Careers: Job Ladder - Amarjit Kaur, director, Groundswell

What was your first job? I was a home visiting officer at the Bolton Citizens Advice Bureau, advising people on their benefit entitlement.

What were your two key career moves? After my degree in religious studies at Manchester University, I volunteered for my local Citizens Advice Bureau in Manchester. Then, a year and a half later, I took the post of deputy director at the CAB at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. That was five years ago.

Why do you think you got your present job? Groundswell supports self-help initiatives with homeless people. In my previous job I set up a project to help victims of miscarriages of justice rebuild their lives, and there are similarities to that in this post.

Who or what has been your biggest influence? People's own understanding of their situation. All my work is about giving people the advice and support they need to achieve their goals. Listening to what they want to do with their lives is quite inspiring.

What was the best moment of your career? I was interviewed on Channel 4 a few months ago about the 'miscarriage of justice' project that I set up. It was good to hear from someone who was there talk about how the project really saved him.

... and your worst moment? I cannot think of any in particular - maybe it's yet to come!

What's your tip for success? Find out what you are interested in, and don't just think about the money. Be a good planner and give attention to details.

How do you relax? I make sure I have free time. It's important not to get stressed because it has an impact on your staff. We are looking at how to make more efficient use of our resources, so that staff can spend more time out of the office helping homeless people. This is the sort of planning I like to do from home.

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