Michele Tobiassen

"They let you have a personal life..."

While I was in college, I worked for a woman who had her own successful business and a family. The way she was able to balance her work and home life was wonderful and I thought that this was exactly what I wanted to be able to do.

When I graduated, I worked in auditing for 6-1/2 years, then did private accounting for a law firm, then worked as an assistant controller for an accounting firm, but it was always the same situation. I was working 60-hour weeks with constant demands on my time and no way to have any balance with my home life. I knew I had to pay my dues and that working hard and being successful comes with a price but everything in my life was work. When I got married and had a daughter, and went back to 16-hour days, my husband and I decided that I needed to find something part-time.

Everyone told me that part-time accounting jobs in New York City didn’t exist. Luckily, I stumbled onto the YPTC website and after several interviews I was hired part-time in September 2013. It was like a whole new world. The frustration wasn’t there. I now had the balance of being able to spend time with my family and to be successful at my job. I had never thought that it would be possible to be good at home and good at work: I had always thought that to be successful in one you had to block out the other.

After I had my son I came back from maternity leave and it wasn’t a disaster like it had been after I had my daughter. It was just like a regular day. With the support I was getting from YPTC staff and from my clients I knew I could do it all and I could do it well. The staff support at YPTC was like nothing I had ever seen.  They love you and let you grow on your own and be successful. They let you have a personal life and I think that’s especially important for women in New York who are told that this isn’t possible.

Every day I make sure my boss stays happy, my clients stay happy and my family stays happy. We can work it out the way it needs to be worked out.