When I met CABA, I had just been through a really horrible patch. My mother had been ill with dementia and she eventually died. I had to drive long distances every weekend so I could spend as much of those last few months with her as possible.  At the same time, I was starting to feel that my career wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

The company I was working for had moved its financial function to Holland, and the meaningful parts of my job had been hollowed out. I was writing the same financial reports every month and I was starting to feel that I was losing my professional integrity. There had been a shift in how the company was managed and it was becoming a culture I didn’t want to operate in. Opportunities for me to add value and really use my skills were increasingly limited.

In that context, I suppose it wasn’t exactly surprising that I was offered redundancy. It was actually a good thing as it was a decent package, and it allowed me time to go home, spend time with my wife, and grieve for my mother. However, as the months went on, my funds were starting to run lower, and my wife was starting to feel tense about that. I was starting to think ‘what next?’

It was around this time that I saw my ICAEW membership was in need of renewal, so I contacted them to see if they could reduce the fee for the period of unemployment. As well as helping with that, ICAEW suggested that I call CABA and tell them that I was job hunting. 

Calling CABA was an excellent move as they were able to offer me a careers advice service. Essentially, I had a series of meetings with a really good careers advisor to look at where I was, what I wanted and what I needed to do to achieve my goals. Even the act of getting up early, putting on a suit and heading into town to meet him was helpful in shifting my mindset and making me feel like it was time to get back into work. 

The career coach did a number of things for me, he supported me to really engage with LinkedIn and I came to see what a really powerful tool it could be. He also supported me to take a series of personality assessments as a way of focussing on what I wanted from my next role. It became clear that I wanted to stay in accounting, but that I needed to be in a smaller, more dynamic team, where my ideas counted and I was able to make a genuine impact. The coaching also enabled me to reflect on how I was coming across in interviews, and in life more generally. I realised that taking on a more positive mindset and talking about myself as actively looking for work would be advantageous. 

I hadn’t even finished the coaching sessions when I was offered a really great role. I joined a franchise in a position where I advise accountants on tax. I’ve been in the role a little over 6 months and I love it. I’m learning new skills, new systems, it’s given me a new lease of life. I feel really involved in the company and what I say matters. I’m giving presentations, webinars, I have a real energy for what I am doing now. Without CABA it would have taken me a lot longer to get to this point.

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please: