This is what I did when I moved from a highly disciplined routine life of the Defence services to the corporate world. The core values remained the same but the environment went a complete change.
Hi Friends, I today introduce myself as Nidhi Juyal, once I was addressed as Squadron Leader Nidhi Juyal. The rank and the uniform that I wore for 11 long years in my life had become my identity when I served the nation with great pride the Indian Air Force. It is very difficult to leave behind the baggage and adapt to the new life. Fortunately it was completely my personal choice so it was not a very difficult decision.
Belonging to the beautiful hills of Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, my journey from the easy going , laid back lifestyle to the never- seem –to – take a break city of Mumbai has come a long way. As a child had a very protective background with middle class upbringing, and working parents who just exposed me to the dream of leading independent and successful professional life.
Studied Physics to do engineering or may become a scientist but landed up as an Administrative Officer in the Indian Air Force. Loved everything about the services, moved to various cities in the country on postings………. new cultures, new environment and new friends every three years.
A completely independent status, lived life on own terms for 08 years and then, stepped into another beautiful phase of a married life. My husband had already left the IAF before we got married and was well settled in Mumbai. A long distance married life also worked perfectly fine giving us the necessary space as we had lived very independent lives, till our little bundle of joy, my son arrived. We became proud parents and I decided to quit the Air force to give my child a home where he got to see his Mom and dad everyday.
There were absolutely no plans of getting back to work. I enjoyed every moment as a mother, wife and homemaker. I still cannot believe that I enjoyed cooking the most during that phase. My favorite pass time was to prepare new dishes with downloaded recipes and baking healthy homemade cakes….I wanted to be a perfect cook till my son started eating everything….and yes I did achieve it to a great extent and three years just flew by.
During this phase I met ladies who had got married early had been homemakers ever since…..lived their lives nurturing their kids and now that the kids had grown up and become busy with their lives, they did not know how to spend their time because in their prime years had never thought about developing their skills, their hobbies, their interests. Just the thought that “one day I will not know what to do with myself” gave me goose bumps and scared me…..and I decided to get back.
The Defence Officer status in my profile was the star attraction. Everyone in the corporate world loved to meet a lady officer from the Air Force. However, I realized that to align myself to the civil life I had to increase my competencies. My second tenure in the Air Force as the administrator at the Command Hospital, Air Force (largest hospital of the Air Force) was the turning factor in my life. During that phase I had realized that when you see a patient getting better, the smile on his/ her face is the instant gratification and most satisfying. It was then I decided that if I ever leave the Air Force I will work with the healthcare industry.
I ended up taking a Post Graduate course in Healthcare management and then an Executive MBA.
Fortunately, got an organization that was working selflessly for the benefit of patients with an aim of spreading homoeopathy. The vision of the organization connected with my objectives. Most importantly my mom and mom in law pitched in to help me with my household and I joined “the other song” as General Manager (Operations). One and a half year in the job I must admit that life has become very busy, but there are no frustrations…..I am satisfied and that was what I had always looked for.
The lesson that I have learnt from my journey which could be a take away for ladies who want to get back would be:
- Adapt to the new environment
- It’s never too late
- Education and learning are your most precious assets
- Be always aware of where your industry is heading ….ignorance could be dangerous.
There is no end to starting with a fresh enthusiasm and believe me while writing this I feel like writing more and more…