#VoicesofWomen: Choose what you want to learn wisely, writes Mamta Mohan, in her winning entry at VOW. Read On!
Triiing!!!! Rang the phone. With the milk boiling on the stove and amid packing lunches for her children and spouse, she chose to ignore it. Not because it was a spam, but simply because she had prioritized her rushed up morning chores and shouts of “Where is my lunch box”? over a buzzing phone. The phone call was not a spam but it was from the HR of a company she had applied for a role after a career break. It was to inform her that she was shortlisted for an interview because her resume said “Open to learn any technology”.
“Open to Learning” — a very frequently used phrase in many interviews whether people mean it or not. How good is it to be open to learning? Very good, as it definitely fosters a growth mindset and is sought after by many job providers. By profession and qualification, I am an engineer, but upskilling myself as a baker will definitely help me if I plan to start a baking venture of my own. It can also keep me happy as a hobby! But will it help me to code a few lines on setting up a mortgage product for my client? Not really!!
Choose what you want to learn wisely, if it is something that you want to make a career out of.
Upskilling if tightly coupled with your career goals can bring amazing results. Getting a job offer because you are open to learn any technology cannot be demeaned. But does that offer you the pay package you ask for or the role that you deserve? Results not guaranteed!
Something commonly seen is that Men are always open to learning because they can crack an interview even if they are only 50% prepared against women who like to be very well prepared always and only apply for roles where their Job description matches almost 95% of the ask.
We ace at multitasking, but we always like to test the waters before taking that plunge.
What if there was a guide upfront to tell us how deep are the waters? Would that help us as women in taking that calculated plunge or at least prepare us with means to float/swim without drowning? Definitely yes!!
Upskilling is that guide which will help us explore new avenues and show us the path to our goal.
Bespoke upskilling can change the course of our destiny and bring us some wonders!
But there is a caveat here — it only works when we decide on the course of skilling keeping our end goal in mind. What does my visualization exercise tell me? Does it tell me that I am going to be a tech architect in Machine Learning? Then yes, I definitely need some bespoke skilling in this niche area of machine learning. Prior to that, I need to speak with industry experts in that field, I need to read up some good and relevant content on the internet, I need to be abreast of what’s hot in the machine learning world, I need to check up on what my competition could look like, I need to take on relevant certifications, I could even try a hand at some DIY Machine learning projects. This can help give me a direction to where I am heading for and reassure me if what I want is what I “Really” want!
Bespoke skilling is not only limited to technology but is a part of any field that one can possibly think of.
Social Entrepreneurship, Medicine, Astronomy, Education, Fine Arts, Culinary or even a career out of adventure sports — bespoke skilling can help give an opportunity to “demand” rather than “submit”. The ecosystem that is required stems primarily out of an individual’s inherent desire to get upskilled followed by the right exposure. Today, life is even more easy with the advent of social media where we can connect to mentors who can guide us through their experience. It is all about creating that access for a woman, educating her and encouraging the young daughters to dream from the day they can walk and talk by their own. It is all about taking those baby steps towards the goal.
This women’s day is very special! Special, not only because it is a day to celebrate womanhood, but also because it is all about “Breaking the Bias”.
Let’s break the bias that women don’t need bespoke upskilling but can just fit into a mould.
Firstly, Arise and awaken that desire to get upskilled towards a goal, everything else will fall in place. It is Ok to fumble and it is Ok to fall because in the end all that should matter is “The journey was worth it!”. An old saying goes, if there is a will, there is a way, I tweak it as “If there is a skill there is a way!”
Author: Mamta Mohan is the Senior Delivery Manager/Associate Director at ANZ and the first runner up of VOW(Voices-of-Women), an annual women focused blogging contest presented by We-Ace, powered by IBM