Meet Mary Ellen Matsui, Executive Director, ATMA.org. in an exclusive interview with Feministaa. Atma is a…Read More →
Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse.
Going back to work after a sabbatical sounds daunting. It’s almost like starting everything from square one. Whatever one achieves, seems long lost. Innumerable adjustments—mentally, physically and socially— take place when joining office post break.
The reasons to move forward professionally and take a break are many—you might not enjoy the work-in-hand, you might be in the family way, you might have family issues to tend to, etc. etc.
So is taking a break as unnerving as it sounds?
Or Does going off the professional radar for a bit serve with a more stable career and peace of mind?
Read about some women who weren’t afraid to share their opinions on the after-effects (positive or otherwise) of taking a sabbatical.
The Care-free Bride!
Managing a stressful job and new marriage simultaneously can drive anyone crazy. Although taking care of the new household may not be entirely the woman’s responsibility, it does require efforts from both husband and wife. This is what 27-year-old Ankita Arya did after she got hitched in 2013.
A stylist with a prestigious interior designing firm, Arya put up her papers before she got married—and she didn’t regret it one bit. “I utilized the next six months to not only adapt to my married life but also seek ample inspiration before applying for jobs. I traveled a lot with my husband, read a ton of magazines and even cooked a little—all in the name of fun!”, she says.
Nevertheless, the break proved to be beneficial to her from a creative viewpoint as she quickly bagged a job at a coveted lifestyle portal.
When raising a family is “the job”
Although 32-year-old Priyanka Ansal had an impressive job with a private telecommunications firm, she quit her job after she found out she was in the family way. After a break spanning a year, she tried to hunt for a job again. As luck would have it, she received a positive response from at least four of the companies she had applied to —and was even surprised when her boss from the previous company called up to ask if she were interested to join them.
A Break for too long can prove to be troublesome!
While Ansal was fortunate, the situation post sabbatical wasn’t hunky dory for Niveditha Naik, a software engineer. The 31-year-old quit her job after working for three years at Infosys. For Naik, job dissatisfaction was not the reason. Long commuting hours pressed her to put up her papers. In the course of her 4-year-long break, she started a family but finding a job now seems impossible—even after a short stint as a sales employee in the financial sector.
A break in professional life doesn’t mean you should go back to your old job!
Use the free time to make a career shift!
Gauri Bafna decided to take a completely route in her career after a decade-old break! Bafna, who was at a high position in the Human Resources division of PwC, Jakarta, quit her job to take care of her family. During her break, she pursued a course in bakery and confectionery and turned this “sugary” hobby into a full-fledged business. For Bafna, it wasn’t about money. It was doing something she was genuinely passionate about! As of now, she happily runs her own home bakery called “Swetcentric”.
Today’s youth is competitive!
The phenomenon of colleges in India churning out fresh engineers, artists and writers to name a few has been continuing for the last couple of years. This means that the supply is more, but demand is less in every sector. Shamina Ansari, a graphic designer at an ad agency, found it difficult to find a suitable job once she got back with a sabbatical of 10 years. Not only were most positions filled up by newbies, the systems had changed and work culture had altered drastically.
Stay inspired, even if it means taking a break
For Supreet Dhillon, it is more of a creative stagnation. An Assistant Marketing Manager by profession, the 24-year-old was associated with a prestigious e-firm before she finally called it quits after a short stint. Reason? There was lack of creative outlets—and limited inspiration.
Dhillon, satiated this desire to learn & stay inspired through traveling. “I’m going abroad for a month, where I plan take up short marketing courses and even brush my photography skills. It’s a great way to de-clutter my mind and re-evaluate career options from a fresh perspective,” says Dhillon. Once she is back in India, Dhillon plans to work as a freelance marketing consultant, besides running her popular beauty channel on YouTube.
Sometimes, it might be a good idea to go on a break! But how one uses that time to clear the mind, and decide what’s meant to be the right path is very crucial. How you bag a job after that not only depends on your aspirations but also the hard work one puts in.
If you are planning to take a sabbatical or just took one—share your story. We are all ears!