Jolly Priya – Don’t be so critical about yourself

I am a banker turned into an enterpreneur with 20 years of experince behind me. My company is into corporate training and coaching. I am also a visting faculty in IIM Lucknow and IIM indore since last 6 years. Behavioral psychology is my area of interest and I work with people who desire to become better versions of themselves

A typical day starts with a morning alarm of 4 am , where I get dressed for the airport to take the first flight out. Start a training program for senior executives at 10am ; Deliver an action packed full day session and take the last flight back to mumbai. Retire at 12ish at night.

Then there are contrasts where it’s a lazy day so I sit with a book to read and make a few phone calls, design some presentations and have a totally unstructured day. I love the contrast my life brings in!

My passion for teaching, speaking, understanding human behaviour and make sense of why people behave the way they do. I quit my active fulltime job in 2013 to become a fulltime mum. After 6 months I unfortunately fell into a depression. I could see no way how I could access my previous life, so I reworked my mental frame totally and changed the trajectory of my life. I am a lucky woman and God has been kind.

Setbacks were largely emotional and mental blocks. I have learnt that I had to invest in strong support systems to be able to focus on my work and I did just that. A lot of my work is towards women’s empowerment. I work with woman leaders, the ones who are struggling to find balance in their home and office life, the ones who put themselves last on their prority list, he ones who don’t know what self love looks like. I work for women who deal with sexual harassment at their workplace and I help them voice their concerns. I work with young girls with whom I teach the importance of emotional and financial independence and teach how to be self sufficient and adopt stability and dream big.

My situation at home was scary and I realised that an unhappy mother could never raise happy kids. I had to be happy and therefore had to find meaningful work. My motivation comes from my children. I feel heard and seen. My strength in my personality makes noise and people listen to me. Am grateful to be a woman!

I have many big achievements in my life but I would like to mention one specifc one where I walked the ramp in Lakme India Fashion week. I felt ecstatic at that moment. The other big moment was when I participated in the Mrs India beauty paegent and eventually became a finalist up to last round. I am happy I could experience such a high in my life.

The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt along the way is whatever happens, happens for good reason.

Outside of work I enjoy reading and spirituality. My mantra is ‘Relax. It will all fall in place’ Be the protagonist in your life. Create a difference in this world and leave footsteps behind

My three tips I would give to young females starting their careers would be:

Invest in yourself

Learn as much as you can

Find female mentors in your field

Other strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations could be:

Creating flexible work timings

Create support systems at home and work

Do not try to be a superwoman

Focus. Do not try to emulate or be the man. Never be apologetic if you have to divide your attention towards home. Create boundaries. Do not react. Think and then respond

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?

Love yourself, don’t be so critical about yourself

I would describe feminism as being able to celebrate being a woman, unapologetically.

If there is anything you could do differently – What would this be?

I would have been more aggressive in my initial phase of career

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