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Sara Brown, EY Reconnect 2017 participant, now Senior Manager in EY’s Financial Services Advisory practice:

“I took a two-year career break to spend time with my two young children.  I had originally intended to take a few months off over the Summer but somehow it turned into a two-year break.”

During that time, Sara relocated from London to Scotland and once her children were both happily settled at their new school, decided the time was right to get back into the world of work.

“My reasons were partly to do with enjoying the intellectual stimulation and team spirit of being at work whilst also wanting to build on my accumulated experience rather than letting it ‘go to waste’”.

“My personal experience of returning to work has been positive on the whole. At the start, my youngest child was very unsettled by the whole idea of me going back to work which, in turn, made me wonder whether I was doing the right thing, but he has gradually got used to it.

“There were also a few teething problems initially with getting onto projects. However, this was quickly corrected, and I’ve since worked on a variety of projects which have utilised my previous experience and also enabled me to learn about some new areas.”

And it didn’t take long for Sara to get back into ‘work’ mode, owing to the level of support received by EY in the form of a career ‘counsellor’ – not to mention her fellow participants.

“Being able to share the experience with others on the Reconnect programme has been invaluable, knowing that there is always a group of like-minded people you can reach out to and use as a sounding board or compare notes with is very reassuring.

“The highlight for me so far has been receiving a lovely piece of feedback from a partner on a recent project I worked on, which made it all feel worthwhile.”

For anyone considering applying for EY Reconnect, Sara believes there is nothing to lose.

“Three months on a supported return to work programme like EY Reconnect is a good way to find out whether returning is going to work at a practical level for you and your family and also, for you to discover that your work skills return very quickly once you are back in that environment again.

Final words of wisdom from Sara:

“You need to be a bit of a self-starter, by becoming a proactive networker and putting yourself forward for projects so that people recognise the skills and value you can bring to the table. Responses are always positive and welcoming but you need to be prepared to promote yourself a bit at first.”