Posted by on August 31, 2017 | 2 comments

Change Your Story, Change Your Life

  The other day a member of the audience came to me after I had delivered a talk and she said: “Wow, your story is so powerful!” I thanked her, and I also shared with her that I had chosen to tell a powerful story of my life. Here’s what I mean: I qualified as a medical doctor but found that I struggled to find meaning in what I was doing when I was working in the public health system. I then took the decision to leave the profession and I’ve since reinvented myself as an author, speaker and coach. Those are the facts of the events that happened. Now for the story. The initial story I created out of those facts was: “I have failed. I’ve let people down. I’ve let myself down.” This was a story of guilt, shame and disappointment. This was certainly not a powerful story. Here’s the story I now tell: “As a little girl I had big dreams of changing the world. I became a...

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Posted by on October 6, 2016 | 0 comments

What’s The Best Career Advice You Ever Got?

I think many of us had lousy career advice as children. At school I was told I’d be “good with people” and the rest was left to me to figure out. At other schools learners were simply presented with around five career options and then “allocated” career choices based on their academic performance. Is it any wonder that so many people feel unfulfilled in their work? Conventional career guidance is inadequate, if not completely flawed. Most of it is based on employability, pay scales and lifestyle considerations. Very little attention is paid to who young people are. Instead of asking “what job will you do?” it would be far more valuable to ask: “What are your gifts and how can we best equip you to express those gifts productively through your work?” Are you at a career impasse and wondering which way to turn? Are you looking for more fulfillment in your work? Do you feel torn between what you love and paying the bills? Are you getting conflicting...

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Posted by on May 24, 2016 | 0 comments

How to Prepare for Career Change

In 2003 I decided I wanted to leave medical practice for good. I didn’t arrive at that decision easily, but once my mind was made up I had to make plans to start a new working life. I was faced with a major challenge: I didn’t know how to be anything other than a doctor! How would I make the transition when I wasn’t trained for anything else? I think this is one of the main reasons people stay stuck in unfulfilling jobs and careers – the prospect of having to start from scratch, and the sense of having wasted the skills and experience they have acquired. Nothing is ever wasted. A career change, as challenging as it can be, represents an opportunity to use the skills and experience you already have to build a different career path. There is no way that I could have written about my adventures in medicine – and made a difference in the lives of doctors who face similar challenges – if I...

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 | 0 comments

The Real Reason People Hate Their Jobs

People don’t start off hating their jobs, but far too many end up there. Why is that? What happens to turn bright, enthusiastic professionals into jaded and disillusioned employees? This is a question that’s occupied my mind a lot since I walked away from my medical career, and I’ve spent a lot of time interrogating my own journey and speaking to doctors and other professionals. Here’s what I’ve realised: it boils down to WHY people are doing what they are doing. Losing sight of WHY For many people the reason for being in their current career was clear from the start – e.g. they wanted to make a difference, build a business or contribute to a particular field of study. And then somewhere along the line they lost sight of that initial ideal. Perhaps they got distracted by the pursuit of status, recognition or more money. Others became disillusioned when the ideals they started working towards began to appear unattainable. No WHY to begin with Many people “fall into”...

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Posted by on April 5, 2016 | 0 comments

The Most Important Step In Your Career Change

One of the most difficult questions people grapple with when they are considering a career change is: “What will I do next?” As a result they either stay stuck – “better the devil you know” – or else they make the leap and hope for the best, with limited success. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left clinical practice. All I knew was that I didn’t want to continue where I was, so I jumped without any sort of plan. Not knowing where I wanted to be led me to drift for 6 years, feeling only marginally less miserable than I’d been in my old career. Defining where you want to be is the most important step in your career change. Far too often people start by considering their current position and then attempting to cobble together a second career with what they’ve got. The problem with this approach is that they end up limiting their options to fit their current status, and their future...

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Posted by on March 31, 2016 | 0 comments

The Way Out of Career Dilemma

  I often get emails from people who have heard or read about my drastic career change and they contact me for advice regarding their own career dilemma. They are either struggling between choosing a “sensible” career and one that makes their heart sing, or else they are in a career that’s slowly sucking the life blood out of them. Either way they feel stuck, and they reach out to me for guidance. I know what that feels like – to wake up every day dreading the work day ahead; to feel alone and unable to speak to your colleagues about your struggle; and to feel as if there is no way out. There is a way out. We all know where we want to be. We may not be able to attach a job description to it or summarize it in a 30-second elevator pitch, but we feel it. There is an inner place in all of us that feels like home – where there’s nothing to hide,...

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