The Washington, DC area is full of amazing moms. There are working moms, stay-at-home moms, single moms, moms of multiples, foster moms, adoptive moms, etc. We want to highlight some of those moms like Gitika Kaul! Each month we will feature one special mom as the mom of the month. Know a fellow amazing local mom here? Nominate them here!
Meet our July Mom of the Month: Gitika Kaul
Gitika Kaul is a Senior Vice President at Compass Real Estate and the Principal of an award-wining real estate team, Kaul Home Group of Compass. She is among the top 1.5% of all real estate agents in the country. In her work as a real estate agent, she helps first time homebuyers, move up buyers, downsizers, and everyone in between. She helps those in this intense real estate market to realize their dreams.
Gitika started her practice 6 years ago after 17 years at ABC News. She also worked for shows like Good Morning America, World News with David Muir (and Peter Jennings before that!), and Nightline, winning 6 Emmy Awards for her work. Gitika holds a B.S in Journalism from Boston University. She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband, two sons, and cat, Chutney. In her free time, she enjoys exploring D.C.’s exploding culinary scene (without kids), hosting play dates (with kids), and shopping for a good bargain.
Here is our Q&A with Gitika Kaul:
1. What is the best advice you have for Moms as they look toward making a career change?
2. Tell us, in what ways do you lean in outside of your career?
One of my big fears about leaving my job as a journalist with ABC News was that I would not be contributing to my community in the same way. I considered journalism a public service and I was very proud of that but what I didn’t realize was that helping people buy and sell homes was service on a much more intimate scale. I got to touch and feel the people I was impacting, whereas in my last career my stories would be on television in front of millions of people but I didn’t get to engage with them on the same level.
In addition, I now have the flexibility (even though I am working more hours now than I was in news) to participate in service that truly matters to me. For example, I have served on the board of an after school learning program called Aspire! Afterschool Learning for the last 3 years, where I have been able to translate my TV skills into helping generate exposure for this amazing non-profit. I also volunteer at my boys’ school as a co-chair of the community service committee in an effort to instill the love of service in our children. It definitely feels like I am having impact every day in ways that really matter, especially for our youth and future generations.
3. What advice do you have for women looking to grow either their own business or within the company they work for?
We all know that motherhood is transformative, but it also has a massive impact on our life choices and that includes our careers. It has become more challenging at many corporations to create a family friendly environment. Diversity initiatives need to include retaining moms as we bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table in a variety of industries. Moms are often the chief decision makers. But, motherhood also breeds an important decision: should I stay in the corporate world or should I start my own thing? It’s not a question that should be taken lightly and it requires deep thought, conversation with your partner if you have one, financial planning among many other questions. (In my case, my husband had to be ok with managing the kids on his own on the weekends while I am out on showings and other client appointments).
If you are thinking about making a switch, be very methodical about your decision and consider all the possibilities. Talk to others who have done it—either left altogether or stayed and worked their way up as a mom. For me, I looked at folks who were a few levels up at my company and knew I didn’t want to go there. I asked myself, a promotion is a means to what end? It’s something I still ask myself every day as I push myself: what am I trying to accomplish? Is it a goal for goal’s sake or is it something I genuinely want to pursue? We have to be self-aware so we can guide ourselves. Listen to that voice and don’t be afraid to push back against that little voice of doubt.
Do you know an amazing mom? Nominate a mom of the month here!