I was working as a Financial Director of a small company when I had a falling-out with another senior member of staff. Moving forward with the company felt impossible – disciplinary claims were brought against me and while they were unsubstantiated and ultimately dropped, the atmosphere remained openly hostile.

In a short period of time, I went from receiving a decent Christmas bonus to it all going wrong. I had to leave without having another job lined up. I'm over 50 and I didn't feel confident I'd find many interesting roles for someone my age. It didn't feel great.

I went on a CABA course on personal brand to figure out what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be and how I wanted to manifest the next stage of my professional life. The course was brilliant and I met others who were at a similar point in their lives and careers. The course made me look carefully at the kind of words I was using and how they were influencing me. It encouraged me to think and make the words and phrases I use more positive, which in turn has made me a more positive person.

I also spoke to CABA about career coaching, as I wasn't getting far with my interviews. I was matched with a career coach and I told them I was struggling to get excited about the jobs available to me. The sessions made me realise that I no longer felt passionate about the type of work I had been doing and I wanted my own practice. We had 9 sessions through the beginning phase of building my business. It was amazing to have someone to talk to about what was and wasn't working.

Around this time, CABA made me aware of their business start-up grants and supported me in creating a business plan and applying for a grant. I was delighted to be awarded the grant - it's allowed me to buy a new laptop, some good software and to invest in the marketing materials I needed to get my new business off to a strong start.

In the middle of all this, my husband was suddenly made redundant. I knew that CABA also supports spouses, so I encouraged him to take up some career coaching as well. We both felt so inspired and confident that we came together to devise a new business plan and we're now in the process to evolving my practice into a consultancy we will run together.

For me, CABA was someone to talk to, someone to help me focus and someone on my team. It's fantastic that spouses and partners are supported by CABA too, because this is the world around the chartered accountant and so it's central to their wellbeing. In short, working with CABA has been a life-changing experience for both of us.

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: