Blog Archive

Thursday, April 14, 2011

McGladrey Makes Flexible Work Options Work!

Written by, Marni Rozen
Lead Recruiter
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I sat down with Adrienne Anderson, Audit Manager in Fort Lauderdale, FL to hear her story of how McGladrey’s culture of WorkLife Flexibility is working for her. Listening to her story, you can see why McGladrey has been named as “Best in Class” for the 4th time by Working Mother Magazine. 

What is your history with the Firm?
I have been with the firm since 2000. I started with the Chicago office and transferred to the Fort Lauderdale office in 2003 and I am an Audit Manager. I am CPA in Illinois currently working on obtaining my Florida CPA license to assist in making to the next level, Director.

What is your Flexible Work Arrangement?
I take three full months of the year off, June 15 – September 15.  I work a fairly regular schedule the remaining nine months but try to limit my weekend work.

Why did you choose to go on this schedule?
It was a direct result of having my son. I wanted to spend more quality time with him and be 100% focused on being a mom part of the year but not give up my career aspirations.  My parents watch my son while I am working and the three months off not only allows me to bond with my son but allows my parents to spend the summer in Illinois with some of our family.

What has been the best thing about working a Flex Schedule?
The quality time I get to spend with my son is truly amazing and something I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do. The beauty of my flex schedule is that I still get to focus on the career aspirations I had before my son. It enables me to enhance my relationship with my son while continuing to interact with professional individuals.  My flex schedule gives me a very nice work/life balance so that I don’t get burnt out. It is nice to have a starting and stopping point and something to motivate me. My flex schedule has lead to me being more productive the nine months I am working and happier with my career choice.

What are the challenges?
Some of the first challenges were the guilt, and thinking Am I pulling my weight? and What are other people going to think?  It can also be challenging when I am working to balance it all and meet the demands of work and the expectations and demands of my family. It is important that when I am working that I prioritize right and keep my family first. I can’t go in thinking that I have to make up for not working for the last 3 months.

How supportive has leadership been in regards to your Flex Schedule?
Leadership has been truly amazing! Everyone is very respectful that I have those 3 months off. No one rings my phone off the hook or bombards me with emails. I do periodically check emails and take phone calls from clients if things are not completely wrapped-up when my leave starts. I want the flex schedule to continue to work.  Leadership recognizes that I put forth this effort during my time off and would be fine with me remaining completely unplugged.  Leadership respects the arrangement. They haven’t faulted me for it and it hasn’t been detrimental to my career in any way.  

What advice would you give to people trying to achieve Work/Life balance?
It is important to remain realistic about how much you can get done in one day and be on top of managing your client load.  It is also important to be comfortable saying No. Be realistic about what you can manage and do not feel guilty for not being able to do it all. If you need to go pick up your child or tend to your home responsibilities then you need to be able to put your work down and not think about it until you are able to pick it back up. I have definitely struggled with taking on too much at times.

Any final thoughts?
I think women who enjoy this profession but also want to be a mother should realize that it is attainable. The great thing about public accounting is that you can work anywhere. You don’t have to be in an office to get your workload completed which adds a lot of flexibility. I was on the verge of taking a position in the private industry when I find out I was pregnant. Once I realized how much flexibility public accounting offered I decided to remain at McGladrey. I haven’t regretted my decision for a split second. You can be successful at this firm and work a very flexible, manageable schedule.

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