Photo: board meeting

I had been thinking for some time that my then exec job might be my last. The big questions were “how?”, and “when?” to make the transition to non-exec.

The first thing I did was to work out exactly what it was I was looking for so that I could clearly articulate that in any networking meetings. My list sounds so simple now but it took me ages to formulate and condense! It also really helps assess opportunities, that way I don’t waste mine or others time.

The “When?” was simply a quality of life decision, I still wanted to work, just in a different way.

The “How?” was simply a question of knocking on doors and getting the networking started with my contacts. This has proved vital as none of my roles, to date, have come through head-hunters.

Inevitably, one’s portfolio evolves for good and bad reasons, so when I can see a period of relative inactivity looming I simply repeat the “how?", and re-invigorate my networking trying to make sure that I have something more interesting to say than simply “here I am”!

Paul Gilbert

Portfolio Chair / NED including NED The Gym Group plc – former CFO Matalan