Sarah is an assurance manager in the London Wealth and Asset Management team at EY. She leads engagement teams in large, FTSE 100 group audits within wealth and asset management. She has international experience working in the New York team. She is a member of the EY Women’s Network and helps lead the diversity agenda within Wealth and Asset Management.
Sarah Langston
Sarah Langston
"Life is more important than work but work is an important part of life"

What is your proudest achievement from your career to date?

Being part of a diverse team who won a major contract was one of the proudest moments of my career to date. The ability of the team to learn from different perspectives was fundamental in driving an innovative approach and building strong relationships that led to our success. I remember the feeling of elation when we found out we had won the work - it made all of the effort we had put in over the past few years worthwhile. I’m really looking forward to working with this new client and for the things we will learn from each other.

You have achieved a lot in your career – what is still on your list of goals?

I don’t think I’ve achieved a whole lot just yet! There are many more things I would like to do. I’ve hugely appreciated the support and guidance I have received from people who have mentored me and I want to continue to do the same for others. There is a real sense of achievement to be gained by coaching, mentoring and seeing people progress. I’d also like the opportunity to work abroad again. I spent a short stint in New York and I’d love to spend more time abroad, there is so much to learn from different cultures and different ways of working.

Who are your role models?

I’ve got lots of role models – I think it’s important to have a varied group of people who you look up to across all areas of your life. However, although it sounds corny, the two people I admire the most are my parents. They have always demonstrated to me what can be achieved if you work hard but also the importance of not losing sight of the important things life.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from a mentor or mentee?

The most important lesson I’ve been told so far is: ‘life is more important than work but work is an important part of life’. This really challenged me to think about the role work plays in my life and what I want that to look like as I progress through my career. I think it is easy for people to talk about the work/life balance as if your work and your life are separate but it is becoming increasingly clear to me that these are inextricably linked.

How do you manage your work/life balance?

For me, the work/life balance starts with identifying what you want to achieve in your work life. For me, I want to be the best that I can be at what I do. For that to happen I knowI have to work hard. I think it’s important to recognise that, and to acknowledge that sometimes I will have to work late, and sometimes I will have to sacrifice other things. But this is a choice I’ve made. I also know thatmaking time for the people who mean the most to me is important. The help and support of these people will carry me through the hard times as well as the good times and having the support of these people helps me to perform well at work. Work/life balance for me isn’t about saying to myself I will spend 8 hours at my desk, 8 hours having fun and 8 hours asleep (as one of my colleagues once told me it was for them!). It is about making choices and recognising that I will need to work hard to achieve one of my goals in life, which is to be the best I can be at what I do.