Yogitha Habbu, Hyderabad-based Software Engineer, joined Uber as part of our uReturn program, which offers full-time opportunities to experienced women on a career break looking to return to the workforce.
Below, Yogitha shares how she felt recharged and rediscovered a sense of balance and purpose on her return to work after a 9 year career break: “The nurturing and care-giving trait of my personality is fulfilled, so my return to the workforce was not just a professional milestone but also a deeply fulfilling personal journey. I returned to work with a sense of peace and purpose.”
Can you tell us a bit about your career break?
“Taking a career break was a conscious and transformative decision I made to slow down and spend time with my two kids to enjoy their childhood before they grew up, to create space for more quality time with my parents, parents-in-law and extended family, as well as to dedicate time for self-care. My time away from work was a deliberate pause that gave me an opportunity to reassess my priorities.”
What prompted you to return to work?
“My children were growing up, becoming more independent and I had a strong inner passion to resume my career and embrace the role of a working woman once again. I yearned for the intellectual stimulation and the sense of purpose that comes with being professionally engaged. Moreover the job market presented a wealth of opportunities, making it an opportune moment to reignite my career. A few things aligned, so it just felt like the right time to reenter the workforce.”
You joined Uber as a uReturnee. Can you tell us about the program and your experience?
“Uber’s uReturn program was launched in April 2022 and my experience was of a truly well-structured and supportive initiative. It begins with a meticulous resume screening process, ensuring that candidates are thoroughly evaluated for their qualifications and have the potential to thrive in their respective roles.
The interview standards are held to the same high level as those for non-returnee candidates, but ensure that we are evaluated based on our skills and abilities rather than our career gaps. The interview panel and managers who I met had clearly been educated about the program and by not delving into questions about reasons for the career break, the focus remained squarely on assessing my technical and professional skills.”
What support did you get during uReturn?
“My mentor made the program particularly valuable. They played a pivotal role in helping me prepare for my interviews and bridge any skill gaps that emerged during my career break, such as widespread adoption of big data and massively parallel processing (MPP). Technology evolves rapidly and my biggest concern was about catching up to the current tech trends. However this was put to rest when I learned that Uber has plenty of online materials to help us brush up on our skills and practice.”
Any tips for others on a career break who might be thinking of returning to work?
“Seeking help and support when needed is a sign of strength, not weakness. When I first returned to work, I was worried about whether I would get enough support and help from my peers and managers. But of course, I shouldn’t have been and I was relieved with all the great support I received. In fact, my colleagues were very welcoming and respectful of the unique and valuable perspective I bring to Uber as a returning professional.”
Considering a return to work after a career break? Learn more about uReturn →
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