Stepping off

One arrow hits the center of a target with a sheet of paper with my personal objectives handwritten on it, red, blue and gray colors over white background. Achieving goals conceptual 3D render.

I’m often asked why I became an interim (coach and consultant). What was the prompt? What made you take the leap? Why? Not in the Simon Sinek find your why kind of why.

It’s not complicated.

I was at a career crossroads. I’d changed sectors in my permanent career so knew I could do it.

I’d been in professional services, law firms for eight years. I couldn’t see what to do next there.

To be honest I wasn’t enjoying the culture. 

I certainly didn’t enjoy the lack of flexibility. I asked for flexible work even though I knew it wouldn’t happen. Back then, flexible work wasn’t really a thing. I didn’t have children so couldn’t legally ask. That sucked on many levels.

I also felt I might become one of those people who’d fall out of love with their job.  I’d always been someone who loved work and didn’t want to lose that feeling. It’s a rare privilege to have it.

It was a combination of factors that led me to here.

I also wasn’t sure what an interim was when I started. I was sure I wanted to:

  • take charge of my own career
  • test my skills
  • challenge myself with a calculated career risk
  • learn new ones
  • see if I could survive and thrive
  • try

So after welcoming my third boss in six years and six months spent in an acting up role, I got myself a business name, a strapline, printed my business cards, saved some cash and resigned.

That was the start.

We all have a story. I’m always curious to know other people’s stories. What’s yours?

Hear other stories like Nicky Bliss and Deborah Brown both in my Linked In HR Interim Networking Community.

Hear me talk about all things interim with Anthony Ryland at tap’d solutions here.

15 years and counting

We can do it!

It was over 15 years ago that I resigned, picked a company name, created a strapline, bought a domain name and had a logo designed for my business card.

21 interim assignments, 18 clients and 11 sectors later, I’m still here!  Where did the time go?

When I left, I was naive about running a business and probably didn’t fully appreciate what I’d started. I wanted to be an interim, and wasn’t quite sure what one was. Early on I found this. It’s a definition I keep returning to:

 “Interim Managers are a senior level, external resource working short-term. They have a proven track record, a depth of experience to draw from and are experienced at solving complex problems and delivering solutions to business critical issues fast”.

Association of Professional Interims

I often say we’ve a consultant skills set with an execution mindset, although I’m aware this might offend management consultants!

And over the years I’ve got used to explaining what interims are and what we do.

It took time to articulate.

It took time and courage to put myself out there and talk about it. Now I’ve a few podcasts and blogs under my belt. Now I’ve gained the confidence that comes from running and growing a global networking community for people who run businesses like mine. 1300 members and counting.

I love the connections I’ve made. I love to do my bit to spread the word on what good interims can bring to client businesses.

So when people ask me what I do for a living I say….. I founded Chiara Consultancy, a business that helps clients, change, innovate and maximise the power of their people.  I work on change projects with a focus on the human, technical, comms. and engagement.  

Want to hear my thoughts on being an interim?

Read: My blog for Frazer Jones

Listen to my podcast with Michael Pickup at Oyster Search and Selection Episode 22

Or one of my earlier podcasts with Tap’d Solutions