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Returning Back to work story with Shraddha Doshi

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Through our Returnships Podcast, Nabanita De tells stories of people who have managed to sucessfully return to work. In this episode, we have a candid conversation with Shraddha Doshi and learn more about all myths of returning to work, possible challenges she faced along the way, her experiences about how Returning to work is different from any day job, where to get help from, to return to work and many more.

Here is a bit of info about our guest:

Shradha Doshi is an Engineer turned Product evangelist with a decade long experience in every stage of product development while leading and motivating teams. As a Product Owner at Comcast Business she is involved in managing the order entry and order management platform for Comcast Business customers. She uses empathy-based design principles, upholds user voice to tackle problems and find solutions based on the user needs. Her love for problem solving, artistic inclination, enduring curiosity and ability to synthesize a complex idea into simple pieces of information helps her understand user needs better that transforms products. She hopes to help men and women who have been on a career break see the infinite possibilities the re-entering into workforce has to offer. When she isn’t working, she loves hiking, traveling, reading, doodling and writing.

This effort is brought to you by Non-profit initiative, www.returnships.org, an one-stop-shop for everything related to Returning to work after a long haul in career. We also share free training/job resources for Returning to work on our Facebook Handle: https://www.facebook.com/returnships.info and on our instagram: www.instagram.com/returnships.info

Welcome to returnship start in fourpodcast in through this podcast we be teating stories of returnerthavereturned back to work. Today we have Shud ther here with us who's going totalk about her story. So, let's hear from shut such other tell us a littlebit about yourself. Thanks, not Gingoto for thisopportunity, I'm sure the Tou she are. I am currently employed as a poductowner at oncast business. My background is in by medicalengineering. I dit my masters. I was a former engineer with senud medical,which is now happet last for over six years, and then I decided to take breakas we had to move to the East Coast Youto my husband's job and my shortsbreak went in from like six months to Po four years, after which I decided to return back,and I was cooless as to start, and where should I go? What jobs should Iapply? It was, I e your long journey, fromwhich I kind of fell into a product management of kind of area and landed up this productOder. So Ma next goal is to go up to become a product manager in the nextcouple of months, maybe a year so yeah that brings us to today. That's awesomeso suther. What are some of the struggles you saw while we were tryingto return to World Aso? The struggles, I think, areinternal and external right. The biggest struggle, as far as I myselfwas that I was very low on on self confidence. Going back to work. I usedto go on Lindon and see the people who were my exoleagues had gone a long way, heared from where wehad been and that just that gaps seemd so widethat I felt I don't know where should I start? Should I be starting right fromthe beginning w? Where am I act so that was my internal struggle, butexternally also, I faced a lot of new, no support right from teen, more empathy, because I did nothave any people who had been through this process. So in my husband, if hewanted me to support, but she did not realize what internal struggle I wasgoing through and what it means to not be in a career for four years and goback so I even if people wanted to help me they couldn't because they cannotempathize with me not just people support, but alsoopportunity, support or everything like talking to a lot of people who contacted me for interviewswhen they heard that I had a four years gap. They would not even ask me anexplanation, so those denials-...

...these were some of the struggles that Istrartly remember and, I think come across yeah. So howdid you like from? Where did you draw inspidation while you found like you,nobody was henting around like how did you, I guess, come out of that entirepace. I think the biggest thing that, like inspiration, was from a lot of upskilling that I did thatgave me a lot of confidence. I took some UX orses. I also met up with a life oage, not just acarrier whose, but a life coach who was helping me through understanding. Okay,what what should be my next step, because I wasn't even sure if I wantedto go back in as my previous position, so I was very confused, so those thingskind of head me initially to break through the ice and then, as in when Imet to more denials, I started preparing more. I started gaining moreconfidels and even though Theye were more denials, I saw the that my answerswere becoming more and more refined and it gave me confidence. I also attended a lot of bokshopof gavegiven by my local library, inrescumepot shops linged in profile workshopstalking to the people around. There gave me an ability to give sort of apitch for myself in an inteviee. The first question is to tell me aboutyourself o talking to people kind of held to need king confidence abouttalking about yourself and once you Wull Bena that question the rest of theinterview, I think, is pretty down like uphill from there. Like youknow, okay, I have ten a atothers job about telling about myself. Now it'sawll easysan psy. So and reading I read a lot. I read a lotof loges. I head a lot of books that helped especially about how tointerview listening to podcast. Is I on a daily PACIs during abut duringgrocery shopping walks, constant kind of help my mind get into the mode of keeping Ta up the GI GOS? So Stanza youtalked about going through life coaches right. Socould you tell us a little bit about how did life coach come into thepicture? What kind of subbort was a life courseoble to provide that helpedin your journey of returning to work, or that, I think, was a huge help onthimefel? For me, this person, the life which was herself launching her own consulting about lifecoaching, so she wastrading Likseas Min fom port of our real work. While shewas doing a certification and it helped me because she had that mpfere I waslooking for. I initially mentioned right. I had cross roads. I haven'tworked in four years. I don't know if I...

...want to go back ot the same job. Idon't have self confidence in. She was ample to empathize with that she wasable to offer me oalternators on where what thuld myfirst empty, and I would always be overwhelmed what my first tep should beamong so many steps that I could think and she's like. What would you do if you had everyglike you know which career would you choose and I was like? I always wantedto become an artist, and now, if I was given a chance, I would go into Ux andshe said okay. So if you wanted to get into yours, what would you do next, andI said okay movie, I o have to Alk Tu, because I've never done any kind of fewwets. So I started upskilling from there from once I started upskilling.It only grew and I landed into product management, where I felt that myartistic of passions and mine engineering background kind of Moorse,together with the empathy that I have ty users and it was a sweet sport fromthereon. I just once I figured it out. I only went on and on to get the right positions,even though they were denials, but I knew that this is the PAS I wanted toda and thet wo going. So I have like a follow of question. When you talk to alife coach and Ather, you enter intoractions, you felt like you couldhave asked earlier that could have directed you to the right direction,nor any of those things you want to share. I think the biggest point aboutlife coaches. You should have e kind of orelationship right, not every life poach will work out for you, so thelife was fortunately that I had. She had a similar a take on how to tacklechallenges, and she saw me that how overwilled I used to become withoptions. So every person is different and I think that relationship kind ofworked for me, so you might have to check out like talk wo Feo until youfeel that okay, this is a person that can be my friend, but as my life oshlyhas the right empathy or the thing that you need, I needed the Empitam tesupport. Somebody else might need something else, so maybe askingquestions like around: Whatever is bothering you and if they are tellingyou the things that kind of are Oh yeah, that makes sense. No, then you thinkThayr. Okay, this is going both ways versus if they fombody, like. I alsomet with He. COOACH was aggressive and she usuld know wor good. He can gogetit, but not that kind of opposion ever sat well with me. An so thats o medisciage what kind of relationship an moin, because I definitely think likeeven in our website aternships are in, for we have linked life, coates andcarear mentors, and I I definitely attes to the fant that they definitelyhelp you point to the right direction. So that is death drying if you kind oflost in the process and want more help,...

...while navigating through this entireprocess, althacoming back to returnships in general. So I want to ask you what what did youwish? You knew at a time while you R returning to work whirh, just certainguidance or advice of feet, Bak that you would have wished. If someone gaveyou, you would want to give you older self, while you in the process yeah, so I think in general I'd neverfaced pinure in my life before that. So that was one of the biggest sin thatI learned that denials are Okiy. fegured is okay, it's only redirecting you in the rightdirection. It's not stopping you, even as a returne that I can negotinatemy salary leverage. My previous Experience II thought that I was ObasAintitatae, because I had I, but I never thought that I had eig yeas ofexperience before that, where I've learned contributed to a dem and that I could bring to the table alot of people don't have that when I was starting to get back,retuinships were only starting to you know get into the picture. So I wish therewere more reternships and I would have made a lot of views of that then also, I should have kept in touchwith my excol Egue, so I kind of fell off the face of the earth when I tooktime off, maybe not just in touch with colleagues but some kindof breshing. Upon my skills or doesn'tmatter if it was just cau, you related, but something I did not do that and Ithink yeah about going back to the colleguepart that I wish. I knew that once I'm off thecareer path, my colleagues would not acknowledge my request, so I had a lotof places where I would send request to mycolleagues to give me link ten recommendation or something sodo that when you ware in touch with them, have that and maybe if you arethe kind of course that can keep in touch with them throughout, do that,because that can definitely help. After four years when I was reachingout, I did not receive a lot of. I received requirer responses fromcomplete strangers. I was more surprised that strangers would respondto my request, but not my lege, so yeah. These were the things that I wish. Iknew I learned through disappointments, andthen I was like okay, that's fine gotting you by head so they're, addingto your point like listeners. If you're trying to return to work, I definitelyrecommend you to go to Linton and reach out to the people who are hiring. Sobasically, you can search the hiring keybord on Linkdon and it will list youall the people who are hiding...

...for different rules and you can filterby your rules or what you're interested in or by the companies you'reinterested in and definitely like reach out to them, because they are like thedirect managers or dedect employees who are hiring hi, don't feel shy and ofoften times they might refer you to different jobs or differentopportunities that you're looking for. So I would recommend Li doinginformationals and learning more about the rule when you're trying to get thattoward absolutely yeah all rigt shurthe movingon. So you talked about like an advise ifyou would want to give you like olderself like now coming to the factthat we have a website like returnship Odin, forwiceelings, all the resourcesthat possibly would need to return to work. How do you think you would have reacted if you had thisresource at the time or how do you think it would refect to at the time? For the first thing, I would have feltthat there is somebody, or at least a lot of people who are in my position.It was verymy lowry the good process from beginning to the end. So I think that kind of would put me ina better position mentally that okay, there are a lot of people going throughthis, and also I've been through your websiteand it beautifully lays out the steps so initially I mentioned, I was veryoverwhen one der to start, so I think something as simple as that. Okay tothis, even in my mind, I know that these are the steps w hewors, it's sochaotic the wood process that it can be hard to sift through tyour thoughts Wenwhen is put out on a web platform where a lot of people are using. You cannotget that on potensily. This is the first Lee I o Teis. I can go o the mote,the Anti mediol journey noday that is achievabilt. So if I had that, I think I would have nothad the mental issues that like in the beginning, whenI would apply and then I would completely stop because I was bingebilt, I wl call back on so at least you would not have that if there was someresource of this yeah, definitely I think that is why, like the website, ifyou go to returnship Studin for and they can get started, so you can followthrough like step by step, procisyears that generally tey, can you can, evenif you're not trying to return to work, you can just give you all the content,even if you are in the industry already and I'm sure there are a lot ofresources that think that you can make use of on the site. Yeah Yeah, I'mmoving on. Do you think they're any common meths, that's related to likereternships, that you think people should know ofther Apay, like you knowyou think of it a certain way and you went through the procisand sawsomething else. Are there any things like that that you came across? I think midwise.

A lot of people say that when you takea Carior, greak uniqu to start back from, you know square one. I saw that when I was applying. Ofcourse, there were denials overwoad locks. There were people who havehunlerk on me, but then more and more I kept applying to theright jows. I was able to see that I was a adding value. I didn't have tostart from square on. There was a value for whatever work. I had done theexperience that I had deen, even though the technology changed probably mostfour years or things that changed there is still valued. With that experienceand N eopl, I sa Peonpel logist women, a lotof men. I knows who have taken pigs of people who have taken a grav should definitely be confident about theirexperience, and then I think one another thing was the time that youspend the break is also very important. Ithink how ihave handled I know I took a bring esmancuds, but I I achieve a lotof skills a during that time that I use as a product managers to this day. Sowhatevers, like you, think that do soft skills don't natter. I think they dolike when Youre negotiating in a club room full of coduct managers or whatnot. Why are you using those kils that youhave gave when you were on a career tike those soft skills ar help you sodon't discount the break more the expopl before the break? It will putyou in a better position. This this makes me ask you the question:Are there any common questions that wher? While you were going through theinterviews you saw people wo Hade asked You, knowing that you will you had acurry or break and you'r returning to work, wet ther, any common patterns,Yowere noticing new interviews? Most of the people. Ask Me why I tookhe career break and when I said it was because of the kids. I didn't have alot of hollow questions, but I would foll o myself saying that Wul be ide.This iviing of Skilling Ntin- I have done this voluntoer work, helping with project andigmen skills. Ihave done this resortification forn six Igmanh and that would kind of bring outquestions like okay. How did you apply hat? How would you apply this? So I think I've never had like realynegative experiences, especially when the Sentimwe started going. I knew a lot of people did not call me because of thebrave once I started talking, I con'tremember having a bad experience, fer say yeah, I mean you definitely seemvery composed ending a very well put together with all the experiences thatyou have atters a lot of how you present yourself on the day of theinterview and how well you are able to talk about all the things that he havedone and kind of related to the job.

That de applying to sow please feelfyto like apply, and there are so many returnship opportunities. We areposting at our pace even on the facebook pace. If some of the users arenot aware Offende so go to facegoofcom, Lash yoturnship star in fo, and we posta lot of content on returnshapes, also on different courses, you can take forfree, so you'll definitely check them out all right. Coming back to you,sather Aren', any anything that you want to alk that we haven't covered yet I think we've covered most of it, buthave just one. I don't think I can say enough of this. Is that believe:Mourself, your education and experiences stand by them, because only you can sell them. If you don'tbelieve in them, you can't sell them and that they will definitely be of help. Ihave not mentore but help three of myfriends who have been in a similar journey and once they had this kind ofa support where they started believing in themselves they had a immediatesuccess in their journey. So I think that is the most important step in myexperience as well, and what I've seen other people who have had that once day, you have that once youtake that Leeg of faith, it becomes easier. So yeah you have all the eysers you just haveto find. I that's Antra for wo thsandatwenty. One of one followedquestion return to work. Can you talk a little bit about you day to Takexperiences, and do you think the fact that Ke took a carrier break and youcame back? Do you see any difference in the way you work or are there anyeadditional things that you are seeing at work, which is more related toreturnshos Vorses, a normal product management, AO product manager? Rof? Most? Definitely I think. When Istarted looking for jobs, I was constantly reggrenting my decision oftaking the break, but once I returned I was a very different employee than Iwhat I was before. I had these different ways ofperceiving things that people who have been in career for and twelve yearsthey've never had that break. So when I took that break, I kind ofrealigned my perceptions, I had a new way of lookingat things and I think a lot of people value that at my previous company at mycurrent company, Theys still value that, and it comes from breaking from the motottobe right you and I thinkeverybody should take that kind of a brain. Maybe you just a personalreasons, or maybe it sabatical or whatevel, but it definitely helps...

...looking at the same things in adifferent way. It makes for a better product manageris generally speakyng and there should be someone like whenyou have a new person who is a youngster join you. They have acompletely new perspective thing right, that's something! What I saw myself as and armed with experience, kind of puts you all together in adifferent Moll game right when I started new, I did not have theexperience, but now I have the new perception and the experience to Bak inYok, and I teel so confident anthe meetings in everywhere that okay, evenif I'm wrong, I pontish put my vice out there. So I was a completely differentperson and I think if you giveen a choice, I will do this again. Tthat isso wonderful to hear. I feel like it's very, very important to like realineand understand. Where do you want to go focus on what are your goals, and Idefinitely agree that, having that time to reflect and realign your goals toyour perfect career path, I think there's no better way to do it thanhaving that currier break and then returning to work and then finding yourideal job yeah. Thank you so much truther for like joining us today. Itwas like wonderful to chat with you and I'm sure all the listeners werelistening to you. They they have got an excellent advice from you. So is therea way that listener wo listening to you can reach out to you. They have anyquestions. Yeah I mean they can find me on Lington or they canemail me at shr, atd Hak Doshi at glcom. Absolutely. Thank you so much ratherwell listeners. Thank you for listening to us today. This was an amazingamazing interview. We will continue to tell different stories of returners Ilreturn to work so if you're interested in getting featured on our podcastfieffy to reach out to us, awww reternships Ar Info or one or on e,Face Wook Pace, DEF etented up to that facebookcom Lash litornships tiving, tothank you take here and good night.

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