I’ve no problem sharing my personal story, because my journey is not so much about my career but how I’ve managed it alongside milestones in my life. I had a plan at uni in the early ‘90s: to use my languages and work in exotic locations, before starting a family around the 30 mark. But recession bit and I worked in contact centre environments. Then, at 25, when I was running a pan-European operation, I became pregnant. Things were tough enough, but three months after my daughter was born my partner was diagnosed with cancer (he’s fully recovered now, thankfully). It’s a case of how you respond and back in 2002 I decided to re-invent myself, applying for and being offered an Analyst role with Accenture in Operations Excellence.
Since then, there have been some tremendous highs and a few lows. Back in 2006 I was promoted to Senior Manager, quite a rapid rise, and I was asked to go to Wolverhampton as HR Delivery Lead for a major project. It proved to be a two-hour commute each way, my family was suffering and I was physically and mentally shot. I phoned my boss and he said to leave it with him. Two hours later he was back: there was a big problem that needed fixing in Milton Keynes (my home town) and I was the person to fix it. Moral of the story? If you need help, ask for it; Accenture were simply brilliant with me.
In fact, it’s the people who make the place. As I’ve worked with multiple clients across virtually all the industries we’re involved in, taking on different roles and climbing the career ladder, I’ve met some incredible colleagues. Mentors have been the perfect sounding board for career ideas and I’ve picked things up from some great leaders, which I’ve brought to my current role, where I’m accountable for all operations service delivery that takes place in the UK.