Flexible working

Flexible working… helped me get a degree

Cindy Lindquist was struggling to balance a full-time job and college, till she changed the way she worked

Something was always missing

I’ve been with the Bank for almost 22 years, working in various roles, including as an assistant relationship manager, a money-laundering prevention officer and an operational risk manager. Based in New York, I’m currently a client manager for financial institutions from Africa and the Middle East who do business in the US. While I have enjoyed my career, I always knew something was missing.

I struggled to juggle it all

I completed a degree in computer information systems when I was 28, but my big regret was never studying something more practical, and in 2010 I decided to do something about it: I began to study for a BA in corporate communications to help broaden my business knowledge.

It was incredibly demanding and I found balancing my classes, work and home life challenging. I had heard about flexible working, but didn’t know much about it. After a few conversations with my line manager I had a plan, and it came at just the right time.

The change that saved me

Initially, I worked from home two days a week, making it easier for me to make my evening classes. As my college commitments evolved, taking in afternoon classes too, I started working flexible hours. I was lucky to have incredibly supportive managers and colleagues, so my clients were always looked after.

An achievement to be proud of

Even with flexible working, there were times when I wasn’t sure I could do it. But then I thought about how hard I had worked, and the support I got from home and at work gave me the extra push I needed to keep going. I finally got my degree in May 2016, and it was one of the happiest days of my life. It’s definitely up there among my biggest achievements.

No longer ships passing in the night

I have kept a flexible arrangement, and still work from home one day a week. As a wife, mother and daughter, it means I can spend more time with my family, especially now I’m not cramming college into my life. Before, it used to feel like we were ships passing in the night. Having the chance to fit my work around my needs, rather than the other way around, is so rewarding. I honestly don’t know how I would cope without it.