By: Fatima Wallizadeh, former Audit Staff member

Life never prepares you for a loss. When a personal tragedy suddenly pierced my family and I, it was one of the toughest experiences we have ever encountered. Unfortunately, this tragedy occurred in the midst of busy season at Wiss, the most frenzied and exigent time of year at any accounting firm. Now not only would I have to cope with the tragedy—I would have to steady the myriad responsibilities that occur during this period on top of it.

Already being in a different state, I was extremely overwhelmed and ultimately left feeling hopeless. I have never been in a situation like that before so I didn’t know how to go about it. All I knew was that I had to call someone and let them know. That person guided me and helped me take the right steps. I then communicated with the managers and colleagues that I had been working closely with and was left astonished with how supportive everyone truly was. I was told to take the time I needed —  to be with my family and that I should not worry about work for that time. It was their swift, humbling actions that helped me fully cope with my personal situation and realize how fortunate I am to be a part of this company.

At Wiss, we care a great deal for the well-being of our clients and our workers. Functioning as a closely-knit family, there is always someone here that you can confide in. This aspect is crucial and much needed, especially in times of grief or loss. If there is no support system in the company that you are working for, there can be no escape from any problem you may be going through. Naturally, every person’s path to healing from a loss is unique to them. What helps one individual may not help another. Some may need work to distract them from their situation, while others may need time to themselves outside the office. When I experienced a loss I needed to visit family and have a clear mind before jumping back into work, and my coworkers completely understood that. Companies who offer this flexibility to employees who are confronting grief will find that employees will bounce back into their work with a healthier, clearer mentality than companies who do not.

We are human first, with real experiences and emotions that materialize throughout our personal and professional lives. Fortunately, even during the busiest of times, Wiss grasps this and encourages us to always put our families and ourselves first. By creating a comfortable, secure atmosphere during my difficult time, Wiss’ efforts helped me to heal and move forward.


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