Planning to start a family. Debating whether to stick it out in PA or move to industry. For all of you that stayed in PA, how did you manage work/life/parenthood? For all of you in industry, when did you transition out of PA, right after mat leave? Let’s assume we live in a post Covid world. For more background, my partner also has a decently demanding job (not as crazy as PA though).

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My daughter is 2 and I am making the switch to industry. I am a manager in tax compliance and busy season seems to be just getting longer and more intense. It got too challenging to juggle daycare drop off/pickups, dinner, bath and two professional careers. PA can be flexible and I was always able to be there for my daughter but I started feeling like a shell of myself because I had no time to do anything but work and parent. I would say don’t worry about when to make the switch too much. There is a lot to get used to so just feel it all out! Don’t fall for the reduced hour schedule though, that is a scam. Being client facing means you really can’t control the work flow and everyone I knew that did that still worked close to full time but too serious pay cuts.

helpfullike

I think it depends how passionate you are about your job. I “made it work” with my first born although a good chunk of her life has been Covid-style. When I was on maternity leave with my second, I got an unexpected job offer that was a great one (I wasn’t looking it was just a random LinkedIn message). I had to evaluate whether I had a true desire to make partner which made the sacrifice to family time worth it. My husband told me if deep down I really wanted to stay and make partner that he would pick up my slack and support me. After much thought I realized I didn’t actually want to be a partner and it was just the thrill of the chase. Now I’m in industry and much more present at home.

So long story short - just think about what you truly want. If you want to stay in PA, you can most definitely make it work. But if you are sticking around “just because,” it’s probably not worth the chaos trying to juggle it all.

likesmart

Completely agree with you. I have no desire to become a partner at a big 4. I do enjoy the work I do most of the time but let’s be honest we aren’t saving life’s or making a better working world. Nothing we do are significant enough to sacrifice family time you’ll never get back.

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I stayed in PA (my child is 1.5) and I’m a manager. I shifted my mindset from being a top-performer to being more average, and have set (and stuck to) boundaries. It absolutely does depend on your teams, but I also had to learn to be okay with not pleasing everyone at work.

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This is an interesting point I have not yet thought about. What’s your long term plan in PA?

I am pregnant now with our first, due in May. The plan is to stay with PwC through maternity leave and then reevaluate how I feel about the job once I come back (I’ll be part time for a bit). Job is demanding but also really enjoy the flexibility so want to consider all option once the baby is here before making any big moves!

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I stayed in PA during pregnancy ( I was a senior) and currently (my son is 3 and I’m a manager) and honestly it really depends on the team / office. Like it’s been great for me because I have been able to take the flexibility I need even before COVID. Another big staple is my spouse - I wouldn’t be able to do it if he wasn’t supportive and available to pick up from daycare and do more around the house during busy season. So I think it really depends 🤷🏻‍♀️

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I stayed in PA for 6 months after I returned to work, and I decided to leave for an industry role. Managing the demands of PA and trying to maintain some sort of WLB was next to impossible for me even with setting clear boundaries, etc. I am much happier now, and it is a great feeling to shut down at 5 and be completely present for my family in the evenings and on the weekends.

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Stay wherever you can get paid materinity and leave after

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With Deloitte, your maternity leave benefits kicks in right away, and you’ll need to continue serve at least 2 months after the leave to avoid clawback, if I remember correctly. 1 year service period will allow you to take additional unpaid leave

I had similar thoughts with my first. I would encourage you not to self-select out of a potentially rewarding career. Is it easy - no. Would I likely have regretted going to industry - 100% yes. There’s a lot of change going on in your life and there will continue to be. I encourage new moms to give it a year after coming back to try to find their new normal. The first few months were tough as my daughters needs were constantly changing at the same time I was figuring out my new identity, but I’m really glad I stuck it out.

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The current plan is to return to PA and see how it goes :)

likehelpful

I’m due next week and I’m surprised that I even made it through the whole pregnancy in public accounting which I always thought impossible. My original plan was to start everything when I move into industry, but Deloittes maternity leave policy, COVID-19, my age and immigration status, etc. made it more reasonable to start last year and glad I did. My plan was to jump out right away after the leave and now I’m think to re-evaluate after it to see how I can handle it. Jumping jobs for me is harder because I require work visa so I assume things would not be hard for you as you can always hand in 2 week notice so I’d say go for it. You’ll only know when you actually do it

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Sucks you are trapped due to visa status. I hope you find another sponsor soon

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I’ve been on a flex schedule for about 5 years, and it has really helped. I know people will say that fwa’s don’t always work (which is true), but if your team supports it and you are able to set boundaries, they are possible for sure. I’ve had the most supportive pped in this regard.

Best wishes to your family!!

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Read ‘’Lean In’’ with your partner; then read it again. If your partner is willing to do what it takes- I would stay til at least Manager. find a female partner that had been there to talk to. Both my kids are into their adult years now and I recently made the switch to a client service role after years of internal support roles. PA is a great place to be for $$ and benefits.

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I think you’ll get a better maternity leave benefits in PA than in industry.

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I think it depends on your team / your mindset / your goal / and your husband.

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I had three kids four years apart, and stayed in PA. I stayed due to the extended maternity leaves—I took 6+ months each, at full pay. I returned full time but remained at 45 hours flex for busy season until I was done nursing. Being a manager or above helps. Less expectation to stay late during crazy times—I would work until dinner, spend the evening with family and boot back up a few hours later.

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When I was pregnant I worked at EY. I took the maternity leave and at the end of it found a job in industry. I got really lucky and ended up a place with the best hours (stayed there for 4 years). Don’t be afraid to explore internal supporting roles as well. You may find something that is not client facing with reasonable hours.

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I am also due in May and I intend to stay in PA as long as I can. I may try a reduced schedule and/or look for another role, but it’s hard to pass up the benefits. We had to undergo IVF and it was covered in PA, many industry roles can’t offer that same benefit.

Congrats on your pregnancy! Im so happy for you.

I can’t even find an industry job with the same mat leave policy as EY. And a lot of industry jobs are more traditional and do not offer flexible work arrangement. So those are some things weighing on my mind.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and insights! Our current plan is for me to stay till manager and be on mat leave on manager salary. We will give PA a chance after the baby and go from there. I’m also thinking most of my fears stem from not having supportive/genuine leadership in my local office so switching firms is now in my agenda as well.

That’s a shame there isn’t supportive leadership. I am the “talent” partner (I serve clients but oversee all things talent for my office), and I see nothing but upside for being supportive of our parent employees.

My PPMDs are women with 2 kids so they understood. But I really have a feeling that management are not genuinely supportive, they just show they are to be politically correct. They still want everything done without any trouble so I didn’t rely on their support but tried to function as normal…

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75% flexible work arrangement in PA

I stayed in PA, but moved to a non-client facing role (think National office) when my oldest was 2 (she’s now 12).

It’s worked out for me, but I oftentimes wish I’d left at that time.

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