A week in life of the good consultant….

I originally started this blog, several years ago, to track my progress as a new consultant.

To recap I had worked in the field of addictions / substance misuse for many years and was presented with a unique opportunity (crisis) to do something new.  Stumbling blocks really can become stepping stones to new opportunities, as I know from my own journey of recovery from addiction, so I started freelance consulting in July 2007.

Several years on, and now as the Director of my very own company (Green Apple Consulting Ltd), I have not forgotten those early days and want to capture and communicate some of what being a consultant is all about in this and future blogs.

I could look at any week since July 2007 as most weeks have been busy, interesting, manic, diverse etc etc.  Even though I’ve been busy all the time I’ve also been worried about all sorts of things, mainly, delivering my current contract(s) and where the next contract is coming from, and nothings really changed in that regard, except I can maybe pick and choose the roles a bit more now than I could then

I’m not complacent though as the cliche really is true, you’re only as good as your last project

This week has been an interesting week:

  • Monday and Tuesday I worked from home on two separate contracts, for two county partnerships on developing and changing prison based substance misuse services within those counties
  • Wednesday I was invited to HMP Bronzefield (a privately run prison) to be part of a delegation to meet with HRH Princess Anne in her role as Patron of The Butler Trust.  Later that evening I was invited to speak at an upcoming recovery conference 
  • Thursday I was at the South East DAAT Commissioners Meeting, representing one of my clients as an ‘honorary commissioner’
  • Friday I was working from home again, taking calls, answering emails etc
And next week looks just as busy and diverse
  • Monday, prison meeting at 11am, working lunch at 1.30pm, 3pm meeting with Care, before going on to meet with Care and David Burrowes MP at Portcullis House
  • Tuesday, Surrey DAAT (meet with the Manager in the morning and with the executive group in the afternoon)
  • Wednesday, work from home in the morning and from 4pm House of Commons for the launch of the Concordat
  • Thursday and Friday are again, admin and working from home days and on Sunday I am invited to attend (and very much looking forward to) The Ley Community, to celebrate with them 40th Anniversary for delivering transforming, rehabilitative care to men and women with drug and alcohol addictions
The above is not about name dropping or showing off about how interesting my job is.  Its about demonstrating that people in recovery can aim high, that we can have a good life beyond treatment.  Its about having and keeping a hopeful outlook on life, despite our usual worries about money or relapse or what we think others think about us, or what we think about ourselves or (to get properly into some rehab speak – what we think others think of us!!!
I got into consulting because I felt I had to leave the civil service because I landed a great job but it made me miserable.  I also went into to treatment many years ago because I wanted to give up drugs and start my life again as a criminal without the major impediment of a drug habit around my neck
Along the way, in life as in work, my motivation changed and I learnt a lot, made new friends, redefined my goals and suddenly was living again.  Relating my personal story back to the treatment field of today we have to do so much more than we are doing.
Treatment and recovery services (as they are beginning to be defined) need to provide hope and opportunity for those that access them.  In my experience, those accessing drug and alcohol treatment services (like me) predominantly want to give up drugs, move away from dependancy and live again
In the coming weeks and months I want to chart what I do as a consultant but will also try and give my recovery insight as well as bring insight from friends, colleagues and clients in recovery
Hope you enjoy it
All the best