EY Reconnect helped reacquaint me with skills that I had, but just was not using: Verity, Returner, Advisory

EY Australia

Hi, I’m Verity and I returned to work via the EY Reconnect Program, joining the Advisory Internal Audit team.

I had an eight year break from work that was spent travelling overseas, teaching scuba diving and running a café in Honduras. Previous to that I worked at another professional services organisation within an Audit role and also did some freelance accounting work.

I decided to return to work to fulfil my desire to learn more and challenge myself (beyond just perfecting my barista skills!).

I was looking for this new challenge when the Reconnect Program came through LinkedIn. The approach of offering women on career breaks a chance to ease back in was a really appealing opportunity. Throughout the recruitment process and induction everyone was warm and welcoming which gave me a good feeling about working with EY. It was also impressive that EY was willing to invest in our success from the outset.

Returning to work after an extended period brings many challenges, including deciding what to wear! The biggest challenge was believing in myself, this program really helped crystallise that and gave me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with skills that I had, but just was not using.

I found the Reconnect Program to be well structured, the framework of the program was flexible but gave enough support throughout the 12 weeks for any additional upskilling you required.

My manager was amazing. She checked in with me on a weekly basis and for me this was pivotal in creating the link between the program and my work team. We were also given access to an external coaching provider, this additional resource helped to trouble shoot some soft skill scenarios and also acted as an alternative sounding board.

For those reading this who are considering a return to work, my advice would be:

  1. Apply! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The more practise you get at preparing responses and finessing your resume the sharper your applications will become.
  2. Realise that despite a career break, you have valuable skill set and life experience so own them and figure out how you can apply those skills to work situations.
  3. The Reconnect Program gives you the opportunity to answer the question ‘what if?’, so if you are considering returning then this is the perfect place to find your answer.
  4. Be kind to yourself, you aren’t going to know everything and nor is there the expectation that you will. This is a chance to learn and ask questions and put yourself back in a position where you are able to grow professionally.