Resuming work after a career break is no longer a daunting task as organizations have introduced many initiatives and policies in order to welcome back their women employees.
Today’s progressive organizations have started recognizing the importance of a career break. Firms are willing to take back women employees who have taken a career break owing to personal responsibilities. There is a huge pool of talent amongst the women professionals who have taken break for family or social reasons. Corporate world has to become innovative and more flexible in ensuring that this talent pool becomes available to them. Firms believe that the break period actually adds to their personal growth making them potentially better managers when they return to the workplace.
Many firms have introduced women friendly policies and initiatives. These policies are imperative for an organization like Impetus Technologies, where more than 30 per cent of the work force is women and key functions like research and development, HR etc. are headed by women. They have had many instances of female employees reentering the workforce after a career break. Giving time off facilitates fresh outlook, new perspective and enthusiasm in the workplace. It also helps employee to balance her priorities without the stress of having to look for another job or worrying about their careers.
But are these women joining back after break are competent enough to handle the present situation in an organization? Women employees joining after a break have shown eagerness to get to the grind quickly. People pick up from where they had left. Skills do not become redundant, they only need to be constantly enhanced which are easily addressable by training.
Women do not have to start from scratch but it all depends upon the job requirements. Firms have a number of initiatives like house programs and tie ups with various business schools to hone the skill sets of the employees.
If a woman employee does not have start from scratch, how can an organization support them to get rid of the rejoining anxieties? Organizations need to be sensitive to individual requirements and must be committed to make the workplace more conducive for every employee. This commitment should also percolate to various levels in the organization; only then can an organization put policies in place, which will work and ensure a smooth transition back into work life.
Assigning less stressful assignments workshops and portable system to allow mobility at work are some of the initiatives organizations take.
Apart from the training programs, organizations are coming up with various internship programs for women employees to put them back to the career track. For example, the Tata ‘Second Career internship program(SCIP)’ is open for women with a qualification in management, accountancy, law or engineering with minimum four years of experience in functions like HR, marketing, finance, legal or manufacturing and who have taken a career break of less than eight years. The initiative offers women a chance to work on projects over a six month period on a flexible time basis.
A little effort from the woman professional is also essential to get back to the right track. Even when you are away from work, keep yourselves updated about the happenings in your field, maintain contact with peer, become a part of a network or a group that can help you in keeping track about the new developments in your field and make sure that your skill set is updated on a regular basis.
Women friendly policies not only benefit the women workforce but also the organization to retain a quality talent. Learning new skills, building confidence and experiences cam help you gain entry and ensure a smooth transition from the career break. With a good support system from your employer, it really does not take much for the multi-tasker to get back in the groove.