A Chapter Closes

Where it all began January 1999

It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I sign off for the last time at KPMG.

Almost 21 years after joining as a helpdesk dude, I have to say farewell to a truly great place to work.  Almost half of my life has been dedicated to KPMG!

Strangely enough, it does not feel like 21 years until I start looking at all the things I’ve been part of, and all the people I’ve met.

More scary thought is when I see the way my family has grown.

When I first walked through the doors at KPMG in Dublin (Ireland), I was in a great boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, with this amazing South American flower.  We were madly in love and living life in Ireland, enjoying the Celtic Tiger.

Life at KPMG Ireland went so fast.  Projects, training, people leaving, people coming, more projects and a fantastic mentor + friend.

Our personal life went even faster I think.  We got married, started master’s degrees, had three kids, bought a house, bought dogs and cars.  It was the true nuclear family adventure; kids, wife, house, car and white fence.

I’m proud to say that I worked my way up the career ladder, to the director level.  This also rewarded me with a professional opportunity to join the KPMG Global team, which meant we had to move to the US.

I spent the next 8 years with KPMG Global, in the US, and meeting many more great people.

The work culture was very different, but I think I adjusted well.  We delivered many great solutions and time flew by (again).

At a certain point, you have to hit the pause bottom and assess whether you’ve met your personal career goals.

I was getting worried that I would be institutionalized by only having worked with KPMG.

You don’t come across many people these days that spend that many years with one company.  That can be good and be bad. I prefer to look at it as a very good thing.

Nevertheless, I felt it was time to go and let others move things forward.  I had achieved a lot, and also felt I had a lot more to give elsewhere.

I delivered the news to my boss, and considering the circumstances, he took it well.  He was shocked (so was I honestly).

But, I didn’t just leave for any organization.  It had to be a new industry and new challenges.  It had to be a career move, and money was not a deciding factor.

As the last day came and I logged off for the last time, it was with some sadness, and I hugged many people – and I felt they meant it when they hugged me back.

The challenge is now, will we keep in touch afterward?

People you truly connected and made friends with will stay in touch.  Those relationships cannot be broken again, even if we do not meet again daily, weekly or monthly.

I was absolutely delighted when a couple of people reached out last week, from KPMG, to meet up for dinner.  They were in town and wanted to catch up.  How cool is that?

I met some wonderful people in Ireland, and I’m still in touch with many through social networks and email.  We’ve built strong bonds and have grown up together.  I miss then dearly but can happily say that we are still chatting 🙂

I met even more people in KPMG Global, and hope to stay in touch with many of them.

It has been a fantastic journey!

Change can be scary, but change is also good.

We learn from our experiences and from the years we work.  We learn from people we work with and met.  We select what learnings we want to retain, and which we just let slip down with a few tequilas 🙂

I cannot thank KPMG enough for allowing me to work there, and for supporting me throughout my life.  Many people helped me when I was out sick, and that gave me the strength to beat my illness and recover.

Thank you KPMG!

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