EY Reconnect Returner Program

EY Reconnect Program, is a program for female career returners, providing a bridge for professionals re-entering the workplace after an extended career break.

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What is EY Reconnect?

This four day per week, 12-week program offers a supported route back into work with induction, coaching and mentoring for talented individuals who have had a career break of between 2 and 10 years. Joining as part of a cohort, you will also have an instant peer group for additional support. This is an opportunity for you to reconnect with your career, your previous experience and knowledge within business. You will join client teams across our service lines, and participate in varied project work whilst being supported back into the workforce.

Why EY?

We’re building the workplace of the future – a place that’s smarter, more inclusive, more dynamic and more flexible – and driven by a sense of purpose. We’re continually investing in our people in order to be the employer of choice in professional services, offering you a range of experiences and assignments that will inspire your professional development and help you move closer to your long-term goals.Our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce is core to our ambitions. Brilliant women – and men – are already thriving in our business and we’re committed to attracting more women and other minority groups to work at EY – at all levels across the business.

Interested to know more about the program

  • Who is suitable and what experience is needed?

    You will have left the workforce having had over 5 years relevant work experience, with a background in professional services, consultancy, financial services, technology or a related industry.

    EY Reconnect offers the opportunity to join an inclusive and diverse workplace, where we encourage creativity and flexibility. It’s not just something we talk about; the skills you’ve acquired from your career break will be celebrated and valued as much as those from your professional CV.

  • Which area would suit me best?

    EY Reconnect offers roles across multiple business areas. We encourage you to research the service lines prior to applying to ensure they are aligned to your interests, skills and experience.

    At the end of the 12 weeks, all participants will be considered to transition into a permanent role with EY utilising our flexible working practices.

  • What if I don’t know which area is the best fit for me?

    When you apply, you will be asked for your service line preference however if you can’t decide, there is the option for a second choice. Please research our service lines prior to applying to ensure they are aligned to your interests, skills and experience.

     

  • Where is it based and when does it start?

    Applications are currently closed for the Reconnect program. If you would like to join our return to work talent pool to be notified when applications open, please register your details via our EY Reconnect Talent Community here.

  • Is EY Reconnect a paid program?

    Yes, you will be paid in line with the permanent roles for the teams you join.

  • Will I have to work full time?

    The 12 week program is designed to be four days per week, giving you the exposure, support and opportunities whilst allowing you to transition back to work whilst still having time to pursue your other interests. All EY roles are open to flexibility and we are here to consult and work with you on flexible working options should you join us at the end of the 12 weeks.

  • What’s next?

    Applications have now closed for our latest cohort of returners. If you would like to join our return to work talent pool to be notified when applications next open, please register your details via our EY Reconnect Talent Community here.

Keen to apply? Here are our top tips to help with your application.

Top tips for your CV and application

Finalising your “perfect CV” or written application or worrying about your social media profile can be a real barrier to applying for roles after you have taken a career break.
The good news is that none of this needs to be perfect; your CV and application should be an authentic representation of the experience and attributes you’d bring to the role – and that includes the valuable skills you have obtained during your time out of the workplace – with the perspective that brings.

We wanted to share some of our top tips with you to assist you in preparing your CV and application. For the Reconnect program, we are keen to understand what you have been doing during your career break but our main focus will be on your prior professional career.

Tailor your CV and application

A good application makes clear where and how your experience is relevant. Use the job specifications and company research to clearly demonstrate where you add value. Following a career break, make a link between the skills of budgeting, project management or delegation you have developed and why this adds value to a company that truly values diverse talent. We also want to understand why you are keen to join EY and in particular the Reconnect program.

Personal Statement or Profile

Include four or five sentences to introduce who you are and summarise your core skills, experience and qualifications from your professional career, plus activities during your career break. Think of this as your elevator pitch to the employer and let them know why they would want to hire you.

Be wary of getting the basics wrong

Bad grammar, spelling or a poor visual layout can stop your CV from making it past the first round of screening. Two to three succinct, accurate and purposeful pages make the best impression.

Education and qualifications

Be factual and specific about academic and professional qualifications. Never be tempted to embellish grades or courses studied, but equally don’t forget to include any learning you have done for your own self-development. Many individuals have taken up valuable study whilst on a career break, which shows energy and passion that employers find appealing.

The career break itself

A career break should be summarised and celebrated as such, and not disguised other ways. Clearly state the years and reasons for the break (for example, parental leave or charity work) and don’t overlook any commitments or interests outside of corporate life. It is likely that these additional activities will be a good indicator of your level of drive, commitment and tenacity!

CV as part of a ”job search toolkit“

Be wary of investing too much emotional energy in the CV itself – it is only one strand of your job search toolkit, which may include networking or taking further professional study. For the Reconnect program, we will be asking you to complete an application form with specific questions being asked, ensure you take the time to complete this and make your motivations clear.

Think of your CV as your transition plan

Your CV is a marketing document to showcase the skills, ability and confidence that can really secure your next role. A strong CV will help you set goals or identify any skills gaps that you can address as you successfully cross the bridge back to work after a career break.

LinkedIn and social media

The workplace may have changed during your career break and social media is often something that returners can be frightened of or apprehension about. You’ll simply need the training and insight from your colleagues and you’ll be in the professional social media world very quickly.

Hear from our recent Reconnect returners

  • Diana

    Hi I’m Diana, and I am based in the Advisory Technology team. I had a four year break from work to raise my children and have recently successfully joined the EY Reconnect Program. Prior to my break I worked at another professional services firm as a consultant and outside of work, I enjoyed working as a volunteer for under privileged families & children’s education.

    It was great to have the time with the kids whilst they were at home but now that they are settled at school I am so happy to be back pursuing my career. Being back in the workforce gives me the opportunity to contribute and support others and it has also boosted my own confidence and skills. I am passionate about the work I do and this helps me to feel fulfilled in life as well.

    I decided to return to work via the Reconnect Program given that it is designed for those who have had an extended break and we are supported through a variety of platforms. EY is supportive of flexible working which has helped me balance the school pick up time around my work! There have been many ways that I have felt supported through the program but the main ones being the:

    • Internal support from my manager and team around me
    • The external coaching provided by FlexCareers has helped to enhance my views and navigate my return to work
    • The variety of classroom and online training provided

    The EY Reconnect Program is fabulous, joining EY as part of a cohort was so beneficial and really empowered me. I really enjoy coming to work each day and the challenge it has brought. For those thinking about applying to the program, my advice would be:

    • Be confident and apply
    • Think about your own personal brand
    • Communicate and be open to receiving feedback
    • Have a positive attitude and be professional
  • Verity

    Hi I’m Verity and I returned to work via the EY Reconnect Program, joining the Advisory Internal Audit team.

    I had an eight year break from work that was spent travelling overseas, teaching scuba diving and running a café in Honduras. Previous to that I worked at another professional services organisation within an Audit role and also did some freelance accounting work.
    I decided to return to work to fulfil my desire to learn more and challenge myself (beyond just perfecting my barista skills!).

    I was looking for this new challenge when the Reconnect Program came through LinkedIn. The approach of offering women on career breaks a chance to ease back in was a really appealing opportunity. Throughout the recruitment process and induction everyone was warm and welcoming which gave me a good feeling about working with EY. It was also impressive that EY was willing to invest in our success from the outset.
    Returning to work after an extended period brings many challenges, including deciding what to wear! The biggest challenge was believing in myself, this program really helped crystallise that and gave me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with skills that I had, but just was not using.

    I found the Reconnect Program to be well structured, the framework of the program was flexible but gave enough support throughout the 12 weeks for any additional upskilling you required.

    My manager was amazing. She checked in with me on a weekly basis and for me this was pivotal in creating the link between the program and my work team. We were also given access to an external coaching provider, this additional resource helped to trouble shoot some soft skill scenarios and also acted as an alternative sounding board.

    For those reading this who are considering a return to work, my advice would be:

    • Apply! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The more practise you get at preparing responses and finessing your resume the sharper your applications will become.
    • Realise that despite a career break, you have valuable skill set and life experience so own them and figure out how you can apply those skills to work situations.
    • The Reconnect Program gives you the opportunity to answer the question ‘what if?’, so if you are considering returning then this is the perfect place to find your answer.
    • Be kind to yourself, you aren’t going to know everything and nor is there the expectation that you will. This is a chance to learn and ask questions and put yourself back in a position where you are able to grow professionally.
  • Sue

    Hi I’m Sue, and I am a Manager in our Infrastructure Advisory group which is part of Strategy and Transactions (Strategy and Transactions). I have recently returned to work having had a 13 year break from paid work to raise our 3 children – a daughter and two sons.

    When I first left work to have my daughter, I would never have imagined that I would have such a lengthy career break. However, sometimes life throws up unexpected detours. Both of my sons had some health issues entailing daily treatment, requiring my time and assistance to manage.

    During the time I was at home with my children, I also undertook further study in Finance, and was involved in administrating a number of different sporting clubs, and was involved with my children’s schools.

    With the health issues well managed, and my children all at school, I decided it was time for me to return to work.

    When I decided to return to work, I approached one of the mums where my children attend school, who works at EY. I organised to have a coffee with her and discussed my background and skills. Before long, she came back to me and indicated that the Infrastructure Advisory team were interested in my CV and would like to meet up with me.

    During the recruitment process, I met a number of people from the team, all of whom were very open to my potential return to work after such a long break. At the same time, I used the opportunity to get a good understanding of the work environment in the team.

    I had some concerns about returning to work in Strategy and Transactions, due to a perception of inconsistent hours and the sometimes pressing nature of the deadlines, and how I would manage this, along with three active children and a husband with a busy job as well. The recruitment process enabled me to explore EY’s expectations of me, and for me to be sure that I could meet these expectations in the context of the rest of my life.

    The team of people I met were also very open to me returning on a part time basis as well. I work four days per week, however working three or five days per week were also possibilities.

    Flexible working is supported and encouraged at EY. And the technology provided at EY is a real enabler to working flexibly, should I be required to do so because of a family commitment.

    Whilst I did not undertake any specific return to work program, the Reconnect program sounds like a fabulous idea, returning as part of such a group would be very beneficial. It would allow you to extend your network, not only from a work perspective, but also with others who are facing similar challenges to you, and who may be able to share their strategies on how to manage the transition back to work.

    For those of you reading this wondering whether you should apply or not, my advice would be:

    • Definitely get on and apply! Make sure you use the process to get a clear view of the expectations that would be required of the role, should you decide to return to work
    • It is really important to think about your own personal brand and how you deliver it and communicate it succinctly

    • Spend some time thinking about how you are going to manage the priorities other than work in your life if you return to work, i.e. health, family, friends, and sleep. Your continued wellbeing is vital!

    • Consider making some allowances for you and your family in the early months, i.e. getting in some additional assistance with your children or outsourcing some part of your weekly routine that will lighten your load, if you decide to transition back to work. Whilst my husband and I share the morning drop offs, we have a great babysitter, who my kids adore, and who is able to manage the after school period for our family, flexibly dealing with the challenges it sometimes throws up!

    Returning to work has been an immensely positive experience for me. I am really enjoying the challenges it provides me. In many respects, it has been a bit like riding a bike after an extended break. My skills have all come back to me. But I have also realised just how many additional skills I have developed during my career break, and how I can offer these in my work life.

  • Lakshmi

    Hi I’m Lakshmi and I joined EY on the Reconnect Program working in Business Tax Advisory, specifically within the Research and Development (R&D), Tax team.

    Previously I worked as an Instrumentation and Application Engineer. Following a short career break to raise our child, the opportunity came up to return to work now that my parents are here to support me.

    During my break, I moved to Australia with my son and everything was new to me, the people, culture, places etc. but I enjoyed each day and the challenges it brought.

    Coming back to work was the best decision I have made, not only for me but also for the family. I was missing and felt like I had completely abandoned the side of me that worked so hard for so long. I missed the challenges that work brings and wanted to experience it all over again.

    I decided to apply to EY as achieving a work-life balance is very important for me and I was attracted to the flexible working EY offers. EY allows greater flexibility and ensures we are able to manage both work and life obligations effectively.

    Returning to work after an extended period brings many challenges, in particular given that I have come to EY with a different career background. I was not sure how I could use my skills in the workplace but the program effectively placed me in the R&D team, where I could use all my past experiences and also contribute positively.

    I have found the Reconnect Program to be valuable for me in a number of ways! The program values and accepts our diverse backgrounds. The strong support networks, training and coaching provided give everyone an opportunity to upgrade their skills. The external coaching helped boost my confidence and made me approach my concerns in a positive manner. The support and regular feedback I received from my manager and team helped me progress quickly learning the new systems and ways of working and swiftly adapt to these.

    The program gave me the confidence I needed to enter the corporate world and all former work experience came back to me. I soon realised the experiences and skills gained during the time away are just as relevant and valuable to progressing my career.

    For those who are also thinking of returning to work, my advice would be:

    • To be pro-active, take the initiative and familiarise yourself with what is happening around you with regards to new technology, market changes and latest industry trends.
    • I believe, each day and every person you meet is a new learning experience. The skills you gained during your break is very valuable and transferable. 
    • Believe in yourself and always remember you deserve a job like any other person. Active networking and connecting with people from similar backgrounds will help you. 
    • Be confident and have a positive attitude towards learning new skills; that is what employers are looking for in their people, the willingness to learn and move forward.
  • Priya

    Hi, I’m Priya and I work for the Transaction Support team within Strategy and Transactions.

    I started my career in India working for a credit rating agency as well as an investment bank. I had an eight year career break during which I had two kids and moved to Australia; I also spent this time exploring a career as a freelance writer!

    My children are slowly growing up and I realised I needed something more. I missed the regularity and challenge of the work space. Although having had an extended career break I was not really confident of my skills or how I would fit back into the normal work-force.

    The Reconnect Program came at the perfect time for me, when I was just starting to explore the options available in the work force.

    Returning to work after an extended period has brought challenges on all fronts but I found that being part of the Reconnect Program has made the path easier. I have been given a lot of guidance and support that you would not normally find in workplaces. The regular career counselling sessions with my manager enabled me to make a plan and iron out some of the issues I had.

    I have had to learn how to balance my career with home life, especially the demands of a young family. I have had to get more efficient and creative in order to try and achieve that elusive balance! The combination of part time roles and flexible working at EY has helped me to find this and we have been able to work out our schedules around school drop offs, pick-ups and activities!

    I have gained a lot of confidence and skills during the three months as part of the program. Coming through as part of a cohort has helped immensely as we can share our experiences and challenges together so we do not feel alone.

    My advice to others who are thinking of applying to the EY Reconnect Program would be:

    • Just apply for the program, even if you are not sure that you have the right skills or experience! 
    • Take it one step at a time. The thought of the whole process can sometimes be daunting, especially after a long break. But it is amazing to see how fast old skills return and how quickly you can adapt. Also you have gained a lot of experience outside of work that is very valuable and useful. I have become better at managing my time and work more efficiently having returned to work, because I know that I don’t have time to waste!
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Fran

    My name is Fran and I started at EY on the 12 week Reconnect program within the Performance Improvement - Strategy team of Advisory. I focused on the healthcare sector as I have a background in this, especially digital health having consulted in this space previously. I immediately started on a project in NSW Hospitals and was on site in the first week. It was great to get the opportunity to learn hands on.

    Prior to taking a 3 year break to focus on family I worked in the hospitality sector in both Private Equity and at a Senior Executive level for a global food brand. I have always enjoyed having a career and was ready to return to work when I saw the Reconnect program posted on LinkedIn by a friend of mine. She has always talked highly about her experience at EY.

    I was further attracted to EY because of the program and what it represented i.e. an organisation that values the skills of woman who are at different stages of their career with varied backgrounds who often face many obstacles getting back into the workforce.

    I then went through the application process, which was extremely professional, supportive and exciting.

    On joining the program, it was great to not be alone on my return to work journey. My cohort was fantastic and we met up regularly during the 12 week period, sharing our ups and downs. We provided advice and encouragement to each other to ensure we got plenty out of the program. I also really enjoyed the coaching provided by the program. This helped me to set my goals for the 12 weeks and long term, understand my strengths and values and to build my own brand statement and elevator pitch. Perfect for when you are meeting so many new people!

    The EY teams were also incredibly supportive, during my 12 week program, my manager was very supportive of me meeting as many people as I could and learning as much about the organisation as possible. I reached out and found that networking at EY is very easy. As a result, I was offered a position in another team at the end of the program and am really excited about my new role in the Business Development team. It is a great fit for my skills and experience. Thank you to EY for providing me with this opportunity to discover the role.

    For those considering applying to the EY Reconnect program, my advice would be to definitely give it a go!

    The recruitment team are extremely supportive and you will be surprised how many valuable skills you have accumulated throughout your working and non-working life. Be confident and believe in yourself.

    The flexibility offered by EY is also a real bonus in regards to working around your family commitments. They strongly encourage a flexible working environment and it is up to you to make it work. This may involve working from home one day a week or working slightly odd hours so that you can leave early on a Thursday to pick your kids up from school; a model I have definitely used. The main thing is not to feel guilty. Working mums have a lot to offer and tend to work really efficiently.

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