Introduce yourself to us please.

I am Chitra Ganesh, I have got a masters degree in business administration. I started my career with a bank. Marriage brought me to Chennai and then I moved on to corporate training with various MNCs – soft skill, communication and cross culture training. I had been in the US for a 5 year stint. After coming back I continue to do part-time HR work at my husband’s IT start-up.

I have always had interest in Yoga, even from childhood. I have always been practising on and off. But after returning from US I wanted to give a proper structure to my Yoga. I started to train under Kalaimamani MR Chandrasekaran, Gen Secy. at Bharatiya Yog Sansthan.
This is a free for all yoga campaign having over 3000 centres all around the world. Off late I have started supporting him in the classes he conducts. I think it’s time that I share the knowledge and experience that I have with other people and help them get the benefits of yoga too.

Have you taken a break in your career, how was it getting back to a career

Yes, I did take 2 breaks for my 2 sons. It was a conscious choice to give my time to them fully at that point of time. Once both of them started school, I felt that it was time to focus my energy on career. That’s when I started getting into yoga and helping out in my husband’s IT startup.
It was difficult initially because I dint know where to start. But slowly over a couple of months, I realised that my passion was in Yoga and training. I now have an opportunity to train with one of foundations in Chennai where we do women empowerment programs.

We understand you used to Work From Home while you were in the US. Tell us about it, How did you find work?

When I moved to US, I did not have a work permit. So, I had to work out of home if I wanted to leverage my previous companies in India. So, I took upon content creation as a key area with my corporate training background. My core area was creating training programs and training modules which the trainers could simply pick up and run it without thinking twice.
I had to create the program, put a structure to it, create the entire flow/methodology – creating the entire package for the trainer. So stay at home moms can look at writing, blogging, if they are good at cooking then take video and put on YouTube…There are many avenues for the stay at home moms to use their talent.

Your advice for SWEP members

I think to its important for us to find at least one thing in life that we are passionate about. Whether we excel in cooking, art, music or any other area, we need to find that one thing that we can latch on to and develop. Being a stay at home mom, we definitely have the time. It’s all about organising time and balancing it.
It’s also about seeking help. More often, we want to take on everything. We don’t want to take help from others, be it parents, in laws or other external sources of help. We just think that we need to control everything. We need to get out of that framework and realise that it’s ok not to control everything and find time for our own self and ambition.
I think the important thing for a person who has taken a career break is to stay connected. Very often we don’t stay in touch assuming that your life has taken a back seat and you only have to wash vessels and change nappies. The important thing is when you get a little time, get in touch with the people you were working with and to read about the latest trends in your area of work. Even though you don’t actively seek employment, keeping yourself updated is the key thing to get you back to work if you choose to.
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