March 13, 2018
Developing professionally and personally
By: Melanie Elston

Melanie Elston

“If you’re looking for a development opportunity, put your hand up and help will be there.”

I started my HR career with a big retailer, but the remuneration wasn’t brilliant. Then I moved to a law firm, which I didn’t particularly enjoy. But I’ve certainly found my niche at Accenture – in a way, it’s given me the best of my two previous worlds.

I was looking for the opportunity to develop my career, and during my time here I’ve moved up from analyst to manager. Since my first day, I’ve always thought that Accenture looks after my needs and values me for what I bring to the business. I’ve always felt that if you’re looking for a development opportunity all you have to do is put your hand up and help will be there. You don’t necessarily move forward in a straight line, but as I’ve progressed I’ve managed bigger and bigger teams.

In my current role, I partner with the Resources Leadership team, which involves working with MDs to understand how I can support their needs. I input people strategies, play a key role in bringing the people leadership concept to life and am involved in confidential employee relations matters. It’s all go but I love the challenges each day brings. You never know what’s around the corner. There’s a huge variety of projects you can immerse yourself in, which you can tailor to your interests. We are a business-facing HR team and it’s immensely satisfying when you make a difference to the organisation.

But work isn’t everything to me, not by a long chalk. My time at Accenture has coincided with my getting married and becoming a mum to two boys. The company has gone out of its way to enable me to be a working mum and enjoy a good work-life balance. I work three days a week, Monday to Wednesday, with my job share partner covering the other two days. Being part time hasn’t compromised my development – for example, I attended the HR Leadership Programme as a job-sharer.

I’ve always felt that Accenture has allowed me to live the life I want while providing interesting and stimulating work on the days I’m in the office. Outside work, my life does revolve around my family, but I also find time to cycle, take the odd skiing trip and socialise with friends.

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