Considered as a ‘one to watch’ in my early career at EY, I wanted to maintain the pace of my career progression when I returned back into the business from maternity leave. I had partnership in mind and looked for ways to make that happen that suited me, my family, the team I worked within, and my clients. I spotted the potential for a job share arrangement with a colleague and we prepared a business case, which we presented to our head of department, who fortunately was just as enthusiastic about its possibilities.
It was a solution for all; the business retained two high performers, we delivered the best team for our clients – we considered ourselves a better adviser together, drawing on each other’s strengths – and it allowed me and my job share partner to do what we wanted and needed to do outside of work. In fact it went so well we were promoted together, whilst in a job share. To this day I’m still working part time – my current role is Partner of International Tax Services.
My part time arrangements over the years could be considered novel. I have flexed it throughout my climb to partnership, working four days a week, a nine-day fortnight and a job share. Confidence in my own ability (which can be tough after an absence from the workplace), a creative approach to job design, and a supportive employer environment have all empowered and enabled me to achieve my leadership goal.
My advice to others is rather than thinking about the complexities and the hurdles that you may face on the way up, think about the possibilities and the benefits, for all. Keep that mind-set and present it to others – it suddenly becomes a no-brainer.