I remember the advert for the job well. An Edinburgh based law firm, Morton Fraser Milligan, based in York Place, was looking to add a new part-time member to their tax department. It appeared in the newspaper a few weeks before my son started primary school and I had only just started to look for a job after having 7 years at home with the children. So I thought I might as well give it a go…
The tax department then was a wholly male domain. There were 5 of us then - all in a room in number 15 - and it is fair to say that there was usually a bit of banter with visitors. Over time the people in the room changed but one thing the Tax Department did have a reputation for was a bit of banter. Whether I was the reason for that I leave it up to my colleagues of that time to decide!
At that time I was thinking about the next stage of my career and I decided to study for a business degree. By that time my job had become full time, and my kids were still young and I was going to add studying to that mix. Although most of what I was learning was academic in its focus I did start to find it useful for my day to day job but it worries me a little now to think that my colleagues might have become the guinea pigs in some of my coursework.
At that time Morton Fraser Relocation was part of the firm and increasingly clients were asking for advice on moving their employees internationally. I was drafted into the team to explore how MFR could meet their needs. It was a steep learning curve but we soon were competing with other companies in what was a developing area of business, with the firm continuing, as it does to this day, to provide domestic tax advice.
Working with Morton Fraser Relocation gave me lots of opportunities to travel, from the newly available Easyjet flights to Luton to European trips. I also got a couple of big trips to the USA to speak to a mainly US audience.
A trip to Washington DC was to be my swansong. I had decided that it was time for me to move on. It was not a decision taken lightly though and I stayed in touch with a lot of my former colleagues. During a short stint in international tax with Ernst& Young I was included in a leadership programme which included learning coaching skills and shortly afterwards I decided to make a major career change and set up my own training and coaching business. Cameron Consulting, www.consultcameron.com , was launched in January 2014 offering coaching, facilitation and training services - specialising in communication skills. My time in crafting my skills in the chatty tax department and making presentations for the relocation business stood me in good stead. Saying that I was a former employee of a respected Edinburgh law firm definitely opened doors too.
I completed a business degree and post graduate diploma in Human Resource Management at Edinburgh Napier University when I was with Morton Fraser. In 2015 I was actually programme leader for that same programme working with students from KPMG which really helped me understand their needs and concerns. It’s funny how things turn out!
But I sometimes feel that I did not really leave. When the Morton Fraser Businesswomen’s network was set up, I was one of the early members and so, over the years since then, I have been in the Morton Fraser offices – even as speaker a couple of times. Long may that continue!