Finding flexibility and balance

The nature of the work McKinsey Implementation consultants do attracted me to the firm nearly two years ago. I wanted to solve complex problems and have significant impact in Australia’s largest organisations.

Jo inline
Jo inline

The work I do now as an implementation leader in Sydney has allowed me to do just that. I’ve supported clients across industries, including insurance, mining and telecommunications. I focus on coaching clients – helping them build their capabilities so they can sustain the impact we achieve together. That is what I especially love about the work – the people. My clients are amazing, and my gifted colleagues are a privilege to work with. My experience so far has been very enriching and rewarding.

During the McKinsey interview process, I met several partners, including the managing senior partner of our Australian offices John Lydon, who pushes the firm’s goal to attract and retain top female talent. They helped bring to life all the programs the firm offers – including flexible working options, parental leave, mindful travel, and Take Time – to provide flexibility and encouraged me to explore how they could work for me.

When my family and I moved from the UK to Australia five years ago, we made some changes in our lifestyle. I went back to work after two almost consecutive maternity leaves, while my husband Martin became a full-time dad for a while. He has really valued and enjoyed spending so much time with our children, and I have been grateful for the opportunity to re-focus on my career. Our children are thriving – they are proud their parents are role models for a different lifestyle – and our family and friends have been incredibly supportive.

Going back to work has been a juggling act. I’ve been so impressed by the support I’ve received from my colleagues and the firm as I find the balance I need. They have enabled me to make time for things such as my daughter’s first day at school, my son’s soccer awards presentation, my eldest daughter’s dance performance, and date night on our wedding anniversary. I’ve continued to volunteer as the president of the Parents and Citizen’s Committee at my children’s school and rarely open my laptop or check email on the weekends. It has taken effort, organization, planning, and a focused mindset; I’ve learned to be clear and upfront about what will and will not work for me, but it’s absolutely achievable.

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