I Took a Step Back in My Career For Motherhood, But Stumbled on a New Perspective

Like many working women in India, marketing professional Rabia Sooch Khandelwal had to take a break in her career once the babies were born, but the experience brought out another side of her.

By Rabia Sooch Khandelwal, 33, Delhi

I was born in Amritsar. At six, I was sent to boarding school, and later moved to Chandigarh to live with family. My parents are both doctors, and my younger brother and his wife are both dentists and live in Toronto.

Unlike my medically inclined family, I studied B.Com from Delhi University and then went to the Warwick Business School in UK for my Master’s in marketing and business strategy. My husband and I were dating then. We got married many years later.

rabia sooch and varun khandelwal
Rabia and Varun

In our Indian context, marriage is a great deal of adjustment and sacrifice on the girl’s part, but I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I worked as a brand planner in Delhi after returning from UK. The greatest challenge at work for a woman is to be heard. You may be more talented and smarter, but men in certain workplaces don’t take your word seriously.

After seven years, I quit my job to raise a family. I have two little babies and as soon as they are ready to be without me, I will go back to work.

Rabia SoochMotherhood has set me behind in my career but it has also taught me empathy. It changed the way I looked at my mother-in-law, especially since I have two sons myself.

It also made me a bit of a worrier. I’m not as daring as I used to be. I think about my kids all the time, and also my parents, and their reactions to my decisions.

I want to be remembered as a loving and affectionate person. I appear cold and arrogant sometimes, but the truth is I have a lot of love to give and I need a lot of love too. If only I knew how to express it best.

First published in the June 2018 issue of eShe magazine

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