What did you used to do?
After graduating from university, I started working for one of the largest training providers in the UK. I progressed through the ranks to the role of a Digital Learning Designer where I worked on selling, building and delivering learning solutions. This included working with companies that include Fujitsu, Balfour Beatty and the British Council.
In my next role I joined the UK’s leading B2B software matchmaking platform, Comparesoft, where I work as their Digital Product Manager. I was responsible for connecting software buyers and software vendors through utilising content, data and customer management.
In summary, my roles have always been about building, delivering or improving digital systems and solutions.
What made you want to change?
Deep down, I’ve always wanted to help other people. I think the change was driven by a frustration of not feeling like I was making a positive difference in the world.
How did you make a start?
I think the most important starting point was understanding myself better. Karen really helped me to understand what my strengths were, what I was passionate about and most importantly to find my Ikigai.
From working with Karen, I received the encouragement and confirmation that I needed to make a big jump and start studying Acupuncture.
How did you go about it?
For the first time, I really took the time to make the best decision. I’ve always flowed through life and gone with what’s presented itself at the time without any real strategic insights.
I spent the time researching all of the available options (attending all the Acupuncture colleges/universities open days), speaking to practitioners to understand their experiences and making sure if it was definitely the right decision.
How did Career Coaching help you move forward?
Career Coaching really helped me to become unstuck. It made me take a step back to understand where I was, where I wanted to be and how I could get there. Through often simple questions, such as “What sort of company do you want to work for?” or “What charity cause do you believe in”, I found a real sense of clarity.
It was the magic outside of the sessions which I really benefited from. Through Karen’s structure and homework exercises, I logically worked through exploring what I wanted to do and it meant that when I landed on Acupuncture I immediately went “YES”.
Karen was instrumental in my career change and I could not thank her enough. It was really amazing having a space to speak freely with someone who didn’t have a vested interest in any decision I made. It’s easy to talk to friends, family, colleagues and even pets but they come with preconceived ideas and knowledge of you as a person. Having a sacred space and a third-party person to listen to you really is important in understanding yourself better.
What were the challenges?
The challenge is really taking that first step. It’s easy to say no because it’s a big change, budgetary issues and many other excuses which keep you comfortable but ultimately unhappy. The biggest challenge is not starting – and I knew I made the right step as soon as I started my first day.
How long did it take?
It’s a three year course, where I am just about to finish my first year, and then it’ll likely take another year for me to build up my practice.
What would you do differently?
I would have made the change much earlier! I wish I had taken the time to understand myself and what I enjoyed before I went to university (the first time) so I could have begun this journey much sooner. However, I truly believe that no experience is wasted and all that I have done will be valuable in setting up my business.
What top tips would you give to someone who really wants to change career?
For me, I found doing my research into the career path particularly useful. I spoke to multiple practitioners, looked at many different avenues into Acupuncture and really questioned what my options were before I made the decision. It was quite a tough process, especially with it being such a big change but having the confirmation from Karen and the supporting research I was confident I had made the right decision.
My biggest piece of advice would be to enjoy the process. Change can be scary but it’s better to take the risk and try than always wondering “what if?”.