Kirti Seth’s life philosophy is a lot like common sense – simple and easy yet profound and rare. Her story reveals a lot of valuable gems but something that stands out through it all, is her ability to be crystal clear about what she wants and then manifest the same with perseverance, confidence and focus. In fact, her clarity isn’t limited to just what she wants but also extends to what she doesn’t want and to us, that may be the real secret.
When you look at her life through a prism lens today, it is possible to give her current position and background the credit for her admirable attitude but the truth is Kirti began setting boundaries very early on in her life at both ends of the spectrum – at work and at home. Her work always knew there was a concrete end time and her home always knew there was a strong career you may sometimes have to miss a wedding for. And to that, she rightly adds, that one must ensure we choose the right partner. It is undoubtedly one of those underrated secrets to a well-rounded life. Turns out that behind every successful (and happy) woman is often a supportive man too!
Talking of relationships, Kirti’s advice is the perfect blend of independence without cynicism. On one end, she encourages the idea that couples must ensure they each have their own hobbies, friends and even bank accounts. While on the other end, she doesn’t shy away from admitting that she would be willing to move or make a career shift to be closer to her partner, if the need arose. And honestly, we think that’s exactly what feminism truly stands for – women having the ability to make their own choices, whatever they may be.
We often talk about people having a work personality and a personal one, but truth is more often than not, they blend into each other. Maybe that is why the ability or self-worth one has to walk away from a relationship is similar to what is required while negotiating at work. As Kirti aptly says knowing your self-worth and being willing to walk out if it isn’t met, knowing you will find something better is what’s crucial while negotiating. Interestingly, she also talks about how that may not be the only thing that holds people back, many a time it is also simply not wanting to leave your comfort zone and being stuck in that inertia.
Moving out of one’s comfort zone and pushing boundaries is in fact exactly what Kirti has done very successfully. Coming from a family of privilege, she could have easily restricted herself to a regular life of comfort at home but she always had the drive to make it on her own which is why she chased a career, balanced motherhood, moved countries and just found a new adventure in every different phase of life.
Kirti points out time and again that she has been lucky when it came to money, family, house help and everything else in the middle. However, if you look past the aura of positivity she brings to any room (even virtual) and learn of her story, we learn that she has had her fair share of downs too with a divorce and even cancer but her perspective, respect for relationships and the level head on her shoulders are what have made her stride past with vigour. So maybe it is true that the luckier you think you are, the luckier you get!
We will leave you with a last gem from our remarkable interviewee – ‘Don’t be a man or a woman, just be you. Your identity is not that of a mother or a CEO, make sure your identity is simply you.’
Kirti Seth is the FutureSkills Lead at NASSCOM. The FutureSkills Programme aims to reskill 2 million professionals and potential employees & students in the industry over a period of 5 years. To do this, FutureSkills portal uses the technology of the future, to create a space where a learner can access content on all the skills of the future.