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  • Date posted:19/06/2023
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With Linda Hearne 

Managing a family alongside an aspirational career can be one of the largest challenges women experience. Finding your balance between your family and your career is incredibly daunting, but it’s possible. You need to find what works for you (and your family), and stick to it.  

For example, should you follow an incredible job opportunity overseas, and relocate your family? That’s something you need to decide for yourself, but it can be a good thing. 

Recently, Lift Up Ambassador and FDI Search Consultant, Katy Barber spoke to Linda Hearne. She learned about her career, and how she managed to find balance between her family and her career. 

But who is Linda Hearne? 

Linda Hearne, is a highly experienced professional with over 25 years in Life Sciences. As a Certified Public Accountant with an MBA degree, Linda has focused her career exclusively in the pharma and biotech industry, specializing in finance. She has held positions at both large pharmaceutical companies and early stage biotech firms, even serving as the first finance person at two biotech startups that went public on the NASDAQ. 

Relocating for Work 

Throughout her career, Linda and her family have relocated multiple times. For example, she’s moved between the US and the UK, and carefully considered how this would impact her family.  

During her initial transition from the US to the UK, Linda’s children were part-way through their schooling. Linda and her husband were conscious their children would experience significant change, so kept them on the American curriculum to maintain some familiarity. 

Of course, this decision posed a unique challenge; Linda had to find an International school that would support her children’s continued education. 

The move overseas initially caused some stress and anxiety for the children. However, once they moved back to the US, Linda’s son became adamant about returning to the UK for his university studies.  

The overseas assignment definitely exposed her children to their own opportunities and helped shape their development. 

If you learn anything from Linda’s experience, let it be that taking an opportunity to work abroad can be an incredible move for your family – whether or not it’s recognised in the moment. 

In fact, Linda’s family now lives in the UK – evidence that decisions which improve your career, can also be beneficial to your family.  

Maintaining Family Connections 

Whether you move a few hours away, or to another country, you’re likely leaving part of your family behind. 

In Linda’s case, her elderly parents remain in the US while she currently lives in the UK. With this in mind, Linda was focussed on ensuring her family remained in regular contact with those who stayed in the US.  

Linda recalled, “we tried to do a lot of zoom calls or FaceTime calls and stay in touch”. She later added that they bring her parents and extended family over, and they love visiting. 

Gaining International Experience 

A point Linda stands by is that gaining international experience will always be a positive on your career.  

It can massively impact your career, in a good way – it just depends how your family feels about it.  

Currently at the Board level, and looking for similar positions in her career, Linda has found that having both US and International experience has proven invaluable.  

This international experience and insight lets Linda consider how certain decisions will affect the entire business, rather than just one territory.  

Additionally, while the UK and US are similar, there are also significant cultural differences. Having lived experience in both countries allows Linda to consider how certain elements would translate between locations, and help the two be more closely aligned to achieve the business’ goals. 

Fewer Women Relocating 

An interesting point that was raised during their conversation, was that fewer women are relocating.  

Women can lack confidence for big moves, or feel as if the challenge might be too much. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you constantly put yourself forward. 

Linda gave out a great piece of advice, “get out there, join some social groups, and build your network”. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional group; any sort of social group can help get you out of your comfort zone and develop your confidence and interpersonal skillset.  

One online group to join (if you haven’t already) is Lift Up. The group is dedicated to supporting and championing women across the Life Sciences, from Academia to C-Suite.  

The group, and all its materials, will always be easily accessible and available for free. 

And why not connect with Linda on LinkedIn? She’s got some fantastic insights, and is always seeking to develop her network!