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Can Women in IT Take a Break from Work?

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Editor’s Note: Ann Pani is a seasoned expert and practitioner of Business Analysis and CBAP, having co-founded a leading organization in BA training and certification (e.g. CBAP, CPRE, ECBA, BABoK, ISO, etc.) called Adaptive US Inc.  His firm is also an author on Flevy, where you can find hundreds of BA training materials (e.g. certification training, question banks, templates, etc.).  View all their materials here.

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momworkLot of women take a break in career to take care of family, children, career of the spouse or some other priority.

Excerpts from some of such emails which I keep receiving often:

Hi Ananya,

I have taken a break from career from 2015, as I moved with my husband to UAE. Hope you appreciate the churn a lady has to go through with giving up a career, moving and raising a kid! ”

– A lady IT professional with about 10+ years of experience

Hello Ananya,

I was working as a business analyst in an IT firm. I had to have two breaks so far due to family reasons. Want to get back to my professional career at the earliest. Would you spare some time in sharing some tips on how can I get back to my professional career.

– A lady IT professional with about 8+ years of experience

These are some of the regular mails I keep receiving almost every day.

Be a Mom and Enjoy That Special Phase

Being a mom is one of the most beautiful phases of life and the early years of bonding between the child and the mom goes a long way in building strong relationship between the child and the mom.

My personal take has always been to enjoy this beautiful phase which doesn’t come back in the lost years later.

If your career allows flexi options without taking a longer break then that’s always preferred.  Not all professions, careers come with the option for flexi working, nor all nature of work/ organization

Market Trends Are Changing

The work place and the jobs demand us to keep up with the market trends and the latest technologies.

Most of the women feel left out from the industry and market during this phase and feel that some where they need to balance this.

Don’t Have to Make a Tough Choice — Have Both

During one of my interactions with a lady professional we came up with some interesting ideas and engagement options to balance these two sides of life.

Hence thought it would be better to share this at a larger platform for the benefit of many more professionals who are going through a break and looking to keep in touch with their professional needs while enjoying their family time.

Learning while “Mommying”

Take up some course/certification related to the professional field/domain during the break, since it will help in several ways:

  1. Learn some new skill/technology which will help putting back in touch with your professional field.
  2. The skill/technology ultimately helps you in making a come back to the professional career easier when you start your job search
  3. Helps you in closing the gap since this is shown as a continuation as skill development to deal with the challenges to go back to work after maternity break.

Staying updated on the industry trends (even knowing industry terms and jargon is equally important).

Add a professional certification to your CV.

  1. Most important makes your CV look richer with a professional skill upgrade or a certification achievement.

Look for flexi work/part time work.

Look for opportunities or companies which offer these. There are lot of organizations/start ups who offer part time/flexi time/work from home opportunities.

We, at Adaptive US, are a team of 15 people and we work remotely from various parts of the world.  Seventy percentage of our work force has been working moms, who have been brought back to work after a break.

There is good amount of opportunity in digital marketing, online tutoring, content writing,  online marketing, content development, sourcing, and HR consulting work that can be done from home.  Corporate world is becoming more open to flexi work/part time work/work from home assignments.

The reward for hiring women after a break is they are committed and loyal to the organization. Many a times they are able to hire much better talent with these options.

Invest Time and Energy in Business Networking

  1. Keep your professional profile updated, consider uploading your resume to your profile. Creating a visual resume is always considered better compared to a textual one.
  2. Highlight all your major accomplishments and strengths in your professional profile. Mention all your recommendations in the profile preferably with a link to refer to. Keep your contact info updated in the profile to avoid any mails/messages going unanswered.
  3. Join Professional groups on LinkedIn, follow/Participate in professional discussions.
  4. Network with special interest groups and professionals of your domain/field
  5. Participate in forums and conferences which can help you enhance your career in the new field
  6. Take up any voluntary work or freelance assignment if you come across to keep in touch with your professional field.

All the above steps not only keeps one abreast and updated on the latest trends but also improves the chances of going back soon to an engagement with the help of the professional networking.

You don’t have to always chose one among the two things which are close to your heart.  If you are smart and know how to manage time well you can have the pleasure of having both of them together.

As such, we women have always proven ourselves in various hats we wear and have the mastered the art of joggling all the balls in their life really well.  The tougher the journey, the stronger we come out, the bigger the learning.

Lot of organizations have started initiatives for giving break to women after a break with their second career initiatives like www.tatasecondcareer.com, IBM, SAP, etc.

Better start the journey today than pushing it to tomorrow.

Give yourselves the wings of knowledge, power of positivity, and empowerment.

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About Ananya Pani

Ananya Panyi is a Director and Co-founder of Adaptive US Inc., a technology consulting firm specializing in Business Analysis training services and materials. Adaptive US Inc. is also an author on Flevy, offering a wide selection of BA, IT, and business training guides (see their materials here). You can reach Ananya directly by email here: ananya.pani@gmail.com.

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