Success follows those who are in complete control of their work and life. In the case of working women*, this poses additional challenges as they strive to strike an impactful balance between careers and home. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2016, TeamNSN spoke to a few successful career women about the top three skills that are essential to ensure parity and sustain success. We are delighted to share their experience, advice and tips and invite you to share yours.
Jyoti, an IIM graduate, with two years into banking, firmly believes that women are born strong and they are invincible. She stresses on improving the key skills of decision making and relationship building:
Decision making skills: Be able to decide on options and make the right choice. It’s crucial to do this to move ahead in life and career. A decision may be good or bad, but you learn from it and remember, nobody has grown without making mistakes.
Relationship skills: Building long term and sustained relationships is the key to impactful life and successful business. So, take that extra step and effort to show that you care and delight people with your attitude
Delegation skills: It’s crucial to know how to delegate tasks and gets things done on time, not wait for it to happen. Be self-dependent and do things right, success will follow.
Kavitha has been working in the software industry for over 12 years now. She attaches a lot of importance to skills and abilities that help in:
Learning to learn: Invest time to up-skill or cross-skill. Balance your learning across professional skills like problem-solving, keeping pace with technology, and acquiring domain knowledge. At the same time, hone your personal skills like time management, pursuing an art or sport, personal grooming, along with home skills like productively engaging kids in holidays, home décor, cooking a new dish.
Life skills and mental skills: These are needed to stand strong. Believe that every problem has a solution or at least a work around! Develop a strong mental skill to maintain the emotional balance and be confident to face the challenges.
For Krupa, a senior HR professional, the prerequisite for success is to learn the art of balancing. She believes in:
Mastering the tough balancing act: Women have the unique power of the three A’s – ability, agility adaptability – to handle multiple things at a time. The art of balancing needs inward looking and making those little tweaks to reduce stress. It is equally important to find some personal space for just yourself. Revive a forgotten hobby or just take a break to get away from the norm to try something different. Always keep that girl with a smile alive in you.
Competition and excellence: Competition is good but there’s no point in trying to be like someone else. Trying to achieve that assumed goal is like running a race without an end line. Remember you compete with yourself. When you chase your passion, you naturally give it your best. Have intermittent checkpoints to evaluate yourself and improve your performance by raising the bar.
Madhujit’s experience in Learning and Development, particularly for women, shows in her concern about how women represent 50% of world population but are still a minority in the corporate sector. She attaches a lot of importance to:
Positive thinking: Focusing on problems leads us into a downward spiral of self-pity. Focusing on possible solutions helps us move forward despite the current situation.This is the best way to take control of difficult situations.
Networking skills: Networks are of three types: personal, strategic and tactical. It’s crucial to build strategic networks. It cannot be created overnight, and requires concerted effort over a period of time. Building and maintaining your networks both within and outside the organisation are important.
Planning skills: Nothing can be left to chance or for someone else to decide. Share you plans with people who matter most and be flexible.
Nivedita’s expertise in communication, training and talent development comes out strongly when she emphasizes on:
Work life balance skills: As a working woman, balancing a home and a career, it is quite possible to fall off the radar by neglecting to build the required capabilities and skills to succeed at the workplace. It is always important to reach out to the right opportunities to build the skills required to move ahead on the career path.
Career planning skills: While women may start on their career path with the right qualifications and skill set, coupled with the right amount of ambition – often a lack of proper career planning may see them floundering in their careers as they reach mid- manager levels, leading them to either drop out of the race or compromise with a career choice not of their liking.
For Sandhya, teaching English has been her passion; with an experience of over 20 years in colleges she prioritizes:
Effective communication: Being articulate is very important to get your ideas across and the ability to listen attentively is absolutely essential. Communication is the key to bring transparency in relationships.
Digital skills: Most teachers are reluctant to embrace technology. Basic computer skills, use of internet, mobile devices and and social media can transform the classroom into an exciting learning ground.
So, what’s your take on the top three skills? This was a quick compilation of some key skills that are crucial in establishing parity and helping us become successful in our endeavours.
We are sure you would like to add to what has been said and complement with how women can make a substantial impact in society.
Happy International Women’s Day!
*Working women also includes dedicated home makers, but this article is limited to the views of office goers.