Shikha Bhatnagar

Global Social Impact Consultant

Over seventeen years of programming, policy analysis, advocacy, and business development experience across sectors with stakeholders on critical global issues such as economic & political development, education, health, security, diversity & inclusion, and civil society (including women's rights). 

A New Blueprint

It’s no joke.  I’ve had a tough decade professionally and as a result, personally.  The self-flogging has seemingly been endless as I try to figure out what happened, where I went wrong, and of course, what was wrong with me. The words that come immediately to mind as I think about this period of my life are “shame,” followed by “embarrassment,” followed by “sadness” for the time that I lost.  After lots of coaching, reading, support from those I trust, and most of all, tons of time in self-reflection, I can say that I am finally on the road to healing from toxic work environment trauma, learning to not be afraid of my voice, reminding myself that I was not to blame, valuing my integrity, and looking forward to raising the bar significantly for the next decade of my life.

While working in dysfunctional work environments is difficult for everyone, I do personally believe that it is especially taxing on single women.  As it is, there is no blueprint for our lives – the one that existed when I was 25 has long been thrown out.  I don’t have a partner to come home to or the demands of children that preoccupy my time.  Nor do I have the financial safety net of a dual-income household to catch me. My life and those of many single women around me has tilted, intentionally or not, towards my career, and when that falters, you feel as if you have nothing to hold on to.  To make matters worse, relationships with potential partners sometimes hang in the balance, are imbued with insecurity and uncertainty, and take a back seat as one tries to figure out where the next paycheck will come from. I also have quickly realized that the search for the right partner and the right job share an eerily similar courtship. 

I have a lot to offer the world. In addition to the many skill sets and knowledge that I possess, I am deeply passionate, curious about the universe, and committed to improving the lives of others. As I shed the narrative that no longer serves me, I’m excited to take the first steps in finally building a career and contributing to the world through my own vision and not through someone else’s.  But, that will take some time and much patience.  So, what can I offer right now, at this moment?  

What I can offer right now are my experiences, good and bad – and the wisdom I have gained and continue to gain from them, in hopes that other women will find valuable insights, share their own stories, and support each other as we build an entirely new blueprint for our careers and our lives.

Stay tuned. 

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