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

Rashmi KC

Rashmi KC was always interested in education, politics, governance, poverty, inequality, and spirituality. She worked with non-governmental organisations like Equal Access and Save the Children, before she went to the United States to do her Master’s degree in International Development under a Fulbright fellowship. She works as an Education Consultant with World Bank Nepal.

Career advice: Firstly have a purpose in life, this gives you clarity and a sense of direction. For instance, my aim in life has always been to improve the education system of Nepal. Secondly, align your day to day activities with your purpose. This gives a sense of accomplishment. Thirdly, if you can’t deliver a lot, be kind and forgive yourself, then move on. Also, always be confident about yourself, own your skin and love yourself first.

Kartika Yadav

Kartika Yadav graduated in International Relations and Diplomacy from Tribhuvan University and is in the civil service for the past three years. She works as the Planning Officer ot the International Assistance Coordination Section of Economic Management Division at the National Planning Commission (NPC).

Career advice: Gilbert Keith Chesterton in his popular essay “The Fallacy of Success” said, “There is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is”. Similarly, success to me means doing what you want to do and doing your best. Not being afraid of putting in the effort. The more you work in your initial days, the more you learn and develop your expertise. However, one should never work to the point of burning out but rather have the willingness to learn each day and live a balanced life. Also, have patience. A lot of people seek instant gratification but patience truly is a virtue and good things will come your way as you make yourself worthy of it.

Kusum Lama

Kusum Lama is the Chairperson of Prabhu Management. She belives that people are often confused in the early stages of their career. She feels that one must make themselves career ready with adequete skill sets like computer knowledge, driving licence and devloping a personality that offers you an edge in the competetive job market.

Career advice: Be honest and dedicated towards your chosen career. Never give up until you getall the success in a given task/project. Be responsible for what you do and always try to excel at what you do.

Ayusha Nirola Mahat

Ayusha Nirola Mahat is the Director of Communications & Outreach at Louis Berger in Nepal. She has worked as a development professional for over a decade in the field of communications, advocacy and media relations. She believes one needs to find a career that makes you excited. She shares, “Most of the time, we are compelled to get into a field because we are technically sound in it or because of the subjects we took at college. However that does not mean it is something that we want to do for the rest of our lives. So choose a career that makes you want to get up each morning and go to work. For example I studied Sociology in college but because I was always interested in writing, editing and designing, I eventually got into a career in communications – something which makes me very happy!”

One career advice: Being ambitious is good, but being humble and mindful of other people’s hard work is equally important. Therefore, I think what makes a person successful in their career is if the support of their team.  Having people who trust you and your decisions is very important for a successful career. This will not only lead your hard work to better opportunities, but you will be revered as a great team player throughout your career no matter which organisation you work for or in which position -and that is one of the best qualities a person could have.

Bipashi Tuladhar

Bipashi Tuladhar, Pilot for Sita Air and a Freelance Makeup Artist, considers herself blessed to be born in this era in terms of career,  where we don’t have to fight for equality for women. She shares, “As a child, my dad always taught me to be a better human, he never pointed out duties as a woman but instead he taught me to be fearless and to follow my heart. I feel you should be open and follow your passion and give your heart and soul to it.”  She adds, “I have been working since the age of 17 and now when I look back, I feel thankful for the experiences. I never said no to any work opportunity, as I felt it would be good way to learn So I feel it has sharpened and made me stronger as a person.”

Career advice: Since, my childhood I always wanted to become a pilot.  With my parents’ support, it became possible. However, I wasn’t that lucky as I had to wait eight years to actually start flying as a Commercial Pilot. During, that time I chose not to stay idle and worked in several fields like teaching middle school children, help out with my dad’s business, working as an Operations Manager in Ads and lastly as a makeup artist. Out of all these jobs, I enjoyed working as a makeup artist as it brought out the extrovert side of me. It was a long wait, almost a decade! But, because I hopped around, it also made my vision clear and gave me the confidence to get what I have today. It taught me that “patience and hard work” is the only formula to get to what you dream for. I am at my happiest place right now!

Motikala Subba Dewan

Motikala Subba is the President of NELTA/Associate, Professor of English at TU and Advocate at the Supreme Court Versatile, energetic, and encouraging, Motikala is a firm believer that quality education enhances professional growth and development. She is engaged with many organisations and a multitasker. Motikala,  is seen as a workaholic among family and friends.  “Although, I’am known to wear many hats such as trainer, translator, rapporteur, writer, speaker, and an advocate, I am, first and foremost, a teacher. It’s been over 25 years that I’ve been doing what I love the most,teaching,” she shares.

Career advice: Accept whatever comes your way and give it a try. If you don’t like the job move to another where you could do better. But don’t waste time not doing anything in the name of choosing a career. Also consult someone you trust to guide you. If you get a job where you are happy give your best. It will take you places. Trying is imperative. So, keep trying. But all the while, never forget that time does not wait for anyone. Keep moving.

To be a good teacher you must be certified, but you must also develop the ability to use various techniques of teaching to make students understand, as well as make them genuinely interested in the topic. You should develop soft skills that are intrinsic to personality and emotional intelligence, such as having patience, managing time, having the ability to work in a team, being disciplined, having leadership skills and more. As a teacher, you get to play many roles: A good communicator, a strict disciplinarian, a therapist and a skilled team leader. To be a good teacher, you must stay dynamic. You have to adapt the technique and style of teaching as per the mood of the class which can be different every day! This is one of the major challenges.
In spite of the challenges teaching can be a very satisfying career. Anywhere you go you are bound to meet your old students across all fields. The respect they give you as their guru is the greatest reward for a teacher and gives immense satisfaction. If you are hungry for knowledge, enjoy books and are creative, then this is the field for you. The continuous interaction with youngsters keeps you young and on your toes.

My main guru mantra is “go for the type of work which will keep you happy and give you satisfaction.”

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.