A TBI is very much like dealing with a loss. There are many things you grieve, and a huge one for me is my career. I’m FINALLY ready to return to work, I’ll hopefully be doing so in November, but it’s going to look very different than it did pre-surgery. I’m going back very part time at first, like 8 hours a week, working 100% from home and doing very different tasks based on my current capabilities.
I started my career as an auditor. Within my first few months at Mazars I got my CPA license and, other than dealing with this recovery, it’s what I’m most proud of.
Probably because of the nature of life as an auditor but my co-workers are definitely my work family. I mean, of course you’ll be close to people you travel and eat with regularly, not to mention get drunk with. Someone said it best early on in my career after one night of all working late then going for drinks: “the fact that we’re choosing to spend more time together says a lot.”
It’s common for people to get to go on a work abroad, or secondment. It’s easy because we’re a global firm. It works because some countries have different busy seasons. Well I wanted to work in the U.K. The problem? They have the same busy season as us and normally people go for 3-4 months; they’d only take me for 6. My boss said”If you wait a year (this was 2014) I’ll make it happen.” He did. And it changed my life. I have great friends in London who I’ve visited since and they’ve come here. I studied abroad in London when I was 19 and I promised myself I’d work there one day.
While I was in London my boss emailed me to say I was being promoted to Manager in the fall. I was surprised and not expecting it.
In the fall of 2017 I went to my boss and said I didn’t want to continue as an auditor, but I loved our company and would work one more busy season as an auditor. My boss said “let me see what I can do.”
In May 2018 I moved into a Project Manager role, reporting to our COO and a Partner in our New York office. I was involved in an international program so I spent 4 weeks in Dublin in the summer of 2018 and went to the Netherlands a few weeks before my surgery.
I’m so beyond thankful that three, THREE years later, my company is still open to taking me back and are so accommodating to me including finding a role that fits my current capabilities.
I’ve been reminded this is temporary, and choosing to view this as a chance to build a role I love in a company I love. I’m extremely lucky to be with a company I can grow with and define my own path.
I’m many things but above all else I’m a working woman who does not shy away from hard work to define myself professionally. I believe in the importance of making my own success. And I look forward to getting back to that.