Eileen Tests The Try & Buy Approach by Taking a Chance On Contract Work

Updated: Jan 29, 2021


Eileen Mackey Downing had a successful career in education and training, with stints across the U.S., South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Her family life changed radically when her son was diagnosed with leukemia while they were living in South Africa and Eileen stepped away from life as she knew it to oversee her son’s care. As his condition stabilized, and she looked to return to the US and to the workforce, Eileen wanted to leverage her global training background and also keep her family’s on-going care needs in mind. She recently started a contract job at Microsoft working in a support role in the Intelligent Cloud Technical Readiness team.



Congratulations on your first job back! How did you land this assignment? How did you position your background and skills?


As all the statistics predicted, I found my job through a personal contact - someone who had worked at the same college that I had in the UAE, but who had relocated to Seattle in the time since we had both left there. She had a similar education and professional background to me and she really felt confident that I would be a good fit on the diverse international team that I now work on.


Did you talk much about your time away? Were you anxious about the prospect of talking about your family’s unique health situation?