Khushbu Sinwal found trying to re-enter the workforce after a career break to be difficult until she found Macquarie's Gurugram Returner Program, which helped to support her to return to work in financial services.
Khushbu Sinwal was a Chartered Accountant with four years' experience working for an audit firm when she took a two and a half year career break to have her daughter. When she was ready to return to the workforce, she was concerned that it would be difficult to re-enter the financial services sector.
Then Khushbu discovered Macquarie's Gurugram Returner Program, which supports those re-entering the financial services sector after a career break - whether that was to raise children, look after family, volunteer, study, relocate or travel.
“Macquarie is well-known in financial services, but it was the Returner Program that really attracted me to apply," Khushbu explains.
Khushbu was concerned that returning to the workforce after so much time away would be a challenge. She also wondered how she would balance her role with her responsibilities as a parent.
The best thing about the program was the self-confidence I regained after taking a two and half year career break."
"I was worried about how I would manage my family and work the hours I needed to, how I would interact with people, and how my colleagues would see me."
Khushbu says that the program helped meet these concerns head-on, providing a holistic approach to integration back into the workforce.
She also says that Macquarie provided her with an induction program that was helpful in performing her tasks in the role. She received guidance from mentors and peers as well as access to networking opportunities. The program also provides one-on-one coaching from an external organisation that helps in building confidence, resilience and adaptability.
Khushbu believes that one of the real keys to the effectiveness of the program was that her managers were trained in helping integrate people back into the workforce too.
“Everyone I work with has been so supportive," says Khushbu. “They knew it would take time."
“Initially we felt we had to prove everything and I found the work hours were challenging," she explains. “But we were encouraged to plan our time, take it gradually, and were able to work flexibly. This helped to overcome the juggle between work and home."
“The Returner Program was really beneficial in helping me to make a smooth and effective transition back to work," says Khushbu.
However, it wasn't only about jumping back into the work, it was also about our overall growth. We were provided with support and sessions on all sorts of topics."
The program also presented opportunities to get to know new people, experience new things and gain knowledge, while developing her career.
Khushbu has participated in dancing performances at festival events and a family day and says the opportunity to be on stage after so many years helped reignite her confidence. She was also the only female team member to join the Gurugram Premier League, Macquarie's internal office cricket match.
“Macquarie has an encouraging and inclusive environment," says Khushbu.
Now, after two years at the company, she has been promoted to Assistant Manager in the Balance Sheet and Statistical Reporting team in Macquarie's Financial Management Group. Her role involves regulatory reporting, including returns and submissions for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and keeping up with new regulatory requirements.
“I work on submissions and other tasks from the regulator, preparing the returns, analysing the financials and responding to the regulator's enquiries," explains Khushbu. “We are also working on process improvement."
Khushbu believes the Gurugram Returner Program offers a real pathway and structure for those wanting to return to the financial services industry and says others wanting to end a career break shouldn't hesitate to apply.
“It takes time to adjust after a career break," Khushbu concludes. “But my recent promotion has really given me a boost and I'm looking forward to future opportunities at Macquarie."