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Declining a Job Offer after Accepting it ? 5 Reminders

Declining a Job Offer after Accepting it ? 5 Reminders

So what do you do when you’ve gone through the long process of recruitment, negotiation and securing an offer, only to want to reject it? Is it acceptable? In most scenarios, declining a job offer after accepting it is just NOT acceptable. You have had several chances to not go ahead with the recruitment process in the initial stages itself. Your potential employer has selected you after screening scores of eligible candidates. This means he/she expects you to join and already has a plan ready for you. Investments, financial investments included, have been made to accommodate you and in all probability some reshuffling has also been done. However, if your reasons are truly genuine, declining an offer the right way is important. It is not just a matter of courtesy. It is also an opportunity to build your personal brand as a professional and to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.

This is something we experience quite often through our clients – both employers and potential employees. Keeping that in mind, we have put together five reminders for you to must-do while declining a job offer you have already accepted.

1. Declining a Job Offer – Do it ASAP:

If you have made up your mind about not taking up the job, communicate it immediately. The obligation of you keeping your word only increases with the increase in time lapse. As you get closer to your joining date, the preparations to accommodate you and to build you into the team become more resource intensive. By communicating your decision as soon as possible, you will spare the organization a lot of time, effort and resources. The best way to do this is to meet in person, or over a phone call followed by a formal email. Do not leave it at simply drafting an email. It may come across as unprofessional and insensitive, no matter what words you choose to write your email with.

2. Declining a Job Offer – State the Reason carefully:

You need to be honest, yet tactful while stating your reason for rejecting the offer after having accepted it. Communicate your reason professionally and politely. Make it more about yourself and your career goals/personal limitations than about your new prospective employer or the organization. Keep it short, keep it simple. In case there are unavoidable personal reasons for your decision, explain them to your recruiter. And it is worth repeating – be honest.

3. Declining a Job Offer – Apologize Sincerely:

The only way you will actually get around to making an apology you mean, is if you really do mean it. To be able to intend it, you need to understand that a lot of effort had been put in, which is now going to amount to naught. Let them know how sincerely sorry you are for having wasted their time and for the fact that you had to take this unfortunately unprofessional step.

4. Declining a Job Offer – Express Gratitude:

Thank your recruiter for his/her time, for giving you the opportunity that you had been looking for, even though you were not able to follow it through. Let them know that while making this decision of declining an offer has been really hard, you sincerely appreciate the time and effort that they have spent for you. Be gracious.
 

5. Declining a Job Offer – Don’t burn your Bridges:

Remember that it is a small world that is getting smaller everyday. It is very likely that the people that you are interacting with for a job offer that you don’t want today may hold the key to a job offer that you desperately want tomorrow. Make the effort to keep in touch. Use this as an opportunity to network. Connect with them on social media. Stay engaged and be helpful. You could even refer someone you know who may be a fit for the job to the hiring manager. By demonstrating that you do value the relationship and are willing to do what you can to help, you are keeping the door open for possibilities in the future.

Turning down job offers after accepting them is usually considered unethical and unprofessional, however, there could well be a host of reasons and circumstances owing to which this move would be inevitable for you. If you have to decline the job offer, do it with respect.  Paying heed to these five things will surely help you get through the situation more smoothly than you expected.

5 Things to Remember Before Asking For a Recommendation Letter

5 Things to Remember Before Asking For a Recommendation Letter

Whether it is an application for admissions into a university, for an internship or for a job, a recommendation letter or reference letter is a critical part of the process. These are especially important as they vouch for your character, as well as serve as a testimony to the skills you hope to demonstrate. They help give an insight into you as a person beyond your grades, your experience or your achievements.  It also matters who the recommendation is coming from and how well-known the person is in the field you are hoping to get into. Having good recommendations from the right people can help you turn from a potential candidate to the preferred choice. What is your role in making sure you get the kind of recommendation you need and deserve? Take care of these five things, and the rest will take care of itself.

1. How you ask matters –

Always reach out to someone who actually knows you and you have been more or less in touch with. Even if you haven’t kept in touch with this person in the sense of the term, it shouldn’t be the case that you haven’t spoken to him/her in years and end up asking for a recommendation out of the blue. Provide context and explain why you think h/she is the best person to recommend you. Word your email/conversation in a manner where you are actually asking him/her and not taking it for granted that (s)he will be writing one for you.

2. Ask well in advance before deadline –

The deadline is in a day or two and you suddenly remember you haven’t reached out for the recommendation. One of the worst ways to go about getting a recommendation, ever. Value the time of the person you are asking a recommendation of, and make sure you reach out well in advance, with at least two weeks’ notice, so that there is ample time for the letter, and the follow up and any edits if necessary.

3. Be specific in your requirement –

Mention exactly what you need the recommendation for. You may be good in a number of things, but writing any of that in the recommendation letter wouldn’t matter if it doesn’t speak about how good you are at what you are applying for. Make sure your recommendation letter is perfectly suited to the opportunities you are aiming for.

4. Include all relevant details –

Include your cover letter/statement of purpose, your resume and any other document which may give your referer a good sense of your accomplishments in the area. However, include only the relevant details so that your referee doesn’t have to spend time looking for parts which are important.

5. Be patient, and polite with the follow up –

Allow at least one week before sending a polite reminder enquiring about the status of the recommendation letter. Sending frequent reminders is a sure way to sabotage a fine recommendation letter. Understand that your referee is doing you a favor and not the other way round. It can be hard to be patient during this time, but it is a virtue worth mastering!

One of the most important things in the process of asking for a recommendation letter is to remember to be grateful and thank your referee appropriately after (s)he submits it. It would also be nice if you kept your referer updated about your application process, regardless of whether or not you make it. Keeping in touch and investing time is always worth it, having to ask for a recommendation is only one of the many situations where this effort pays off!

Cracking Campus Placements – 5 Tips to Help You Get Prepared

Cracking Campus Placements – 5 Tips to Help You Get Prepared

Almost every Indian graduate knows how big a deal the campus recruitment process is. There is no reason why it should be such a big deal. Unfortunately, the social systems around us do not concur with this thought. Every fresher feels like this is it, this is the end of the world – but it isn’t, it is just the beginning. And if you begin well, you will finish well. To help you with your placement preparation, we have put together some time-tested strategies. Here are five tips that could help ease the process for you.

  1. Work on your resume

Spend enough time polishing your CV. It is safe to say that your CV is the single most important thing in the recruitment process. Make sure it has all that your employer needs to know about you and not a word extra. Creating a CV can indeed seem a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, so we encourage you to have a look at our guide on how to create the perfect resume, which will give you a fair sense of everything that there is to know about resumes.

  1. Be organized in your approach –

Maintain a notebook where you keep a list of the organizations you are applying to, the deadlines for the applications and the specific requirements these applications may have. Update it every single day. Sync your calendar on your phone so that you get reminders for all important dates and don’t miss any. Keep your print outs of your resume, passport sized photographs and any other document which may be required, ready in multiple copies. Do all this well in advance so that you are saved the stress and worry in the last minute.

  1. Identify your area of interest

Spend time thinking about what it is that you are passionate about. Find something that you would love to wake up to. Different people have different skills and interests, what works for me, may not work for you. It is important to be able to identify what exactly it is that you would love to do, otherwise you might have to spend a considerable time dreading Mondays, and the next three days of the week!

  1. Brush up your communication skills –

The campus placements process will typically involve rounds of Personal Interviews as well as Group Discussions. How you communicate and speak can be game changers in these rounds. Being able to articulate yourself eloquently is a rare skill and a skill worth acquiring which sets you apart from most. This is something that you absolutely must spend some time working on. Have a look at a post we wrote some time ago, on ways to brush up your communication skills. We hope this helps you.

  1. Cooperate with the campus placement department –

This is probably one of the most important factors. Cooperating with the department which is organizing the placements at your university will make the entire process much smoother for you. Keep communicating with them so that you don’t miss any important deadlines. Send them your resumes and other documents they may want on time so that they will be able to schedule your interviews. Remember this is a team that is working for a lot of other students just like you, and that it is not an easy job. Do your bit to help them.

The last, but really the most important thing is to remember to not get stressed or worked up. We understand that it is easier said than done, but remember that it is not the end of the world. The world really ends only once. When it actually ends. Anything else before that is simply a false alarm. Don’t give in to stress and tension, you will be doing yourself more harm than good.

Everyone you meet will have a ton of advice for you, listen to them politely, but understand that the decision is ultimately yours to make. Take breaks to recharge yourself, you don’t want to be running out of steam in the middle of the campus placements race.

We understand that cracking campus placements to get a good first job can be a deciding factor for your career graph ahead and acknowledge that it is important to be able to do your best. But when you know you are doing your best, give yourself a pat on your back and stay calm. Things will surely work out. Be patient and keep going in the direction that your heart pulls you (but listen to your head at times too!)

Asking for a Raise – 5 Strategies that Will Help You

Asking for a Raise – 5 Strategies that Will Help You

It is that time of the year when performance review requests come calling for many. Forms will be filled, review meetings with managers scheduled, and sometimes tough and sometimes happy conversations will take place. Raises may or may not get discussed depending on many factors – company performance, your performance, your manager’s approach, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. One thing is for sure – when you feel you deserve a raise, sometimes the only way you can get it is by – yes, asking for a raise.

And that’s the tricky part, how do you start the conversation and how do you decide the content of the conversation? Well, the good news is, even though you may feel you are absolutely unprepared, and feel intimidated regarding the possible reactions from the other end, rest assured that while this may be the first time you are asking for a raise, it is definitely not the first time your employer is being asked for one! People have surely been in your place before and have been able to deal with it. The first thing you must remember is, it is always better to have a one-on-one conversation regarding matters such as these, rather than any form of virtual communication. Request for a meeting through an email while stating the purpose briefly, and asking for a convenient time for the meeting. Once you’ve done that, here are the five strategies that will help you guide your conversation in asking for a raise you deserve successfully!

Asking for a raise strategy #1 : Know how you much you are worth –

The only way you will be able to sell yourself is, Asking for a raise if you have a strong sense of how much you are worth and deserve. Weigh and assess your skills and your achievements. Make notes about the skills you have picked up while on the job and analyze your own career graph yourself. Factor in any investments you may have made in order to enhance your skill set, and how it has benefited the organization you work for. As we cited in our earlier post on salary negotiation – conduct a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to understand your differentiators and the special skills or experiences that make you a more valuable employee. Ensure you have these differentiators written down, as this information can then be used as leverage to a raise. Before you arrive at a conclusion, let your thoughts be known to a trusted colleague or friend, who has a sense of the situation you are in, to be able to get a second  opinion.

 

Asking for a raise strategy #2 : Know how much your job is worth –

Keep a reality check on your expectations. Gather some understanding of the domain you work in, and the standard pay ranges in your company and outside. Do not compare your pay structure, to a friend’s pay structure who is from a completely different domain, even if you may have the same years of experience. For example, a job in the social development sector, may not pay you as much as say a job in a corporate MNC. Have practical and realistic expectations. At the same time, know that you mustn’t sell yourself cheap. Once you have a sense of how much your job is worth, and the work and effort you as an individual put into the role you have been trusted with, arrive at a sensible number.

Asking for a raise strategy #3 : Research the company’s pay practices –

It is important to do this so as to not end up being disappointed. In case your organization does not have the budget, you will notice that your colleagues have gone down the same trajectory, and have been denied a raise. However, in case that is not the case, having a sense of the percentages of appreciation/hikes will help you against undervaluing yourself or overstating your expectations.

Asking for a raise strategy #4 : If not a raise, negotiate for a bonus or more perks –

If your employer acknowledges your case for a raise, but has his/her own valid reasons for not being able to process it right away, have a plan B ready. Ask for other bonuses in the form of more paid leaves, increment in your TA or DA, or any other incentives your organization may be able to offer you.  We have some good tips on negotiating bonuses and perks in our post : Salary Negotiation Tips – Talking Numbers – Part II.

Asking for a raise strategy #5 : Timing is key yet don’t delay –

May be we don’t need to really illustrate this point. You do know that asking your boss for a raise when he/she is in a bad mood isn’t really the best idea. Or asking for it when a big project is just about to be rolled out and your request comes across as a threat. Wait for a time when things are comparatively smooth and the annual/bi-annual performance reviews (if your company has these) are not finished. Then your request for a raise has greater chances of being entertained. Yes timing is key, however, waiting forever won’t get you that raise! Overthinking this will only get you more confused. If you know you deserve a raise, go ahead and ask for it!

These conversations can often go awry if not initiated in the proper manner. They do qualify as sensitive conversations. We are not saying this to you to intimidate you, but to tell you that it is important to follow direct channels of communication for these conversations and strictly avoid any via media pattern, the lesser the chaos, the better your chances. Also remember to follow up with the details of the conversation through an email, so that there is an official acknowledgement of the conversation and conclusions that followed the conversation. All the best!

Everything You Need to Start Working From Home

Everything You Need to Start Working From Home

Companies have slowly come to realize that working from home is the most in-demand type of work flexibility benefit that job seekers are interested in, and more and more companies have started offering remote working options.  It is a trend that is here to stay. With working from home gaining increasing professional acceptance and becoming one of the most viable options for people across the social strata, a lot is being debated upon about the finer nuances of this phenomenon. In our earlier posts, we have spoken about the pros and cons about working from home. In this post we talk about everything you need to start working from home, or as we would like to call it, the essentials for working from home. So if you are looking to start working from home, or to make working from home really work for you, here are all the resources that we think you need to make it a success:

1. Your Desk and Your Chair

It makes sense to invest in minimalistic yet comfortable office furniture – especially your desk and chair since that is what you will be using the most. This is almost as important, or even more important than buying a pair of jeans that fit perfectly and look good too! Don’t settle for the first piece of furniture you set your eyes on. Do a bit of window shopping first. Make sure the chair is suited to your posture and is adequately comfy and completely at level with your desk. We are all aware of the extremely uncomfortable back aches and neck aches from long hours of sitting at our desks which are further amplified by impersonal and uncomfortable office furniture. Since you are setting up your office from home, chances are you will be spending a lot more time working than you would if you went to an actual office. It is completely worth your while to go the extra mile and pick out the perfect desk and chair for yourself!

2. Lighting –

Lighting is another crucial factor that influences your productivity and concentration, not to mention how good lighting is actually a comfort we rarely appreciate. It is important to set up your work space where you have access to both natural as well as artificial lighting. As far as viable, set up your workstation close to a window (preferably with your back to it, or with it to your side, so that you don’t get too distracted with the view outside). Apart from letting in natural light, it also helps with keeping the room properly ventilated. Coming to artificial lighting, it is better to invest in soft artificial lighting than fluorescent lighting which is harsh on your eyes. Choose a desk light, as well as an overhead light so that you can adjust the lighting according to the amount of natural light you have available.

3. Computer and WiFi, and related accessories

One of the biggest drawbacks of working from home is that the IT department will not be just a buzz away. You are pretty much left to fend for yourself to efficiently optimize (but first make appropriate investments) the tools at your disposal. A good desktop/laptop with rich video and audio capabilities, a dependable high-speed internet service provider, a basic but well-functioning printer/ scanner, earphones with mike are some of the most essential accessories you must invest in while setting up your workstation at home. Choose brands which are known for their customer service so that there is some hope to be bailed out when you are in the middle of a technical crisis. Keep the customer service numbers handy (look for a representative’s number, go an extra mile to establish a professional relationship if necessary, it saves you many annoying minutes of waiting on-line before they transfer your call to the representative responsible!). Once again, this is another area where we would recommend you to compromise as little as possible and go for something you are confident will fit your requirements, and most importantly is crisis proof to some extent at least.

4. Phone

Now that you will be working from home, most of your interaction will be virtual. And the most important medium for the same is your phone, of course. We recommend investing both in a land phone as well as a smart phone, so that you stay connected even if one of these fail you. Having a good smart phone (even if you are not all that tech savvy) with a dependable network is crucial. Even if your system fails you, you will still have access to email, Skype and other forms of communication tools on your smart phone. It also helps you stay connected and in sync with what’s happening, even if you are physically away from your workstation. We know that a land phone is a little old school, but it is still worth investing in one, when you are setting up your office from home. It is important to have enough choices for communication, so in case one fails, there is another available and you are not insulated from the world of work!

5. Tools and Technology –

Going back to what we said in number four about not having the luxury of an IT department at your beck and call, it is absolutely mandatory for you to figure out all the tools and technology that you need. Start with a full proof data back-up system. Imagine your drive giving up on you, or your system crashing in the middle of something very important and you being left in a lurch! Use Cloud technologies (Read Five Ways the Cloud can rev up Operational Excellence for your Startup or Small Business) and make sure you sync your data as frequently as possible. In fact make it a habit to do that first thing in the morning and last thing as you wind up for the day. Create back up using a combination of three things – use mirrored drives such as RAID 1 to protect you in case of drive failures, program (or have it programmed) an internal disk for daily backups in case of a system crash, and of course online backup systems like Dropbox, Cloud or Google Drives. Technological advances have made the concept of a digital office so much more easier – there is a tool or app for almost anything. Delve into the online world for any area – be it collaboration, time management, social media – and there are so amazing tools available that can help improve your business productivity as an organization or as an individual. (Check a few of our favourite tools that have helped improve everyday performance and productivity here.)

6. Power Protection

Wow! Who would have ever known how indispensable an IT and admin department is (who we always take for granted!) until we set up for work from home. Once again, you are your own resource when it comes to power back up. If you already have access to 24/7 power backup, thank your stars. If you don’t, invest in a dependable UPS and an inverter. If these options seem out of your budget, at least invest in a simple, but dependable UPS which at least gives you a few minutes to save your work and shut down safely if there is a black out!

7. Storage –

Apart from having ample storage space for your software, create options for storing all the paper work, files, books, etc., that are definitely going to pile up. It probably isn’t a great idea to wake up to (which you will, because now you don’t have an office to go to) piles of papers and files strewn around your workstation (even if you aren’t a neat freak). Also, remember that since you now work out of home, you clean your own mess, there isn’t anyone else who is going to be helping you with that. Plan for some basic, built storage spaces and invest in some file organizers and other stationary to keep your paperwork organized (we are starting to sound like real consumerists here!). You would be spoilt for choice when you browse the office stationary section on Amazon, we are sure!

8. To do list/ Planner

We don’t know if you are crazy about stationary items like we are at Oorja Biz Ops, but being stocked on stationary should definitely be a priority when you are setting up your workstation at home. Apart from the regular supplies of pens, pencils, stapler, et al, get a planner for yourself or big enough sticky notes for writing down your everyday to-do lists. Having a planner or a to do list helps you pursue your day in a coherent way and gives you an idea about how much you were able to accomplish as against what you had planned for yourself. It is also important to set realistic goals which you can actually accomplish, and not just make a list of everything that’s on your mind and feel guilty for not having done enough, at the end of the day. If you are a fan of apps, well go back to point 5, there are tons of free/freemium apps for productivity to help you get things done.

9. Vision Board –

A great way to keep yourself inspired. Create or buy a pin board and turn it into your very own personal vision board. Pin up your ambitions, long-term or/and short-term goals, any quotes or photographs that inspire you and definitely a graph of how you see yourself growing in your career over the next few months/years (which you are of course free to keep adapting and editing as you move along). We’d recommend keeping the vision board as career oriented as possible so that it minimizes other distractions. For example, maybe putting up a picture of your dog who is no more with you would only pull you down on a bad day, not motivate or inspire you. Make you vision board your personal ‘feel good’ or motivation corner.

10. Small Luxuries

What is the use of working from home if you don’t get to enjoy some of the most coveted advantages? Entitle yourself to small luxuries like a coffee machine, a neck pillow, maybe even a music system to help you relax when you are taking breaks. Make the process fun by bringing in small things that would make you happy and look forward to getting up to work every day. If you love flowers, have flowers at your workstation. Have a well-stocked small refrigerator in the room. Maybe even a secret stash of chocolates so you reward yourself when you feel you’ve done a good job. And perhaps, the uninhibited access to your pet’s attention because that is what makes all the difference at times!

The kind of work environment you create is a reflection of yourself. Put some effort into making your workspace at home a dedicated work zone, with minimum distractions. By minimum distractions we don’t mean dull and boring, make it as colorful and quirky as you wish but all those quirks should motivate you to be productive and creative, not distract you. When you choose the option to work from home, you make a conscious choice which comes with the two embedded qualities of dedication and sincerity. While it is important to be focused on your work and set aside all the distractions you may have while working from home, it is equally important to not let yourself get too absorbed by the work. When you start working from home full-time, you might start pushing yourself more than you would be, were you a regular office goer. Make sure you see enough of sunshine and have enough human contact to help preserve your sanity and health!

Note: At OBOlinx Tech, we provide flexible work from home option for our team. We have experienced firsthand the advantages and disadvantages of working in this mode both as an employer and as an employee. With clear goal settings, a strong process framework, much patience, some discipline and a steady flow of two-way communication, we KNOW this business model can work and is here to stay. This is the future of work and the future is already here.

We hoped you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed putting it together for you. Do you work from home as well? What are some of the essentials to start working from home you absolutely cannot function without? Do you a question or problem that you need our help on? We’d love to hear from you!

Need more information on the latest telecommuting trends ? Download the free PGi Global Telework Survey report here to learn more about:

  • The rise of the teleworker, including the top technologies and alternative workspaces enabling them to work outside the office;
  • The global shift in knowledge worker demands, including the ideal flex schedule around the world;
  • And why, despite wanting to leave the cubicle, non-teleworkers haven’t left the office—yet.
To Freeze or Not to Freeze – Egg Freezing Tactics and the Workspace

To Freeze or Not to Freeze – Egg Freezing Tactics and the Workspace

When in October 2014, the two biggest giants in the Silicon Valley, Apple and Facebook, announced elective egg freezing as a part of their benefits package, they took the world by a storm and sparked debates worldwide regarding the ethical concerns underlying this move. The announcement was welcomed by many and contested by many more. This benefit offered to the female employees, quite literally means the option to have their eggs frozen, to be able to postpone their pregnancy, thus offering them the advantage of attaining the much sought “work-life balance”. While the advantages are obvious – greater freedom for women to plan their careers and the choice to ‘preserve’ their fertility, in the form of frozen eggs, the disadvantages seem to be of a more sinister and covert nature.

This excerpt, from Frozen Progress: beyond the egg freezing debate, very powerfully opens up the space we hope to explore through this article:

It is the role of the private companies, Apple and Facebook – programmed like an organism to preserve itself above all – that makes the prospect of ‘egg-freezing for female employees’ ghoulish and Atwood-dystopia-seeming.  As if, in order to sublimate yourself entirely to the company, you offer up not only your identity (through corporate ‘personal branding’), your personal life (through working hours that would be illegal in much of Europe), but even submit your body to the corporation you serve.  “Delay having children to donate your best years to our brand” is the ethos behind the initiative, and one that has the corporation – not the lives of women and their families in all their humanness and complexity – as its primary concern.”

Egg Freezing – The Health Impact

The idea of giving women the option to freeze their eggs, is after all, not as altruistic as it sounds. For one reason, the success rates of the procedure are not very impressive the procedure, in itself is invasive and extremely complicated. “The process of egg retrieval involves weeks of self-delivered hormone injections to hyper-stimulate your ovaries, which can lead to nausea, bloating and discomfort, not to mention blood clots, organ failure, and hospitalization in rare cases. The surgery to remove your eggs involves a needle being inserted into your pelvis, with risk of internal bleeding and infection. Long-term impacts on women’s health are under-studied, but seem to include increased rates of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer” [Jessica Cussins].

Egg Freezing – now an Option but soon an implicit Coercion ?

Secondly, the thought that the ‘brand’ you work for, or the organization has the right to control your body and your reproductive choices is discomforting and eerie. By reducing the reproductive choices of the female employees to “benefits”, there is a lack of comprehension regarding the loss of autonomy of the female employees over their bodies as well as their reproductive choices. One may argue, that the employee has the right to say no to the procedure. However, it won’t be long before the recruitment decisions for female employees begin to be influenced by willingness to undergo the procedure.

Egg Freezing – the Work-place Implications

It is rather strange that “work-life balance” is being touted as a reason to promote the practice of egg freezing, amongst employees. It is, in a way, utter dehumanization of the work space, and reinforces the very gender biases we have been struggling so hard to turn away from. There needs to be more conversation and dialogue on where men figure in the canvas of this debate. The concept of family planning in itself seems to be getting obliterated from the debate, without considering two very important factors – financial stability and availability of appropriate partners (men or women). “Surely what they meant to say was, ‘We want women at Apple to spend more of their lives working for us without a family to distract them,’” Jessica Cussins of the Center for Genetics and Society wrote in a Huffington Post editorial. By making the egg-freezing policy a formal part of the organization structure, there are overt implications to the fact that it is only if decisions regarding family and motherhood are postponed, that a woman will be able to succeed professionally. Where then, is the balance we are talking about? The egg-freezing policy does not invoke a sense of balance, but is lopsided in this argument, as it implies the exact opposite. By postponing biological reproductive decisions, and letting your profession take this decision on your behalf, the choice is not to seek balance, but to automate your body in order for your corporate or professional existence. I use the term ‘automation’, consciously and with responsibility. By allowing our profession to manipulate our corporeal existence, we are reduced to nothing but robots striving tirelessly to meet the demands of an increasingly global capitalistic world. The image this thought conjures up is extremely frightening and makes one cringe.

It is important to understand how a policy like egg freezing, will reconfigure the work space dynamics, and not in a positive way. Neelam Raaj, in her article “Egg-freezing perk will not make workplace more equal for women”, writes,

I do worry that if egg freezing is embraced by employers, women who wish to have a child when they are younger may be seen as less committed employees. For a woman to make an autonomous decision, a non-coercive social situation is required. If having a child earlier means that she will take a step back in her career, then a woman may not be exercising autonomy by delaying motherhood. Instead, she may feel like this is choosing the best of many bad options. Furthermore, offering an egg-freezing benefit does not do anything to help equalize workplace policies for women. There needs to be a strong policy to support women who choose to have children without freezing. There cannot be an underlying feeling of, `Hey, you have this egg-freezing benefit, why are you taking maternity leave now when we need you?‘”

The ‘choice’ being given to the female employees, about having their eggs frozen, is, in reality, what may be termed as a Hobson’s choice, or a choice which is actually not a choice but simply appears so. By giving a choice of postponing pregnancy, the implication is that motherhood and career cannot go hand in hand. It is important for both of these to be an option, because who is to decide against the choice women may want to make of having both satisfying careers as well as family lives? It is also important to understand the responsible role that responsible feminists and feminism need to play in this entire debate. Feminism and feminists have been long divided in their modes of thinking about and believing what true feminism entails. One could debate about the same until the cows come home, however, that is not the space we are exploring in this article. While we will not talk about what feminism is, we will definitely talk about what it isn’t, which is revoking any form of choice a woman has the absolute and autonomous right to. It is true that for a lot of women, the advantages of egg freezing is synonymous with freedom, it is equally true that for a lot of women the same choice is an infringement upon their freedom. The blurring of lines between the public and the private has always been a hot debate, in this case, however, the debate is particularly sensitive and should be treated with the sensitivity it deserves. Of course, right now the entire scenario could be said to be at a purely experimental stage, what we must be cautious regarding is the phenomenon gaining ‘cultural normalcy’.

Seema Mohapatra, a law professor from Barry University, in her paper ‘Using Egg Freezing to Extend the Biological Clock: Fertility Insurance or False Hope?’, published by the Harvard Law and Policy Review, explores the complex and seldom spoken about medico-ethical, legal and social complexities regarding the process of egg-freezing. Her work is especially important for us, to understand why much of the “advantage” or “benefit” being offered, is paradoxical. It is crucial for us to understand the phenomenon in all its social, cultural as well as scientific complexity. Let us make no mistake in acknowledging that this is a pathway one would be taking to create a Frankenstein’s Monster. The larger question to address here, is, are we aware of the implications of creating the monster? Innovation, freedom, equality, equity and are some of the ideals we believe will make the world of work a sustainable realm. In the present times, sustainability is the primary aim any organization is striving for. For an organization to be sustainable, it must first recognize every employee as a human being, before anything else, and by virtue of being human, the right to un-compromised and total dignity.