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Career comeback: They won't give me leave so I returned stronger as a Business Storyteller

It was in the autumn of 2017 that I started exploring options to make a career comeback. I had been on a career break and after a deeply soulful experience of raising a wonderful son, I wanted to once more find my life’s purpose, my Self. I was acutely aware this was going to be challenging -- finding work that would fulfil me as a professional but also leave enough time on hand to pursue a holistic life, my relationships and the sacred me-time.

When my son was born and I had utilized my 12 weeks of maternity leave it was time for me to rejoin office. I wanted to extend my leave but the administrative manager was not ready to grant me even a single day leave and I was assigned Europe shift timings. Adhering to those meant I would only reach back home around 10.30 pm. I requested him to grant me work-from-home as the child was too young to be left alone with a house help but he refused.

Surprisingly my work manager in Germany supported me a lot and also put a word for me saying that she didn’t want me to leave whether I work from home or office. But the odds were not in favour. I resigned with a heavy heart. In a total contrast, now, I see that since March 2020 in India everyone is very efficiently working from home since almost a year due to COVID-19.

This episode in my corporate journey made me realize no matter how good you are at your work, you can always be replaced.

That was the core reason that I decided to start working for myself. I spent some time alone and also aligned myself spiritually to dig deep inside and find the purpose of my life. I connected all the dots of my life – graduation, post-graduation, foreign language specialization and a decade of corporate experience.

This was when I located a common thread among all these dots and that was communication and language learning ability. I started looking around to find what I could do differently with communication. I went back to the basics, started from the very roots of the subject. There has to be an interesting element attached to it to make an impactful communication. That is when I stumbled upon it – Storytelling!

That’s how ‘Katha Pachisi – The story bank’, my story consulting company was born, with sheer determination to move forward in life and do what I am passionate about while working out on my own schedule.

I read a quote which left a deep impression on me – “Ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.” Since then, this quote is engraved in my heart and soul. Behind this thought, were two reasons – firstly, I wanted to carve my own path, my own identity and reason to have a fulfilling life; and secondly, the experience which I had after my child’s birth. And, I started my own storytelling training organisation and kept moving ahead with one step at a time.

I strongly encourage each and every homemaker I meet, be it my friend or my friend’s friend or an acquaintance for that matter, to go and find what your true calling is. We should have a purpose in life, something that becomes our calling, our dream & goal. Build a support system around and spread the wings to create and embrace the opportunities around yourself.

It filled me with great joy when one of my friends who loved baking started her own business after listening to my life journey. A year after I spoke to her, she called me to share the excitement of getting her first order. Another friend met me at my apartment gate, formally dressed in a saari and hugged me tightly to say that she had joined an educational institution on an administrative post as she was inspired by my words. The happiness I felt was beyond words.

The basic thing is to look beyond the patches of the failures, the opportunities one has lost, turning those imperfections into reincarnating something new and to do something which you love doing, making your children and family proud and most importantly doing it for your own self. Embrace your life story, be proud of all you have achieved, as our wins and our failures are the stepping stones of our future.

I am happy and feel a sense of gratitude to the universe that it gave me the wisdom to channelize my thoughts and energy to create my own set up, my storytelling training organization Katha Pachisi – the story bank. It gave me a purpose & direction to my creative thoughts & it keeps me going!

Monika Tandon is a business storyteller, corporate trainer and founder of

She is also the author of Connect Through Storytelling -- a book which

You can purchase Connect through Storytelling here:

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