Taking the Scenic Route: Sara Sievers Hodge’s Path to Work

Sara Sievers Hodge’s flourishing career as a CPA at Ernst & Young took a back seat as her family grew, and then relocated from the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest. She kept involved through part-time contract work at organizations ranging from the Junior League to Physio Foundation.


Sara came through The Swing Shift’s Fall 2017 Career Catalyst intending to clarify her career goals and expand her professional network. In Jan 2020, she landed a role with LiquidPlanner as the startup software company's Contract Controller. Sara shares how her stop and start search process transpired, including guidance for people whose career shifts and returns are temporarily sidelined by competing life forces.

TSS: Sara, when you came through the Career Catalyst, your plan was to continue in the accounting field, either for a company or as a consultant, and develop a clearer vision of your career goals. Fast forward 2 ½ years, you landed a contract Controller role for LiquidPlanner. You weren’t looking that entire time were you?

Sara: No, not at all. There were two things that delayed my search timing. 1. I had a volunteer Treasurer role that consumed more of my time than expected until summer 2019. 2. My youngest child was a Junior in high school and I found that I was still needed to help navigate the college process. I also wanted to embrace the final years of his high school athletic events, etc.

Q: Many women report that while teenagers are more independent than younger children, they need parents in more specific, time intensive ways, especially as they evaluate their education and careers. You have high school and college aged children. How disruptive was their graduations, departures (and sometimes return home) to your search process?