When my soon-to-be husband at the time, asked me how I felt about moving to Oxford, Mississippi, for a potential job opportunity he received, there were several immediate thoughts that popped in my head. The first being, "Will these two Bulldogs fit into the rival city?" Not that I thought there would be a group of people with pitchforks staking out our house, but you know, I figured we'd end up being good candidates for solid yard rolls every Halloween. The second thought was, "What about my job?"
We had occasionally dabbled in discussions of eventually moving to northern Mississippi once we started a family in order to be closer to our parents. However, those discussions seemed like mere dreams in the distant future.
After a week or two of the interview process, Ed was eventually offered the position. By then, I had time to process all of my options and there was really only one I’d be happy with. I was excited about where my career was headed and I was not ready to leave my HORNE family. Over the years, I heard of other people working from home two or three days a week so obviously, I started to wonder if that could be a possibility for me. But I also felt like I had a couple things working against me. Not only is Oxford located over an hour from the closest HORNE office, at this point, I’d only been with the firm just shy of two years. Despite all my concerns, Ed encouraged me to talk to my performance advisor (PA) who I had a strong relationship with.
Knowing he was right, I picked up the phone and called my PA. While the phone was ringing I half convinced myself that the answer would be an "I’m sorry" just to not get my hopes up. Instead, my PA’s response was, "We can definitely make this work," with utmost confidence. From that point forward, I received nothing short of encouragement and support. We worked out a plan for me to commute to the Memphis office at least once a week and work from home the remaining four days.
A year later, this plan is still working well for my family and my team. As I continue to work towards growing in my career at HORNE, I have sought out advice on how to stay engaged from a remote or non-traditional HORNE office. It would be easy to sit back behind my computer and become unengaged from the firm and the culture. But our Executive Partner Joey Havens gave me some advice that really stuck. He said to be intentional. Be intentional about your meetings; be intentional about going to other offices. And he was right. Staying involved purposefully has been one of the biggest reasons this plan has been successful.
All of this to say, this new way of working wouldn’t be possible without the culture we have at HORNE. The trust and communication I have with my team has allowed me to keep a job I love while being able to support my husband as he chases his career goals as well. Even beyond that, I have received examples and advice that will allow me to continue to grow as a team member, be successful, and serve my clients. This is why #culturematters.
Nicole is a healthcare valuation supervisor at HORNE LLP where she is learning to navigate the challenges of working remotely with flexibility, intentionality and an ability to face challenges with foresight.