A few months back, Catalyst published a survey report which talked about the current labor force scenario in India wherein the labor force participation of women has declined from 37% to 28% since 2015.Yet there are a few women who are constantly fighting odds to beat this declining number. One such woman is Navya C. and this is her journey.
“I am an IT professional with extensive experience in development and maintenance of Software applications and managing projects across domains like Retail, Manufacturing, and Banking. Being a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certified professional, I have worked in process improvement roles and initiatives like Knowledge, Configuration Management and Productivity.
With an engineering background, I started my career as a programmer and after working in multiple roles, I took a break when I was a Project Leader. While at work, I pursued a part-time General management certification from one of India’s prestigious B-Schools. Throughout my experience, I worked in service as well as product companies, all reputed Multinationals. In every role I played, I moulded myself as a role model among my peers and collaborated with a team with diverse backgrounds.
I encountered bliss for the first time in life when I delivered a baby girl in October 2011, and her arrival changed my life! I was working for a reputed UK bank when I had to make a tough decision of choosing between professional and personal life. After 6 months of contemplation, I finally ‘gave in’ to the emotional side of me and offered to resign my job. It has been a fulfilling experience last 5 years, nurturing and supporting the needs of my 2 kids.
In an effort to convert my career break into an advantage, I decided to take the road less traveled. Learning has always been a passion for me, hence I spent 2 long years preparing for B-School, in order to pursue a management degree. After the rigorous application process, I managed to get through till the final round of a top B-school, only to be rejected!
From then on, I started looking for opportunities to get back to work, which turned out equally disappointing. As I started interacting with recruiters, I realized how a so-called ‘gap’ in my career had impacted my profile. What was supposed to be Impressive before my career break became the least preferred or rejected profile after the break. It seemed like recruiters were more concerned about the ‘gap’ in my career than the vast learnings I had acquired over the years. Though a learning phase was evident, I was confident I could settle back to work in minimal time, something which I failed to convince my recruiters
That is when I decided to change myself and look beyond those boundaries which I had set up within me. The stronger I was hit, the higher I would bounce back! None of my disappointments have demotivated me. I decided to convert my failures into learnings through articles and spread the word to motivate and inspire like-minded people. While I started networking actively, I identified many support groups(JobsForHer, LeanInIndia to name a few), in which I currently engage, connect and contribute. My passion towards writing brought out the writer in me and I started content writing, blogging, and freelancing projects across various social media platforms. Additionally, I am a member of volunteer-led campaigns(Green the Red or Sustainable Mensuration) which focus on awareness towards environment-friendly menstrual products for today’s smart women. I am proud to be part of such empowering groups, where we support, motivate and guide each other while reaching out to help others too! I realized that the experience of empowering others is truly a fulfilling one. More importantly, I feel truly blessed to be part of a family which has always encouraged me, provided freedom to explore my passions and supported me all through my journey so far!
I bring with me a plethora of learnings in diverse domains from my past experiences. My career break has honed my problem solving and time management skills and made me a resilient person. I am looking for suitable opportunities in areas of Software Development, Project management or Quality control, where I could apply my skills and move towards leadership roles. Though this phase seemed off career track, I believe in connecting the dots. Every well-accomplished task is a dot and helps paint the BIG picture of life. Hopefully, through my determination, I could step back on the career path, using which I could contribute my skills to an organization and to society as a whole.”
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