Want to Change Your Career? 9 Women Share Their Experiences

If you’re looking for permanent resolution beyond the New Year, what better way than a career swap? We’ve spoken to some inspirational women who will blow you away with their career changes.

January work boost



Changed for a better quality of life…


Sarah Bladen (42)

Dubai-based magazine editor  TO Wellbeing blog writer & yoga teacher

Tracy Gladman (38)

Career in education TO Co-creator of children’s anxiety app Worrinots

Sharon White (44)

Art teacher TO Mixed media artist and business owner


i the stylist: Why did you make the jump?

Sarah Bladen: “I had a super fun job working for a celebrity magazine in the glam city of Dubai. After five years of being an editor for OK! Middle East, I wanted more substance and meaning from life. Ironically, events around me suddenly blew up – my father passed away from cancer and my relationship fell apart. So I resigned, set up a mind, body and soul blog and did a teacher training course in meditation and mindfulness.”


What was your biggest fear?

Tracy Gladman: My biggest fear when changing career was the fear of the unknown and letting go of something I had been passionate about for 20 years. I always looked at other staff looking to make the change and never even getting a response to applications they had made, but another fear was becoming a grumpy old teacher no one liked and staying in my job for fearing change.


Top tip for making a career change?

Sharon White: Top of the list is belief — you’re out there on your own and you must believe in what you are doing. I would highly recommend creating a professional website as this is often your shop window to the rest of the world and securing good PR. There is so much to consider… but if you have the backing of your family, then you are halfway there.


Best moment in your new career?

Bladen: Seeing what I’m passionate about (meditation and zen) being translated into a book and knowing that anyone can pick it up, ready and learn simple techniques to start living a less stressful, more fulfilling and alive life, straight away.


Sharon White – Olympia Exhibition 2017


Changed to inject more fun…


Saskia Nelson (late 40’s)

Business charity worker TO dating photographer (Hey Saturday)

Claire Young (36)

Corporate businesswoman TO entrepreneur (founder of School Speakers & Vorwerk UK ambassador).


Why did you make the jump?

Saskia Nelson: When I was in my early 40’s, I saw a lot of my friends and peers taking a step away from work to have kids, adding another dimension to their lives and while I definitely didn’t want to do that, I wanted that opportunity to do something different with my life too. Turning my passion for photography and my desire to work for myself into a business was my version of maternity leave.


What was your biggest fear?

Claire Young: Walking away from the safety net of a monthly payslip. I made sure that I had enough money to live on for the first six months and cut down on spending – Vorwerk’s research shows that money is the main factor motivating the nation to change jobs, followed by a better work-life balance.


Best moment in your new career?

Nelson: Helping clients finds love; winning international awards; launching Hey Saturday in NYC; appearing in Time Magazines’ blog and on the homepage of the BBC. I think the best moment of all is whenever I stop and reflect on where I’m at in life. Honestly, I just couldn’t be happier that I’m doing something I love. Something I created in fact — that helps people live happier lives.

Young: My business has gone on to win several business awards which was really special. It showed that I was right to pursue the idea and all the hard work was worth it.


Saskia Nelson’s dating photography in action.


Changed due to external circumstances…


Rita Tayfield (68)

Teacher  TO Project Manager at WSP,

Amanda Prowse (49)

Mother and cancer survivor juggling jobs TO Best-selling author

Cheryl MacDonald (38)

Business analyst TO Celebrity yoga teacher & Ethical businesswoman

Sally Nex (50’s)

BBC producer TO Gardening writer


Why did you make the jump? 

Rita Tayfield: Family commitments meant moving thousands of miles from South Africa to the UK. I found myself out of a job — that’s when my life changed. As soon as I started working as a team secretary for the rail team at engineering consultancy WSP, age 57, I fell in love with the industry. Ten years on, I’m now a senior project manager working on London Bridge station and the exciting Crossrail Abbey Wood Station.


What was your biggest fear?

Amanda Prowse: Like anyone, I was afraid I would fail. When you think of something for a long time, you build it up so big in your head that failure feels like a double lose. By same token though, I had thought about it for so long my attitude really did become that it would be a shame not to try.


Top tip for making a career change?

Cheryl MacDonald: Just do it. Maternity leave gives you that financial cushion you may need to get started and was a good time for me. If it doesn’t’ work out, you can always go back to the day job but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.


Best moment in your new career?

Sally: Walking into the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as a reporter for the first time, putting the family meal on the table and realising I’d grown it all myself… but purely for work, the very first time I got a regular commission from Grow Your Own magazine for a monthly column which I still write now — over 10 years later.


Amanda Prowse’s latest book: Anna

Post Author: Kirsty Burke

Kirsty Burke
Having been in love with both fashion and writing since I can remember, being able to write now, and for online readers, is quite literally a dream come true. I like to think that my writing reflects me as a person and shows some of my personality whilst still informing you about what’s on trend and what I’m loving each season. Fashion will constantly fuel me with ideas and inspiration for my writing so if you like what you read, you have the catwalk to thank.

1 thought on “Want to Change Your Career? 9 Women Share Their Experiences

Leave a Reply