Chandra with Path Forward’s Executive Director Tami Forman at the Path Forward Career Restart Seminar she attended. Chandra admires Tami for her dedication and all her sincere support and encouragement during the Path Forward workshops.
Chandra Krishnamoorthy restarted her career in 2017 at Intacct Corporation in San Jose. She is currently their Sales Operations Analyst. Chandra worked for 15 years as a commissions analyst before she left the workforce when she relocated to India with her family for 11 years.
You were offered a full-time role at another company, but decided to take the returnship position instead. How did you come to that decision? After taking an 11 year break, I felt there would be a lot of expectations with that full-time position. I found I wanted to take the returnship because they understood where I was coming from—that I took time off to be with my family. That was the reason why I accepted the returnship, and that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Meeting others like me who have taken a career break definitely helped my confidence.
What skills from your previous experience do you use in your new position? I use my overall familiarity in finance and history of working closely with sales teams. My current role requires constant interaction with sales. Maintaining good rapport with them is something that I have always been comfortable with. This and my understanding of the entire business cycle helps me do my current job better.
During your career break while in India, you were deeply involved in developing sustainability initiatives in your community. Did you find volunteering useful in terms of helping you re-enter the workforce?
Working towards a goal and making an impact requires a lot of coordination and follow up. A successful outcome also boosts one’s confidence. The fact that I put my time out of the workforce to some constructive use helped when talking about my accomplishments during the interview. I noticed everyone I interviewed with wanted to know about the volunteer work that I did. I could see their eyes light up. I think everybody likes to hear those stories. I enjoyed talking about the work I did in my community, and I wanted to share it with others. It’s not that they hired me because of my volunteering experience, but that was definitely an ice breaker.
What has been one of the more challenging parts of returning to work? After staying at home for all these years, it’s challenging not being there for the kids when they come home from school all ready to talk about their day. Not being there for them whenever they need me has been a hard thing for me to mentally accept.
What has been the most exciting or gratifying part of returning to work? People say with age comes maturity. I find it really gratifying to see that a lot of situations where I would have previously been stressed out about, I am able to handle those calmly. This makes work more exciting and easy.
Did anything surprise you about returning to work? After staying out of the workforce for 11 years, my confidence was shaky. In my first few weeks of returning to work, I was both surprised and happy to see that everything was coming back naturally and I had not forgotten anything. When you don’t do something for a long time, you tend to believe that you have lost touch and forgotten everything. When you realize that is not the true, it certainly is a pleasant surprise.
What are you most proud of accomplishing during your return to work experience? Throughout my returnship, when I was given additional responsibilities, I felt very happy and confident that even after a huge break in my career, I was being trusted to take on additional tasks. That and getting an offer for a full-time position at Intacct certainly gave me a huge feeling of accomplishment.
What did you find the most helpful about being part of a Path Forward program at your company? Path Forward not only helped me find a place in my company, but the constant support they provided during the returnship was amazing. One thing that comes to mind is the workshops where we met other returnees, hearing their success stories was very encouraging. The constant email communications, the one-day workshops and all the encouraging tips all were extremely well planned and very useful for the returnees.
What advice would you give future returnees? When you are returning back to work after a break believe in yourself. Once you believe in yourself, half the battle is won. You will be able to prove with your actions that you are capable of taking on any challenges.
Would you recommend a return to work internship to others who are looking to restart their careers? Oh yes, I have been telling everyone. Genuinely from my heart, I feel that this is such a great, noble thing that Path Forward is doing. What I like about Path Forward is that it is not like an employment agency that gives you a job, it is something really genuine. They really care and want you to succeed.