Advocating for Defence families

Having more confidence in myself

PwC was one of the first employers to support our Defence Partner Employment Initiative.

Thanks to Kristy who has kindly written for us on how she secured employment with the firm as a result of a networking event held here in Canberra at the beginning of the year while she was located in Perth.

I’m quite a newbie to Defence life.  My husband joined the Navy four years ago at 41. If it hadn’t been his life-long dream, I would have called it his mid-life crisis. It has certainly been the best decision of our lives, but for those of you who also love and support someone who serves, you will know the big adjustment and roller coaster ride we have been on.

I was grateful it was only earlier this year my husband received his first posting that meant a move away from our hometown of Perth. My feelings were of excitement initially. What a great adventure we would have as a family, new places to explore and new people to meet. Very quickly this changed to a feeling of anxiety and apprehension as I realised I not only had to leave my family and friends, but a job that I love!

Not one to let life get in the way, my first step was to begin following the Canberra Defence Partners Facebook page. I was hoping it would give me an idea of what life was like in Canberra and to help guide us with things to do once we arrived. It certainly did that (thanks tribe), but it was also where I saw a post about an information night for Defence partners that PwC were hosting. The information night was happening well before we arrived so I couldn’t attend.  I made a note to follow this lead when we arrived in Canberra.

Fast forward two weeks. I had subscribed to email alerts from Seek to try and get a feel for the Canberra market. Lo and behold there was a job at PwC for an Executive Assistant. Awesome, this is for me as it is what I have been doing for a very long time! My excitement levels spiked again, until I reminded myself it was April and we weren’t arriving in Canberra until July. Instead of letting it go, I backed myself and reached out via LinkedIn to Aj, the PwC contact provided for the information night. What I have got to lose, right?

The next bit is history and thankfully a very positive one. I am writing this blog from my desk at PwC. PwC did not look at my weaknesses, they looked at what I had to offer and I am now working for an employer that appreciates and understands Defence life. When my husband heads off for his next ship posting I know if I need to pick up our child and work from home because my husband is away, I will be fully supported.

What I have learnt in all this? Firstly, I should be more confident in myself. As a Defence partner sometimes we are so busy doing we forget about ourselves. The challenges we face and overcome gives us resilience we don’t even know we have. The other lesson for me is I know things are changing around support for Defence partners. It may not be overnight, but it is happening. Thanks to the wonderful relationship DFA has built with PwC, I was provided a direct connection to a workplace that understand life in Defence upon a new posting. This is an opportunity I will cherish and be forever grateful for.

Kristy Semple

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