Moving from banking into the charity sector was more luck than judgement. I fell into banking when I left school in 1988 and got a job at a high-street branch of Lloyds. I climbed up to head office, working in corporate social responsibility and sponsorship, and ultimately became operations manager at the Lloyds TSB Foundation in 1997.
I loved awarding and monitoring grants, but I wanted to be involved in service delivery. A lucrative settlement package from an organisational restructure in 2004 gave me an opportunity to cross sectors – I became the London regional manager at the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. It was a year's contract and it enabled me to see that my future was in the charity sector.
I then moved to the Men's Health Forum in 2005 as the director of operations. It was a dynamic and entrepreneurial organisation – I stayed for six years before deciding in 2011 to move to a global NGO, the World Society for the Protection of Animals. What took me there was the ambition and vision of the organisation and the chance to work internationally.
After three years, I decided to move to a smaller NGO working in the humanitarian sector. Although I was inspired by its aims, I found it was not the right role for me, and I was lucky enough to be able to return to the WSPA (now rebranded as World Animal Protection). This experience gave me a valuable opportunity to reflect on what is important to me in terms of my career. I can truly say it's great to be back.
Stephen Sibbald is UK deputy director and UK director of operations at World Animal Protection