CAREERS: How I Got Here - Sue Wigley, chief executive, NACVS

What was your first job?

I worked at the famous rose growers Harry Wheatsheaf in Nottingham - putting my degree in applied biology to good use.

What does your current role involve? The National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS) supports the national network of Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS). I manage NACVS internally to do the following: build on relationships with our members, provide a voice for them and work with national and local government at policy level.

Roughly outline your career path? I spent nine years at the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) during which time I rose through the ranks to become deputy manager at the Wakefield branch. I left to manage a small health and social services project in Huddersfield and then became deputy director of Bradford Council for Voluntary Service.

In 1998, I became the director of the Leeds district CAB and late last year I was also made a director for the Birmingham district. I left to join NACVS in February 2002.

What training or course has most enhanced your career?

I was part of an interactive action learning group at the CAB. As part of the course, each group member had to think of an issue that affected them and then we had to propose solutions.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Leading the Birmingham CAB out of administration with a complete staff and service review, and negotiating with funders to leave it in a financially viable position.

What is your biggest career regret? I suppose I really ought to have left the CAB earlier to avoid getting a little jaded.

What is your advice for people starting out in the sector? Stay true to the primary purpose of your organisation.

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

I'm about to sit on the board of the CAB once I have settled in to my new job.

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