If you’re a working parent, chances are you might experience a few challenges to continue developing and progressing in your career. Vinita Aggarwal understands this firsthand. She’s currently acting as the General Manager, Technology Delivery – Operations at nbn. She’s also a working parent.
“The part I like best about my role is supporting the business needs and improvements via the technology enhancements. I advocate for simplicity and standardization for processes and systems in what can be a complex work environment. I love empowering my team to perform their best and am proud to see them grow and create significant efficiencies for nbn.”
After joining nbn six years ago in a specialist role, she has grown to her position as acting General Manager, Technology Delivery – Operations.
“Not only has my career grown, but so has my confidence. I’m grateful for the continuous growth opportunities I’ve received at nbn. Having been in five different roles during my tenure, I’ve found nbn truly recognizes hard work, the importance of talent management, and helping people achieve their goals. It makes you feel seen and appreciated.”
As a working parent, Vinita also balances her career goals with family life.
“I’m definitely a ‘family person’. I love spending time with them. We enjoy long walks and frequenting national parks and reserves.”
Here are Vinita’s tips for advancing your career as a working parent.
1. Join a career development program
Career development programs can be a great way to regain your skills and confidence, particularly for working parents returning to work.
Vinita can vouch for this first-hand, after receiving the opportunity to join nbn’s program, “Navigate.”
“It boosted my confidence and removed the mental barriers I created for myself that limited me in achieving my potential.”
This program helps team members in all aspects of personal and professional development. For example, understanding yourself and your ambitions, breaking down personal barriers, and learning and evolving from your experiences.
“It also gave me the chance to socialize with a talented group of people. We shared our stories freely. It was surprising how much we could learn from each other – the sheer passion and talent in the room was amazing! We learned and grew together, focused on our strengths, and gained support from our ‘sponsors’ – senior executives who commit time to us each month to help us learn and grow.”
2. Try new roles and opportunities
Taking on new opportunities, whether it be working with different teams, a new project, or a temporary position, is a great way to experience continuous learning.
For example, at nbn, “acting” roles present opportunities for team members to develop. When a role becomes vacant, a role may be filled in a temporary capacity by someone ‘acting’ upwards in that role to help with smooth day-to-day operations.
As Vinita shares: “I’ve received two ‘acting’ opportunities including the one I am doing right now – it gave me exposure and enabled me to grow my network. It helps you test your capabilities by giving you real, on-the-job training.”
3. Look for supportive workplace cultures
For Vinita, nbn’s people and culture sets the company apart. The company’s values also resonate with her (we care, we are fearless, we deliver, and we are one team).
“Our values provide me with the freedom and platform to be myself. They help me thrive and make it exciting to come into work each day (in spirit at least – as currently we’re working from home!)”
And a supportive workplace culture doesn’t just help you grow in your career. It creates a safe space for you to learn and grow.
nbn offers a range of employee-led diversity groups.
4. Find a sense of purpose
Having a sense of purpose in your work can make all your efforts feel worthwhile. Vinita loves working in telecommunications because, in today’s world, it’s as essential as electricity or water.
“It gives me the chance to be part of something bigger, which fills me with a sense of purpose and achievement. I feel like I’m contributing to our communities, including vulnerable communities.
“It keeps people connected, regardless of where they are. It could be a child living in a remote area who’s able to learn through online classes. It could be grandparents in retirement homes, being able to talk to and see their grandchildren. It could be connecting remote workers during the pandemic, so they can continue working from home and keep their jobs during lockdowns. The nbn network is Australia’s digital backbone.”
5. Seek organizations with flexible work policies
As a working parent and because of the nature of her role, Vinita can work from home most days of the week, as well as working flexible hours.
“It’s been a huge help. It means I can balance both aspects of my life, and I am empowered to do both well. I can definitely recommend other working parents in STEMM to consider a career with nbn! There are flexible work options, great parental leave benefits, and an incredible company culture. Our people are always the company’s priority, and our culture and policies reflect that.”
So, if you’re a working parent looking to grow in your career, take it from Vinita.
“I’ve changed cities, countries, and industries countless times – so I’ve learned that life happens. You’re not going to be ready for it every time, but you can trust your will and commitment to hard work. Sooner or later, you’ll reach your ambitions.”