"I worked as a ‘careerist’ in the City for 40 years, helping large energy companies with their insurance and risk management needs.
Flexible working enables years of learning to be distilled and crystallised towards new opportunities and clients. It can offer a more diverse and dynamic working environment that energises what you do and how you do it.
Having lead a large industry practice, I was responsible for strategy and results. Operating within a highly competitive arena, I was particularly interested how we could achieve outstanding performance by offering palpably better products and services, i.e the pursuit of ‘sustained competitive advantage’. Many enterprises struggle to realise such goals, often simply because they are unable to combine entrepreneurship with experience and related insights.
My career allowed me to experience many business cultures but also to apply my own learning and ideas. I remain very interested in how ‘outperforming’ teams are formed and how individuals and teams ‘think, behave and do’. This informs strategy and dictates results - especially in the context of highly competitive industries, where results are under constant scrutiny.
Last year, I decided to leave behind my City career so that I could experience a much richer and varied lifestyle. But naturally, I haven't left behind any of the hard-earned experience that I developed along the way.
The great beauty of flexible working is that I can now deploy my skills to a more diverse audience whilst continuing to evolve my own learning.
I also find that time spent working within a flexible format is more impactful compared to the full-time norm. This may sound counter-intuitive, but I have found that flexible working equates to fresher, more focussed thinking and delivery.
Simon's Top Tips:
- Evaluate your career experience thus far and identify the key things you learnt. What worked, what didn’t?
- It’s essential to continue your learning path: working with clients and collaborating with others are great ways to keep your mind open and gain new skills.
- Think hard about how you can best use your skills for the benefit of clients. In my experience, there is only a short window to show what you can do and the differences you can make.
- It usually helps to be precise when communicating what you can do: think in terms of the features and benefits of your products/services, and what differences they will make to the wider enterprise.