Ankita Poddar

The Story Of Ankita Poddar: An Accidental HR Professional

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It’s completely natural to have second thoughts if you’re planning to switch careers.

However, there is absolutely no shame in making that decision. It is never too late to reboot your career.

On that note let me remind you, if you’re going to spend 90,000 hours of your life working, might as well do something that makes you feel happy The story of Ankita Poddar: An Accidental HR Professional and fulfilled.

Ankita Poddar, Sr. HR Business Partner at Amazon Web Services (AWS) has taught us the same with her story about becoming an Accidental HR Professional.

Here goes her story:

Like most others in HR, I did not grow up wanting to be in HR. I first imagined myself building aircrafts and took up mechanical engineering. Post the four years there, I went into B School thinking I’d be an investment banker. I did terribly at my Finance subjects, switched to marketing, hated my internship at sales, and thus ended up with a major in HR.

From the very first day when I started working, I knew this is where I was meant to be. I love the potential the profession holds: To define how work gets done.

If we choose to, we can literally change the world of work

No other profession can claim to do the same. This opportunity keeps me on my toes and fuels my energy every single morning.

When I am asked what I do as an HR professional, I first explain my day job – which is that of an HR Business Partner. Outside my day job is a whole different ball game. Over the years, I have had the privilege to partner with SHRM India, People Matters and NHRDN – all big names in the world of HR in India. These opportunities exposed me to an ecosystem that a regular corporate job would never have. I interacted with colleges, future and present HR professionals, which exposed me to a far wider range of viewpoints. It pushed me to think beyond the boundaries of an organization and the impact the profession has as a whole. I also discovered the power of branding and social media that allowed me to share my opinions with a wider audience.

Moreover, when it comes to learnings, I have realized how much organizations lean on HR in unpredictable situations and that it is in times like these that we either build or lose trust. It’s nice to see that we’ve been able to capitalize on the situation and make the best of it. Personally, I learnt to deal with the lack of control over situations and letting things run their due course. I was supposed to move to Dublin in March, and when the borders shut down, I did not know for the longest time what would happen. It took until October for the move to happen and I still haven’t met anyone (except my manager) I work with. I often feel like I am a part of an unreal simulation. It takes a while to accept and even longer to get used to. I doubt if 2020 will be a year anyone will ever forget.

The profession has transformed me into someone who is far more observant about the world and appreciates the differences in cultures, mindset and how people operate. It has also given me the opportunity to live in a different geography – an experience I would recommend to everyone. It challenges and changes you as a person in the best possible way.

Feeling motivated enough? Remember you know you deserve better than just “Good Enough” as you can always learn a different skill and do something different. Building a career in the field where you have a genuine interest can transform your life in magical ways!

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