Rinku Saraf from our Singapore office offers advice to women making the transition back to work.

Rinku Saraf, our consultant in the Asia Legal Practice, tells us how she overcame the obstacles of integrating back to the corporate world after taking a break to care for her son. She offers some advice to women in a similar situation…

Rinku, why don’t you start off by sharing a few details about yourself?
I am a qualified lawyer from India with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Law. After completing my education, I worked for four years in India before moving to Singapore with my husband and 10-month-old son. At that time, it was only just the three of us so me returning to work was not ideal as I had to care for my son. I took a career break of two years until he turned three and started school. I decided to return to work as things were more stable.

What were the sort of challenges you faced when you returned to employment?
I did my research of the Singapore job market and realized it was difficult for an Indian qualified lawyer to get back to work. Fortunately, I landed a legal executive role at a law firm in Singapore. But private practice was tiring and took up a lot of time away from my son and often I would come home late while he would already be sleeping. After five months, I decided I couldn’t continue like this anymore as I realized I needed more flexibility from work.

How did you learn about the opportunity with Hydrogen?
I got in touch with Hydrogen Singapore when I was hunting for job opportunities and my details were forwarded to the Legal practice. However, there weren’t any in-house legal vacancies, and so I was asked if I would consider joining the legal recruitment team instead. I decided to give it a shot and grab the opportunity even though I didn’t have a recruitment background. Working at Hydrogen Singapore was a stepping stone in helping me understand the Singapore market better.

How have you been able to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
By being able to work flexibly has meant that I’ve been able to attend my son’s parent teacher meetings. There is also great mutual support and understanding from my colleagues at Hydrogen as they know that I am a working mother.

Do you have any advice for mothers looking to re-enter the workforce?
It is difficult adapting to the workforce after taking a career break. But never give up! No doubt, it is a sacrifice and a struggle but take the chance and grab every opportunity that is given to you. I would also recommend that you research the market thoroughly for your specialist area of focus. But most importantly you need to be patient and persistent!