After I completed a law degree in 2000, I wanted to save up and travel before deciding whether to become a solicitor or barrister. So I got a job as a community fundraising assistant at St Teresa's Hospice in Darlington, and soon put my travel plans on hold because I enjoyed it so much.
The chief executive offered to give me time off and help fund an MBA, which is how I came to abandon law in favour of a career in fundraising. I learnt more about life in four years working at the hospice than I have since, and it was a hard personal decision to move. From a career perspective, I'd completed an appeal and the time was right to take on some management responsibility.
My appointment as hospice fundraising manager at Sue Ryder came at a good time because the charity was going through a lot of change. I was there for five years and held three roles, leaving as head of stewardship.
I'm one of those people who thinks about where I want to be in five years' time. I wanted a head of fundraising position and found it at the Greater London Fund for the Blind before being approached by the RLSB at the start of 2012. It was a similar job, but the charity had a clearer idea of what it wanted to achieve.
I've been fortunate in my career, in that many people have allowed me to explore my ideas, even if they've not always gone to plan. I want to double RLSB's income and ultimately become a fundraising director in a larger organisation – but not for a few years yet.
Craig Linton is fundraising director at the Royal London Society for Blind People