I worked in an accounting related industry for many years, and I liked my job and felt I was good at it. But when I turned 60 my organisation went through a major restructure and I was invited to apply for a new role covering a much larger geographical area. I felt it was time for a change so decided to leave instead.

Many people encouraged me to retire, but that didn't feel like the right thing for me. I had a second career writing business books so I thought I'd pursue that. However, leaving paid employment after such as long time was more of a transition than I had thought. My husband was working, so money wasn't an issue but I missed the challenge of working full time. I'm an active person and can always find something to do, but I had moved from being very busy every moment of the day to having more time on my hands and that felt strange. A former colleague suggested I should contact CABA.

CABA offered me some career coaching and it was incredibly helpful. My coach was excellent. We started off working on using LinkedIn and social media for business, but overall it was about confidence building. My coach saw my value and how it could be applied. I also went on a CABA course called 'Developing and maintaining a growth mindset', which was really rewarding and took me to the point where I had my own business plan.

I'd been a visiting fellow at a University and they invited me to undertake an interesting international project that involved research into project management at governmental level. I'm not an expert in project management and, at first, the thought of speaking to senior government officials on a subject I knew little about was daunting. However, the coaching gave me that extra confidence to say "yes" and I thoroughly enjoyed doing the work.

From there I also had the opportunity to co-deliver a business workshop in Jordan. Once again, my coaching gave me the confidence to go for it, and I'm so glad I did. I realised that in my last role I was on autopilot and rarely stepped out of my comfort zone, but that's all changed now.

I wasn't sure I would qualify for help from CABA initially, but I'm so glad I contacted them. To have that support without any personal cost was a tremendous gift at this stage of my life.

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 contact us.