Happy Woman’s Day!
Let me introduce myself - I am Nandita Gurjar and it’s my pleasure to write to you today about my journey and learnings.
Married at the age of 21, I started my career at 30 when my youngest son was in full day school. My first job was at Wipro technologies. In the next 8 years I moved from programming to testing, quality, customer documentation and then into training. That’s how my journey in HR began.
After 8 years of tremendous learning, I moved to Infosys in 1999 as Head of Learning & Development and to setup the Leadership Institute in Mysore. In 2003 I moved to Head HR at Progeon, the BPO arm of Infosys and in 2007 I moved back to Infosys as Global head of HR. In this role I managed the people function for 150000 employees worldwide
In 2014 I was selected for the AMP program at Harvard business school and on my return I knew had to do something different. Today, I work as an Advisor for Startups, work with NGOs and am an Independent Director to companies.
The above, in a nutshell, is my career graph. Like all women, my journey has been of trying to achieve balance at home and work. Bringing up kids, managing home, in-laws and work which demanded your 100% is not easy. And today on Woman’s day I want to share what worked for me.
1. Have a point of view
I say this especially to women- Be confident. You have all that it takes and you will learn along the way. Develop a point of view and be open about it Stand for something and stop being wishy washy
2. Stay Focussed
Be clear what you want. No man or woman can have it all, at all times. But with focus you can achieve a lot. So don’t worry about who is getting promoted before you, who is doing better at their jobs now. Your focus should be only on how you are doing and be consistent about your performance. Also remember careers are not linear So move across horizontal roles and not just vertical
3. Be committed and accountable
Setting high standards and achieving excellence needs high commitment. You should love your job and your organisation to achieve this. Being accountable for things under your control and outside , it is very important for success.
4. Always be ready to be a student
There is no greater truth than this - our learning never stops. With advent of technology and dynamism of market, things keep changing and we have to ensure we are prepared to meet it. Your skills have to be constantly upgraded and the onus of this is only on you.
I have been very fortunate to have some wonderful mentors in my career. No one person can mentor you in all areas, so select your mentors carefully and when you are ready, become a mentor yourself. It works .
6. Help others achieve their goals
Be a team member first and help others achieve their goals. The surest way to get your bosses job is by doing it for her 😊
7. Invite your significant other into your world
For more and more women to succeed in the corporate world, it’s very important that we relook at the traditional roles at home . The home needs full time attention so it’s very imp that you invite your partner into that world. Let them help you with the kitchen, the kids and friends. Unless you do that, you will burn out and will not be able to sustain both work and home.
8. Have some Me-time
Regardless of how busy you get, do not forget to have some me-time You are the most important person in your life and you must keep some time to nurture yourself , sleep, take care of your health, go to the spa 😊 and read. This investment in yourself will drive all other investments into the future .
Each of you today have your own journey to create. So let us build a strong network of sisterhood to sustain ourselves - mentor, motivate and encourage each other. We are 50% of the world and it’s important we come out in the open. The time is NOW and the opportunities could not be better .