MHA | My work life balance with Kayleigh

My work life balance with Kayleigh

Posted on: April 26th 2021 · read


Kayleigh talks to us about why she chose MHA to support her career development in audit and the flexibility offered to her as a mother during the pandemic.

What made you join MHA?

I qualified at a top 5 firm in Milton Keynes before moving away from the area and subsequently, 3 years later, I was back again! In my time away I had got married and gained a new family member for whom I was now responsible. The easiest route would have been to continue with what I knew and reapply for my old role, but the change in my circumstances changed my focus somewhat. I was only 27 and not ready to accept that my career was going to be on hold while I waited for my child to grow, but I also had to recognise that I did (together with my partner) share additional responsibilities that would not have fitted the work life balance I experienced during my training contract and of those of my peers who had remained in the office and were now progressing. It was really important to me that wherever I went offered a good work-life balance, but absolutely zero compromise on audit quality and the growth and development of my experience. Technical challenges have always been something I have enjoyed and that motivated me. My research showed that MHA shared this ethos. Upon meeting my interviewers, and being absolutely challenged and engaged by the interview, I knew they shared this same goal. I was thrilled to be offered the role.

So, you had some requirements when you chose your next employer. Did we tick the boxes once you started?

For me, I was looking for a work-life balance and that is a very abstract ideology; there is always a concern that your own ideas do not match those of the firm. In my case, knowing I was being interviewed by a father of 3 and a father of 2, I knew they understood the constraints on my time. They were open and honest when I asked what a “peak week” and a “usual week” might look like and that has been absolutely the case. Of course, there is always going to be the odd last moment issue, or a week where the hours worked were more than you had hoped, but this is the exception rather than the rule. It’s really very difficult to put into words, but the unique team I work with and the great relationship I have with the Partners has meant the reality of working for the firm exceeded any expectation I may have had. We are one big team; we have a shared goal of excellence and providing outstanding service. This definitely ticks the boxes for me!

How has the firm supported your career development?

I joined the firm as an Audit Senior in 2014 and worked predominantly for a Director in Northampton who was nearing retirement. This shaped my future and I soon progressed to Supervisor and then to Assistant Manager. By 2019 I was Manager and then in 2020, Senior Manager, as my original mentor retired. In that time I went from working on his jobs, to running his jobs, to them now being my jobs! I also managed to squeeze in a 13-month maternity leave in this time and a couple of months working part time hours around my little ones’ needs!

How has the firm supported you, as an employee and a Mother, during the pandemic?

Partners and senior management have always been honest and transparent, so I knew where I stood which built a lot of trust.

The people are what makes it a great firm – supportive and inclusive. You join with people your own age, there is a togetherness and people in the same boat as you. As the largest accountancy practice in Northampton there is such an eclectic mix of people and always someone there to help you no matter what the problem.

What is the culture like at MHA, in your opinion?

The culture here is very progressive, forward looking and values people as its key asset. The culture in my local office is open, honest and there has never been a problem I couldn’t share with my Partner; never an instance when I doubt that they “have my back”. We all work a lot with people, we are people-people and that absolutely shows. I have an amazing amount of support in my role. This might include my mentor checking in on me outside of work, the secretarial team checking all is working as it needs to, my Audit Partner making sure my workload is manageable (and offering support if I need it), or my team keeping morale high.

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