After 7 years as a professional engineer in the military and 5 years as a director of a service manufacturing business, I needed to earn some extra money to pay for some medical treatment for my wife. So, hesitantly, I applied to join one of the top 6 management consultancy firms.
Despite the extra money, the useful training and working with some very bright colleagues, there was something about being a management consultant that just didn’t feel right. I had very little knowledge of most of the industries I found myself in or the area of management we were seeking to improve. The partners of the firm seemed excessively focused on finding the next piece of work and worst of all, I could not justify to myself, the £2,500 a day I was being charged out at.
I went back to conventional managerial work in the direct marketing and engineering industries and later decided to do some work as an interim manager, which I am still doing today. I like the freedom, the variety and flexibility it offers and the fact that I am not dependent upon the whims of a single employer. However, there have been times when I have either had no work or far too much, and it has been hard to get the balance right. Sometimes I have been wondering when the next assignment is going to turn up. On other occasions, I have worried whether the people supplied to me by the nice but not very knowledgeable recruitment agency are doing a good job, while fretting over their exorbitant agency fees.
So on Wednesday night, at the first Augmentas Group Alumni launch event, I realised that I have finally found a place to belong. Everybody I spoke to is a genuine, experienced professional, who can add value from experience and functional expertise. I have a network of top people who I know will deliver great work for my clients. I have somebody I can speak to who will help me find capable support and make it worth my while to do so. When I am not as busy as I would like, I know I have access to a much wider network of people who may be too busy themselves. Furthermore, now that we are starting to market the concept of our professional support network, I am much more confident that I will not be sitting around for long, unless I want to of course.
I spoke to a lot of people the other night and I got the same impression from them all … that by working together as the Augmentas Group Network, we can seriously challenge the way professional support is given today.
Augmentas Group held its first Alumni Event at M on Victoria Street. It was a great night, with over 40 of us and a few long-standing clients as well. Augmentas’ MD Glenn gave a short but rousing speech about the future of our Network, followed by some celebratory drinks, nibbles and some lively discussion.
Many thanks to Zoe and Anita for setting it all up and for keeping us on our toes.