I was staring at this sunset and it reminded me of the times I’ve shared this view with my friend. Juliano Adamo passed away recently when traveling in Jordan. He was Brazilian. We worked at EY in Brazil and United Kingdom together. He was my family abroad. It was a crash reminder on how vulnerable I was. We are. This increasing number of people having international careers. The ones that thirst for knowledge and excitement, but at an expense of being worlds apart from family and friends. 

When I heard the news, I was devastated. I had a tough deadline. I felt numb and overwhelmed. I panicked. I felt extraordinarily alone. I wanted to jump on a plane but didn’t know where to go. Do I go to the USA where this mid 30’s professional woman is needing a hug from her mother or Brazil to be with his family? Could I even leave? Confused, I went to work and supported my team with the deadline. They supported me. I didn’t realise how in times like these employers play a vital role in one’s wellbeing. Especially international employees. I spoke to my partners and colleagues. As simple as I had dreamed, my partner said, ‘You do what you need to do. We will make it work. We value you.’ I flew for the funeral and now working remotely with my family in California. EY offered me space and flexibility.  I needed to be around my friends and family.

This is not common practice for employers. Most of our mutual friends could not attend the funeral nor taking space to grieve. I hear pain in their voice with a sense of regret and anger. They are not productive. They are looking for other jobs. 

If I had faced the same challenge I couldn’t wholeheartedly support my clients and team. Quite the opposite. When our minds are not focused one can’t be efficient, productive or support in achieving common goals. The biggest asset and expense for any company is its people. We need to take care of them, so they take good care of the business.

As I continue my pursuit to Director I’m reminded of the types of leaders I want to work for. Also, the one I want to be. I’m positive I’m now more dedicated, prepared, inspired and motivated for this role.

I’m enjoying these days. I’m laughing. I’m crying. I’m with my family and friends. I’m grateful. I’m stronger and more focused to drive business.