave, she will be back. She intended to keep her role and in fact did not want flexible hours or less work. Rohini adds that women need to communicate their needs and expectations periodically since people are quick to assume what we want.
Set an example
Mamta Premkumar works as a senior development specialist in a technology company. Mamta was eagerly looking forward to motherhood but she was also wary of quitting her job. She loved the sense of purpose and financial independence her job had given her over the past years.
As she inched closer to her maternity leave, she was dreading the choices she had to make around her career. So, she decided to have a conversation with her mother. Her mother understood her dilemma and told her that being a working mother would make her less available for her children, but that she would spend quality time with them.
Quoting her own example, she told Mamta, that quitting would have been the easiest decision for her because she had the world’s best excuse. During this conversation, Mamta remembers making up her mind. She would soldier on, because she wanted to. It won’t not be easy, but it would be totally worth it.
While every individual’s situation is different, and a career break may be necessary in some cases – talking it through with someone you love and respect can make a life-changing difference.