My family and I moved to London in 1996, when my husband was offered a major promotion. When we arrived, I focused my attention on ensuring a smooth transition for my children as they adapted to their new British schools, supporting my husband in his new role, and establishing a robust family life in a new country. Once I had achieved these family objectives, I looked around and realized that I was now both unemployed and underemployed. I decided to take advantage of living in London to pursue a lifelong love of the fine and decorative arts. I was accepted into Christie’s Education Diploma Course, and upon graduation established my own antiques business. We originally agreed to move to London for a three-to-five year assignment, but in the end we stayed for 12 years. It was a wrench to leave the UK; my antiques business had closed, my youngest child was leaving for college, and I was looking at starting over again with professional and social networks in the U.S. after many years away.
I first met Addie Swartz in in 1984, when we both worked for Bain & Company in California. Fast forward many years, I learned that serial entrepreneur Addie had founded another start-up, a company called reacHIRE, with the mission of helping professional women reenter the corporate workplace. It felt like fate. At that time I was interviewing for professional roles, and increasingly aware that my professional and technical skills had suffered during my 10-year career break. I had to apply to the reacHIRE program.
I joined reacHIRE’s second cohort. reacHIRE rebuilt my professional confidence, helped me to reclaim my own past work experience, refreshed and validated my technical and workplace skills, all while teaching me how to articulate goals that would create organizational value. The 11 women in my reacHIRE cohort were an unexpected and immeasurable resource, and a benefit to me, as we partnered to support one another and leverage each other’s learning. They were key to my journey back into the professional workplace.
After completing the program, reacHIRE provided me with access to employment opportunities that I could not have achieved on my own. I interviewed, and was hired by Fidelity Investments, reentering the corporate world as a “FTE”, a full-time employee, as a Business Analyst in Fidelity Institutional Technology.
Three years later I am still at Fidelity. I work for a company that strives for excellence, innovation, and vitality, and that believes in diversity and inclusion. I have been promoted to Senior Project Manager in Institutional Technology, where I am responsible for multiple channels of Executive Communication and Reporting for the Chief Information Officer and his Senior Management Team. I work across the ‘SMT’, and with Initiative IT leads, to articulate and communicate major technology deliverables in our discretionary portfolio, reporting on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly cadence. Among other projects, I have recently managed the end-to-end development of a Drupal portal for straight-through reporting of some weekly metrics.
I am so grateful to reacHIRE for building the concrete path I was able to follow back into the corporate workplace after my significant career break. I have found a fulfilling role that leverages my past experience, and that challenges me to continue building new technical and interpersonal skills. I know I would not be where I am today without reacHIRE.