#Avanade20Years: Why I choose to stick with Avanade
- Posted on April 20, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
I have started to write this article multiple times, but I kept getting stuck searching for words and stopped. As Avanade celebrates its 20th anniversary, my intention was to explain what has kept me here at Avanade for 12 years. But right now, there are a lot of distractions, and in such a fast-moving situation, I’m finding it can be hard to concentrate. So, let's try again.
Honestly, when I joined I thought I might make it to two years, perhaps five, here at Avanade. It was the biggest company I had ever worked for, and I didn’t think the large corporate environment would necessarily suit me. But here I am 12 years later and looking forward to my “teenage” years with Avanade.
Like many of us who have been at Avanade for a long time, I have seen my career develop and grow. For a large part of my career, I worked as an executive assistant, supporting senior leaders that have included Adam Warby and Pam Maynard, our previous and current CEOs. I remember Pam once offered me career advice that I have kept with me ever since: “Be bold.” When my current boss, CHRO Dave Gartenberg offered me the chance to move into HR operations and communications, Pam's words rang in my head. I took the leap and have not looked back.
Over 12 years, Avanade has seen me through me of life's milestone moments and challenges. To fulfill our hope of being parents, my husband and I looked toward adoption. In the U.K., adopting a child is a long and uncertain process. It can be an emotional roller-coaster. So, imagine my surprise, when during all this uncertainty, I was asked if I would support Adam in the office of the CEO. Adam already knew about my plans to adopt, and he knew that if I became his EA, my uncertainty would become his uncertainty. In the end, I worked with Adam for nine months and gained the most amazing experience working at CEO level before becoming mum to my two fabulous girls.
Ever since returning to work, I've had nothing but the most incredible support from all my subsequent bosses, including last week, when I had to drop my work for a week and focus to settle my family as the U.K. started its shutdown. I don’t take for granted that my boss reacted the way he did. He could have made me feel guilty or made things difficult for me, but he didn’t. He told me to put my family first.
And so, when the world is in the grip of the most unsettling of times, my family and I tap into what makes us grateful. One of those things is working for a company that really does live by its values and is actively doing things to help employees feel confident and cared for. I'm grateful that I work for an organisation where its CEO who – when faced with the most extraordinary of times – took her own advice and chose a bold approach by providing job security and a paid flexible working approach for everyone at Avanade during Q3.
Many of us need to feel secure in these troubled times as we try to balance the needs of ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and our clients. In its 20th year, Avanade is once again demonstrating its commitment to me, my colleagues and those closest to us. I, for one, intend to stick around and repay that support.
Caroline Carlin (nee Ellis)
Sarah, I remember your journey with warmth. You have so much to be proud of. You are a true role model of what it means to be a working mum succeeding every day when faced with the contant juggling act of navigating the multitude of demands both emotionally and mentally. So pleased our paths crossed and miss you.
What an incredible story, Sarah! Thank you for sharing and looking forward to many more years of working with you :)
I couldn't agree more, Sarah. Having had life altering family events occur during my time here, glad to hear similar stories of Avanade's commitment to its people!
Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah. So glad you stayed and so thankful to work with you!
Hi Sarah - couldnt agree more on the feeling of confidence that Avanade truly cares. Another key take away from your from article... Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Sarah, enjoyed reading this. appreciate you sharing it
Thanks for sharing Sarah your story Sarah! I've enjoyed working with you during the last 12 years :)
Great article Sarah... thanks for sharing! :)
Great article! I also never thought I would last long at the same employer....and next year will celebrate my 15th anniversary @ Avanade :-)
Thanks Dominic - looking forward to getting the champagne out for your 15th!
Mirjam van Olst @mirjamvanolst
What a great story, thank you for sharing this Sarah! I'm in my 10th year at Avanade and I completely agree with you. I';m so grateful to be working for a company that is living by its values, even and especially in these unprecedented times.
Thanks Mirjam - very odd times but much to be grateful for that's for sure.
Amy dos Santos
Lovely words Sarah! I have many happy memories of our various projects together, and our friendship!
Absolutely Amy - lots of wonderful memories....and some that will remain between just us gals....right? :-)
Great article Sarah, thanks for sharing!
Thanks Latoyah - I hope you and the family are staying safe and well,
Lovely to hear your story Sarah, great article!
Thanks Natalie - credit where credit is due when I know other companies are finding it difficult to be as supportive. Love to you and your family.
Tony Hinkley @@TonyHinkley
Thanks for sharing Sarah. I too approaching my 10th year at Avanade, have been given great advice, support and opportunity throughout. Hoping my teenage years are as good as getting to double digits have been.
Thanks Tony - 10 years, eh? I feel a joint celebration is on the cards when all this is over.
Great article Sarah!!!! Happy to stick around with you!!
Sweet of you to say, thanks Julie. And thanks for all that you do to support our colleagues and a CA and TC lead. Stay safe.