From IVF to parent duties - Olly’s transition from the military to Deloitte
Since leaving the Army, Olly’s career with Deloitte has gone from strength to strength. We speak to him about his transition from the military to a civilian career, and the support he’s had from Deloitte through major life events- including supporting his partner through IVF treatment.
Leaving the Army
After serving in the Army for eight years, Olly was looking for a change. “When I joined the Army, I assumed I’d be there for my entire career,” he says. “In 2015 I had done two tours of Afghanistan and though I still enjoyed being part of the Army, I needed a change for my family.” By that time Olly had married his wife, Olivia, and they were thinking about starting a family together. “She has a great career at a law firm, and travelling would have been difficult if I’d stayed in the Army,” he says. When someone told him about the Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme, which helps ex-military people and their spouses to build a career in professional services, Olly began to reconsider his options.
Having been a Regimental Signals Officer in the Army, he had many transferable skills which were a huge asset to Deloitte. He landed a role as a Technology Risk Senior Consultant in Risk Advisory, which complemented his technical aptitude. “I had the core skills and mind-set to do the job, and I could be taught any specific programmes I needed for the new role,” he says. “Management of teams comes naturally having been in the Army, so that was another skill I already had.” For Olly, the hardest part of joining Deloitte was learning to take things slowly while he was learning. “I was used to taking on every task in the Army. Here I learnt to do one thing at a time. I found there were many people of all grades in the business who could help.” As well as shadowing and being assigned a buddy, he was able to take on new training in certain areas.
Olly worked as a Senior Consultant for three years, before being selected for a secondment to Deloitte Global. It was during this time that he and Olivia went through IVF, to have their son, Ben. The process was emotionally difficult for them as a couple, as well as being physically challenging for Olivia. “Your life becomes ruled by ultrasounds, results and tests,” he says. “When you throw the low probability factor in there of being successful, it becomes even more stressful. Mentally it’s very absorbing.” Luckily his team were there to support him throughout the process, ensuring that he could regularly take time off to be with Olivia for the appointments, and leave early whenever he needed to. “I never felt weird asking about it, I just made sure that I let people know and everyone was really understanding. Flexible working has always been possible here.”
“In my role I integrate the eight geographies in the Risk Advisory business to work together, harmonising processes. I work with some really good partners and people around the world. I have also been able to build an amazing support team from our Engagement Support Services, in Cardiff.”
Once Ben came along, the flexibility that he’s able to have in the workplace became even more important. “It’s meant I’ve been able to spend more time at home and arrange to do pickups,” he explains. “Olivia is now partner at her law firm and being flexible means I can better support her so that we can work as a team for Ben.” He’s also been able to volunteer at his son’s school as a class representative, and feels he has the time and energy to be more active in supporting Ben’s routine. “I can usually move around some work to evenings if I want to, and it’s great that I’m able to take on volunteer roles at the school, because it usually falls on mums which I don’t think is fair.”
Putting people first
Olly says that working for a “people based” organisation is what’s allowed him to do this, and he’s excited to see what the future will hold. “Wellbeing is a really important part of working at Deloitte, whether that’s spending time with family like me, or doing something completely different. Everyone can benefit.” By striking that balance, he’s better able to develop his career and grow in the direction he wants.