As they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Keeping your professional and personal roles as well as your accolades in mind, how do you keep up with these expectations and pressure:
I must say that it’s been quite overwhelming for me to be receiving so many awards and being able to stand as a role model for people who seek inspiration in me. This does come with its own set of responsibilities. It’s true that I have to constantly be in public eye, there is indeed a pressure to perform and give my best for that matter. The fundamental question to keep in mind here is- “Are you working to get these awards or is your work getting you the awards?” The difference lies there itself because if one is working just for the sake of awards and validation, this isn’t the work you deliver from your heart! My motivation to perform has always been rooted from the quality of work I’ve been able to deliver and how my ventures impact and make the mark for me. You ought to be performing, you ought to give your best but at the same time not be overpowered by the pressure so much that it impacts your way of working. Herein, I’ve been moving in a direction where both my mind and heart take me to following my passion and being as authentic as I can, about the same. With these esteemed awards and honours, there also have been times where I had to face backlashes and endure critics too. The mantra in both cases lays the same- you have to keep going on with what you truly want for yourself, not letting external factors change the course of circumstances for you.
Evolution of the HR industry and its future:
The transformation of the HR industry has indeed been one that is rapid. Although I am not directly working under the industry, I teach and train people in the domain that has kept me in close contact with the HR setup. Some big changes that I’ve seen firstly include the greater socialization within the domain. This is aided by the increased incorporation of technology that has revolutionised the system in limitless ways. HR teams are working by reaching out to customers directly today, which is a new change. The mechanism of direct touch with end-users or with its teams has definitely made the domain not just more open but more personal. Back in the past, any form of social media including Facebook was seen as a distraction at work, and the use of it as a waste of time. This is not the case today- now we have company workplaces on social media, which are very active and are constantly sharing things about their employees on these platforms. They show the positives and the accomplishments of members in their workforce that not just lets their work to be known but gives other people a close glance of their colleagues on a personal level. This increased visibility also aids to the process of better analysis of the employees which definitely is a positive shift.
Another change was in the perception of working from home which was earlier only seen as a way in which people excused themselves from work or exploited with the opportunity to be home. This notion was limited to people who had some serious issues, to women who were pregnant or only the ones who were sick. Looking at it today, working from home is indeed the new normal. With flexible work hours, HR breakout rooms and zoom meetings have been immensely popular and the employees are performing better in this case scenario as the barriers are gradually fading. Employees are no longer in touch only in the working hours but are reachable at all times. The system of analysis of feedbacks has also been a great change to witness. The industry has opened itself to less formal and more real functional setups.
Thus, I would say that the transformation has happened in leaps and bounds, analysing feedbacks, being more social and definitely making the best use of technology. People who are working better are reaching higher- one’s knowledge, abilities and networks together take them to higher prospects sooner than how the system of promotions happened years before. As the hierarchy is slowly fading, networking has changed with increasing importance today. Meet-ups have been common in workplaces today and people are making the best use of it. The system has truly changed to become more wholesome and places a greater value to the necessity of communication.
As an expert leader and propagator of good causes, what do you think are the major changes you truly want to see in this world and relentlessly fight to establish:
As an educationist, I have never backed down from voicing my opinions when it came to crucial vitalities in the contemporary world. As responsible citizens, we ought to be clear about our opinions and put them forth for the cause of better course of actions in regard to our nation. I have always believed in education being one of the continuous missions of my life. I am trying to raise utmost awareness about what we should do, what can be done and it is only when it’s backed by education, that people can actually bring about a change in their mindset. We need to work in unity, identify and address issues of concern and yet bring about win-win solutions for the circumstances in concern. As long as there’s nothing in it for the people, they surely won’t step in! We need to work in collaboration with one another, adapt from the good we see elsewhere and yet be open to help change circumstances for others too! As an educationist, I keep connecting to people of my niche extensively on the international forum, learning and educating on what’s working for them, what could be adopted, what might help us too.
We need to teach our girls to be opinionated, to not be bowing down for everything, develop an awareness of the world around and learn to voice out- loud and clear! We have to educate our boys to be respectful yet at the same time be aware of the vitalities of exploitation that takes place in their case too- they have the right to speak up and they definitely should! We need to educate both the sexes very well in terms of refusing to comply with injustice and speak up for the cause they believe in- when both of them start working in collaboration and not in competition, it’s only then that their voices bring about great action!
What is your personal secret key to keep a perfect work-life balance with your wonder-mom position in the family:
It takes four wheels of a car to get it going- and is the same for the family. If one has the right kind of support from their partner, it’s going to go a long way in helping keep the perfect balance of a happy life. My husband, my kids and my parents have always been my first priority in life. I’ve always worked part-time and kept enough time in hand so that I could well about incorporate our family values in them, provided we live here in Switzerland, far from where our roots lie. I want them to have the right Indian values instilled yet have the openness to learn from the best European values. For any family to be giving their best, it’s important that they work together and have the support of all the family members. I’ve always been lucky and blessed that my parents have shouldered the responsibility from time on and that my husband has also been a great support in terms of managing the show. For a successful woman, the support from the key members in her life leads her to big wonders because she is self assured that she has people backing her. There are some women who lack this support and so, even though they have a spark in them, they are not able to perform their best or are hesitant. I have had my fair share of compromises and step downs too, but it was a rounded, well-discussed and in a sensible way wherein my husband and I worked through it cohesively. I also believe that being transparent with your children, and not spoon-feeding them helps them understand their share of responsibilities and how we can do things together to be able to move together.
Who would you consider to be the mentor that helped you overcome difficulties and pushed you into becoming a successful leader/person:
It is so true. In my case I can clearly say that on a personal level it has been my parents and my husband who have been my consistent support and the huge amount of mentorship they have given me from time to time is almost unbelievable. Even though I am always talking of the need of emotional intelligence for a person, I find myself doubting my abilities and being under-confident very often. My parents stood as loud role models who always encourage me to keep going, and believe in myself. They have a very strong role as mentors in my life right from my childhood. My husband has been my biggest critic for all those times when I felt less comfortable or less confident, he makes sure we have a healthy discussion and tries to help me analyse things better and get them to perspective. These people have been strong pillars of support in making the person who I am today. My sister has also helped me get a better glance of the mirror, supporting, helping and pushing me to better prospects. On a professional level, there have been so many people from different arenas who have stood by me and given me the required support and visibility to be who I am today. It will not be fair to name only one in them because there stands many who have given me the much needed respect, collaboration and the opportunity to excel in life.