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Getting back to work, flexibly, after a career break
Charlotte Blyton (Senior Manager, Deloitte)
I took maternity leave after my children were born – who are now aged five and seven, and then I left my job at another accountancy firm completely.
When I went back to work after each maternity leave, I found it tricky to juggle everything, with a long commute into London. I did feel nervous.
Although my team at the time were lovely and supportive, I felt that working part-time and coming back after a break meant that I had to prove myself once again. In addition, so much had changed in the year that I had been away. That is why I decided to become a full time mum.
I always wanted to return to work, but it was only after attending an Institute of Chartered Accountants’ seminar on regaining your professional identity that I realised that many companies were starting to run ‘returnships’. When Deloitte approached me about the Return-to-Work programme it sounded like exactly what I needed so I applied instantly.
I had thought that I might need to take a step down, but the whole point of the programme is that it encourages you to come back at the same level. It was also great to meet other women like me and to have some support, for example, my CV was totally out of date. Just attending the insight day was inspiring and gave me a massive boost in confidence.
I had a 12-week internship in tax, with a buddy and mentor to help me work out what sort of permanent role I might suit, I now work supporting Deloitte’s tax offering to clients.
I commute into London from near Reading, which takes an hour and a half each way, but I take advantage of agile working, so I spend some of my four days a week working from the Reading office or from home.