Careers: How I Got Here - Robert Music, chief executive, National Endometriosis Society

What was your first job? Learning how to make jewellery - very badly!

I realised it was not the career for me and spent a year travelling before moving into the voluntary sector. My first job was telephone fundraising with agency Factor Fox.

What does your current role involve? Providing strategic direction and ensuring that the charity is well managed and financially stable. I also promote our work to increase awareness of endometriosis, the gynaecological disease that affects 2 million women in the UK.

Roughly outline your career path My first full-time post was as company and trusts officer for the Stroke Association. I then joined Research into Ageing as fundraising manager, and later became deputy chief executive.

After the charity merged with Help the Aged, I moved to my current role.

What training has most enhanced your career? A course run by Acevo for potential chief executives. It made me realise what a varied, challenging and different role it can be.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Turning round income and developing the fundraising potential at Research into Ageing, seeing it grow by over 300 per cent.

What is your advice to people starting out in this sector? Be open and aware of all opportunities and learn as much as you can. It is a great sector to be in, and there seems to be real potential to develop or change your career. It is essential you have real empathy with the cause you work for. I once went for a job with Action on Smoking and Health while I was still a smoker. It was pretty hard to sell myself and I did not get the job.

Are there any charities you support financially or with your own time?

I have just raised £4,800 for the National Endometriosis Society by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and still support Research into Ageing.

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