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5 Leanings from the Ganeshotsav (Ganesh Festival )

Ganpati Bappa Morya!! Ganesh Utsav (festival) is celebrated in India every year. It is said that during these days Lord Ganesh visits earth to meet his devotees. During this time, the devotees worship Ganesha Idol by offering prayers, Prasad, and following certain rituals. Yesterday we welcomed Lord Ganesha in our family. This year due to covid19  in most of the cases, the celebrations will be restricted to small groups only.

In today’s article, I have shared my key learning derived from the rituals of these celebrations.

The preparation for this festival starts much before the actual festival begins. It starts with cleaning the entire house, shopping for the puja, booking the eco-friendly idol, etc. I realized there are a lot of things we can learn from these celebrations. Following are some of my takeaways from the festival.

  1. Follow the Rules: As mythology says, Lord Shiva made a rule that before anything auspicious people will pray Lord Ganesha (his son) first. Today also in India, every new project whether it’s entering a new house, office, factory, the job begins with a Ganesh Puja(Worship). As the story goes, Lord Shiva set the rule and in rush forgot his own rule and went for war. He started losing the battle which was very unlikely. While thinking about it, he realized that he forgot to worship Ganesh, his son before the war. He soon completed the ritual and as expected won the war against the demons.
    Learning: The rules are meant to be followed by everyone including leaders, Lead by example.
  1. Processes are for people: Most of the families follow a strict process for welcoming and worshiping Lord Ganesha in their houses. The prayers (Aarti) are offered at a fixed time every morning & evening. This process remains the same from generation to generation, except for some minor changes required based on the situation at times.
    Learning: The processes are not designed for people to follow, but they are designed to bring people together, so they can work together in sync towards a common goal of the organization. Thus leading to greater bonding among the team and achieving optimum use of time and other resources.
  1. Team Work: As mentioned earlier the preparation begins much before the actual festival begins. The entire family right from the youngest member of the family to the oldest member of the family is engaged. In activities of their choice, expertise, or activities assigned to them like decoration, Prasad, sending invitations, prayers, etc. Project Managers being our mothers/grandmothers.
    Learning: This is a classic example of driving teamwork, team engagement, and team bonding and aligns it with the mission of the organization.
  1. Humility & Modesty: We set our ego aside and work as a part of a team. No one of superior or inferior. Learning: Always respect fellow team members, never leave humility & modesty. You never know when circumstances will throw a curveball. Stay Humble always.
  2. Journey is as important as the destination: After the festival is over, it is the time to bid farewell to the Lord. This is a very painful moment and we wait for the festival next year to we can repeat the whole journey again.
    Learning: The people we meet and learning we acquire are equally important as reaching the destination. While evaluating the performance/ allocating a project, along with the goals accomplished/missed, it is also important to consider the learning/network employee has achieved on the way.

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Gap in the CV-Should I hide it?

The is the most common thought job seekers come across, “I have a break in my career, should I disclose it on CV or  hide it ”

Last week while hiring for one of our clients, two candidates made it to the final round of interview. One with consistent experience and other on a career break due to valid reasons.  They made an offer to the candidate who was currently on career break. Thus, hiding a break on CV is a short term fix, but it can cost you dearly in long term. Today we will look at some common career breaks in India and what can be done about it.

  • Maternity Break/Break after Marriage: Most women employees are required to take this break at some stage of their career. Reason can be geographical move due to marriage or maternity break. 
  • Layoffs/ Made redundant: Layoffs due to change in external or internal changes in the business environment. This is a common reason for a forced career break.
  • Further Education: Employees take a break and pursue higher education mostly a Master’s Degree or some specialization in the current domain/acquire a new skill.
  • Family Reasons: Sometimes employees are required to take a break to nurse a sick family member/ spend some time with family / improve or mend a broken relation.
  • To recover from illness: Taken a break to recover from illness and improve health.


The biggest apprehension of the interviewer while hiring someone who is currently on a career break is that whether the candidate is not updated with the skill/technology. Will the candidate be able to contribute as productively as before? In the following ways we can help them overcome this barrier in decision making.

  • Be Genuine and Honest: Be as genuine and honest as possible. Explain the reason of taking the break in brief, in CV as well as during the in person interview. Presenting supporting documents in some cases wherever applicable.
  • Duration of Break: Just make sure the duration of the break is optimum, not very long, of course based on the reason of taking the break.
  • Acquire new skills & Stay updated: Stay updated with the skills and technologies during the break, by working on consulting projects, freelancing, attending industry events or reading industry magazines.
  • Network: Keep in touch and network with your old colleagues and people who can help you make a comeback.

 

There is no need to hide the career break or feel uncomfortable talking about it during the interview. Answer honestly & confidently with concrete examples how you proactively made most of the time outside office, by acquiring new skills/contributing to the community .Most important why you are excited about the position you are applying for and what value you can offer.

 

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