Everyone has a story. A story that has been influenced by experiences, community, and people. Our stories shape who we are and who we are becoming. We want to celebrate all of the unique stories and different experiences that have shaped our people and build the fabric of our firm. With that in mind, we’re excited to introduce you to leaders across all levels at Credera and their unique stories and perspectives through a blog series called, My Credera Story.
This week you’ll get to know Sarah Youngblood, Credera’s Director of Finance.
My Credera Story has been an unexpected one. I came to Credera to fill a new role and one that was quite different than the position I had held at my previous company. Credera was still fairly small at the time, but growing quickly, and I loved diving in headfirst and learning this new role and new firm. I worked really hard, but I did it with people who I loved spending time with.
It was during this season that I started to see what was really different about Credera and how this firm was going to impact me in the years to come. I saw friendships: I was single at the time and the friendships I was building at work were significantly shaping not just my professional life, but my social and personal life as well. I saw leaders: the kind that really invest in you professionally and personally. I saw opportunity and growth: as the firm grew, so did my role. I was able to take on more and start leading a team. And I saw fun: I was having more fun at work than I had ever had.
Working and Life Transitions
After a few years, I met my husband Brian. We were set up on a blind date, and I actually vetted him by walking into the office of a coworker who had known him for years to find out if he was a good guy. While we were dating, we attended Credera events and got to know the people and the company that I cared for so deeply, and he started forging Credera friendships of his own. When we got married in 2014, there were two tables full of work friends at our reception. These people were such a deep part of our lives.
Then Brian and I decided to start a family—this is where my story takes a turn that I was not expecting. I grew up with a mom who stayed home; she was an elementary school teacher until I was born and then stayed home to raise three girls. Truthfully, I always expected that I would follow suit and stay home when I had kids because I loved having a mom who was present and available. It was what I knew and what felt safe. When I was pregnant with our first child though, my husband and I started talking about what it would look like to keep working after the baby came. At the time, Brian encouraged me to think hard about the career I had built and the place I got to work. He really pushed me to think outside of what I had grown up with and think about how working and having a career at a place I loved could positively shape our children and our family.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I really loved working, and I especially loved the people I worked with at Credera. I realized Brian might be right, and maybe it was worth investigating not giving up my career yet, even if this was different than what I always expected of myself. But I also knew that things would have to look different. I wanted to be a mom first, which would require plenty of flexibility in my schedule to be able to focus on both my children and my career. I truthfully didn’t know if it was possible, but I realized it was worth trying.
What happened when I came back from maternity leave with our first child was more than I could have imagined. I was greeted and welcomed back enthusiastically. I continued to lead my team and was given the flexibility to figure out motherhood and work a few less hours per week while we navigated the newborn stage. And a month after coming back, I was promoted to the director of finance. It meant so much that even after I had been out for three months, my team still saw me as the leader of our finance team and recognized me for all of my hard work over the years. I don’t know if this story would have been possible at any other firm, so I’m incredibly thankful I landed at a company that allowed my story to be one where I could be great as a mom and great as a professional.
Other Growth Opportunities
I have been fortunate enough to be in this role through some exciting times. A lot of growth, the sell side of a transaction as we became part of Omnicom, and the transition of integrating our financials post-transaction. All of this while working with people who understand how important being a mom is to me and have let me flourish both at our company and at home. My children know so many of my coworkers because they are also our friends. They also know their mom has a job she loves but she loves being their mom most of all.
Thankfully, I have been able to walk this road with a couple other women at Credera who became moms around the same time I did. Having peers to talk through the challenges and the nuance of this season of life has been absolutely invaluable. I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk this road alone. It has also been extremely rewarding to get to talk to younger women at Credera as they start their families and help mentor and encourage them as they start down this road.
Our Unique Credera Stories
I am so thankful for the gift of being a mother and having a fulfilling career at a place like Credera. I won’t say that every season has been easy—there are plenty of challenges and a lot of days I feel like I’m failing on both sides of the equation. But the support I have received from my family, my husband, and from everyone I work with at Credera has made it possible. I also know that everyone’s path is different. My hope for people at Credera is that they feel confident in making the choices that are right for them and their families—that they will know they have the support to be great inside and outside of work.
Working at Credera
At Credera, we have a culture that values the many unique perspectives, backgrounds, and histories that our employees represent. If you’re interested in a career at Credera and beginning your journey, please visit our careers page.