Snehal mentions that “Upskilling is the key to Restarting Your Career and Realizing Your Dreams”
Women’s career journeys differ greatly from their male counterparts. While the work environment may have changed greatly in the last few years, many women still struggle to gain a footing in a male-dominated workplace. Equal pay, gender disparity, and biases in the corporate setup are just some of the challenges faced by women, and this is even more pronounced in the tech landscape. Quite a few female professionals take a break or a sabbatical as they attempt to recalibrate their personal and professional lives but restarting a career can be daunting and challenging amid fierce competition.
GS Lab’s Restart Program was launched in 2021 with an aim to enable women on breaks or sabbaticals to resume their tech journey by providing a platform with no questions asked on their prior gaps and leave durations.
Here we share one of the many success stories from our Restart Program. Snehal Ahire started her second innings with us after a gap of almost 5 years and she talks about the challenges faced, key learnings, and her experience while restarting her career.
1 – Despite the buzz on diversity and inclusion practices in our industry, the percentage of women who are successfully able to restart their tech careers after a break is very low. What challenges did you face while trying to renew your journey?
After my graduation, I started working as a QA. I enjoyed my work and never thought that one day I might have to take a break, but as they say the universe always has other plans for you.
I was blessed with my daughter and she gave birth to a mother.
I loved this new phase and took a break to enjoy time with my little one. After some time, I thought of joining the workforce again and took up some part-time freelancing projects in event management and technical writing. Later I thought about resuming my tech journey, but it’s tougher to restart career when the competition is so high and the technology space keeps evolving.
With longer career breaks, you may feel completely outdated. You eventually start wondering if you didn’t know anything anymore and may even face a huge loss in self-confidence. One needs to re-evaluate critical tech skills and brush up.
2 – Women often worry that they have to justify their breaks on a resume. What enabled you to take this leap of faith?
The tech space evolves fast. One needs to match pace up with the revolutionary technologies to stay relevant in the industry. The first step always has to be yours. No one will help you take that step. I felt I belonged to this space and started learning Python while I was on a break. That was the first step that I took. Small steps towards upskilling and a push from within to pursue one’s goals can go a long way in achieving your desired goal.
3 – How was your experience with GS Lab’s Career Restart Program?
I came across the Career Restart Program from GS Lab and applied for it. The program offered Python Training, and the sessions were conducted online. I registered for the course, and from there my learning journey began.
I started setting targets for myself and worked towards achieving them. It’s not easy for me to balance between work and home. But yes, I always believe in one thing: It’s never too late for any new start. So I thought it’s the best time to upskill myself and return to work. Getting back to work is extremely difficult but an extremely positive experience. I am thankful to GS Lab for giving me the opportunity to restart my career here and interact with you all through this platform. I hope more women will join here to restart their careers with GS Lab.
4 – What message you would like to share with women looking to restart their career after a break?
It’s never too late to take the first step. Just believe in yourself and study the industry. Try to keep yourself updated with technology trends. As time permits, start brushing up on the basics and build on the foundation. You can do it if you truly believe in it. The industry has opened multiple such opportunities for women looking to restart their careers. Take a leap of faith and your efforts will be recognized.
If you are interested in rebooting your tech career, apply to our program here: https://www.gslab.com/careers/restart-program
Snehal Ahire | QA Engineer
Snehal Ahire is a QA Lead at GS Lab and has 10+ years of experience in the software industry. She is Lead QA with full system development lifecycle experience, including designing, developing and implementing test plans, test cases and test processes. Performed testing of embedded systems, payment gateways, mobile application and voip solutions. Experienced in python scripting and automating applications using robot framework.