I’m ecstatic today.
For the first time, I’ve been given an opportunity to share my story. After years of dormancy, I’ve now rediscovered myself as a working professional. And it’s a pleasure to tell you about my professional journey, which started in my 40s!
I’m a quiet and self-effacing housewife. I got married when I was quite young, and it was a love-marriage. My husband had a joint family, and so we all lived together. My primary responsibility was to keep all my family members happy and satisfied as per their expectations. Having any personal goals was out of the question, and this was a startling realisation.
Prior to getting married, I was an ambitious girl who wanted to build a career in academics. As my father was a high school teacher, I too was inspired to have a similar career. I used to spend most of my time in reading or writing and dreamt of having a successful career ahead.
I believe that the significant things in our life are those which we want to do over and over with the same enthusiasm. For me, it was studying! So, I decided to pursue my education even after getting married and became a postgraduate in English literature. I must say that my in-laws supported me a lot and my husband always stood by my side. He encouraged me to perform well and actively participated in my education-related decisions; however, when I expressed my interest in going out to work, the reactions were not the same.
Everyone in the family was convinced that since there was no financial support required, it made no sense for me to work. Once I became a mother, I too gave up on the idea of working. My days were spent in taking care of my child, his studies, and the rest of the household chores. Meanwhile, I developed a sound interest in writing. In my leisure time, I started writing in my diary religiously – everything from random thoughts to my different experiences. This way, 18 years went by! I had aspired to do something great in my career; however, in reality, I wasn’t doing anything even close to what I had dreamt of.
Something unexpected happened after a long time. In the wake of social media, I became quite active on Facebook. I started commenting on others’ posts, wrote my own posts, and engaged with others. One day, I got a message from a friend. He asked me if I loved writing to which I replied in affirmative. I wasn’t expecting what he said next; he asked me why I was wasting my writing skills on Facebook!
In the ensuing conversation, he offered me to write for his healthcare website. I quickly grabbed the opportunity. While working with him, I learnt how to write conversational and straightforward pieces to reach the target audience. He mentored me well and told me about plagiarism and various tools like Grammarly, Hemingway test, etc. which further helped in honing my skills.
One of my articles “Estrogen-rich foods” was then published on the website and it received a good response. That was quite unbelievable to me! I was glad and could feel my confidence rising. It was while working him that I got to know about Internshala. Thus, I decided to test and develop my writing skills through internships.
I installed Internshala app on my cell phone and applied to some work-from-home internships in the field of content writing. I was shortlisted by an organisation and asked to complete a writing assignment. I had to compose brief biographies of two media legends from a given list of nine. I submitted it as soon as possible and was hired for the internship. My happiness knew no bounds! My family was also very excited about this news, especially my son, who was in the second year of graduation at the time; he encouraged me a lot and continues to do so.
During the internship, I continued to write about media legends. To be honest, though it felt great seeing myself advance on the path of professionalism, keeping a balance between work and family was challenging in the beginning. Either I was missing the deadlines, or I was compromising on the needs of my family members. I kept going on and soon learnt to create a balance. The internship was an amazing experience.
The team was very cordial and helped me a lot. They gave me multiple chances to rectify my mistakes and never let my moral go down. My writing skills improved a lot, and I got to know a lot about the nationally and internationally acclaimed media personalities. Finally, the team published almost all of my write-ups along with the assignment that I had submitted initially. I proudly shared all of them with my friends and family members and received appreciation from all of them.
After that internship, it became a ritual for me to apply for internships through Internshala. Currently, I’m simultaneously pursuing three virtual internships. It feels great as now I have a plethora of opportunities to choose from! I’ve built my writing skills and have valuable internship certificates to prove that; I’m confident that I can successfully pursue a career as a writer.
Now, I’m known as Ahuti Mishra – the freelance writer! Yes, this is what I had always dreamt of – to have an identity of my own. Now that I’ve gained that identity and found a new meaning in my life, I look forward to going a long way and learning many more things.
To all the women, especially housewives, I would just like to say this – “Don’t look at your age as a barrier. You are never too old to follow your dreams and start a career.” How to do so, you ask? In this digital era, there are ample work-from-home opportunities; just get started with any one of them! Opt for internships – they will help you gain relevant work-experience for starting your career. Even if one woman gets encouraged to start or restart her career after reading my story, the purpose of sharing my journey will be fulfilled.
About the Author: Ahuti Mishra is a homemaker who started her career with an internship after she crossed the age of 40. She shares insightful details about her transformation from a housewife to a successful freelance writer. This story was first published on Internshala.