In the lead up to International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March, we’ll be shining the spotlight on the successes of women, telling the stories of some of our female employees and consultants. We kick off with a Q&A with one of our very own consultants here at Danbro, Jen Walmsley.
Please could you introduce yourself, tell us a bit about what you do, your role, and what it involves.
I’ve always struggled with titles but I suppose organisation improvement best describes what I do. My role involves helping organisations to identify better ways of working. Sometimes progressing towards a quality standard or formal accreditation can help provide a framework. I deliver training and facilitate team sessions, as well as being a quality assessor.
Tell us a bit about why you chose to go self-employed.
Balancing a profession & being a mum was demanding & required compromise. After proving to myself that I could do it, I decided it wasn’t for me – time is precious.
How did you go about finding your first client(s)?
I used to work for a consultancy firm, my role was to manage accreditation services and contract with consultants and assessors. After deciding to go freelance I was offered a retainer to establish a new service. This was my first consultancy project.
What do you enjoy about being self-employed?
I thrive off change and variety. I also love the fact that I can spend most school holidays with our girls.
And are there any downsides?
I miss the all-expenses paid training courses and conferences I used to attend.
Since working as a consultant, have you found that you have a better work/life balance?
Definitely – it feels different. Everything I do feels like ‘my work’, so if I’m working late or at weekend it’s because that suits me and fits with family life and the week ahead.
How do you deal with the admin side since becoming self-employed?
I try to keep Fridays free and allocate part of the day to admin and phone calls.
Do you have any tips for those thinking about going freelance?
Having a strong network is essential, as well as being prepared to do a percentage of unpaid work in order to generate paid work.
Is there a particular businessperson you admire, and why?
People who, having become successful from a humble beginning, know when they have enough and go on to use their money, power & influence to help others. Oprah Winfrey is a woman I admire very much.