Woman Wednesday: Chitra


Q and A with Chitra, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

“I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about living life to the fullest; doing what makes me happy. My husband, kids, and I love traveling and being in nature, so that is something we do quite often.

I have loved natural skincare since I was young. The Body Shop used to be my favorite shop to hang out in. Even if I could buy a small jar of lip balm from there, it used to make me happy. I somehow knew I always wanted to do something with natural ingredients as I love the smell of shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils, but I didn’t know where to start. About 6 or 7 years ago while reading Dr. Oz’s website, an article on ’99 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil’ (one was on how to make lotions bars), I had a lightbulb moment. Immediately, I started researching this. I started off by making lotion bars, but it didn’t do that well in Malaysia as our country is quite humid, and it was not suitable to use lotion bars in our weather. Then about 2 years later, when I was looking for something for my skin and couldn’t find anything that helped, I decided to make it on my own and this time, I formulated a balm to be used on my face to reduce freckles and scars. I also made one for my mother and she introduced it to her friends. As I wanted to do it right, I studied on natural skincare formulation. I took a few courses before I started it as a business. That is how Esha CG Beauty & Health started. We are into our third year now. It brings me so much happiness that I can be of service to people and when I get messages from our customers saying that our products have helped them or their children heal certain skin issues that they had.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: There are 6 of us in our family. Mom, dad, and 4 children. I am the eldest, and I have 2 sisters and a brother. I grew up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Being the eldest and helping out with my siblings from a young age has made me a responsible person. What I find really hard now is our brother passed away last year from cancer and he was 29 years old. This has impacted me a lot, but this has also made me realize I know I want to do what I love as long as I can.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned that it is important to believe in yourself, do what you love, and don’t give up. I have made mistakes, but I learn from them.

When I first started, I had a few people telling me what I was doing wrong. I started off with my own pocket money, so I didn’t have a big budget to start with great photography or proper packaging. It was basic, and that was what some were talking about. Slowly, I reinvested the sales money into the business and changed the packaging, took better pictures, bought better quality ingredients. Even if you have to start small, it’s okay. Just start with what you have. If I would have waited until I had more money so that I could do it 100% right, I may have not started until today. Last year, we were nominated for two of our products and one of it won the Readers Choice Award from BabyTalk and MamaPapa magazine. For the employee of the magazine to call me alone was a surprise, as I had no idea how they found me. My marketing is just not one of the best. It’s from word of mouth that our business is growing.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism, to me, means equal rights for women in every opportunities. I do not consider myself to be a feminist, but at the same time, I don’t keep quiet when someone tells me it’s okay for a man to do that but not me because I am a woman.


Q: Is there anything else you would like the readers to know?

A: Life has its ups and downs. It’s not always a bed of roses. There are days where I am just not strong; I cry if I want to, but I pick myself up and don’t stay there for long. I do the best in what I am doing; do it with love and trust the universe knows what’s next for me. I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. The moment I started loving myself and working on myself and stopped judging myself so much, I attracted better circumstances in my life.

Thank you for reading!


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How to get a Raise Being a Woman

More and more women are taking on careers that were once considered “only for men.” Women are killing it out there! However, in many of these male-dominated careers, women are underpaid.

It can be overwhelming to be a woman in a male-dominated field. You may feel that you deserve a raise, but you don’t know how to go about getting it.

Here are some tips that could help you to get that raise or to help you get that job in the male-dominated field that you want.

 

1. Know your worth and show it. Confidence goes a long way here. You have a lot to offer, but if you don’t express your self-worth, how are others supposed to see your worth? Show that you are confident by meeting others eyes when speaking, standing tall, speaking clearly, and by speaking up.

 

2. Show you can play with the boys. Some workplaces still act on gender bias and think that women cannot handle as much work as men can. Show that you can take on more work and put in the extra hours. Speak to your boss about wanting to take on more work to make more of an impact with your company. Showing that you currently have no problem tackling your amount of work and that you are eager to take on more could significantly impact your chances of getting a raise. However, don’t take on more than you can chew!

 

3. Show you can be one of the boys. To do this, you must communicate effectively. In most career fields, having good communication skills goes a long way here—whether you are a man or a woman. If you’re the only woman at your workplace, the guys may not open up to you as easily. You may feel intimidated. You may just need to push yourself to enhance your communication skills.

What can you do to better your conversation skills?

  • Say hello to coworkers in the workplace—even the ones you don’t work with at all. A simple “Hello,” and “My name is…,” and “What is your name?” can go a long way. Make sure to smile! 😊
  • Remember your coworkers names—write them down if you have to. Remembering someone’s name is crucial and can make a lasting impression.
  • Be an active listener, and let your coworkers do more of the talking. How? By asking your coworkers questions about themselves! Do less talking, and do more listening. More people will like you, and this could spread the positive word about you around the workplace.
  • What kinds of questions should you ask your coworkers? Well, you can ask about their family, where they grew up, what got them into such field, where did they go to college, what did they study, how long have they had such position, what is their favorite part of working at such place, et cetera—feed off of their answers, and ask more questions to keep the conversation going.

 

4. Be genuinely interested in your job and in others. Show interest towards your job and for the others you work with! Why should someone who complains get a raise? This goes a long with smiling, saying hello on a consistent basis, asking others questions, and putting in the work to get to know others.

 

5. Build trust—do what you say you will, help others, and if someone confides in you, do not tell anyone else what he/she has told you.

 

6. Don’t be a gossiper—no one will trust you or want to be around you—except maybe the other gossipers. These people often don’t accomplish very much.

 

7. Don’t apologize. More women than men will apologize too much and apologize too often for unnecessary situations. Unless you make a mistake or hurt someone, do not apologize—especially do not apologize for asking for a raise!

 

8. Help where you can. Have you heard the expression, “You get what you give”? If you want a raise, you need to help others.

 

9. Put in the hours. This goes with number 3. If you want a raise, stay later. Show your boss how committed you are. This will show that you can take on more responsibility, that you work hard, and that you deserve that raise!

 

10. Document your accomplishments and the times you put in that extra work. When it comes time for your review, you can highlight all these things that you have brought to the table.

 

11. Find out what your boss considers to be excellent performance. Maybe you do not know what would be considered “above and beyond” at your workplace. It doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, just asking this question shows you truly care about your job. This alone could help your chances in getting a raise.

 

12. Ask your boss to meet with you—and express your desire to move up in the company. Express how much you care about this position and how you want to contribute more to it.

 

13. Seek recommendations. After a long period of connection-making and helping others, you should be on “good graces” with others. Now is when you can ask them for help—if they are a co-worker (and not a boss) ask them to mention a favor or how you’ve helped them to your boss. If you’ve truly helped them, chances are, they will be happy to return the favor.

 

14. Keep track of your timeline. How long have you been with the company? A few weeks, a month, a year? At most jobs, you need to put in a good amount of time to earn that raise. Typically, 6 months to a year is what is considered fair. Mention this when you meet with your boss. Do you have to be there a year to ask? No. Maybe you have recently been taking on a lot more work, and your role has significantly changed. This constitutes asking for a raise, even if the timing isn’t there.

 

15. Be patient. Once you plant the seed of wanting a raise (to your boss), your boss may need time to think about it. Chances are, your boss will think about how valuable you are to the company and may worry about losing you. It may not be a good time for your boss to give you a raise under certain workplace circumstances. So, be patient, give them some time, and keep killing it at your job!

 

If you show that you care about your job and that you care about your co-workers, put in the extra time, build trust, and show you want to be at the company for the long haul, you may get a raise sooner than you think!

We hope these tips help!

Thank you for reading!

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