My Second Innings
I am Vijitha Venugopalan, and I hail from "God's own country," Kerala. I lead Talent Acquisition at Fyle, and this post talks about my journey from being a working professional to motherhood and back to work for my second innings.
My First Innings
I've always wanted to get into the HR profession. I did an MBA with a specialization in HR & Marketing and moved to Bangalore for a job. I worked for a recruitment agency firm and got an opportunity to work with clients like Microsoft, Amex, SAP, and many others.
During my stint, I wore multiple hats and got familiarized with various industries. Subsequently, I worked in a product company that handled recruitment for various roles. Here, I helped grow the company from 500 to 1000 employees. I was also listed among the Top 50 LinkedIn Social Recruiters in APAC for 2016.
I enjoy recruitment, especially trying out new and exciting ways to grab the attention of potential candidates. After a candidate is hired, I usually connect with the candidates frequently, and it is gratifying when I hear that they love the new role. Often, the hiring manager would also reach out and mention that the candidate is excelling and receiving awards and recognition.
Being in Talent Acquisition for a decade, I played multiple roles in recruiting with continuous learning, implemented innovative ways to hire top-notch talent, and also received multiple accolades for it. Parallelly I got hitched, and motherhood came into my life. I didn't even realize how time flew by, and my due date was nearing. I was in office till the day before I gave birth to my kid.
I took a maternity break for four months and then rejoined work. I continued working for six months. Despite managing work and family, I still had many things running on my mind. I missed precious moments with my child and felt that I wasn't doing justice. In short, I was feeling guilty. After discussions with my family and friends, I decided to take a break from my career to prioritize my family.
Motherhood is always filled with joy & wonder. I learned a lot and enjoyed my new role as 'Mom,' but in the corner of my heart was missing my career. I had set a goal to get back to my career in 1-2yrs, which helped me a lot. I kept myself abreast of the latest events and kept in touch with friends, ex-colleagues, managers, and hiring managers. About one and a half years after my break, I started preparing myself for my second innings.
My Second Innings
I had played the interviewer thousands of times before but was still very anxious. I was keen to get into a startup where I can find a challenging role, multiple learning opportunities, and a platform to use my expertise. I came across Fyle through a friend of mine. I was super excited when I got to know about the company through the website, social media, and reference from friends.
During my interview at Fyle, I interacted with Abhinav, Adithya, and Siva. Overall, the interview experience was great. There was openness in communication throughout the process, and the interviewers were all very passionate about taking Fyle to the next level.
I received an offer from Fyle, which was a one-month contract to full-time conversion based on the evaluation. At first, I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a full-time role. On the other hand, I was happy that Fyle was encouraging diversity and inclusion and helping women get back into the workplace after a break. I wanted to know what was Fyle's record for converting from contract to full time and transparency around the process. I discussed my concerns with Siva.
I understood that Fyle does this regularly and has a good record of conversions. Siva, helped me understand that they wanted to evaluate how I will adapt to startup culture, especially after my break. I also had a couple of other full-time employment offers at the time, but I liked Fyle a lot. It was a fast-growing startup. The role offered was challenging, where I can utilize my expertise, learn, and grow with the company.
Additionally, flexible work hours, WFH options, and distinctive culture were like a full package for a working mom. I was very confident in my work and commitment to get converted to a full-time role. I took the Fyle opportunity as a challenge to prove myself.
I quickly adapted to the Fyle work style, where I learned and adapted to the startup culture and met my deliverables. In one month, I got converted to a full-time role as the 45th employee at Fyle. It has been a remarkable one year at Fyle and I am happy to play my part in doubling our team strength.
Your Second Innings
My advice to anyone thinking of returning to work is to go for it and give it your best. The first steps are never easy. The break in your career may dent your confidence, but that can quickly be regained.
Continue to believe in yourself and keep abreast of the developments in your work field while you are away. This will help you transition back to work confidently. Your experience will always come in handy, and it's just a matter of time. Once you find your ground, you will start bouncing back in no time.
Also, have a mentor who can help you plan for your career success. Ensure you plan for support at work and back home. Finally, master the art of networking, it will widen your opportunities.
Thanks to my family, friends, and colleagues for their support. Without them, this journey would've been impossible.
In case you want to get back to work or join Fyle family reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org