Kirsty, Talent Manager: Creating your own role

My first career was as a strategy consultant for a large international firm. After my first child I worked 3 days a week as an employee engagement manager. After my second maternity leave I didn’t want to go back and took an 8 year break that passed in a blur. Once my children were both at nursery I started to have more time and took on some organisational and due diligence work for a friend’s company in school hours.

Then my old consulting company called to ask if I’d be interested in some freelance project work on retention. I negotiated to work 10 hours a week for a four month period and went into the office to rebuild my profile and credibility. During this time, I recognised the need for an ongoing ‘people person’ at the firm and proposed a mix of follow-on projects that were interesting, important to the firm and high-profile. I built up my hours according to my schedule and the business need from 15 to 25 hours a week over the next 2 years. As my hours increased I negotiated to work more from home to maintain my work-home balance. My role has recently evolved into a full-time employed position as Global Talent Manager, still mainly home-based, going into the office once a week on average. I love the variety and the meaningful aspect to the role, together with the control and flexibility that I have maintained since my initial engagement.