Responsibility and Purpose - made me speak up and do more
Story of role-model Neeraja Ganesh
I kept to myself, when I was in school.
My father worked in Indore. I was an only child, to conservative South Indian parents.
We moved to Bangalore, when I was in 8th. I continued to keep to myself, but I was sincere in caring for my friends.
My Hindi was Indore-good. Maths came easily to me. I would tutor friends in both.
The sincerity worked for me. Today also, when my class-mates fly in from abroad, I am the one who gets calls to put together get-togethers.
I guess, genuineness of affection shines through, even if you are an introvert.
But, today I am not an introvert any more.
Soon after I graduated, my parents dutifully began to look for a match.
I, on the other hand, wanted to work, make my mark. Some money too!
I asked my father if I could join NIIT for a 4 semester program. Back in ‘91, it cost a whopping 18K.
Job prospects afterwards looked good. It was the IT boom time. My father said yes.
But - my prospects had a cloud.
When they found a match, I might have to stop. 'It will depend on them!', my father had said.
14 months into the diploma, I got a job at Sonata.
Between NIIT and Sonata, I would leave at 6 AM and only get back by 9 PM.
There were no mobile phones. Leaving me alone would have been tough for them.
Yet, I got only support. They must have prayed really hard during their spare moments, in those days :)
After my NIIT diploma, I continued working in Sonata for 1 year. I also continued to be the shy girl that I had always been.
I got married too.
I changed jobs to ANZ. The shy girl still remained.
8 years later, our team lead had to go onsite for a 6 month assignment. I was senior and qualified. I inherited the role.
In responsibility, I realised I can not keep quiet. My team was depending on me to get the answers we needed.
We had audits. I had to defend our position. It was good practice to speak out.
I had to push back to a difficult customer. That helped me open up even more.
I started speaking. I have not stopped ever since. Responsibility got me started.
We rebadged to CapGemini, when the Testing team at ANZ got outsourced. My exposure continued to widen.
As I neared my 25th year of work, my father had already passed away and my mother needed bed rest after a surgery.
I quit my job in 2017. Family situation kept me away from a regular job for some time.
I continued to network and became passionate about helping women do better in their careers.
'Jobs For Her Foundation' - a non-profit foundation offered me a chance to head their operations.
I took it. I have not looked back on this front since then.
A sense of purpose seized me. The shy speaker transformed into a TedX speaker.
First responsibility got me going. Then a sense of purpose fired me up.
You too can put 'responsibility' and 'sense of purpose' to good use in this way, to come out of your shell.
👌, authentic and straight from heart