Here’s an over-simplified explanation of the way ‘the bench’ works – there are a multitude of opportunities at Accenture. Depending on demand, you can be allocated to a project or you can also find and apply for a role yourself. When not assigned to a role, you are “on the bench”; and when you are assigned, you are “off the bench”.
There are a variety of ways you can find an assignment; there’s an internal job board where you can search for and apply for roles. In addition, everyone has a scheduler who, amongst other things, can support you in finding a role should the job board not yield anything that suits. Schedulers have visibility of a lot more roles than you can ever find on the internal job board. It’s known that not all roles are listed on the internal job board in the first instance; some roles get filled before they are created…cue the importance of networking. But I’ll save that cue for another post. Suffice to say, you can also find out about and get roles through your network.
Whilst completing the mandatory training in Madrid, I was working on my ‘one pager’ (an internal CV). Having joined Accenture with prior work experience, I knew I wanted a role in the PMO/PM space. Once I was happy with my one pager, I updated my profile on the internal job board and sent copies to the handful of people in my network.
A little over a week of being on the bench, I found a role through the internal job board. It was a lot more technical than I was comfortable with but you don’t join a technology firm and not expect to improve on your technical abilities. No one knows it all, so the general understanding is that everyone learns and improves on the job. Growth, after all is a trait for living things. The role was an internal one, meaning I wasn’t directly client facing rather I was on a team supporting other Accenture teams.
Four weeks into the role, I was asked to roll-off the account. There are a variety of reasons people roll-off accounts – the project might have come to an end or there is no more funding so the team is being downsized; you decide that you’d like to try your hand at something different so ask to roll-off; or it’s decided you’re not the right fit for that role. Well, the latter was me. Communication and feedback is very important, both positive and constructive, so I asked for feedback and had the opportunity to give some before I rolled off.
Around the same time, I received an email about Accenture Christmas Carol Service – the timing couldn’t have been better. I remember standing in the Church that Thursday evening, and as the carols soared, I was filled with a renewed sense that everything would work out for my good. I also found out about Accenture Christian Fellowship (ACF); which I signed up to get involved with. My faith in and relationship with God is integral to who I am; “…a strong and trustworthy anchor for my soul”. Although I was at peace deep within, I still had to resolve the emotional unrest I felt on the surface. Heaven knows I needed grace to see out the rest of my time on the project I was rolling off from.
I’d made a couple of good friends during my time on the project –Zahia and Golda (shout out ladies…love you more than I love “dodo”) as well as reaching out to my network to look for roles, they also reached out to their networks on my behalf. My scheduler was also aware and recommending roles to me.
The week before Christmas, Zahia referred me for a role. I interviewed with the Senior Manager and it went well, but he needed final approval from the Project Lead in America…she had gone on holiday and wasn’t returning till the New Year…
...to be continued…