Winning at work, winning at home

Career returner, Kemi, was able to use her skills straight away and make a big impact. It’s not just her colleagues and clients who’ve benefitted, but her family, too.

Knowing when you’re ready

“My career has always been very important to me, and although I loved my time at home with my children, I felt the time was right to get back into a rewarding career.”

Kemi worked at Deloitte and Goldman Sachs before taking a career break to care for her two daughters. She joined EY in the Transactions practice as part of the EY Reconnect programme – a 12-week initiative providing a route back to business for people returning from time out of the workplace.

“I made the decision to take time off while my children were young. But I didn’t want this to impair my long-term career goals, especially as I felt raising two children had made me even more skilled in areas like negotiation and time management!”

New learning opportunities

“When I came across the EY Reconnect programme, it ticked all the boxes. It would give me exposure to interesting client work but within a programme that addressed the challenges of coming back to work after a break.”

And the expectations of the programme quickly became a reality for Kemi.

“On joining the programme, I was enthusiastic to get going and add value to my team. Luckily, I’ve been given the opportunity to do just that, while taking advantage of the exceptional learning and training EY offers.

“For example, the career coaching sessions have been very illuminating, with valuable knowledge-sharing on the best ways to approach this new stage of my career.”

Flexibility to succeed

EY’s flexible and supportive approach was also a key factor in Kemi’s decision to join the programme.

“Everyone I’ve encountered has been really positive and interested in the programme, and always keen to have a coffee and a chat. In my opinion, EY’s approach to workplace flexibility is empowering for employees and shows a modern organisation that listens to its people.”

Programmes such as EY Reconnect encourage and empower people to refocus on their careers after a break, according to Kemi.

“There are a lot of well-qualified, experienced people – especially women – who feel marginalised from the workplace following a career break.

“EY Reconnect and similar initiatives promote diversity in the workplace, which we know benefits everyone – it’s a win-win situation.”

Overcoming challenges

Of course, returning to work after a long career break can bring some challenges along the way. So what’s been the biggest challenge for Kemi to overcome?

“Realising my kids are alright without me! Because they definitely are. I have a supportive husband and great childcare in place, and this programme has let me see that I can manage a busy career and home life.

“Now, I feel I’m providing an important example to my daughters when I go to work each morning.”

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