How To Change Your Career In An Instant

In April 2007, after 17 years and 6 months as a successful NHS Professional, I changed for ever. I went home at the end of a particularly enjoyable week, sat down in my lounge and finally changed.

And it happened in an instant. Although several years of procrastination, it took a milli-second to actually occur. The moment it did everything changed for good.

It changed. I changed. And the world around me changed. To be honest…it all happened frighteningly quick.

My career in the NHS took me to the cutting edge of medicine and closer to the top of the management tree than I had thought possible. A qualified nurse, a graduate in Public Sector Health Studies, a senior manager working with the world’s brightest professionals, leading experts in their field, managing hundreds of staff, on calls, £ million budgets, and government targets – it was a varied career, full of stress, excitement, learning, change, opportunity, and it was very worthwhile. I learned a lot about managing people and a lot about myself.

Even so it felt more like surviving than thriving.

So I quit my job – I had had enough – I had gone as far as I wanted to -further in many ways. And it was my time for complete change.

What did I change? What did I start? What did I stop?

The most profound change was not in leaving my job after 17 years. Nor was it setting up my coaching and consultancy business. At first it was doing my old job in a new way.

I stopped hiding behind the “management cloak”. Stopped worrying about ” what people would think of me?” ” What if people don’t like what I’ve got to offer?” What if…? What if…? What if…?

Stopped blaming the boss. Stopped depending on my job for my status in life. Stopped accepting the status quo.

Instead I showed up as my true Self.

I started leading myself in a new way.  Started seriously flirting with new possibilities. Started exposing myself to new roles and relationships. Most of all, I was inspired to take a big bold stand for what I truly believed I could uniquely offer. I started experimenting and making new things happen.

I can remember the immense sense of freedom as finally, I removed my blinkers and looked at the world afresh. As a result I found more. More interests. More opportunities. More engagement. More satisfaction. More influence.

New possibilities revealed themselves without me having to work hard and search for them.

Uncovering the “SELF” like this does not require a 3,000 word business case highlighting all the strategic issues involved.

It doesn’t require a board meeting to gain approval.

It doesn’t need a spreadsheet of rows and rows of costs and benefits detailed down to the bottom line.

Neither does it need a ten point plan or personality change.

It just takes action.

Miraculously as everyone knows deep down, we can achieve this in an instant.

Or we can just pretend we can’t.

Published by Angela Watson

I write and talk about the stuff that's inspired my own journey so far, the lessons I’ve learned, and the insights I’ve seen that have made a difference to the way I live and the lives of others. I have a penchant for wonky cottages, modern rustic interiors, and golden retrievers. I also run a training and development consultancy, and I'm the founder of The Tree Shirt Project - supporting global reforestation, one Tree Shirt at a time.

10 thoughts on “How To Change Your Career In An Instant

  1. Thank you. I’m standing on that precipice now and really needed to hear your story today – really needed to hear all these stories. It’s time to make a change, whatever that change may be, for my sanity and my professional growth. Geronimo!

  2. WOW. It sounds a lot like me! I actually wrote about this (again, as I have several times now) in one of my blog posts coming up in February. I am a nurse who has left the bedside to become an author, speaker, business owner, entrepreneur… a visionary. And like you- it was a drastic change! For me, I had reached my low- had come to my “bottom”- and decided… I do NOT want to live like this anymore. In fact, I cannot live like this! My health, happiness, and life is too important to me. As you shared, I was not thriving, nor was I living, I was surviving. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us so that I could be reminded of my own journey, my own triumphs, my own healing! Have a healthy day, Elizabeth Scala

  3. Hello Angela

    Just like reading my own story. In my case I was surviving not thriving in the Telecommunications sector. That was almost 14 years ago now and I have no regrets. So good luck to all the others who have left comments and are just starting on their own new journey.

  4. Hello Angela
    Your story is inspirational – thanks for sharing it and for starting this community.

    I am in the middle of my own transition – 54 days to go before I leave my 36 year public sector career in health ( NHS and Department of Health) – taking early retirement to start my coaching practice – Craven Coaching and Mentoring Limited up here in North Yorkshire.
    I will really look forward to being part of this on line community.

    Do you know the Tony Wanless (Canadian) blog/website The Reinventionist? Also an inspiration for mid lifers changing direction.


  5. Hi Mark and Hilary. Thank you for sharing your experiences too. Career transition is a learning by doing practice. We start this process by taking action. Congratulations – you are both examples of career change in action I look forward to hearing more from you – your successes and your war stories as you navigate your way through this exciting new chapter in your lives. Learning and sharing collectively. Best wishes Angela

  6. This resonates with me too… Just resigned from one job and moving onto another and feel this is probably an interim move to the real me role.

  7. Well, it’s a coincidence because this week, I’ve been in my government-related job for 17 years and 6 months too, and, like yourself Angela, I have seen the light. Following a dream and doing something you really want to do, which of course includes offloading the shackles of the current job, does feel liberating, even though I have another 8 months before I actually leave.

    An inspiring set of words that should resonate with many people. As someone who is at the crossroads, I’d like to read more about your experiences.



  8. WOW this is inspirational ~ especially ‘Even so, it felt more like surviving than thriving.’ love that xx

  9. Nice article, the line ‘Even so it felt more like surviving than thriving.’ especially resonates for me…

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