I’ve decided to to share a few thoughts about life, and my journey, past, present and future with Ethos. I wish I’d started this 15 years ago, so please excuse me while I catch up!
I’ve been inspired to do this because:
- I find individuals stories compelling and strongly believe that we should all be sharing our story as the mistakes, successes, thoughts, jokes, learning whatever etc etc can often be things I relate to and help me understand my journey/choices better.
- (apologies, this is the self indulgent bit) Everytime I share a bit of my story and it helps someone understand Ethos and their journey better, I feel happy.
- Euan Semple said ( I think his words were) – “Just put it out there and see what happens”, so I am.
I always start my Ethos story by saying that Rob Pye ruined my life. A fact! He recruited me into EY Sales in 1998 and even then he treated people with common decency, pushed back against the corporate powers that be, pushed for innovative technology enabled tools to create a change in mindset and approach, it was all quite empowering. So my life was ruined as I was certain that I could never cope again with the frustrations of working in a corporate environment, politics, baronies, silos, egos and all. Of course, I mean ruined in a good way. It was then a “no brainer” for me to migrate to c-people (Ethos mk1) as Rob and Tony Clarke founded it. Focussing on collaboration and purposeful outcomes…it seems funny to think now that we thought we could get a firm of accountants to let go and be trusting of cyberspace and the opportunities for collaboration and relationship building it could offer with their clients #mad #hindsight – and that they paid us to try! So it was for a few years until 2004 when c-people went into hibernation, the market had crashed and I moved to Sweden, 10 weeks pregnant, no job and a husband also with no job. A new adventure!
We lived there for nearly 5 years, all really enjoyable, but when the time was right we returned to the UK. It was 2009 and we now had 2 children in tow. During my time in Sweden, between having my kids, I did go back to a corporate life I vowed I never would, but I can see that was only because it was in Sweden and life and priorities are very different there, even within the beasts that are the Big 4. I was allowed flexibility and allowed to prioritise myself as a mother. Love Sweden!
Our 2009 UK return saw us settling in Suffolk, which appeared just about commutable to London for my husband. Once settled I soon emailed a few of my friends saying,
“I want to work during school hours only, work from home so I can be mum when I need to, do something interesting and be paid a sensible amount of money for my efforts.”
I don’t know why I was surprised but I was definitely pleased when Rob came back to me saying “that’s all fine, come and work for Ethos.” So for a year I committed to 2 hours a week – which I have to say proved much more difficult than working 30 hours a week. What can anyone really do in just 2 hours a week?!? Then in 2011, after a great deal of deliberation, a desire to use my brain in more ways than simply all that is thrust on a mother of 2, and most importantly with the support of my family, I decided to make more investment and took the plunge to become almost full time, still with flexibility in the school holidays. And so it has been for the last 4 years. I am still a little in awe of the flexibility that I get working with Ethos, as are most people I talk to about it. But that has to be one of the things I love most about working the Ethos way. I have no desire to sound religious or cultist (I definitely try hard not to do politics or religion) but for me Ethos is a way of life, my way of life in fact!
Autumn 2014 saw me redesigning my way of life again by reworking my value exchange to incorporate changes as my husband joined Ethos too and we rebalanced our home responsibilities. Exciting and scary times, and now almost a year on it’s been quite a year in which balance, flexibility and shared values have all held their place. Long may it go on!
What’s your story so far?