5 Questions For: Karen Harris
Even though February is very full on, my family has four big birthdays this month: my grandmother, my mother, an aunt, and a cousin. So I prioritize spending time with them. My grandmother just turned 92 and I try to take a couple of hours a week, on Saturday or Sunday, to spend time with her. That is precious time. You can get wrapped up in the day-to-day and forget about the small things. I try to spend quality time with my daughter, too. My daughter above all is everything to me; she is my pride and joy. I put my energy outside of work into her. She is a senior in high school and on her way to college, so we are doing college tours now. It is both crazy and exciting!
At the end of every busy season, I take a girls’ trip with my best friends. We are all accountants, so we decompress and reflect on the past busy season. Two of the three of us just made partner at the same time. I like to travel, and I love all things red wine! Anytime you can get red wine in front of me, I am all for it.
Honestly, there are two things that come to mind.
One comes from Sheslie Royster, a Tax Partner in the Baltimore office, who I consider a significant mentor. She has always told me to trust that I know what I know, and I should trust myself to move forward with that self-assurance.
The second piece of advice comes from Joel Cohn, a Project Finance & Consulting Partner in the Baltimore office. Joel interrupted me once during a conversation, and I apologized. He stopped me and said, “Never apologize. Why should you? You shouldn’t always acquiesce to things. You shouldn’t minimize yourself.”
I’ve always admired both Sheslie and Joel. Both of their comments encouraged me to have more confidence in myself. My own advice to my daughter would be: “Don’t be afraid.” I spent a lot of my younger career being afraid. I sat back a lot. I waited for things to happen thinking that they would, but they never did. I may not have been doing what I needed to do because I was afraid. When I decided that there was nothing to be afraid of, I fell into my groove and took the steps I needed to put myself in the position to make partner.
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