The other side of Career Break–The Journey of Rishi Agarwal

When people ask me, what kind of man I want in my life, my instant reply is a man who understands Feminism. A man whose self-respect is independent of my work status. A man whose self-worth is not affected by sharing household chores with me. Rishi Agrawal is one such man who needs to be heard and rendered as an example of equality in this world that still manages to misunderstand feminism.
At the peak of his professional career, Rishi decided to quit to let his wife continue her professional dream. “After completing post-graduation diploma in Mass Communication, I worked as a creative director with advertising agencies. I was given a chance to work with National Geographic channel during which I was blessed with a baby boy. I did not want my wife to give up on her professional aspirations and decided to quit to raise our son”, says Rishi.
It has been two years since Rishi took a career break. During this time, he started picking up freelance filmmaking and tried his luck in creative consultancy jobs. He kept experimenting with picking up big and small assignments. This helped him hone his craft while also giving him ample time to spend with his tiny tot. “There were a lot of days when my one-year-old accompanied me to tiny edit rooms in his pram, spending all day with me while I changed his diapers with one hand and directed the edit with another”, confesses Rishi.
The career break turned out as a blessing in disguise. Soon after, he found his own firm ‘Little Conversations’. It is a boutique firm offering filmmaking, photography and creative consultancy services to start-ups as well as established clients.
While society might question his decision to take a break and call it a big mistake, Rishi has no regrets. “I absolutely do not regret taking a career break. I never took the career break with any clauses in my head. I had no ‘what-if’ scenarios in my head. In fact, the break has led me to go forth on my love of making films. I am my own boss. It is tougher than before. There is no net to fall back to. But it is only when you have no net, do you learn to balance yourself without fail. “
His personal advice to men and women on a career break is “Break or no break, if you are good at something, you will always be required and valued. The only thing is to keep yourself relevant in this fast-changing and constantly evolving digital world. Just don’t stop learning, never stop experimenting, never stay the same. Keep changing and evolving”.
If more men like Rishi come to the forefront, it will stir a dialogue that is needed in today’s society. After all, being partners is more about sharing a life together by sharing responsibilities.
Please note: The views, opinions and beliefs expressed by the authors in the articles on the blog are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect those of Lean In India.

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