Leena Sahijawani, a professional from private sector, has re-defined the notion of being in corporate and the working sense too. She is a lady who represents the woman of today, one who can handle everything- corporate and household- with just two hands. With 15 years of experience in HR and two years of experience in Sales, Leena has not only learnt a lot in her job but also from her eight years old daughter, who is her boss the moment she is off work. During a peppy conversation with us, she shared some stuff about her life- professional and personal.
Talking about her personal life, she shared that how having a supportive partner makes a lot of decision-making easier, “I met my husband during my first organization and one of the things that have really worked for us is that he knows me professionally as well, so, he has been supportive all through.”
Talking about her daughter, she said, “My daughter is very demanding and works for me as a compass that holds me back when I am getting too much involved in work. When I am home, she is the most important thing for me and I have told her that anything she doesn’t like, I will stop it right there.”
What you notice about applicants of this time?
One thing I see in youngsters when they come out of campus- they use a lot of jargons to impress and also, have a lot of confidence which sometimes get misplaced. Even I have suffered that and I see people doing the same thing even now. So, now I give sessions in college to teach how to be presentable to a company. This is something a campus needs to teach.
There are set of rules about dressing etiquettes we often hear about when comes to corporate, have you been able to tackle that?
I think women get bolder with some things after they cross a stage of life. I am very experimental about myself; I wear every kind of colour to office and often find women carrying everything very gracefully. So, as an organization I haven’t seen someone discouraging me. It is about being confident about your choice. But yes, keep in mind the event.
How you de-stress yourself?
My de-stresser is my daughter. In fact, I have started telling her that she behaves like my mom. She relates a lot to me and I relate to her and we talk about a lot of small things which means a lot to her and I think such conversations are best de-stressers.
I don’t watch TV because it clutters your mind even more. But I prefer conversation with family at home, completely relaxed.
Marriage has become a negative point for girls, was it easy for you to take this decision?
Getting married wasn’t a hard decision to make but yes nowadays I see a lot of women hesitating. I think no one is ready but once you step in, you realize how beautiful it is. I have personally grown as a person and as a professional have become a lot more efficient and productive.
My daughter shows me a mirror that people wouldn’t like to see. So, she helps me to overcome inherent behavioral traits that were there in me. But it is again a personal choice. So, no comments.
How important is it for you to experiment?
Human mind is very interesting and you have to keep expanding your boundaries. So, if you are not experimenting you aren’t expanding your boundary. We are scared to fall and commit mistakes whereas when we look at children they fall, brush their knees and walk again. Any professional should put himself in an uncomfortable situation because it is then they would realize their own capacity.
“Don’t think you have to fill a gap, think you have to expand your capabilities horizon.”
“Stay away from cynicism, it saps your energy.”
How do you judge the right candidate for a job?
Over this period of time, I have stopped looking at the kind of knowledge he or she has for the position they have applied. Obviously they have to have the basic knowledge about the nature of the job but what I look for is the attitude to not give up and aptitude to learn. You either have it or you don’t have it at all.
What do you do when you get angry?
I’ve got bit better to what I was, thanks to my colleagues and family. I know my triggers now and one of the techniques I use is to tell out loud that today isn’t my day so be watchful about what you say or do to me. Even if I vent out, it doesn’t take me time to realize and apologize. However, what hasn’t changed in me is my passion for things I love, my go-getter-attitude and never-say-die attitude.
“Be true to yourself and you will be a content person”
Something you really want to do?
I don’t know if I have the heart to do it but I really want to do bunjee jumping and sky-diving for once. I really want to overcome that.
Do you travel?
I love travelling with my family, I love exploring cultures and places. I make time every year and in fact, went for a vacation with group of girls and my daughter because I wanted her to experience everything with me. I love meeting people and interacting with people who come from different spheres. However, I don’t like to take up long business trips.
Any tips for freshers and interviewers?
For Freshers, just be yourself, be authentic and be honest. Do not go for clichéd answers because the world has evolved so, the answers should evolve too.
For bosses: Instead of asking hypothetical questions go for his experience of what he has done in past experiences or situations.