One of my first interviews, the employer was a start-up entrepreneur and me a fresher. He was interviewing the first employee for his company and like every other fresher, I wanted to join an MNC. My dad told me to look at this as an opportunity for me to prove myself, to learn and grow with the firm instead of jumping on the bandwagon like everyone else. So, I took a leap of faith and went for the interview.
It went well. I joined. The role helped me shape who I am in my professional life. It made me realise my love for brand management. I had not even realised, but I had started treating the company like my own, and it was exciting that I was able to nurture it that way.
However, as with all good things, situations change. I had to move to another city after marriage and life changed drastically. I started working as an editor at a market research firm, my work was highly appreciated and I even got promoted to brand management specialist.
Once again, life is life. One day when I was sitting at my desk, I had to be rushed to the hospital, only to be admitted for medical problems. This was also a time when we were expecting a baby. So, I informed my employer and took some time off.
A few months later, when I went to join back I was told that I couldn’t continue to work for them as they doubted my commitment. I was shattered. I couldn’t believe it! I was being punished for being a married woman with a baby. (And here we are in the 21st century with the audacity to call ourselves a modern society!?) I was further told that I had been ‘blacklisted’ which means they would give negative feedback about me, anywhere I decide to join going forward. So, a year of my professional life just went down the drain.
I had to pick myself again and work twice as harder. I decided to focus on being a mother to my baby and work as a freelancer from home while searching for a suitable opportunity. Unsurprisingly, the moment interviewers learnt I was a young mother, they seem to doubt my commitment.
It wasn’t easy and if not for my husband and parents, I would have easily slipped into depression.
A new ray of hope came when I got an offer from one of the leading fintech companies in India but in another city. My family encouraged me to join and with their support, we shifted our base once again. This time I was humbled by my employers and once again plunged myself head-on to prove my worth and commitment. Everything was going exceptionally well until I got to know the company was going through a rough time and were downsizing massively.
Such is life. Just when I think, “I am finally settled and content”, I get punched in the face.
Yet, I think I am going to continue to this struggle and continue to look until I find that “comfortable chair” (You’ll get the pun if you’ve seen Dear Zindagi!) that I can call finally call mine.