Part 3 of our FD Interview Series: Personal Development with Andy

Welcome back to the third and final part of our Finance Director (FD) Interview Series with Andy Thomson, Finance Director at Interior Goods Direct Limited. In this segment, Andy discusses personal development, sharing his strategies and experiences for continuous growth and maintaining a work-life balance. Led by Alex Law, Senior Consultant at Headstar, this conversation is packed with valuable insights for anyone looking to advance their finance career.


Reflecting on Personal Development

Andy shares advice he would give to his past self about personal development. He emphasises the importance of every decision and project in shaping one’s career, and the value of setting aside time to focus on self-improvement.


Networking and Learning

Outside of work, Andy finds great value in attending networking events and webinars. These activities not only provide learning opportunities but also help build a professional network, which can be instrumental in career advancement.

Prioritising Work-Life Balance and Mental Health

Andy also touches on the importance of mental health in his professional life. He shares his experiences with mental health training and its benefits in the workplace, in addition to tips on how he maintains his own work-life balance.


Click on the link below to watch the final part of our interview and gain more insights into Andy’s approach to personal development.

Stay tuned for more insightful conversations as we continue our FD Interview Series. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and LinkedIn page to stay updated on the latest video releases on this joint collaboration with RSM UK.




Alex: So, we’re back with Andy Thomson for the third part of our FD interview around personal development, what he’s done to go above and beyond to get to where he is in his career now.


Alex: What advice would you give to yourself five years ago about personal development?

Andy: In terms of talking to myself in the past, I would say that all the decisions you make will add to your personal development. A lot of projects that you get involved with, new roles, new businesses, new people will all add to your personal development. You’re learning new things, you’re dealing with new people, dealing with ways to interact with those people so that is all going to make you a better person. I guess looking a bit more inward in terms of behavioural traits, I might say focus on that alongside your work rather than getting caught up in the day to the day and ignoring it. It would be to set aside some time either during the work hours or outside and really think where do I want to improve, is there anything else apart from what I’m learning do I want to develop on as a person?


Alex: What is your go-to self-development book or podcast?

Andy: I don’t have a book as such, but I do enjoy listening to Simon Sinek’s little videos about purpose while we’re at work and leadership talks. It’s often little bite size three, four, five minutes and you just pick something up and then get on with the rest of your day.


Alex: What do you do outside of work that you feel has helped to benefit your career?

Andy: I think outside of work is volunteering to come along to networking events, learning events, webinars either through the institute or anything locally organised by recruitment agents or other audit firms are often a good source of meeting people. So, I’ve often gone to a lot of that networking events and in terms of the technical learning as well, some of the ICAEW’s events that I’m affiliated to. They’re not only good to learn a bit of content but also to meet other people of a similar mindset there as well. And I guess just following on from that, keeping in with that network is important. Someone that introduced me to the owner of Interior Goods Direct was someone that I worked with over 20 years ago so keeping that network is good and it can bear fruit in terms of technical and personal progression.


Alex: Are there any soft skills that you’re currently working on?

Andy: In terms of soft skills, not anything that I’m working on particular at the moment, although have joined a business recently. So, using some of our previous experiences and learnings on how to work effectively with people. Everyone’s got a different style, different behaviours. It’s just reflecting, “is this the best way to work with this person?” So, challenging myself on just doing it that way, why didn’t that get a good result? Try a different way and just, so not nothing specific but I guess using past experiences to get the best out of myself now. One thing I did last year was go on a mental health first aid course. I think over the next year, I’d like to go on a refresher for that just to utilise some of those skills more in the workplace.


Alex: Do you have any non-negotiables when it comes to work-life balance or wellbeing?

Andy: I wouldn’t say non-negotiable but high priority items I think would be family, health, holidays. I do try and keep sacred for holidays. I’ve got three kids so we’re a busy household so it’s not necessarily non-negotiable but I’m just busy outside of work so that keeps me entertained. I do try and keep away from weekend working although if I know I need to do it, I’ll feel better having done it and it’s few and far between in terms of those weekends. So, it’s managing your week to fit in your family time on top of your work time and friends as well.


Alex: So just want to say thanks to Andy for coming on and talking to us in the first of hopefully many FD interviews. If you are interested in learning more or hearing more from Andy or ourselves, please do get in touch with the contact details available on the website.


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James Roach

Managing Director

James Roach