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This book by Aparna Devagiri is a guide for working women in a complicated world

Aparna Devagiri   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

What do professional women want? A high-flying career, striking a balance between work and home, or be a homemaker? “Only a woman has to choose what she wants and set specific goals to work towards it,” says Aparna Devagiri who herself set a goal: to launch a workbook The Professional Woman’s Handbook: Navigating Choices for Success (Author’s Channel) and released it in March 2021.

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Bengaluru-based Aparna made a career shift four years ago; she quit a corporate job and turned entrepreneur. She also wanted to use the tools she had picked up, to become a coach and make it accessible through a book.

Book cover

Book cover   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The Professional... is divided into three parts — eight real life stories (names changed) of multi-tasking professional women. “While pursuing success, women have to constantly deal with joy, guilt and the pain of the choices they make. They never think of where they want to go, their goals and priorities,” she points out.

Gender issues

Aparna has also drawn elements from her own life of dealing with body shaming. “I still remember the day when I was holding my stomach in, trying not to look fat. That issue of body image has stayed with me all through my life,” she shares adding how women tend to belittle themselves due to such issues.

The second part has a toolkit with tips to prioritise, be visible, make yourself heard and how to manage guilt. The third part has Aparna’s take on today’s workplace for women. Here she addresses issues like sexism and its impact on work post the #MeToo movement. “I realise a lot of young women just assume this is how it is. One can't deny the existence of the problem but a woman needs to be watchful,” she adds.

Aparna ensures the book has a conversational tone without being preachy. “It offers guidance, suggests options and asks a lot of questions to make readers think and analyse what success means to them. I also encourage women to have goals to know what they want in life. Once they have defined the future, they can choose what they want to do in order to get there,” elaborates Aparna.

Through her venture, Tomoe Consulting, she conducts leadership workshops and mentors women entrepreneurs through her podcast and research set up ‘Her Business Is Our Business’ which she has co-founded.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 4:54:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/aparna-devagiri-on-her-book-the-professional-womans-handbook-navigating-choices-for-success/article34532373.ece

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