It was those days when working from home was not yet the norm in India. It was something one had to beg, borrow or steal. And if you are a mother with a young kid, justifications to be given were end less. I was working in a group in which you needed to tell even if you would be late for a few hours. It is another matter that, when working extended hours no one needed to know about it.
Needless to say I was frustrated. The group management did not even appreciate the efforts. Review time, the extended hours put in did not matter, but what was discussed endlessly , was my need to take off without prior notice. This happened couple of times when my son fell sick. How can I plan sickness into my calendar? Even when I took off, I was available on phone. They could not point out a single delay or a mishap because of my unplanned days off.
It was tiring to be defensive day after day. At that time, I was working closely with a business owner. Had established a very good rapport with her. She came to trust me to get things done and I did my part to make business run smooth. It was during one of these conversations over IM that I just asked her – Can I come and work with you?
A bit of a back ground here. I was working in a Technology group .The business owner,she was from a completely un related field. For those who are in the IT sector, you would understand the term – business owner. I had no idea if they can find me a position there for my skill set. I had no idea if it will work out as it is not very usual to transition into a completely different business group. I had no idea if my management would agree to it.
That question set the ball rolling. She said yes, but needed to see how we can work it out. This was on Dec 23rd and she was going on a month vacation the next day. Nothing was heard for the next two months. I keep reminding her every month or so for another six months.
Eight months from that day I dared, she asked me to go and meet her VP. I meet him but he was not very sure how I would fit in. I did not know at that time, but they were undergoing a reorg. The VP himself had plans to quit. My business user was trying to move to a different role. She did not reveal all these things to me.
Then she refers me to another group that she interacts regularly. I am grateful to her going the extra mile for me. I met the senior management and we hit it off from the word go. This group has a small core technology group which was not widely known. Without going into the details, let us say it was an unusual setup.
Long story short, I moved into this group with the pre condition that I will need flexibility to work from home. I did have to compromise on certain other perks related to career growth. But then at that time being available at home and having a job,both were important for me.
Sometimes we do not ask what we want. We come up with excuses ourselves in our mind. They might be valid but there is every chance that they might not be. We might find a champion for our cause, in the most unlikely places.
We need to dare to ask to #StartANewLife.