Ivy tried to resign from Avanade. She couldn’t believe what happened next.
- Posted on July 5, 2022
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
For two migrants, whose families were in the Philippines and the U.S., working from home with a toddler was beyond challenging. From the relative safety of Australia, Ivy felt helpless as the virus spread through her homeland. They lost family members to COVID-19. Unable to say goodbye, attend funerals or comfort their loved ones, their grief was both unreal and overwhelming.
On top of this, another tragedy. Ivy suffered a miscarriage – and something inside her broke. She tried her best to keep going but carrying on in full-time corporate work became almost impossible. With a heavy heart, Ivy went to resign from the job she loved.
It was a terrible moment in the career of someone who had to leave her homeland to be able to support and provide for her family back home in the Philippines.
With a degree in electronics and communications engineering, Ivy had worked in IT support before being hired by Avanade Singapore in 2012. “I was the first woman in the infrastructure service line,” she remembered. “As a senior analyst, I was quite junior and didn’t come from a consulting background. It was an amazing opportunity to meet and work with talented and smart people. My first thought was: ‘I want to be like them!’”
Ivy pushed herself hard, took every opportunity to learn and surrounded herself with people who helped her grow. After three years, in 2015, when her husband was offered a job in Australia, she was astonished when Avanade not only found her a role in Sydney, but helped with the transfer: “It was really easy and seamless.”
After seven years of hard work, she had been super-proud when Avanade promoted her to manager in December 2019. Now, here she was eight months later, telling her career adviser she needed to resign.
“I told them: ‘I love working for Avanade, I’m not looking for a new job, but I need a career break.’ I couldn’t believe it when Avanade told me that I didn’t need to resign. I could take as much extended leave as I needed – even a couple of years – and they’d always be happy to have me back.”
In the end, it took Ivy six months before she felt ready to return to work – and then only part time starting with three days a week. “I felt anxious and guilty – and really bad about not working full time. There was a little voice in my head that said I wasn’t contributing enough. My confidence and my positive mindset just crumbled.”
Anticipating that returning to part-time work could become a challenge for her, Avanade asked Ivy to register for a mentoring program. “Avanade paid for me to work with a life coach once a week for six months. It really helped me get over that hurdle. Today, I know I’m contributing and I’ve got my confidence back. I understand my strengths and capabilities, and learned about boundaries. It’s motivated me to start the journey to go back to full time work” because that is what works for Ivy.
From this month, Ivy is working four days a week and loving what she does, helping organizations to protect their people, data, systems, and applications from cyber-attacks. She is now a career adviser herself and paying it forward by helping junior consultants in their career development.
“I feel very proud of my work,” she said. “It’s important, exciting and challenging as we are solving significant problems. Most importantly, I have the flexibility I need to be a working parent – and a company that I know believes in me and will stand by me no matter what.”