"The Corona pandemic has forced us to recalibrate our thoughts and decisions. The past year re-defined our priorities in many aspects and areas of our lives. But, if you ask me, priorities were beginning to change even before COVID-19 happened."
In Akanksha's opinion, for working professionals, the top factors are professional development/growth, financial security, and career prospects; however nowadays, people seem to be more self-aware and motivated to seek fulfilment of their personal goals – outside of their professional and personal spheres.
She believes that the conventional structure of a ‘male breadwinner” and a “female homemaker” has undergone a paradigm shift. "That has led to a change in how working professionals re-define their priorities. Men/fathers are happily sharing responsibility of household chores and taking care of children, However, working women/mothers still shoulder the bulk of the parenting/care-giving responsibilities," she says. It has been especially harder on women during the pandemic – considering they are juggling work schedules with childcare and school routines.
Saying that, she believes women need to learn to support and empower each other rather than feel threatened by or turning on each other. "Our vision of our own selves needs to change first. If we work on empowering ourselves, we will not feel the need to compete with each other. If you have confidence in your own self, you can build strong relationships with other women – a network of other women with whom you can share our experiences, seek guidance from, and lean on when you need it."
We women need to stop being so hard on ourselves. "You cannot do everything alone so learn to ask for help. Be specific about what you need - don’t assume others know. Your own health and well-being are important so take care of yourself. Set aside time for personal pursuits. I say this because my priorities and the choices I made in my personal life have impacted my decisions regarding my career," she believes
She would like to advise young girls to identify their vision for themselves before asking---why, when and how in order to achieve that vision. "Believe in yourself and seek ways to strengthen your Emotional Intelligence. For instance, if I had to tell my 20-year-old self, I’d say, Be adventurous. Do not worry so much about what you have to do, or how you have to behave, or try to live up to other people’s expectations of you.”