When I entered IBS to pursue my MBA, little did I know that I am enrolling into a lesson full of real life significance. We all learn big and small things from our academic lives, both professional and personal. We pick key things from our education that help us move ahead in life not just in our work but also at home.
An MBA program is meant to impart not only theoretical knowledge but also a set of important skills highly crucial for your career. At a macro level it exposes you to the ways of the business world, whereas at a micro level it teaches you to be an invaluable part of that world.
It is always said, that learning begins at home. It is also true, that your home is your first office. From cooking, cleaning, laundry to expenditure, all household chores demand equal amount of professionalism, as do our actual workplace. Homemaking is a profession just like any other with its own set of skills, knowledge and abilities. There are 9 important traits that I learned during my MBA program and at my work after that, which I feel have everyday application in my life.
- Time Management: like your workplace, your household is also run on deadlines. Not just you are supposed to multitask, but you should also know what to prioritize and when. As a homemaker, you are supposed to get up early, prepare breakfast, get ready yourself, arrange the house and all this on time with your own and your family’s work schedule. You are also expected to keep track of appointments and activities, important events etc. Managing your time is the most important part of your job as a housewife.
- Efficiency And Productivity: The efficient use of resources is one of the key tools of best management practices. You have to be constantly engaged in the process of saving time and increasing productivity. You are a part of fast moving life style which demands quick and prompt actions before you start lagging behind on the requirements of your household. Your chores have to be aligned in a way that each gets a dedicated time to be finished. Running a house is like working on a forever long project. Through measurement, planning, tracking and consistency, homemaker’s focus on time, energy, finances helps keep the family on track to accomplish goals that make a good life.
- Human Resource And Recruitment: Though at a small scale, but from maid servants to milk vendor, hiring and managing human resource is an intricate part of being a homemaker. Monitoring their work, holidays, salary, festival bonuses and gifts, all brings in the traits of an HR manager in a housewife.
- Capacity Planning And Inventory Management: This is one of the many important chapters of operations, taught during MBA that is very relevant to being a homemaker. You should be able to plan in advance, track your groceries for the month, what and how much is needed, foresee the demand and calculate the supply. Whether expected or un-announced visit by a guest, as a housewife, I learned that your house should be well equipped with sufficient resources.
- Cost Cutting: Just like your business, money plays an important part in personal life as well. Maximizing your savings with minimum cut down on your expenditure is one of the key agendas of a homemaker. You are always thinking of ways to reduce unnecessary expenses. It is not just your organization affected with inflation and economic crisis, your household budget and finances are equally brought on the edge. Sudden increase in your home loan interest, raised prices of fuel and high food inflation can throw your domestic balance sheet for a toss. As a homemaker you have to be smart enough to manage such situations. It is important you understand the basic financial requirements of running your household, prioritize the outflow of money and sometimes even bring changes to your lifestyle.
- Waste Management: One of the most critical management tools is to manage resources so as to minimize wastage and increase efficiency. With careful planning you can learn to deal with garbage, food scraps, recyclables. Not only you will be able to save money, but it can also help you get more organized.
- Crisis Management And Conservation Of Resources: What if there is a medical emergency at your home? Or there is shortage of water or any sudden power issues? You are expected to be always prepared for any crisis. Such situations call for prompt action and advance preparation. As a homemaker I learned conserving your basic resources is so important. Storing water, saving electricity and having your emergency contacts handy are necessary steps to keep you ready to deal with any sort of emergency.
- Presentation Skills: Who does not want to keep their house always clean and visually appealing? Like your work place cubicle is to be kept organized and clean, so is your house. Though mostly an ignored aspect of our lives, the way of presentation anywhere can be matter of admiration for you. It is not just about cleanliness, but how organized your house is. Do you always find what you look for in your home? Or things more often are lost? While I was enrolled in my MBA curriculum, there used to be a lot of emphasis laid on our presentation skills. I gradually realized the relevance of this skill in our everyday life.
- Team Work: Finally, like your company, your home is run by mutual cooperation and contribution by all its members. The spirit of team work is very important for running your home successfully. In a busy world scenario, each member of the family should contribute some way or the other, by either helping in the chores or by participating in important functions of your house, like paying bills, buying groceries etc. This way, it is easier to erode the wall that once divided work and family.
Other than these, I feel, skills like, leadership, problem solving, decision making, organizational planning and controlling are also significant to home management. Although at a small level, I found all these skills to be an undeniable part of my job as a homemaker. Now, when I look back retrospectively, I realize how true the saying that our mothers are the best managers as homemakers is.
By approaching homemaking as a profession worthy of respect, bringing in best practices from the outside business world and cultivating a professional mindset, I feel, you can be more effective in your daily work, have less stress and better self esteem.
Having stated all this, I would like to stress the point that doing an MBA is not just a catalyst to your career, meant to offer you a highly paid job and accelerate your growth. Education is not just about learning, it also about making you wiser in your life and your approach towards everything.
Contributed by Isha Jajodia (class of 2010, IBS Gurgaon)