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February 12, 2015
A Difficult Project
By: Hollie Willets
Before Christmas I had one of the most interesting periods of my 3 and a half years at Accenture.  I joined a new project in November which was rather a shock to the system.  The hours were long, the pressure was high and the working environment was less than ideal.  At first I tried to treat it like a good opportunity but I soon became ill with neck pain and generally being run down through lack of sleep and fresh air!  After some discussion with my career counsellor and line manager I decided that it would be best to roll off at Christmas.  It was a difficult thing to do as to leave a project early it’s easy to feel like a failure or that you’re letting the team down.  After all, everyone else was putting up with the situation. 
I have no regrets at all about leaving that project.  The fact they let me go was a lifeline actually – a lucky escape.  I am still in touch with some colleagues there and the situation has not improved.  I think sometimes it’s easy to put up with such situations just because everyone else is doing it – it’s the culture of the project.  Many of my colleagues there had only ever known that kind of environment and seemed to believe it was just to be expected in consulting.  I feel sorry for them as I know it does not have to be like that.  In my previous project, and current new one, I work reasonable hours with proper office set up and that should not be considered a luxury but the norm.  The truth is, I was less productive in that kind of environment than ever – I was too tired to concentrate or think properly, and I was unhappy generally at having to sacrifice my entire social life. 
Overall the experience gave me a great insight into what I find important in life, and how much I have changed during my time at Accenture.  On my very first project I was happy to work long hours and my only social life was within my project as I was working out of town.  We would work in the office until 6 or 7 then go out for dinner as a team before retiring to our hotel rooms from where we would often continue a little more work before bed.  That was the norm and at that time I did not question it.  I was physically well and didn’t really have any other social life that I was neglecting.  Things are different now.  This experience really brought home that everyone on a team is at a different stage in their life with different priorities, and it’s important to respect that.

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