Shannon Makori

Career Pivot – Goldmans to Fintech
I think it is key to be in an environment that you feel valued in. That in itself empowers you to achieve and be the best version of you.

The Break

Shannon is a qualified ACA and worked at Goldman Sachs for 10 years in Regulatory Reporting and the New Products space. In 2013 she resigned from Goldman Sachs as at the time, she was leaving the UK.

Afterwards, Shannon found a role working from home as CFO for a restaurant chain. It was perfectly matched to the ongoing personal commitments that she had at that stage of her life. She had always missed being in the City, but once she had left, the idea of returning felt very daunting.  Navigating the childcare maze seemed a complex challenge to pilot through which proved quite a deterrent.

Nevertheless, as her children were getting older, she continued to think about ways she could make it work. Whilst she was considering all her options, Shannon was introduced to The Return Hub. From the start, she found that the experience was very positive and encouraging. She went into have a meeting with Dominie and they talked through her experience and worked together to draw out all her transferable skills. Together they discussed the possible suitable roles that would match her skills, experience and personal commitments and Shannon began to realise that a return to the City might not be as insurmountable as she had first thought.

The Process

Dominie contacted Shannon when there was an interesting role and discussed whether her transferable skills would be relevant and whether it would be the right match for Shannon. She was introduced to a few possible opportunities and in a relatively short space of time, an exciting role arose at an innovative new Scientific fixed income asset management firm, BlueCove, who were looking for a Finance Manager to help build their business. Shannon was invited in to interview for the role and was swiftly invited back in to meet the CEO of the firm. The feedback was excellent on both sides and Shannon was thrilled to be offered the role shortly after.

“My experience through The Return Hub was fantastic.” She comments.

The Return

BlueCove has been thoughtful about its developing culture. It has defined its values and behaviours as it recognises that together these form its culture.   These include technical expertise, scientific orientation, intellectual honesty, a curious mindset and an active desire of its people to improve their knowledge and skills.  They operate an agile and flexible working environment and have been hiring entrepreneurial people who enjoy critical thinking and structured collaboration to create meaningful solutions for clients. This backdrop made them an attractive option for Shannon.  Whilst going back into an office full time was a little daunting (albeit with a flexible arrangement to work from home),  Shannon’s experience has been only positive and she recognises the difference that the culture made to her return.

Shannon reflects on the difference between working full-time with older children as opposed to when they were very young and how she organises her day.

“Now my kids are older, whilst they still need me, it is later in the day. This gives me a measure of freedom during the day and I plan my work commitments around this”.

“The environment allows me to be true to myself. I am a mother of a 12 and 9-year-old. It doesn’t have any bearing on my commitment to work and I work in a company that doesn’t make me feel like I do a lesser job because of that. I think it is key to be in an environment that you feel valued in. That in itself empowers you to achieve and be the best version of you.”

The advice I would give others

We asked Shannon what advice she would give others in her shoes:

“I am older and kinder to myself. Every day is a balancing act. If little day to day things go wrong, kids cope, the school manages, everyone moves on quicker than you realise. There is no magic coping mechanism. There are no superwomen. I’ve learnt that as you get older, life happens and the more fluid you are at changing your mindset alongside, the less complicated it is. The perfect time to go back into the City is when you want to. When it’s something you are wanting and ready to do, there are work spaces out there that are open to your personal commitments”.