CAREERS: HOW I GOT HERE - Philip Fearn, corporate/trust fundraising manager, SSAFA Forces Help

What was your first job?

I worked for a year as a sales assistant at Boots before doing two years of unpaid voluntary service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, working with deaf people throughout the UK and Ireland.

What does your current role involve? The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help is lucky to have significant corporate partners, and my role is to develop our relationship with them, while finding new opportunities with companies, and overseeing our trust income.

Roughly outline your career path After my missionary work, I was a sales executive for an electronics company but became disillusioned with working to make individuals rich. Working in the charity sector made much more sense to me. I became corporate relations officer for Deafblind UK in Peterborough, before moving to London to take up a post at The Royal British Legion. I have been at SSAFA Forces Help for six months.

What training has most enhanced your career?

I learned about perseverance and presentation during my mission, and the skills of corporate fundraising through my roles in the charity sector.

What has been your greatest career achievement? My current post is a very important achievement for me. I work with an excellent team and for a cause I believe in.

What is your advice to people starting out in this sector? Working in the charity sector will probably never make you rich, but knowing that your efforts will make a difference to people's lives is a real boost.

Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?

I am currently the secretary for the Institute of Fundraising's Corporate Fundraisers Special Interest Group and am responsible for their webgroup.

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