WOW | People

One career advice

Choosing the right career is an important decision. It shapes most aspects of your life and sets the course to your future. With more women in the workforce it’s time to ask today’s career woman the one career advice she would want others to know and learn from. Read on…

Text by: Rojina Maharjan/Pabita Dahal
Photos: Ram Tandukar /Gokul Shress

Santona Malakar

Santona Malakar, who calls herself a semi-typical Kathmandu-Newarni, an articulate professional. She works as an Associate at SAFAL Partners, Nepal’s first operations-focused investment firm. Prior to this, she worked in product development and marketing planning officer, marketing manager, and freelance public-speaking trainer. She is known as a moderator too. She did her undergrad in Pharmacy from Kathmandu University and EMBA from Kathmandu University School of Management.

One career advice

First of all, making career choices is not a one-time activity. It is not that you have work in a same office throughout your life. What one aspires for at the age of 19 may be different from what one aspires for at the age of 30. Do not hesitate switching career tracks if that is what you really want. Personally, speaking, I think it’s my good fortune that I have got to work in different roles as well as different sectors; this has greatly added to my learning curve.

As I have been involved in many fields, the most important soft skills that are needed at the workplace are of being adaptive, developing a learning mindset, being curious, asking lots of good questions and being imaginative. Strong communications and team working skills are required in any field. Furthermore, learn to be a valuable team player. What value one can add to a team and to the organisation is something every professional needs to know. In addition to that, I think the ability to educate yourself, to constantly learn, and to cultivate a curious mind is necessary in today’s world which full of disruptive innovations.
I would like to tell you about some challenges too. One of the major challenges for a female professional is that of gender-bias she faces at the workplace. There were times when I felt people did not readily accept a female as the person to lead. If one is a female and aspires to be a leader, one has to develop a high level of self-confidence because there will be colleagues who will trying to bring you down. You have to be smart enough to filter the feedback that you receive and not compromise on the opportunity to take up leadership roles just in order to be accepted.