In our latest blog, Anjali Padhy, Chief of Staff at Taulia, discusses her four and a half years at the company, moving up the career ladder, life-changing opportunities, and the power of LIFT.
Most kids grow up with a dream of someday becoming a teacher, an astronaut, or a doctor. I however was not one of those kids. I would think I knew what I wanted to be and then 3 months later I would change my mind. This continued much throughout college. Despite this, I graduated with a degree in Economics and Environmental Studies and knew I needed to get my career started to try and figure out what in the world I wanted to do.
About a year after I graduated, I somehow found myself as a recruiter at a staffing firm and was thoroughly enjoying the process of connecting people with their ideal jobs. The irony in this is not at all lost on me, trust me. I wasn’t looking for a new position, but was reached out to for a position as recruiting coordinator at a hip and fairly new company called Taulia. After doing a bit of research on the company, I decided to go for it because although it was a step down from my current role, the position was brand new and I thought I could take this opportunity to grow with the company. Oh, how right I was.
I’m proud to say that I am now, four and a half years later, Chief of Staff at Taulia. How you might ask? To which I would answer – with hard work, support, and empowerment from an entire company.
Since I walked in the doors at Taulia, I’ve always felt respected and the freedom to speak my mind. I put in a lot of early mornings and late nights and started making my way up through the ranks in recruiting and eventually HR. About 2 years into my time here my CEO, Cedric Bru, asked to meet with me and told me that he saw a lot of potential in me and that he wanted to be there to help me with whatever it was I wanted to do. We would meet every couple of months to go over where I was and talk through my likes and dislikes until one day he called me into his office and asked me if I’d consider being the Chief of Staff at Taulia.
I was stunned!
Here I was, the girl who up until a year ago had no idea what she wanted to do with her life to now being given an opportunity I had never even fathomed by the CEO.
Starting off in this new role was tough because although I had been at Taulia for what in today’s day and age is a lifetime I found myself feeling self conscious of my age, gender, and experience. Something that never seemed to cross anyone else’s mind by the way. I received nothing but support from everyone throughout the organization and my personal life, however I felt as though I couldn’t do this role nor did I deserve it.
I decided to talk to some of the women in our LIFT group, a leadership group we have for women to connect, share experiences, and help each other grow. I talked out how I was feeling and learned that what I was feeling wasn’t abnormal, which made me feel much less alone. It was through these talks that I made the decision to take this role one day at a time. As time went on I started to get more comfortable in my role and am so grateful that I had the support of my leaders, the strong women of LIFT, and my family and friends because at the end of the day although the hard work and achievements were mine it took a village to help me have confidence in myself and my abilities.
As an Indian woman in my 20s, when I look around and see what is going on in the world today, it deeply saddens me. Although we are living in a #metoo era where women’s issues are coming to the forefront, it deeply saddens me to know that in this day and age there is still a huge pay disparity between men and women, that so many women out there are not given the opportunity to reach their true potential, and many women don’t even feel safe in their work environments.
While I’m unfortunately not sure if all of these will be solved in my lifetime or the number I do see hope at the end of the tunnel. I see so many brave women speaking out and change starting to infiltrate the world in various forms. I was one of the lucky ones to have so many people support me on what I hope is only the beginning of my journey, but I wanted to share my story as a way to say that even though we mostly see only the bad in the world right now, there is a lot of good as well and it’s up to make the change we want to see happen in the world.