My journey from in-house to consultancy

Today is a special day at All Things IC as we’re officially welcoming Communication Consultants Caroline Cubbon King and Dan Holden to the team.

I established the business in 2013 to offer training, mentoring and consultancy for internal communicators around the globe.

Over the years I’ve worked with talented Associate Comms Consultants to support clients, and thank them for all their hard work.

After a period of growth, the time has come to invest in my own in-house team. We will use our collective expertise to benefit All Things IC’s existing and future clients.

Caroline and Dan are highly experienced Comms professionals, with proven commitment and passion for internal communication. Caroline has been working with the company over the past 18 months as an Associate Comms Consultant, and will now be a permanent member of the team.

I invited Dan to join us because his ethos of nurturing and advising internal communicators aligns with ours. I’ve been impressed by his energy and enthusiasm supporting IC professionals while working in-house, and I’m excited to combine our skills.

Dan is here to share his journey from in-house internal communicator to consultant. I’ll hand you over…


Photo of Dan Holden. Text: My journey from in-house to consultancy by Dan Holden, Comms Consultant, All Things IC

My journey from in-house to consultancy

When I started in my first comms role, I never imagined that I’d be here, starting my first day with All Things IC, which has been there throughout my career in so many ways.

Whether it’s that handy blog post when asked to write my first IC strategy, templates to help with channel mapping, or spending a day with colleagues in a bespoke training session. All Things IC has consistently featured in my Continuing Professional Development (CPD) records throughout the last eight years.

Well, here I am. It’s 2022, and I’m writing my first post as an All Things IC Communication Consultant, starting alongside the lovely Caroline Cubbon King and joining the All Things IC team.

So, how did I get here, and what did I learn….

Like many other IC professionals, my journey into Internal Comms wasn’t very traditional. I took an internal move from working as Cabin Crew into my first comms role.

I shared my full IC story on the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC) blog, where you can also hear from other #IChooseIC ambassadors.

Becoming a Communication Consultant was something I kept adding to my CPD plans and then, taking it out, doubting my abilities, knowledge and skills to move from in-house into a consultancy role. I spent a few months with an agency working as an Account Manager, but at the time, it wasn’t the right fit for me.

Through my time with the CIPR Inside committee and other networks such as Comms Unplugged, I had the opportunity over the years to chat with fellow comms pros to hear their experience and advice.

I can’t tell you how invaluable these networks have been and would encourage you to explore the comms communities available no matter where you’re at in your career.

Many are run independently of membership bodies, which is ideal if your budget is limited.

My next career move

In 2020, I was struggling with my next career move. I kept thinking about going freelance but then talked myself out of it. Mentoring was a great benefit. Having never taken part in mentoring before, I got in contact with a mentor via the CIPR Progress scheme.

My mentor, Ben Verinder, was a big help in focusing my thoughts on what was holding me back and coaching me towards my next steps. What I came away with was that I needed to be 100% certain about going into consultancy, but I also needed to have the capacity to commit 100%. At that moment in time, I just wasn’t quite there yet.

When Rachel launched the ‘How to be a Comms Consultant – Exploration’ online masterclass in 2020, it was the first time I saw anything designed to help people like me.

Photo of Dan Holden's desk with All Things IC branded desktop and stationery

It was an eye-opener as there was so much I had never even considered, such as insurance and then Limited companies vs sole traders. I concluded that consultancy was something I wanted to do. The question was when.

The past few years have taught me to have faith in myself. The most significant barrier was my self-belief in my ability and skills.

There is so much support for internal communicators, so grab every available opportunity — networking, connecting on social media, or using CPD tools.

Post author: Dan Holden

Thank you Dan, welcome to Team Teal!

You’ll be hearing a lot more from Dan and Caroline in the weeks and months to come.

In the meantime, if you are thinking about becoming a Comms Consultant, do check out the How to be a Comms Consultant – Exploration Online Masterclass Dan mentioned.

I created this course a couple of years ago to collate all the information I wish was around when I researching moving from in-house to consultancy.

As with all our Online Masterclasses, you can take the course at your own pace as there are no live lessons.

Consultancy isn’t the right path for everyone, the beauty of working in the field of internal communication is how many options you have. You may decide to spend your whole career in-house, to freelance for a while, or even to start your own business. Whatever you choose, I wish you every success in your chosen path.

Adam Driver of Authentic Comms shared his experience of the course and how it gave him the confidence he needed to bring his consultancy to life.

Adam Driver testimonial

Learn with All Things IC via Online Masterclasses

See the dedicated website to access all the latest All Things IC Online Masterclasses. They are packed with bespoke text lessons, videos, workbooks and quizzes to help you learn about the wonderful world of IC at your own pace.

They are pre-recorded, which means you access the content at the time you choose. Most courses have 12 months’ access and there are VIP options available on some of them, which means you’ll submit assignments to me for personalised feedback.

Choose from:

Thank you for stopping by,


First published on the All Things IC blog 25 April 2022.

How to be a Comms Consultant - Exploration Online Masterclass with Rachel Miller


  1. […] wrote about his journey from in-house to consultancy on […]

  2. […] remember at the time feeling that making a move from in-house to consultancy was a big step, but now I’m settled in, and with the fantastic support of Team Teal, I’m […]

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