Intro Series Part 1 – How Stapleton Consulting Came to Be

CatherineStapleton_3This time last year I created a website for Stapleton Consulting. At the time I had the intention of producing interesting updates and sharing information on all things employment related.  As a recent new comer to self-employment, 2017 was a good year for learning and getting work done.  However, 2017 came to an end and I never managed to publish any updates or establish a social media presence.  There are many reasons for this but now that it is 2018, I am not going to let another year go by, particularly when this year is already showing signs of being one of change for the employment landscape, thanks to the Labour Government putting their bill for changing trial periods, rest and meal breaks and union involvement.

In June Stapleton Consulting will be two years old!  So, before I launch into an update and begin blogging about HR tips and tricks, I would like to use my first blog series to answer the questions I often get asked after telling people what I do – Why did you go out on your own? What made you keep doing it? What work do you do? What is HR?  What of kind businesses do you work with?  What services do we offer and how much?

So here goes……


Part one – Why did I start Stapleton Consulting?  What made me choose self-employment and leave the security of paid employment?

I made the scary step into self-employment and contracting to regain balance back in my life.  I was previously working as a sole-charge HR Manager for a growing local export manufacturer with employees worldwide and it was supposed to be a part time 3 day per week job.  To top it off, it was a greenfield HR role too.  While working full time and juggling the commitments of a young family, I quickly spiralled into the burnout zone HR Managers all too often find themselves in.  To give myself time to recover, I resigned with nothing to go to and the idea that maybe short-term contracting would be a nice change.  Early on, I reached out to my network and got talking to people.  By doing this I managed to get some leads and secure contracting work within a couple of weeks.  Thank you! You know who you are. 😉 The lack of security was disconcerting at first, but it was for the better.

Fast forward 9 months, and I was doing a mix of contracting work and my own client work, and I felt as though I had recovered from exhaustion and burnout.   It was also at this point the initial contracting work was winding down and I had to make a decision about what comes next – do I go back to paid employment? Seek out another contracting role? Do I still want to be in HR or is a career change on the horizon? Or do I try to push Stapleton Consulting to make it a ‘real’ business? 

The difficulty was, I didn’t have the answer and I was quite uncertain about what path to take.  I liken this time to the ‘Primo’ days where I had to ‘go with the flow’.  Yes, just like the chocolate drink adverts.

I had to stay open minded, seek out advice and stick to what felt right at the time.  Very unnerving to say the least.  But as I advise others facing uncertainty – stick to what you can control rather than be distracted by what you can’t, do what feels right, be patient, and most importantly listen to your gut or intuition. 

It took a further three months for me to work out that I needed to keep pushing forward with Stapleton Consulting and pursue the opportunities that lay ahead as a SME HR service provider.  This decision didn’t just happen overnight and the achievement of my personal goals (the part of my life I could control) really helped to clarify my goals and vision.

Check out next blog post to find out what is HR and the work we do.


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