I didn’t really consider myself an ‘entrepreneur’ when I first opened my fairly niche rehab counselling private practice about 7 years ago. I didn’t even consider myself one when I conceived my second business almost 3 years ago. But apparently that’s what the cool kids are called now. Entrepreneurs.

But I don’t feel like a cool kid. In fact a lot of the time, I feel a bit like a lost puppy, struggling to keep my nose of the water in the swimming pool that I’ve somehow fallen into. But no, I’m going to give into the old ‘imposter syndrome’ analogy here…

You see, I’d dreamed of working for myself for many years, though wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to achieve this or how I was going to manage pivotal aspects of business like cash flow, IT, and marketing – none of which are key areas of strength for me (my family would argue that I suck at all three of these areas). But nonetheless, I knew that it would eventually happen.

I’d enjoyed a great career through my twenties, and had many experiences that I never thought I would have (cue the counselling of the guy who was on his way out of gaol for “you know, a bit of a brawl with my sister….I had a machete”). I just never thought that I would make the leap into my own venture until I was older and wiser. But my life had to change drastically when I became incredibly sick with a life-changing autoimmune disease, as the disease made it virtually impossible for me to continue doing what I was doing. And thank goodness it did – because it forced me to take action and kick-started my entrepreneurial streak.

Like many, I’m somebody that naturally feels more comfortable when I have mastered a skill than when I am learning it, but being your own boss means a LOT of learning. And believe me, the last seven years have been a HUGE learning curve. A huge effing learning curve. Every. Single. Day.

But the funny thing is, that no matter how much time or space in my mind that these questions and learning curves take up (today I learned a new IT trick….WITHOUT TEARS!). I have never questioned whether I want to continue down this path. In fact, in a strange and almost counter-intuitive way the struggles that I have faced have actually reinforced that this is MY path.

And in an even stranger phenomenon, those around me who love me and have had the ‘pleasure’ of hearing my complaints along the journey actually keep encouraging me to keep going. Even those who have been forced to listen me bang on about the evils of BAS. Or worse, my very dear and usually kind friend Sheela who famously said to me with a smirk on her face, “I don’t know how many more computer crises I can sit through with you, Lauren.”

So would I change a thing? HELL NO!

But I have some advice for you brave sisters who are looking at “doing it for themselves”.

Get comfortable with NOT being the expert

That’s right. Don’t expect to feel like the expert in MANY areas. Sure, you ARE an expert in your chosen field – that’s probably why you’re planning on going out on your own. But there are many areas that you will need to accept help in. And you’ll need to learn to get comfortable with …wait for it… asking for help in areas that you are not the expert! This can be confronting, but without a bit of insight and humility, you can’t succeed on your own. As John Donne once posed “no man is an island”. Well, neither is a woman, which brings me to recommendation two…

Find your tribe

Now I’m not usually one who goes in for the platitudes of modern ‘gurus’ but this one rings really true. Your support network should ideally include at least of the following: someone who loves you unconditionally; someone who challenges you to punch above your weight; someone who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need expert help (see recommendation one); and someone who can switch off when you repeat yourself….which you will.

Get OK with regularly redefining your goals

Getting a good understanding of the difference between immediate, short term and long term goals is essential. Simon Sinek talks about the importance of finding your ‘why’, which is generally the reason you decide to do the hard yards and tread the road less travelled and your long term goal, but it’s also really important to understand that your immediate and short term goals are likely to change, and you need to be malleable and resilient enough to change with them.

Get ready to shine baby

You’ve made the decision to go into business for yourself because you’re passionate. You need to get ready to shine and show yourself to the world! This one sounds simple enough, but the reality  of shining means getting better at networking, being comfortable telling your story, and deciding whether you’re going to be the ‘face’ of your business. All of this can be confronting, and you need to be ready for it.

And the rest of it

Read the fine print. Get a hobby outside of your work. Stay true to yourself. Never feel pressured into saying ‘yes’. Remember that it’s ok to take on employment as well as unemployment. Even during those periods where you feel like a failure (and there will be those times) remember that YOU AREN’T – you are a woman brave enough to take on the business world… and you ARE an entrepreneur!

 

Lauren Maxwell is an expert in women’s career development and an active ‘mojo seeker’. Her dream is to empower women everywhere to live the life they want, and develop confidence in their career and themselves. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, a writer, speaker, and a chronic over-thinker.


Tattoos at work: I’m often asked for my opinion on visible tattoos in the workplace: to show or not to show?

With a growing number of people getting inked, tattoos are becoming an increasingly mainstream fashion statement.

Hell, even I have a couple (albeit teeny ones) – a single bar of music on my back, and a compass on my right inner forearm. And like many who have been initiated with ink I even have stories behind them – the first was a bar from the first ‘big’ piece I learned on cello (yep, I’m a nerd to the core) that I got done as part of a sisterly pact when she got a beautiful butterfly, and it’s one of our favourite memories to smile about together. The second was undertaken on a recent life-changing holiday that I will brag about at a different time.

But back to the question at hand (or arm, back, leg or any other number of areas you may be inked) – is it ok to show off your art-work at the office?

Let’s break it down a bit:

distinct laws governing the visibility of tattoos (amongst other forms of body modification) don’t currently exist

Legally speaking

The answer is … not always clear. You see, employers do generally have the right to set what they see as reasonable policies in relation to dress guidelines within the workplace, including visible tattoos, piercings and other body modifications. And distinct laws governing the visibility of tattoos (amongst other forms of body modification) don’t currently exist.

However, discrimination laws do exist across all states and territories of Australia to protect us from being marginalised and discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, religion, cultural identification etc. So what does this all mean?

On their website, The Australian Human Rights Commission states “Employers will sometimes set rules regarding the appearance of their employees in the workplace. However, it is important to ensure that any proposed rules that affect people with tattoos do not amount to discrimination.

Discrimination is against the law when people are treated unfairly because of a personal attribute that is protected by law, including race, sex and gender identity. Discrimination can happen when employers put in place conditions or requirements which appear to treat everyone the same but which actually disadvantage some people because of a personal attribute they share. If the requirement is not reasonable in the circumstances, it could be discrimination.

Example: An employer had a policy to refuse to hire any workers with visible tattoos, even for roles that involved no customer contact. A Maori job applicant who had a tattoo for reasons connected to his ethnic origin was not hired because of his tattoo. This could be racial discrimination.”

Fashionably speaking

Well, like with most questions about fashion there’s no one definite answer here either (apart from don’t poodle-perm your fringe – Mum was right). But as with most advice in relation to workplace attire and presentation, I usually stick with the old ‘dress for the job you want’ guidelines.

In plain speak, this means dressing to suitably impress within your cohort – neat and tidy, with a funky flair is my personal go-to. Now, in terms of flashing your ink, as with any visible accessories you may be wearing, one of the main things to consider here is the content and location. In the same way that some slogans can be viewed as offensive on clothing, some inked content may also have that potential and it is important for you to consider this in relation to the bigger-picture. My advice is that if you wouldn’t wear it on a t-shirt to work, don’t wear it on visible skin there either – keep it for the weekend and flash your tatts then. And as for location, if it’s not a body-part typically displayed at work, keep it covered!

Individuality speaking

“But why should I have to give up my rights to individuality and just conform?” I hear you ask. Well, firstly, if your ‘individuality’ relies solely on your ink-art being visible I’d say you’ve got some bigger issues to work through.

Secondly, all of us – every single day in fact, conform in various ways and to varying degrees without question, simply to remain engaged with our cohort. Think sport uniforms, dressing up when going out for dinner (well, for really special occasions), and, well – wearing clothes in general. In none of these scenarios, despite conforming to general expectations, have you comprised your individuality. You’re still YOU.

Sure, tattoos form part of our self-expression, but we certainly shouldn’t be reducing ourselves down to just some strategic inking should we? Or to put it another way, we all have an infinite number of versions of ourselves, that we show in different contexts. To demonstrate this point, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the version of yourself that you present to your grandma is likely to be different to the version you show to your mates at the pub – in both scenarios you are still the wonderful you, but you have shown the version of you that matches the situation most appropriately. We’re pretty clever beings like that!

With the increasing popularity of this art-form, there is an ever-widening acceptance and curiosity in the wider community and a growing number of workplaces in which visible ink is celebrated. I’m a huge fan of both diversity and educated choices.

So my overall advice is pretty simple: think before you ink, and dress to impress for the job you want – regardless of whether you plan to show a little tattoo or not at work.

About
Lauren Maxwell is a passionate Women’s Career Developer and Rehabilitation Counsellor. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, and thrives on innovation and creativity to empower women to clarify their goals and reach their potential. 


Very recently, a good friend and colleague called to me to say that she “must quit my job… they’re killing my soul”. Dramatic words, but ones that I’m sure most of us can relate to.

Katherine* took me through the many ways of quitting that she was fantasizing about – and we’ve all wanted to do it at least once – storm into the boss’ office and tell them exactly what we think of them. Katherine had settled on entering her boss’ office and telling her that “it’s not me, it IS you. And will always be YOU”. Thankfully though, she sought my advice before embarking on her career-changing tirade.

We’ve all heard tales about the souls who have let loose on their workplace superior before leaving the building – in fact YouTube is home to a number of video reminders of such exits that while amusing should never be considered a ‘how to’ – really, if you’ve got a few minutes spare just type “I quit my job” and see what comes up… maybe don’t do it work though!

Many years ago I was privy to watching a colleague be escorted from the building following her quitting performance, and the rumours started immediately. Whilst the most plausible explanation is that given her high level access to client and finance databases she was likely considered a commercial security risk upon quitting, the rumour-mill posited that she threatened the boss with blackmail, or worse, with actual violence. Though given she has been stably employed by another organisation since that date though, it’s safe to say it was probably just a commercial security thing!

So what do you do when you’ve reached your limit in your current job, and how do you effectively ‘break up’ with your boss without ruining your reputation or sabotaging future prospects?

PLEASE – don’t be tempted to be the next YouTube ‘epic quit’ video!

Keep it clean

…and I’m not just talking about your language. As tempting as it may be to let the boss know what you think of their manner, smell, appearance, sense of humour, taste in lunch foods or music – or pretty much anything outside the boundaries of their work capacity is not cool. It’s never cool. And if you let loose with ‘dirty feedback’ you’ll only be hurting yourself. Now, I’m not saying don’t give warranted feedback about factors that influenced your decision to leave the job – but I AM suggesting you keep it professional and related to the job. The ‘keep it clean’ rule also extends to discussions with HR or exit interviews, goodbye emails to colleagues and customers, and general goodbyes around the office. And PLEASE – don’t be tempted to be the next YouTube ‘epic quit’ video!

It’s not you, it’s me

Well, sort of. What I’m suggesting here is to actually review the reasons why YOU need to move on. Is it that you are ready for a challenge? Is it that you are looking for a different environment? What have you learned from this job and boss? Taking ownership of all life decisions is important for personal growth and development, and in-keeping with the ‘keep it clean’ rule, a resignation is a good opportunity to have an open discussion about these factors. It’s also a good opportunity for you to really consider what you need from your next career move – to make sure that you’re not just jumping ship for the sake of it.

Integrity. Integrity. Integrity.

I cannot stress this one enough. Ever heard the saying “success without integrity is failure”? Well, I’m not sure who said it but they were sure on to something. Integrity is the art of maintaining ethical and honest actions.

Sure-fire ways of demonstrating a lack of integrity when changing jobs? Bad-mouthing your previous employer or colleagues (again – keep it clean!), scouting clients from your previous employer, illegally or unethically using intellectual property associated with your previous employer, or undermining the public’s confidence in your previous employer. Using any of these tactics, while it may be tempting, will be simply demonstrating poor integrity on your behalf, which will no doubt be remembered long into the future.

But what if you’ve already quit in spectacular fashion? While you may not be able to mend the relationship, a simple apology can go a long way to building a bridge and demonstrating integrity. For better or worse, most experienced bosses have seen it all before – some of them will even recognise their younger selves in your ill-conceived quitting performance. But I’m afraid, the only way through this is to suck it up, and eat some humble pie. And learn!

*Not quite her real name

 

Lauren Maxwell

Lauren is the founder of Headstrong Women, a specialist career development service in Newcastle and Sydney. She is passionate about empowering women just like you to get the most of out of their career, build confidence and maintain their mojo.


It’s very tempting, I know, to continually be on the look-out for the “next big thing”. In an age where opportunities are presented to us at every turn, and where the internet screams out to us to explore alternatives on a constant basis, it can be difficult to maintain focus and direction. But what if the grass isn’t always greener? What if instead of growing your ambition and speeding down the path to success you were actually diluting your strength and missing out on true opportunities? Well, ultimately this may the case.

You may actually be disadvantaging yourself.

Here’s why.

Overwhelmed with opportunities

Typically, we humans all have an opportunity-sweet-spot. It’s that spot where we feel comfortable at having enough opportunities so as to not feel trapped or isolated, but not so many options that we feel overwhelmed or unable to commit to any. In the current world, we are spoiled for choice across all aspects of our lives – consumer items, online dating, grocery specials – we are literally bombarded with information and opportunities from all directions. Have you ever noticed how you can feel anxious and overwhelmed, then make snap decisions with regards to the mass of options being presented to you? This is exactly the same reaction that can happen when you continually invite a mass of competing work-opportunities at one time. Rather than feeling motivated and working towards a chosen goal, you can end up feeling panicked and accept offers that were not necessarily the ones you would have picked without so much ‘background noise’.

Rather than feeling motivated and working towards a chosen goal, you can end up feeling panicked and accepting offers that were not necessarily the ones you would have picked

Diluting your power

The aim of you seeking out the best opportunity is to give you a platform with which to show off your skills and qualities, and to develop your career along your desired trajectory, right? That sounds like a sensible plan – but before dividing your energy between a thousand and one competing options, you need to assess where that energy is best spent and how many opportunities you can comfortably divide yourself between. Afterall, by over-committing you run the risk of diluting your strength and in turn becoming less-effective in your search. My advice: assess your goal, and choose between two or three options that are most likely going to set you up for success. You need to be able to put enough effort into each of the opportunities that you go for, so as to be putting your best foot forward in each of them. If you find that you’re not able to do that, it’s time to re-assess.

Committing.…to what?

The ‘c-word’ is a tricky mistress, and one that can elicit feelings of panic in some of us. In an ironic twist, however, your efforts to keep your ‘options open’ and not commit to a specific opportunity, may in fact morph into you inadvertently committing yourself to the process of searching. Looking for the next big thing can be seductive, and it’s important to recognise that you are not merely becoming habituated to the process. Take a step back and ask yourself why you are still looking – if you’re unable to come up with an answer, you may be in dangerous territory.

Looking for the next big thing can be seductive, and it’s important to recognise that you are not merely becoming habituated to the process.

Will I ever be satisfied?

In another case of blatant irony, constantly seeking satisfaction can actually lead to feelings of disengagement and dissatisfaction. Ever noticed how sometimes the allure of seeking more satisfaction sometimes overrides the original achievement of a particular goal? This is a pretty common scenario (and not just career-wise). While I’m not suggesting you revert back to the old “be happy with what you have” mentality, I do recommend that perhaps you consider your own satisfaction scale. Start by reminding yourself what it is that you were actually hoping to get from your career, and asking yourself what it is that you truly need to feel satisfied. What you may find is that some or even many of the opportunities you are blindly applying for do not meet even these needs.

Ever noticed how sometimes the allure of seeking more satisfaction sometimes overrides the original achievement of a particular goal?

So what’s the solution if you are genuinely looking for a new opportunity or to land on your next career launch pad?

While I’m not saying “choose one path and stick with it”, I do advocate that care be taken when selecting opportunities and planning ahead. My general advice:

  • Take the time to consider what you actually want, and ask yourself what it is that you are seeking from a new opportunity. Once you have clarified this, it will be easier to discern between actual opportunities that you plan to invest yourself in and those which are simply distractors.
  • Create an action plan for your career – list down your immediate goals, achievements to date, steps involved in getting to where you want to be, and most importantly your long term goal. This will help you to keep on track, and provide a framework for seeking helpful opportunities.
  • Cull and commit to opportunities that are more likely to benefit you and your long term goals. This will ensure that you are able to adequately invest enough energy to be successful in your application and are not spreading yourself too thin.
  • Give it a fair go. Once you’ve successfully made a transition and entered a role that you saw benefit in, give it a real shot. This doesn’t mean simply staying in the job for a set period of time, but rather fully immersing yourself in the position to gain the maximum benefit. After all, you are trying to progress your career and break the cycle of ‘looking for something better’.
  • Relax – just like dating, nobody wants to come across as desperate when they are networking or interviewing for career opportunities. By being more discriminating of the opportunities you seek based on your goals and needs, you will likely find that you are automatically more relaxed and confident in your approach. Remember, it’s about working smarter, not harder.

Featured Photo Credit: Pixabay

Lauren Maxwell is a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Career Development Consultant, with close to 15 years of experience across the two fields. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, a specialist women’s career development service, and thrives on innovation and creativity to empower women to reach their potential.


When we talk about career development, often the first thing that pops to mind is changing career. However, this may be a limiting factor to getting the most from both your career, and yourself overall. You see, career development encompasses much more than just a change in direction.

So what do we really mean when we talk about career development, and what are some of the things that we can all put into place to get the most out of it?

To start with, at its core, good career development includes all aspects of personal and job development, of which a career change is merely one strategy. It is a process in which you learn, implement, build, and master all manner of skills to achieve an overall greater level of satisfaction. A process that takes time and commitment.

Often when I am working with individuals who are feeling despondent or disenchanted with their current work lives, the first question I am asked is “should I change careers?” As I’ve suggested in a previous article sometimes what people are looking for is actually better career development.

Non-career-change development strategies are everywhere. You will need to draw on your initiative and motivation to take the plunge, but I know that you are up for the challenge – I mean, this is an investment in your long-term satisfaction, and let’s face it, it’s good to feel satisfied!

Be attentive to your personal development

[Review] what you get from your current work, and what it is that you needConsider what it is that will add to your personal fulfilment – do you need to feel as though you are making difference to others? To feel challenged? Or to provide guidance and supervision to others?

Start by reviewing what you get from your current work, and what it is that you need – once you have identified this gap you can begin to build the bridge. A simple way to start this process is to grab a pen and paper and on one side list those fundamental things you need to feel satisfied in life (incorporate both work and personal needs…but not that sort of personal) and on the other side, list those that you are already getting in your current role. You may find that some or many of your needs are actually being met in your current role, but for the ones that aren’t – this is where sound career development can improve things.

Build your skills

Is there a particular aspect of the business that really interests you, or a specific skill-set that you feel weaker in? By identifying an area in which to build, you are able to target your energy into mastering that field – almost like the old ‘divide and conquer’. This is more of a step for when you’ve been in a role for long enough to have an overall level of competency and not a plan for Day One; however, if you are currently in the process of career or job change it is worthwhile considering the skills that you are wishing to develop and helping that drive your job seeking.

Challenge yourself

Becoming a mentor, subject matter expert, or trainer to new staff can be invaluableLook for existing opportunities, or gaps within your current business. Becoming a mentor, subject matter expert, or trainer to new staff can be invaluable in developing your career and providing sometimes much needed mental stimulation. Taking on roles like these will have you integrating both technical (work specific) and personal skills, and can help to provide a fresh perspective as you see the business through colleague’s eyes.

Be proactive

Now, we’ve all wondered “what actually happens with that appraisal form after my yearly performance meeting?” In some cases … not much. It could be filed away until the next appraisal without so much as being looked at (as most of us have probably suspected in at least one job). But that’s to say that the manager is entirely to blame.

You see, we are the mistresses of our own destiny, but if we are not prepared to be proactive in our career development, why should we expect others to be? “Because they get paid to,” you may have answered. Well, that IS true; however, what also needs to be kept in mind is that they are managing the development of the business and any number of other employees, so if you want them to identify you as someone they should invest more development time into, you need to highlight it for them!

Career development isn’t something that happens to usBeing proactive in your development can include simply following up on those goals that were set in your appraisal; liaising with your manager or HR regarding training that you may be eligible to do; or actively participating more during team meetings. Why not prepare your own career development plan to discuss with the manager – outlining the skills you’d like to acquire and a proposed plan of action. Or do some research by asking HR about common pathways.

Career development isn’t something that happens to us, it is a process in which we are at minimum active participants, and are ideally the drivers. Like anything that involves growth, a commitment of time and energy is required, but the outcomes for both your work and personal self can be spectacular and far reaching. So don’t limit yourself by believing that career development is merely a career change – you could be missing out on so much more!

Featured Photo Credit: business diagram via photopin (license)

Lauren Maxwell is a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Career Development Consultant, with close to 15 years of experience across the two fields. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, a specialist women’s career development service, and thrives on innovation and creativity to empower women to reach their potential. 


It’s one of the most common questions I am asked at this time of the year:

“Is it time for me to move on and change directions?”

Well….. it may be.

Or.…. it may not be.

The silly season takes over

For a whole month before Christmas, you’ve been building excitement – presents, annual leave, brandy, food – and everyone around you has been encouraging this avalanche of good will. This build-up has fostered feelings of joy, anticipation of good things to come, and a sense of momentum that things are moving towards an exciting climax. It is no wonder that you, like the rest of us (with the exception of only a few grinches), have been caught up in the surreal bauble of the silly season.

The celebration climax

Humans are pack animals that love a good distraction, and we thrive on group excitement. We regularly engage in activities that create a sense of group positivity and regrowth (think community rallies, charity events, birthday parties). The biggest of these distractions could well be argued as New Year’s Eve, a celebration when most of us compare ourselves to others and resolve to be nicer, healthier, happier and set ourselves yearly goals.

Return to normality

So now, you’ve returned from time away from work. Maybe you were lucky enough to have taken annual leave for a few weeks, or you may have just taken the public holidays*. You’re thinking back to the heady days of the past fortnight, your resolve to make positive changes in your life, and of the limitless possibilities that you could harness if you weren’t at your current job.

This is when you ponder: IS IT TIME FOR ME TO FIND A NEW PATH?

Here are my essential questions for the potential post-holiday career changer:

1. How long have you been contemplating a career change?

Has your need for change been on the rise for some time or have you had an epiphany during the holiday break that you need to ‘get out’?

Snap decisions are called that for a very good reason: they are decisions made with the snap of the fingers, on the spot, and often without serious consideration. Don’t get me wrong, snap decisions and impulsive actions certainly have their place (clothes shopping, change to hair colour, where to eat lunch) but I would typically recommend against a major career change based SOLELY on a snap decision. Sit on your snap decision for a week or two – take that time do some research and ask yourself the other big questions. If at the end of that time you still want to make the change, then it will be an educated choice rather than a snap decision.

“You’re thinking back to the heady days of the past fortnight, your resolve to make positive changes in your life, and of the limitless possibilities that you could harness if you weren’t at your current job. This is when you ponder: IS IT TIME FOR ME TO FIND A NEW PATH?”

 2. Why do you want to change careers?

There are an infinite number of reasons that we seek a career change. Some may be practical and easy to identify, like the desire for higher pay, more flexible work hours, moving to a career that is more / less physically demanding etc. Other factors may be more difficult to encapsulate and are often associated with ‘feelings’ or described in terms such as a desire to reach your potential, needing to be challenged, or ‘finding your calling’.

There is no right or wrong reason to change your career direction; however, it pays to be mindful of what your reasons are. One of the dangers for those who regularly change career paths is that they are perhaps doing so without recognising what their motivators are, and are destined to continue this pattern of behaviour without following the pathway that truly suits them.

3. Is it a career change that you’re craving, or will a slighter change do the trick?

Similar to the recommendation to avoid making a snap decision, I would always suggest considering whether you are actually seeking a changed pathway at all.

It may sound simple, but oftentimes people are seeking a change to their regular work pattern without necessarily needing a career change as such. Examples of ‘change without a career change’ include sideways transfer or promotion within your current employer, change of employer, or secondment. Another option (more readily available in larger employers) may be taking a period of leave in which you are able to trial a new job, often called ‘career break’ leave.

Now … Follow your gut (in a sensible manner)

Deciding to make a career change (or undertake a ‘change without a career change’) can be exciting, rewarding, daunting and overwhelming all at once. Your responses to the key questions above will help to guide your new pathway, and identify whether you are really ready for a big change or simply feeling a bit lacklustre post-festive season.

If you have decided that a change is for you, obviously there are a number of practical areas to research to determine training needed, labour market needs, rates of pay etc. Not to mention the BIG one….what career do I actually want to enter?

Looking for some guidance? Consulting a professional career development practitioner is a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for success, and they will be able to provide advice across all areas. To find someone in your area, head to Career Development Association of Australia.

*unless of course you are an emergency or health worker, or similar and were not lucky enough to have any time off, in which case I thank you for your service.

Have you had a career change? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments below or contact us to share your story.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay

Lauren Maxwell is a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Career Development Consultant, with close to 15 years of experience across the two fields. She is the founder of Headstrong Women, a specialist women’s career development service, and thrives on innovation and creativity to empower women to reach their potential.