CONSULTANT BLOGS / CHRISTINA COLEMAN
My friend is a consultant at Setfords and urged me to look into it. At the time, I didn’t feel ready to pursue the opportunity, but after some badgering from her and my husband, I made contact.
“Lockdown had made me realise how much time I had already missed out on with my 5-year-old”
At the same time, I was offered a job in a practice in Nottingham centre. This would have involved sharing my time between home and the office. The pay was good, and I knew the head of department pretty well. It seemed the easy choice. However, the lockdown had made me realise how much time I had already missed out on with my 5-year-old Orla; starting early, working late and commuting on top. It was then that I decided to become a consultant for Setfords and I haven’t looked back since!
My main priority when looking for a new role was a better work-life balance, no commuting and spending more time with Orla and my husband, David. Being able to do the school run a few times a week was also essential to me as I didn’t want to become excluded from that world completely.
Chief the cat, my PA doing a bit of dictation.
Making a significant change can be daunting. My biggest fear was that no one would use me, and I would be a complete failure! I knew it wouldn’t be easy in the beginning, especially starting from scratch.
The first few weeks were daunting but exciting. Learning new systems and getting to know new ways of doing things that had become ingrained in me after 20 years in private practice was a challenge but at the same time, it was fun doing the training and working my way around the systems.
I have found there have been many advantages of making the switch, such as the flexibility consultancy offers.
“I can take on the amount of work that is comfortable for me to have a good work-life balance.”
I can also now have more personal contact with my clients. They love that I don’t have a secretary or receptionist that they have to go through to get to me. Plus, it’s great to know that I don’t have the pressure of billing targets. I can take on the amount of work that is comfortable for me to have a good work-life balance.
Orla loves the fact that mummy is always there. She also thinks my office is a cool place to be – I do believe this has something to do with there being lots of stationery for her to pinch! It was also lovely when the lockdown restrictions were lifted to get out in the summer holidays for a few hours with David and Orla and not worrying that my clients wouldn’t be able to get hold of me.
David and I on holiday in one of our family’s favourite places, Madiera.
“Now that I have settled in and am a few months down the line, I am incredibly busy. Any fears I had that no one would want to use me were utterly unfounded.”
Now that I have settled in and am a few months down the line, I am incredibly busy. Any fears I had that no one would want to use me were utterly unfounded. I have already completed plenty of matters with many more in the pipeline. So far all of my clients have been happy with the service provided and I am sure this has something to do with me being happier too!
“Communication is key, and this model means that this is never an issue.”
As I mentioned before, I have found that I am building personal relationships with clients and can really look after them. Communication is key, and this model means that this is never an issue. I also have great relationships with the local agents, which has built up over many years, and they couldn’t be happier with my new career move.
My beautiful 40th birthday cake from a few weeks ago.
My typical day starts with breakfast with David and Orla. I help Orla get ready for school and then usually David takes her, and I start work (after making a coffee!). I break for lunch and sometimes go out for a walk around the village and then work again until it’s time to collect Orla from school. I sometimes then do an hour of catching up with admin and emails after Orla has gone to bed.
“The thing I am enjoying the most is the freedom it gives me and the control I have over my own files.”
The support structure at Setfords is excellent. Nothing is too much trouble. I am also able to speak with other consultants at Setfords regularly, and there is always someone to talk to if you need some advice or get stuck on something or just want to have a whinge!
The thing I am enjoying the most is the freedom it gives me and the control I have over my own files. If I could offer someone who is considering consultancy some advice, it would be: don’t think about it any longer – just do it! I certainly have no regrets!
Thinking about consultancy?
The vast majority who join Setfords as consultants go on to be a huge success, earning more money, experiencing less office politics, and enjoying a better-work life balance. The next consultant could be you. So get in touch today and take the next step towards a happier life.
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