Since I graduated from university I have only ever worked for two companies, albeit in a lot of different roles that have included being a software developer, a business analyst, a business manager and a project, programme and portfolio manager, sometimes with multiple hats on at the same time. I feel very lucky to have started my career by landing in an amazing team and for all of the education and opportunities that then stemmed from this. Leaving my first company after 11 years in 2010 felt like a giant step — I remember worrying whether I was just good at working at that firm or whether I had value to offer more generally. My fears were soon allayed once I started and it gave me a massive confidence boost to know that I could make a switch to something new. I continued to learn, working with interesting people on challenging problems across a wide variety of different functions. The past seven years at this company were very different and it has been great to get access to senior people and a breadth of understanding of how an investment bank works, things that would be much harder to do in a larger firm.
As of tomorrow I will be working for myself for the first time, offering my services to clients as a portfolio, programme or project manager. I’ve always considered myself to be a very risk-averse person when it comes to employment so deciding to ‘go solo’ is a big change for me. I’m excited by the challenge — it will be motivating to be judged solely on how happy my clients are and whether I am continuing to add value to them. Over the past few weeks I have had to get to grips with small business accounting, insurances of many different kinds (both for my new small company as well as my family) and getting used to the idea of no longer being an employee. Hopefully I have everything covered and I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough if I haven’t. My new working life — and a new adventure — starts on Monday and I’m very much looking forward to it.