Best practices:'TATA' is a welcome word!

tata Okay, so you left your high paying job and opted to stay at home to be a full time mom to your new born. But you pledged that you would be back on the corporate scene as soon as your child gets into full-time school! And, you were caught in the doldrums of running a household and playing the perfect mom -- washing nappies, running with the food after the little one, paying bills, buying veggies, cooking.... phew! It is a never-ending job indeed! Time flew, as always and you soon had another little one pushing your corporate-scene decision even further.  

Before you knew it, it was well over six or seven years, or even more; and the thought of re-entering the working culture seemed daunting to you. Does that sound like your story?

Well, you are not alone. This is the story of many women, Indian women, to be precise. And to step back into the scene where you left is rather tough, leave alone the traps of balancing home and career thereafter!

What if some company gave you a chance to get back into the groove, pays you well and lets you work on YOUR terms and time?  

Well, one such programme is the 'TATA Second Career' launched by the TATA GROUP, which is mainly targeted as a chance for women to resume their careers after a long break. It's not a job, as they clearly mention, but an intermediary internship programme aimed at developing alternative talent pools and facillitating career transitions. The internships are mainly to help women professionals who have taken a career break to get back to a working mode. The company, however does not guarantee a full-time job, but there are several options available, once the ball is set into motion.

The programme is currently running its second phase, with more professional categories and there are several interns who have completed their programme and stepped onto the path of success in their careers. So, what does the programme entail, and what is the job on hand?

The programme is basically in the form of live business projects, over several categories, which a selected candidate can work on, for a total of 500 hours, spread over 6 months, on flexible hours, i.e, you can choose your work timings, number of hours per day, and even the number of days in a week. Says an intern working currently with the programme, "I work three days a week and choose my timings. It's totally flexible and I am not bound by a ‘sign-in’ or a ‘sign-out’ time. It's all my choice."  

So, how does this work?

It's simple. The Tata Group has marked certain domain areas, (e.g., finance, communication, marketing, etc), in which the applicant should have worked continuously for a certain number of years as specified by them, before the break, which, incidentally, could be anything between one or eight years. Once the candidate is selected, she is placed in any one of the group companies involved in that area of business, with a guide and a stipend of a stipulated amount."The pay is decent and well worth it. Most of us here are very happy with it", says this intern who agreed to speak on the terms of anonymity. After induction and development programme by the company's Management Training Centre, the work on the project begins.

With a dedicated HR helpline for the interns at all times, an opportunity to present the project to a select part of the company's management team and a work certificate at the end of a satisfactory project done, this programme is God-sent for many women who are dabbling with the thought of getting back to the corporate work force.

Having worked with a large, well-known professional group, with ample advice and professional help, coupled with flexi-hours and every chance to balance home and career, this is but a preparation -of -sorts to reclaim a hi-flying career.


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