Melanie North, Associate Director in our GES Tax team in Reading, enjoys balancing the demands of work and family life – and taking on new challenges that speak to her inner geek. Today, she shares her experience with us.
When did you join Deloitte and what is your role within the company?
I joined Deloitte in September 2012 as an experienced hire Manager. Initially, I joined the Global Employer Solutions (GES) Mobility team in Reading, looking after large expatriate programs and managing the Deloitte team that provide the services.
Since returning from my second maternity leave I am still in GES but now working 50% in our growing Global Mobility Compensation (GMC) team and 50% on a national Mobility project looking at our technology and how we can streamline our tax return preparation and review processes - which has the technology geek in me utterly thrilled!
What made you pursue a career in your field?
I attended a number of “Insight into…” courses at University where I found that I had an interest in business and the logical methodology of accountancy. Tax appealed to me as I could simultaneously be an expert in my field whilst having to keep on top of new legislation and case law throughout the year.
I started in General Practice in a Top 10 firm and quickly fell into expatriate taxation and employment taxes. Working with companies and expatriates to keep things straight-forward when they are posted abroad – from a tax perspective at least – is very rewarding as it is such a complex area.
What do you like best about working for Deloitte?
The access to resource, technology, knowledge and support is incredible.
The people are incredibly warm and invested in me as a person, they really listen to what you want from your career and your aspirations.
I have been able to change my working pattern to suit my changing needs over the years. After returning from my first maternity leave I moved to a 4-day working week. I simply love my work pattern and having that day with my daughters (who would not let me work on my non-work day even if I wanted to).
I also work from home at least once a week, so that I can do the nursery drop-off and pick-up.
What were your top 4 most memorable achievements and proudest stories from your professional and personal life in 2018?
- Pushing myself to leave the role that I knew well pre-maternity and step outside my comfort zone post-maternity into two different roles to expand my knowledge and experiences
- Joining the national project team means that I can influence positive change to our GES compliance process, which is so exciting
- I have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, so I have really worked hard on losing the baby weight and getting fit. I am hoping that by the time you read this I will have managed a 10k route on my weekly run, which will be the furthest that I have run. Ever.
- Surviving a flight to Corfu with my two children where the youngest projectile vomited her milk down my front – and the guy to my left’s knee - within 30 minutes after take-off (he was great about it).
Reflect back in 2018, what were your key motivation drivers; how has your creativity help you overcome challenges experienced at work?
Taking on two new roles means that I had to adjust my working style to build new working relationships and absorb new information quickly. But it keeps your contribution fresh and exciting, so I am very grateful for the opportunity to try new things this far along in my career.
I am incredibly lucky to work for a company that supports working parents to the level that Deloitte does. The Deloitte post-maternity transition programme really helped me integrate back into the business both times, which has encouraged me to throw myself into my new roles whilst setting aside time for myself and my family. I’ve learnt so much about myself over the last few years; I’ve found my working style and I know what is important to me.
Curious about where a career in Tax might take you? Wait no longer and check out the opportunities in tax now.