Success Story: Karly Davis

Company: Trimble
Position: Financial Analyst

Karly took a break from her finance career to spend more time with her son. After six years, she was ready to return to the workforce, but found it difficult to get interviews with a career gap on her resume. That’s when she learned about Trimble and realized the company would be a great fit for her – so she applied and returned to work as a Financial Analyst. Karly talks about how Trimble’s supportive culture, as well as a great manager and team, helped ease her transition back into her career, and why she’s excited about the launch of Trimble’s returnship program. 

What did you do prior to your career break, what prompted your break, and how long were you out of the workforce?
I worked as a finance manager for a large cell phone provider. I had a team of about 10-12 analysts under me. I specifically focused on billing conversions. When we would acquire companies, I would work to convert all of their billing systems to ours. My work often included long hours, nights, and sometimes even weekends. We were acquired and my role became redundant. I had the choice of relocating to stay with my company or taking time off. I went with the latter as my son was six at the time and I wanted to spend more time with him. I had originally planned to take a year off, but I got pregnant and decided to extend my break. I ended up being out for about six years. 

After six years, what prompted you to return to work?
We relocated to Denver when my youngest was around 3 and he had started preschool part time. It was going well, so I wanted to take the opportunity of a good job market to jump back in. I started applying with a resume that didn’t mention my break at all and I got a bunch of callbacks. Recruiters were telling me they liked my resume, but kept asking what I had been doing for the last five years. I updated my resume to include my career break and the phone calls pretty much stopped. I eventually went to a staffing agency hoping to get some temporary work to fill in that gap with relevant new experience. They told me there was a full-time opportunity at Trimble that looked like a great fit for me. I did not get that job, but Trimble was exactly what I was looking for, so I applied for another position and got it. 

How did you and your family navigate your transition back to the workforce? 
We went in with realistic expectations that it was not going to be easy. Honestly, it was stressful at first. I wasn’t around to run errands or fix issues on the fly. For instance, if one of my kids forgot something, I wasn’t there to drive it up to school. But it wasn’t long before we got into the routine. People stopped forgetting their things in the morning because they knew there was no backup option. 

For me, the biggest transition was getting used to being back in a professional environment all day long. It’s a big change from staying home and doing different activities throughout the day to spending eight hours focused on your work. It felt both wonderful to be back to my career, but a little stressful at the beginning too.  

While you didn’t have the benefit of returning to work through a formal program, what was your experience of returning to work at Trimble like?
I got lucky with my manager and team. My manager had three kids of his own and a complete understanding of what came with being a parent. I think I made it to my third day of work  before the school called and told me my kid had a fever. I had to go pick him up and work from home that afternoon, but everyone was so understanding and supportive. What made my experience a success was that my manager set realistic expectations from the beginning. He knew he was taking a chance on someone who had been on a career break still transitioning back into the workforce and that things were going to come up. I couldn’t have had a better experience.  

Trimble has a great work environment with a great work-life balance. There’s a lot of flexibility and understanding. If I need to take an off-hour lunch to go watch my kid graduate from preschool, that’s not a problem. If I need to leave at 4pm to catch my kid’s baseball game, that’s fine too. Knowing that there is that support alleviates a lot of stress.  

How do you feel about the fact that Trimble is launching a formal returning talent program to help provide more support for returners like you?
It’s the best idea ever! I was so excited when I heard that Trimble was going to be launching a returnship program. I wish something like that existed when I returned to work here. It will help people get back in, both in providing an extra level of support and in the knowledge that there are other people out there in the same situation. It’s a lonely feeling knowing all of your coworkers have been working for a decade straight when you’re starting out at a new company with a big career gap. I was self-conscious at first and it would have been really helpful to return to work amongst a cohort. This program will be great for Trimble too. There are a lot of people out there who decided to stay home that are perfectly capable and ready to prove themselves, but don’t get a chance. I know that I had a lot to offer and it was just a matter of someone giving me the opportunity. That’s why this program is so great for everyone involved. 

Do you have any advice for those who are currently on a career break and thinking about returning to work?
Just be persistent and don’t let rejections get you down. Your return to work is not always going to happen overnight, but it will happen. Someone is going to take a chance on you and you will get the opportunity to show what you can do. Stay persistent. When you return to work, getting into a routine is key. I went in with a realistic notion that it was going to be hard at first. Don’t go in and think you’re going to pick up exactly where you left off. You’ll need to put in some effort to get up to speed, be kind to yourself and it will get easier. 

How about advice for those who are specifically interested in returning to work at Trimble?
Go for it! Trimble is a great company and they work really hard to be inclusive and diverse. It’s a great environment for working parents. 

Thanks for sharing your story, Karly! We are so happy you’ve found success and balance in your career.
– The Path Forward Team