Back in college when I was an idealistic feminist, I was always told we women have to work twice as hard to prove we’re half as good as men. I would roll my eyes in sheer disbelief! And then the words echoed true when motherhood happened. Along with being flooded with a plethora of emotions primarily the nurturing instinct I became familiar to a perpetual feeling of guilt. It became a constant companion when I went to work leaving a cranky toddler or came back from work. Till it dawned on me, we women often prey to paralysis with over-analysis. Life is best lived when we go with the flow. What needs to be done has to be done sans guilt. I realized how millions of working mothers walk a tight rope and often the noose is of their own mind’s making.
We allow ourselves to be shortchanged, when we aren’t considered for challenging assignments and are often given the excuse, how will you manage ? No one has the gumption to ask men how will they juggle parenthood and careers. Then why does the buck stop at women alone? Why do they get derisive stares when they want to leave early to pick kids from daycare or when they are on leave to tend to sick kids.
It is okay to delegate and ask for help. Both at work and on the personal front. You can’t be a lone ranger fighting a solitary battle. Having a strong support system works and what really helps is the close circle of non judgemental women who look out for you and egg you on to get it all done. Let’s lean on each other as we juggle the balls of work and life.
The day things wouldn’t stop going wrong..
On such a day that kep dragging on & seemed too long..
You end up rubbing people the wrong way
An albatross is hung around your neck for anything you say
There are times when things just don’t work your way
Just lift your head and tell yourself tomorrow is yet another day.
Perceptions are so coloured by stereotypes..especially when it comes to women in the workplace. Yes even today..sad but an inevitable reality.. She told me that people still perceive a woman who displays drive,enthusiasm and as a climber..someone who wants to move up the corporate ladder quickly !! This fact saddens me no extent..if this is the mindset and if this is what remains we as a society can never mature.. We refuse to see people as they are , rather we choose to see them as we want to.. Juggle work and home, do a tight rope walk , plus be careful about not giving people a wrong impression. Phew that’s a tall order. I’d rather have people perceive other people as individuals or professionals than men and women.. When men network at the workplace it is just that networking..if a woman tries doing that she’s seen in a different light.. Such labels disgust me no end.. and what makes it worse when other women are the ones who impose such labels.. It is so easy to put people in slots and misjudge intentions.. We pride ourselves in becoming a liberal society..but reflections like these tell me that being liberal is a mere label we like having ..ground reality is mentally we’re quite not there and continue to cling to archaic notions of how people should be and behave..Isn’t it ?
It sure does..it only seems like yesterday when I began my journey in the corporate world. I was this earnest, idealist who thought she could make a difference at the workplace with her enthusiasm and the zeal to implement fresh ideas 🙄 I was in for a real reality check when my boss who hired me packaged my ideas and shared them as his own !! I was just too trusting, foolish and too raw. T I had this nightmare of a male chauvinist as a manager whom I had no clue how to deal with, had I encountered him today he would get a good piece of my mind….When I look back at that first year I know it was a recipe for disaster !! Yet all I have is gratitude ..Yes gratitude cause such experiences in the very first year of my work life taught me valuable lessons for life.. Lessons which I hope shall stay with me for a long time.. Three years down I am still no pro at handling people at the workplace , there are still times when I can be very naive at handling issues..but I am a lot wiser from where I stood three years back. I can at least take up for myself if nothing else and no longer trust people blindly. Back then I was forever moping and wallowing in self-pity and even considered running away from my job never to come back if I couldn’t handle things at work, ( I am essentially an escapist..if I feel things are getting out of hand I start looking for an escape route.If I can’t fled physically then I do so mentally !!) Today I am not quite there yet a lot more stable and less nervy yet the irrepressible desire for change and running away still come naturally to me.. It’s just that now I’ve learnt to temper down the urge to do so 😉
This last week was a pure manifestation of Murphy’s law : everything that could possibly go wrong under the sun went wrong and knowing me by now you would know it has to be workwise.I saw how people transform overnight if you decide to take a stand for yourself and try to pin you down, turn vindictive all because you had temerity to ask for something which is rightfully yours ..But what is life without trying times…This adage is so clichéd and done to death yet rings true each time: if it doesn’t kill you it only leave you stronger.. My dad, my husband , mom and friends ( I have to thank GM from blogosphere too, she’s a gem !O ) are real bricks.. If nothing else this experience might have left a bad taste in the mouth but all I feel at the end of the day is gratitude and sheer joy for being surrounded by such lovely people. Their pep talks made me look at how there is much else to life rather than whining about work. .. I’ve come to realise :Any sort of work might give your life meaning at times.. but if you treat it like the be all and end all of your existence and identity then you’re asking for trouble.. Work with your head and there is absolutely no need to put your heart and soul into it cause that is like inviting misery with your arms wide open..
Whatever happened is well past ( or rather I think, it can even continue but now I care two hoots ) ; now I can just lift my head and say Tomorrow is yet another day ( I quite owe this last line to the Scarlett O Hara influence 😆 )
Is it such blasphemy being content and laid back ? Is it a necessity to be a part of the rat race and keep jumping from one job to another for a fatter pay packet and a plum position ? Is it more important to be happy and do the things you love doing rather than sacrifice yourself to a 25 hour a day job where you work round the clock and have little energy or enthusiasm left for much else.. Seeing people run to climb the corporate ladder.. I sit back and watch and wonder, why do I lack this cutting edge ambition..where is that killer instinct.? I tried hard searching for it ..but alas found no traces. Would I be happier if I shed my complacency ? I am an excellent spectator I can watch people and life for hours together soaking it in…but I am yet to see any traits of a performer.. and that is what one needs to be A ‘success’ in the corporate jungle.. You’ve got to be aggressive, mouth impressive jargon and play to the gallery…Would I ever be able to turn into someone like that ?? Despite attempts which are rather feeble I am yet not quite there…
I’ve just learnt a very vital lesson.. Sometimes one needs to kill indecisiveness and chaos by taking a firm stand.. It might be a tough decision to make but at least it leaves you less muddle-headed and gives you sense of purpose..
For one don’t get taken in by assignments that seem very lucrative ,always read the fine print before giving your nod. In all probability you’re being asked to work since the assignment needs a scapegoat !!
The reward for hard work is always more work..so work less and stay less hassled.
Don’t be over committed and too sincere to your work…it helps to be a smart worker rather than a slogger…
More than homilies these are mere observations.. I always manage to get into situations from where I learn to pick up “lessons for life” Three years into the corporate world and I am still grappling to learn.. Wonder when will I turn into a smart cookie who can walk away with the laurels instead of slogging laboriously and still earning flak…I guess we all learn with time…I wonder why do I take much more time to learn than most people :wonder: