Career Detour

Fifteen years into my career, I had just been promoted to principal at Haskell & White, and I was about to make the most difficult decision in my career. Conversations around work-life balance were not as commonplace as they are today, and I was not seeing how to create harmony between my responsibilities with work and my family. The best option at the time was to put my career on hold and focus on my family full-time.

Usually, people taking detours from the well-defined career path of public accounting do not return to the industry. My promotion was an achievement, and I was on track to reach a level that most women do not attain. Statistics show that most women don’t reach senior positions in public accounting or become a partner in a public accounting firm.

I loved serving my clients as a business and advisory consultant at a local accounting firm and investing time to contribute to the Firm’s success. Deciding to take that “moment” to focus on my family was difficult for someone so career-oriented, but I knew it was right. The team at Haskell & White supported me, and at the time, I didn’t have a plan for coming back.

Understanding that your job is not your identity was an important part of my journey and took some time to understand. It’s a healthy view, but not an easy one if your career drives many of your choices. I enjoyed contributing and participating in the business world and making the decision to prioritize my family meant that I wouldn’t get the recognition for those contributions that I enjoyed.

In the Summer of 2021, the partners at Haskell & White had an opportunity for me to work on some projects on a contract basis. This sounded like the perfect way to test the waters and see what my next chapter would look like as my kids were older and more independent. My story doesn’t end there.

That contract assignment made me realize how much I missed working with clients and the challenging work of public accounting. In December of 2021, I had the opportunity to go back to Haskell & White in a consistent role with the Firm. I knew it would be a transition, as public accounting is constantly moving as regulations and laws change. Technology has evolved, so going back to a local accounting firm with a supportive environment was paramount on my journey back into this world.

I am now back at Haskell & White, and I feel like I am in a better place than ever before. I know now I won’t miss out on the important parts of life, as I can arrange my responsibilities for work and my home life in a way that works for me and make sure my contributions to the Firm and myself are valued. Sometimes career detours can be scary, but sometimes they are exactly what you need.

Reflecting on my journey over the last ten years, I appreciate returning to Haskell & White’s supportive and collaborative culture. If you are looking for an excellent opportunity to grow your career, consider joining a local accounting firm that can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.