Inspirational Woman: Carmel Moore | Director, One Moment Company

Carmel Moore I’m a co-founder at the One Moment Company. We’ve developed a unique, disruptive approach to the problem of time which helps people to unlearn ‘busy’.

We help leaders and their teams to find the time for what matters most. What we teach is mind-blowing, transformative and practical and all at the same time.  My business partner, Marty Boroson is a Zen priest whereas I’m an accountant by background.  It is a scintillating and intriguing combination!

I started professional life out as a naïve, convent-school-leaving 17 year old, herded onto a traditional professional career path. There were limited career options back then, especially for women. I studied law in University followed by accountancy despite having no natural passion for either.  I looked so young that I was charged a child’s bus fare on my first day at work in KPMG! I gravitated towards a career in tax and ultimately became a Tax Director in large corporates such as Barclays and Pfizer and a Tax Partner in EY in London.  But all the way through my career I pursued what felt like a secret parallel life and acquired a Masters in English from King’s College as well as qualifications in coaching and Organisational Development. I was always deeply fascinated by how people lived at work, rather than simply the technical work they did.  All paths have converged in my current venture; being able to blend my professional victories and scars with the joy of helping people to liberate themselves from the shackles of meaningless work, is a blessing.  I feel that, despite the miles on the clock, I’m still always just starting out.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Never, so I was often caught out for my lack of a five-year, or even one-year, plan as people seemed really hung up on me having one.  I remember speaking at a breakfast for young women leaders a few years back and they all looked on in horrified disbelief to hear there was no plan.  I’ve tended to move on organically from one opportunity to the next opportunity and I’ve no regrets.  I see my life as a (still) evolving narrative and my career is one part of that.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I have suffered from some major health issues along the way and decided that toughing these out and showing up despite it all was a good strategy.  It wasn’t.  A spine operation in 2014 was a real stinger and did force me to a halt and a reckoning  with myself and the universe. On reflection, my body had been trying valiantly to tell me to slow down and take stock, but I had pressed on, regardless.  Still, I wouldn’t have made the leap I did to a different career if my hand (or my back) hadn’t been forced.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Horrible question to answer without sounding worthy and priggish!  On paper at least it should be becoming a London partner in a Big 4 accounting firm.  But moving on from that and starting a business with a purpose and mission I love at this stage in life feels like a bigger and way more satisfying achievement.  My purpose has coalesced into working to ease the burden of the working world. The thought that the work I do day to day can make a positive impact on another person’s day to day is intoxicating. But up until the point at which I die, I think I will still believe that there is more to do, learn, achieve, give, enjoy.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

It depends on who you are asking.  My family, particularly my father, would say my relentless dedication to hard work (thanks, dad, for the lifelong masterclass in hard work!).  However, I would like to think that it’s my creativity, versatility and scorching sense of humour!

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I love it.  Mentoring should be an essential part of business life for both the mentor and the mentee. Mentoring is more important than ever these days as we don’t have the physical happenstance of the office environment in which to connect. The best relationships are the ones where it works both ways.  My current reverse mentee/mentor relationship is with an ambitious and charismatic young man whose humour and honesty challenge and amaze me. I offer him (I hope) wisdom and practical insight and in turn he shares his experience of being a young black man making his way in the professional working world. I’ve learned from him how to ask important and heartfelt questions about his lived experience rather than making my own assumptions, however well-intentioned those assumptions might be.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

I wish I could help people to be more courageous in conversation in the moment.  We still place a heavy reliance on policies, forums, events, awards to promote Gender Equality which can feel very separate from the day-to-day issues. I reflect on the number of times I didn’t speak up in a meeting, for example, about something which seemed unfair at the time.  Dealing with it ONLY in private afterwards limits learning for everyone.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Trust your gut in the moment; anytime you ignored it over the years, you regretted it.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I love the work we do in The One Moment Company, so growing the business and staying true to its purpose excites me. I’m also rediscovering a passion for writing and hope to graduate from my short pieces of observational comedy on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmel-moore-500b5a8/) to a regular blog post.


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