What does your work mean to you?

Money?  Security?  Freedom?  Personal development?  We find that we need different things from our work at different stages of our career and our lives.  A disconnect between what we want from work and what we are actually getting can be one of the reasons we end up feeling unhappy or unfulfilled. 

A great question to ask yourself is to think about what your job, work or career means to you, or what it gives you.

To help you with your thinking, here are 20 people’s answers to this question – gathered through my Social Media channels and my Career in the Spotlight blog posts. (I may have also sneaked myself in there too)! …… Continue reading

Career in the Spotlight: Scott Cupit (48, Director of Swing Patrol)

ScottThis week I interviewed Scott, who went from a career in banking to running one of the largest swing dance schools.  Here he tells us what helped him to make that transition, why he will never take his work for granted, and how, despite his success he is still not that keen on the limelight.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My uncle, my grandfather and my father are all very successful Baptist ministers.  Because I was the eldest son, I assumed I was going to be called to be a Baptist minister.  So much so that I even went and studied theology at a college in Melbourne.  But to go down that path you have to really feel a very different calling, and I just never got that calling.  I just assumed that it what I would be for years.

And what do you do now?

I run a Swing Patrol club.  It’s a specialised dance school.  We specialise in teaching lindy hop and our number one focus is teaching people how to swing dance.  We have a big community and I am the head of all that, so it’s just managing the big family I guess. Continue reading

Career in the Spotlight:Helen Evans (35), Charity Director

This week I interviewed Helen, who tells us about how a coach helped her change her career direction, some creative ways to find out about alternative careers, and the challenges of balancing work with being a mother.

Helen EvansWhat has been your career path to date?

I started out by studying Philosophy and I wasn’t sure what to do, so I did a Masters in Philosophy, and still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I temped in HR. It paid well and it was interesting work. I started off in a reward team for a venture capital firm and then moved into a generalist HR role for a management consultancy. Then I got a role as an HR Business Partner for a media firm.

At that point I just really paused and thought is this really what I want to do with my life? I’d realised I had just spent a few years going in a direction because it kind of happened, and whilst work was enjoyable and challenging, it just wasn’t as fulfilling as I wanted my work to be. Continue reading

Career in the Spotlight: Matt Nolan (41), Creative Noise Maker Maker!

This week I interviewed Matt, silicon chip engineer turned cymbal and gong maker. Here he tells us how he made this unusual transition, what he has learned along the way, and how he ended up having dinner with Björk.

Matt Nolan

Photo credit – Andy McCreeth

What did you want to be when you grew up?

At junior school we were asked what we wanted to do, and I remember my best friend at the time said he wanted to be a bank robber, and I said I’d like to be the person that made his getaway vehicles!

What has been your career path to date?

So, after my degree in electronic engineering, I was 10 years in the electronic and silicon chip industry. Then, naturally I became a cymbal and gong maker! Continue reading