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Doctors at Work Podcast.

Episode #72

How to reinvent your career after you turn 50. With Denise Taylor

Mat Daniel


All of us change over time, and the choices we made and how we worked in our twenties may no longer suit. In this episode, Denise tells me that it’s not unusual to look for alterations in our working lives, and this may be small moves or radical ones.  Having a really clear understanding of what matters to you is important, and sometimes really good hints come from exploring childhood experiences. Change requires networking, but the ideal job might not exist, you might have to create it yourself. Making a decision about how much money you and your family need is important too, and radical moves are best done from a position of strength.

Denise Taylor is a chartered psychologist, with an MBA, and her doctorate (gained at 64) investigated retirement transitions. It’s not just about the qualifications, Denise is noted as being creative, visionary, and fun to work with. She loves to gather new information and resources to best serve her clients. She is a coach specialising in senior-level career transitions, mid-career reinvention, and retirement transitions. She loves the outdoors, wild camping, and bushcraft. You can find he at and on LinkedIn.

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Production: Shot by Polachek

Podcast Transcript

Mat: [00:00:00] Welcome to Doctors at Work. My name’s Mat Daniel, and this podcast is about doctors’ careers. It’s part of my mission to help other doctors create successful and meaningful careers. And today, we’re talking about career reinvention after you turn 50. Now all of us change over time, and the choices that we made in our twenties and how we worked Now twenties may no longer suit.

In this episode, Denise tells me that it’s not unusual to look for alterations in our working lives. Now that might be small moves or it may be more radical ones. Having a very clear understanding of what matters to you is important, and sometimes really good hints come from those early childhood experiences. Change requires networking. It takes time, and it’s hard work.

And the ideal job might not yet exist. You might have to create it yourself. Making a decision about how much money you and your family need is important too, and radical moves are best done from a position of strength. [00:01:00] Welcome Denise, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Denise: It’s always a difficult question, isn’t it?

Where do you start? How far do you go back, especially when you’re over 60 like me? But I think what’s most important is, like, where am I now? And I gained my doctorate 2 years ago at 64, and I spent most of my time as, um, as a career coach Working with people of all ages predominantly with or more of them seem to be, like, 16 to 21 and also 50 plus. Um, during lockdown, I bought a 4 acre wood, and I have this huge connection with nature, spent a lot of time there.

So when people say so what do you do? And it’s well, you know, there’s the business side of me. But what I actually feel is way more important is me who’s the woodland owner who is, You know, looking after a a word for the greater good because it’s gonna be there a long time after I’m

Mat: gone. That I have to say that sounds absolutely fantastic. Um, and, um, um, I’m gonna say should we [00:02:00] change topic and talk about woodland?

But no. We’re here To talk about careers over 50, so so let’s Yeah. Let’s not deviate, although that might be another podcast idea, isn’t it? But let’s talk about careers over 50 then. So, um, What do we know about careers over

Denise: 50?

There is so much in the press that About ageism and how difficult it is to get a job over 50. I wrote the book Find Work at 50 plus and was commissioned to write that 1 Because of the work I’ve been doing and and and other things and an awful lot of the struggles that people have, it’s in their head, you know, they think they’re too old, They think there’s gonna be a problem. So what happens? They they they have a problem. I have many of my clients And they’ve changed made mad radical career changes.

They’ve got the promotion, and they’re 50 plus, 60 plus. But all we hear elsewhere is the struggles that people have. The most important thing is to know who you are, what you can offer, and to [00:03:00] just keep a bit up Today, because you don’t wanna be like somebody who’s stuck in the 19 nineties and doesn’t really understand the new stuff that’s going on. So you just have to use the right words And to show that you, um, keep your skills up to date as well. Because there’s no point being, for example, 1 of my clients, he’d been a marketing director Tony got made redundant, but he’d never got a single marketing qualification.

He didn’t need to because he’d worked his way up. He needed to once he wanted to get another job, and that was, um, a big eye opener for him about he’d relied on past laurels And never kept any skills up to date.

Mat: Mhmm. So I’m interested in hearing a bit more about what Maybe what changes and you know you know 50 kind of it sounds like a very artificial distinction doesn’t it? And I turned 50 last year, um, so so it’s probably a a topic, um, close to my heart.

I I know sort of people watching are gonna say you don’t look at you don’t look a day over 40, and they would be right as a niece, of course, but [00:04:00] I am actually 50 with an awful lot of moisturizer and plastic surgery and Botox. Um, so but and I think in medicine it’s it’s probably I mean people probably wouldn’t be made redundant. So so I I think that that is something that that that I think is a challenge for us. But I wonder I wonder if people get a bit staid or, you know, people do sort of something and it’s the same and and peep people maybe get a bit bored or there’s there’s a yearning of for change or Maybe sort of people people evaluate and say, you know, what am I doing with my life? Um, so how how how does that show up in that sort of 50 or thereabouts.

Denise: Absolutely. And it could be because, you know, you’re an empty nest nester and the children have gone, All your your children are choosing a university and you’re thinking about why did I do medicine? Because my biggest client groups used to be Doctors and lawyers. Because good professions. I mean, why would you not go and study that if that was given you as an option?

And [00:05:00] then people begin to think this isn’t really me or it might have been me then and it’s not me now. So where am I where am I going? What is it that I really want to do? So that’s time to go back and to reflect and think about what’s most important. The problem is when people are in higher paid careers Is they don’t wanna go back and earn 25 or 30000 on a job, not when they’ve been in sick earning 6 figures.

So you’ve got that challenge about what you’re weighing up. Am I gonna go for a radical change, or am I gonna go for something That’s a bit different. So I had a I’ve had a doctor who moved into, um, consultancy, 1 of the big 4, um, working in the health care side. So I’ve had, um, 1 who went well, this is clearly not in a lot of money, who went off and did, like, VSO type work, Um, and then came back reenergized to work in a completely different way. But it is important to think about how important is money to you.

And [00:06:00] me, money is not my driver. It’s other things that they but, like, I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t have to You know, my kids are, like, doing their own thing now and it’s like the Bank of Mamas stop now. But I think that’s that’s 1 of the things that people first need to think about. How much money Do I need to earn rather than do I want to earn?

Because if you wanna still keep earning, then you may need to Your options are sure smaller than, you know, if you can think about, I could do anything. What is it that will really bring me joy and meaning? And that’s the question I ask a lot of people. Um, and they always wanna go away. Always, always, oh, I need to go away and think about that because they don’t actually know because people have stopped thinking about, but what’s important to me, it’s often about The next promotion or status, and status is often a very big thing for people until it’s not.

Um, Yeah.

Mat: Let let’s [00:07:00] just go through those things because there’s there’s so much that you said in there that really resonates. So I think the first 1, you know, let let let’s start with money because I think you you you’re absolutely right that that that, You know, I know I know that this sort of this strikes about finances, but but e even despite that, we are well paid, um, as a profession. And For for a doctor to do almost anything else is likely to be a significant pay cut, isn’t it? You know, that’s just reality.

Or or at least to start off with. Yeah? So, I mean, how how how does 1 negotiate that? So I say, okay. You know, I’m not happy or I wanna do something different or I’m a big bored, but but equally, you know, there’s there’s there’s the money and it would it’s the elephant in the room.

So how do we deal with

Denise: that? Yeah. Because obviously there’s lots of other things to think about, but if we’re thinking about money, what 1 of the ways when I work with my clients Is to let’s just forget about money and let’s just think about what else you can do, um, take money out of it [00:08:00] completely. And sometimes it’s ideas that come out of their head. Sometimes it comes out through our discussion.

I’ll often use, um, Ability battery, this thing called the Highlands Ability Battery, because that will identify careers that match people’s underlying ability. And that’s quite useful because, um, you’ll you’ve then got some objective data, and then you can look into the things. And in indeed, 1 doctor, it was like, but I always wanted to be an architect. Um, and then he looked into that, And, um, it was all gonna be way too difficult because of the the education of this. I wouldn’t suggest this to everybody, but his marriage broke down.

And for him, going off and studying again, it’s like now I’m rethinking my life. But for other people, You need to understand about, well, how much are the careers? And if you’re gonna start again, well, what’s gonna be, like, the entry level? But you’re not starting like a 21 year old. You start in as possibly a 50 year old [00:09:00] with 25 years work experience.

So you can fast track where you where you head to, And there might be an opportunity between what you’d really like to do and what you’re doing now, which is utilizing your background. So it makes you More unique. It’s unusual. And then you have to have conversations with people because you’re never gonna get this job by Applying for something that you see, you’ve got to network your way into it.

Mat: So tell me a bit more about this idea that that there won’t be a job that To apply, you have to create it or you have to network for it.

Denise: Because so much now of jobs are advertised, and it’s all done by algorithms. They have this thing called ATS. Um, goodness. I’ve forgotten. Well, tracking software, I think it’s automatic, but I I actually I I used the The the 3 letters for so many years, I’ve forgotten what it stands for.

But what it is doing is you have to match up, Um, against the job [00:10:00] you’re going for. And in fact, I’ve got a client coming in later, and I was just matching up her CV against the job ad she she wants To go for and she matches up to 80 percent. I mean, her CV is really needs a lot of work done to it, but you have to hit the right keywords. And if you don’t match, you’re a bit unusual in your background, you’ve got your degree late perhaps for for for a particular person, The software is not gonna pick you up, so you need to be seen by a person or you need your CV to be seen by a person. And best way to do that It’s through contact because, you know, if I wanted to to do a a job similar to what you’re doing now, um, I could go in colds.

And indeed, you would Do as much research as you can to find out so you’re not going in asking silly questions. But then you talk to somebody and it’s like, well, I’ve done all this online research, But now I want to, you know, I want to go into, um, uh, medical admin, um, [00:11:00] as a sort of, Um, you know, a non clinical director level. So how am I gonna make the move and what do I need to emphasize and where are my gaps? Do I need to go and do an MBA? Or maybe I can go to Henley and do a short course.

You know? So it’s like and getting advice from somebody who’s currently doing the work Means that you can you know, you you you’re just getting a really good view rather than going off and talking to a recruiter Oh, indeed. As I said, your CV is just going into this black hole and then more the more senior we are, often the more we’ve earned, The harder it is to get that job because if you think of jobs like a pyramid, if you want to be a customer service assistant, there’s loads of them. If you wanna be director of customer services, there’s very few of them, so it’s much harder to make that

Mat: Leap. So there’s something there, you know, when you’re when you’re 50 or or thereabouts that that there’s a there’s a range [00:12:00] of experiences.

A lot of it is very likely to be relevant to whatever sort of whatever sideways, sort of a downwards or upwards move you might make, but but there there won’t be a job advert out there probably. Or even if there is, you know, sort of you might not have the perfect credentials for it. So so it’s really it’s about creating those connections and and and crafting the kind of job that that that you want as well. So that’s very different to the mentality that says I’m gonna search for jobs and I’m gonna apply, isn’t it? Because maybe I think most of us think, How do I get a job?

Well, you know, I go on NHS jobs or whatever else, and there’s a job advertised, I apply for it. But what you’ve said is is is very Totally different to that mentality. And

Denise: something I’ve done that I think is I’m not I’m not sure. I I think I made it up. I don’t think anybody I don’t think I got it from anyone else is, um, imagine that you’re like a plant In the garden centre, you know, and it gives you all the the things, you know, you need plenty of [00:13:00] sun and different things.

So if you think about what is it that you, So you were going to tell all the listener is thinking about doing this. This is all the things that you want. You know? I want something that’s within Easy travel distance to home that’s flexible, that does pay me a certain amount of money, that utilizes these different skills. These are all the things that I can offer.

These are all the things I want. And then you just want somebody to pick, uh, pick you to pick up this plan and go like, You’d be perfect for this job. Now you need to get the word out there and what I’ve had some of my clients do Is to send that to people that they know. You know, this is this is who I am. This is what I’m looking for.

What would you suggest? And it’s been really interesting What people come up with, um, and indeed sometimes I’ve done it with my Amazing People newsletter which is, um, I say, well, I’ll just put in the newsletter Because these are people that don’t know all they know about you is what you’ve written and and so [00:14:00] they’re not coming with any preconceived ideas because they’re your cousin or your best friend from university. Dave, um, and you know, I mean, my clients don’t always like what people suggest but, you know, but they’ve got some and they can then spark them into something else because Otherwise, if you just look for a job ad, you’re very constrained by, um, this is what’s on offer, whereas There might be things being considered that hasn’t actually appeared as a job ad. Indeed, it’s not even on their radar. But once you start saying them things, actually, you know, there’s this person, you know, and he was head clinical leader here, and he’s done this and he’s done that, And he spent this time in Africa.

You know, I can see how that could work.

Mat: Yeah. Yeah. You also said that, um, 1 of the things that you’ve experienced is that that that people people might have made career decisions when they were 16. And then, you know, you get to the age of 50, and maybe you’re a different person, [00:15:00] and You you you you value different things.

So can you tell me a little bit more about how how we as humans change during our lifespan?

Denise: Well, I think when we’re younger, many of us are heavily influenced by our parents, um, and our peer group. Um, and in many cases and many of the people who move on to to go into medicine, it’s It’s a really good job and it’s either medicine or law. Um, you need to go and and do something like that and you haven’t really thought As what Strive knew, people also make decisions on the basis of how much salary that they’re going to earn. And it’s like, well, you know, I can see my career progression and I can know what I want to do.

And I know I really like, you know, art or music or literature, but But I can’t quite see the path in that, and I don’t think I’m gonna be a professional musician. And I think, you know, it’s gonna be a bit precarious, etcetera. [00:16:00] Then it’s like the voice in our head gets a bit stronger, and it’s like but you wanted to be a musician. You want it to do art. You want it to study ancient history, and the voice gets a bit stronger.

And then we think, Particularly when a friend, um, or somebody that we know has had, you know, a serious life changing illness or indeed died. And then it’s like, but life’s life is finite. I’m not gonna live forever. Do I really want to, You know, reach 75 and, yeah, I’ve got all this money in the bank and everybody will say I’ve been successful, but I never did that thing I want. I never wrote that novel.

I never really got deep into Greek literature or whatever it happens to be. And so a lot of people don’t listen to the voice or they chuck it to the back of their head and go, Stupid. But there are people out there who are thinking, if not now, when? And sometimes [00:17:00] that voice doesn’t strike you at 50, But it strikes you in your mid sixties, whenever age you can start taking your pension because at that point Certainly, you’ve you’ve you’ve got your own personal pension. You’ve got the state pension, and the need to earn money drops Because, you know, you may have a quite significant sum coming in, and then you can think, this is what I really want to do.

And it might be to study and be a hobby, But it could equally be, but I want to set up, um, I wanna set up a charity, you know, I wanna set up a not for profit venture, um, And I wanna maybe, you know, go out to to Africa and do some work out there on, you know, birth control or sexual health or something. So it could be that it’s something that’s still linked to where you’ve been, but you’re just segue in into something That just strikes more to your values. Um, because our values do change as we age. [00:18:00]

Mat: So how how do people balance that that kind of that sideways segue that you talked about? So it’s not not not about Not about that that I don’t like medicine.

I want to leave medicine. You know, I like medicine. I wanna stay in medicine, but there’s this other thing that that I’ve always wanted. Let’s use that music for an example. You know, I like my career in medicine, um, and I’ve also liked music, but I never did anything about it.

So How how do people marry 2 things together?

Denise: Yeah. Okay. Um, I’m gonna use an example from a different profession because it’s a real person rather than me making something up. And, um, this chat with the solicitor, he was, um, partner, never wants to do it.

His dad had said it’s a good job, Um, as had his uncle and his aunties, isn’t it, for the next? But he really wants to do art, but how on earth could he manage it? And he moved to work in a 3 day week, which was unheard of. And so I had to work with him about how he was going to Present the case as to why he should do a 3 day week [00:19:00] and he went to 4 days and then 3. And, um, every time, every week He would do something different because he didn’t know what he wanted to do.

So 1 week it was to do something about photography and the next week it was to do something about collage And he was finding all these different short courses that he could do, um, and that satisfied him, so that met his need and he got in touch actually a few years back, Um, and he’s carrying on with 3 days a week working, but he has 1 day that’s totally for his art, another day That he does other things that interest him, and then he has the weekend that he can spend with his family. Um, so he’s moved to a more flexible life, Still earning a good salary, but there’s space for other things. So that’s a really nice way, Um, for people to work and, you know, I’m I’m doing quite a lot now with people retiring and as they sort of move into retirement, some move to a part time Working on what they’re doing now as they [00:20:00] introduce other things into their life and gradually, they’ll be doing the other things and not the job. But, you know, that’s in many years to come in some cases.

Mat: So so it’s not about all of nothing.

It’s not that you have to do this or you have to do that. It it’s, you know, at least in that example, it’s it’s Perfectly possible to combine several loves in your life, you know, in into into a career, a timeline that that all hangs together.

Denise: Yeah. It is. And something that’s really useful to do is to, I’m being autistic now, but I guess you could do it in different ways, but to draw a picture or just to find images, you know, Google and stick them, you know, you could do it that way, Um, of how your ideal life would be and it probably would still include you you with your profession, but maybe it’s just not So much of it on a in a different slant.

But when I get people to do that and there’s there’s lots of pictures, So, like, I like to use real examples of them [00:21:00] to make stuff up. And all her pictures yes. Indeed. This is a director for charity. And all the pictures We’re of, um, nature and animals.

And it’s like, do you realize what you’ve done? And she said it was only when I came to put them all together That I realize she’s not on safari at the moment, um, and she’s thinking about, well, what can she do, um, with, I don’t know, Battersea Dogs Home or something. You know, she’s beginning to Explore, um, what are the opportunities, um, that she can do because she’s very good at, um, at at at the the certain aspects of her work That would make her, um, you know, lots of organizations want her because of things that she can, um, she can offer around funding and and getting funding. So there’s things that people can do, um, but we need to get the bit in our head that, um, We need to allow ourselves to be open to new things because otherwise and I was working with somebody, [00:22:00] very different profession, but it’s like, I can’t do this. I can’t do this.

I can’t do that and I’m beginning to get a bit frustrated with him. I’m going like, if you say you can’t do it 1 more time, then I don’t honestly think what understand why you’re paying to work with me Because I’m helping you to expand your horizon and you’re not even looking into it, you’re just saying but I’m this, I’m this and that’s not gonna happen. So I sent him away and I had the last session a couple of weeks back. I said look, you know, I just want you to explore them. I want you to just sort of leave that head That says everything’s too difficult for you and just see what you come up with.

And if you come up with nothing, you don’t wanna come back to me again. That’s fine. But let’s just you need to go there with an open mind because otherwise we’re just gonna say, you know, you’re not gonna get anywhere and then you’re gonna get to 90 And you get like, oh, I probably should have listened to Denise 30 or 40 years ago. It was a bit late then. I

Mat: hope you’re enjoying the show.

Please click subscribe so you’ll be notified when new episodes [00:23:00] become available. This podcast is part of my mission to help doctors create successful and meaningful careers. You can be part of that mission too by forwarding this show to 1 person who you think might benefit from listening. Thank you. Now on with the show.

Denise: If

Mat: I think of my own, um, career and and 1 of the things that for me has been really, Really, really key has been identifying what what really matters to me. And, you know, for for me for me, that is people developing. Yeah? Um, and what I’ve done in my career is I do a range of different things, but, um, majority of that in other than my clinical practice hangs around ideal developing people. And and it’s the same golden thread, but, you know, there’s different ways that I achieve it in different roles.

And you also talked about, you know, the the person with the with with with art didn’t know what to do. And you said, you know, people People don’t know what gives them joy, what gives [00:24:00] them meaning. So there’ll be people listening and sort of say, but but in, like, how do I figure out What it is that I want to do?

Denise: So there’s lots and lots of The techniques and exercises that people can do. And 1 of them is to go back to childhood.

You know, before we ever thought about careers, what is it That we enjoy doing. And 1 of the things I enjoyed doing when I was much younger was playing with my Lego and my farm animals, and I was always making Schools or hospitals and having all these little stories, um, around that. And I think the whole thing about Organising and, um, is something that I’ve always done. So so there was that. I’ve always liked writing stories.

I used to Poetry. I create little newspapers again before I was 11, you know, and I’ve written 8 books now. Um, so That, you know, I I can look back and chart it, and I think that’s a useful time [00:25:00] for people to think back. And the things that they enjoy doing, I enjoyed laying in the sun With, you know, and doing things with dandelions and and things and, you know, around back into nature as well. So I think that’s a that’s a really good way is to think about that.

I mean, on my website, people could get a list of, you know, every possible activity from astronomy to zookeeper. There’s masses and masses of them. I think it was 500, but I’m less keen on getting people to look I mean, a list is fine for inspiration, But it’s a bit like choosing your values. Oh, yeah. I love I love 1 of this.

I love 1 of that. It’s more important if you can just sort of like think about what’s going on. And I spoke earlier about having the wood. And I think that when we take ourselves away from I’ll work away from sitting foot of our computer, away from all this technology, and actually go for a walk out in nature, and just Allow any thoughts to come into our head. I think that’s a really good way.

You need to just change your environment because [00:26:00] it helps you. I think that’s why beyond holiday It’s often a really good time for us to think about what is it I really want to do because we’re not being pressurized by the job or the household tasks. So Keep a keep a notebook, you know, either on your phone or ideally a proper paper, You know, little little notebook that you can keep in your in your bag. And as you get any ideas or any thoughts or you’re flicking through the sunny times and Which is the supplement that that you you’re drawn to most of all when you’re going to bookstore and that could be it. You know, you go into a bookstore, you’ve got 15 minutes and you’ve got to, like, choose the right section.

So So you’re whizzing around and it’s like I’m just reading all the astrology books or the astronomy books or the you know all the whatever. Um So there’s there’s lots of different techniques that you can use to to help find ideas, but I do think 1 of the best Is to go back to when you were 5 or 7 or 9 Mhmm. Before you start [00:27:00] thinking about if we get to big school, really.


Mat: So the other thing then is, let’s say that somebody gets to the stage and they identify, you know, what what gives them joy, you know, and got what gives them meaning.

Um, So and then I said, well, okay. You know, like like, what what next? So what what’s the next step? You know, let’s sort of say you’re a 50 year old. You know, you’ve identified that, you know, what gives you joy is art, um, and, um, or music, um, and you want to bring that into your life?

And let’s kind of say let’s let’s maybe it’s something that you want to bring into your life as a paid, um, career. You know, not necessarily sort of you you’re not looking for very highly paid work, but let’s So you’ve identified something and you want to earn some income from that, but people have no idea. How how where do I even start with that?

Denise: Um, I have a friend’s consultant and he was a bit burnt out really. He started working with a painter and decorator, [00:28:00] and, I mean, he’s gone back to consultancy now.

But he was very He enjoyed that because he enjoyed the satisfaction of painting the room when it was done, and he was very accurate, not like me, a bit slapdash. So that was that was something and I think you probably met a man in a pub and and and found somebody somebody that way. But it’s it’s getting the word out there. If you know what it is that you really want to do, then it’s find somebody that will take you on. There’s all this thing about being an intern.

So 1 of the great ways is, you know, if you think, well, maybe I’d like to be a painter and decorator, maybe I’d like to be an interior designer, um, go Go and find let’s use interior designers as an example because it’s quite extreme from medicine. But, you know, you wanna be an interior designer, so go and find an interior designer and And talk to firstly, you do all your research online, then you find people to talk to, then you find people that you could go and shadow for a day or a week, But you’re better off choosing somebody. I live in [00:29:00] Cheltenham. So, um, if I started saying I wanted to shadow somebody in Cheltenham, uh, most of them have worked for themselves, They might get a bit concerned that I’d be able to steal in their business. Uh-huh.

So they’d be less likely to talk, but my mum lives in Knutsford in Cheshire. So if I went up and start and stayed with her and, um, started talking to people up in Dunsford and my sister lives down in Cornwall. So doing it that way, they’re not going to feel A bit cautious about sharing things because, like, you, you know, you’re 200 miles away. You’re not gonna be stealing their customs. So that’s a great way.

Do a couple of shadow for a day, and then it could be take a week’s holiday, um, go and work work with them For a week as an intern, maybe you are washing dishes and making the tea, but you’re getting a good feel because I think we need to do that As we’re moving forward, we need to think, find stuff online, find a bit more, find a bit more, shadow. And it all takes time. I I mean, people think that they can [00:30:00] change careers and it’s like you’re doing this on, you know, the first of March and, you you know, by the first of April, you’re gonna have The job, no. It could take could take months. It could take a year.

It takes time. And that’s the other thing. People get fed up. People think it’s gonna be an easy fix. And it’s, uh, it’s all just too difficult.

I give up. So I’m always telling people, it’s hard going if you really got the resilience to go for it. Um, and if If I’m unsure, then it’s like, I don’t think we’re looking for a radical move. I think we’re looking for something just With, you know, toying around with what you currently do. Mhmm.

Because I don’t think they’re gonna want to make put the effort in to make this major move.

Mat: And I wonder how many people get stuck at that stage because number 1, they just don’t want to go and put themselves out there because, you know, because that’s I think for a lot of people, that will be terrifying. You know, the idea of going on social media or Facebook or, you know, finding these people and and and approaching them from cold. Certainly, I think for a lot of doctors, Does [00:31:00] you know, that that that will be terrifying problem number 1. And problem number 2 is that that that is hard work.

Um and I think sort of 1 of the 1 of the challenges that I see is, you know, you do you do sort of sometimes, you do sometimes see people that That they’re promising easy career changes and, you know, there’s this there’s this, um, the the the and won’t name any industries, but, you know, people say, well, you know, You could just walk into this industry, uh, and I’m kind of thinking, okay. Because, you know, because the people that I know that could go into that industry did not just walk into that industry. But sort of there are kind of some perceptions, oh, yeah, you should just easily get a job then. They’d be lucky to have you. And I’m kind of thinking, yeah, right.

Sort of, you know, you You have to you have to be really something quite special and and and work very hard. And and, um, and maybe people People are not prepared to put themselves out. They’re number 1, and people are people are not prepared for the fact that it’s actually it’s gonna be a long journey and and it’s gonna be a fair bit of

Denise: work. [00:32:00] Yeah. I mean, it is.

Um, I think people need to be aware of that and I think sometimes it was. I think we just need to think, you know, maybe the time’s not right. Maybe I’m thinking of making this radical change, but I just want my next birthday to come by as I’ve got another year’s, you know, entry contribution or I wanna wait until something’s happened in my personal life. Um, or I’m actually just a bit stressed with the job at the moment because I’ve got a new boss and, you know, he or she It’s a bit toxic, and I’ve got it’s taken all my strength, all my energy just to hold myself together working in that situation. So that is not the time.

That is not the time to make a career change. You need to have a more stable Background going on. I’ve had in fact, I’ve got a client at the moment. He’s going through a very difficult divorce and he’s got to move and there’s all these things going on And he’s delaying and delaying working with me and, you know, [00:33:00] 6 months ago I said, let’s just pause this because I think you need to To finalize your divorce and work out where you’re gonna live, and then we can work together. So he’s coming back about 8 months on, and things are still not finalized in his life, But he wants to have a session.

But I’ve I do feel he’s like I mean, I mean, it’s useful for him, But he’d would have been better if we was we started when he was in a good headspace. Then other things are going on, and he needs to make a change of career. Um, but it’s a it’s a tough time for him. Um, I wouldn’t wanna be him with all the choices he’s got going on, but, you know, people will still work with a career coach, um, when it’s tough for them. But it’s better.

It’s much better, you know, when when certain things are settled because, you know, the whole stress scale. You don’t want too many stressful events happening in your life Mhmm. Because then you’re gonna be ill, and that’s not gonna help

Mat: at all. So it’s something there about if you’re gonna [00:34:00] make significant changes, you’re doing that from a position of strength. You know, the the right time is is when when you’re strong and when when other bits and pieces are in place, not in the the worst possible time is when when everything’s falling apart.

You know,

Denise: when, uh, in my personal life, when I separated from my husband and then bought a flat in Cheltenham, that I mean, if I was looking for a job, That would not have been the time to look for a job as well. It was like, let’s let’s sort out the money side of the separation. Let’s Settle and get the you know, your new home all set up and relax. And then if I’d wanted to, think about a new job, not it all going on at once because it’s It’s just too many balls in the air.

Mat: So what’s about, you know, what’s about kind of a small changes?

So, you know, maybe somebody because actually I’m quite happy, but I just need a little bit of a tweak or somebody who says I haven’t got this had space for anything major. I just want to make a little bit of a tweak. So So so how how do how how does a 50 [00:35:00] year old make small tweaks in their career?

Denise: 1 of the first things that’s useful to do Is to work 80 percent of your capacity, um, because so many of us, for all sorts of reasons, sometimes external pressure, sometimes we pressurise ourselves, We just work flat out all the time. We’re putting in the overtime.

We’re working the longer hours. We’re doing that bit more. And it’s, like, not quite work work to rule, But it’s like let’s just let’s just pull back a bit and sometimes you need to do that over a period. You can’t just go from Doing lots extra to to to to not very much at all. But that, um, about you go home At the right time, you know, clearly in some fields of medicine that’s not possible.

But I’m thinking of other clients I’ve worked with and, like, twice a week, It was like 1 of them he he wants to start dancing. I can’t remember what sort of dancing it was, solo or whatever. Um, but it was like, well, twice a week, you leave work So that you can go to your dance class. And it [00:36:00] doesn’t matter what is happening. You just got appointments that you need to make, and you don’t even need to tell people why.

And that just started to mean he had something else going on in his life. It wasn’t just work. So you can start doing that. Um, and I think often it’s about letting things go. We can get really hung up about stuff that’s going on in our industry and, You know, the organization, I’m frustrated with other people.

And I think a really good thing is, you know, just to let it go. This is not my problem. You know, I can’t change anything. I’ve tried to change things. It’s not working.

It’s just bugging my stress level. So, you know, Do some stuff for fun at least twice a week. Maybe for somebody else’s to go to the gym, but to make sure that you go and you do your hours of strength and then a swim and so on, etcetera. And for somebody else, sort of, or perhaps with the same people, it’s like we have to let it go. We can’t just try and take everything on.

And saying no. It’s really good to say [00:37:00] no. Um, and if you’re in control of your diary, try no in huge letters Um, over it. And again, just thinking of somebody who’s, um, allied to to the medical Field. Um, and people were other people were in control of her diary.

So she’d have a half hour appointment like 12 till 12 30 And then another 1, 12 30 till 1. And I said, like, when do you go to the loo, have a cup of tea? You know? She said, well, you don’t because people have booked it up. I said, so what you’ve got to do is every time you see something go in your online diary, book 15 minutes So you’ve got time to clear your head for 1 thing, do whatever personal stuff you need to do, and prepare for the next 1 Because she was just running herself ragged and she did that for a few weeks and then she forgot.

And so and and she was 1 of my clients that I was sort of seeing ad hoc about Monthly. And then every time, she said, I’m so glad we we [00:38:00] meet monthly. Because she just remind me to do it because she’s she forgets 1 day and then they send her to, you know, overseas and But that is really good because how can you do back to back appointments? At some point, you have to have time, You know, to to to go to Lou. Definitely.

Mat: Yeah. Yeah. And and, actually, it’s, um, When you do that, you’re you’re not at your best. You’re you’re not you’re not performing at at your best, which is, um, which then also becomes problematic, doesn’t it? Yeah.

Denise: Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes and in fact, I’ve got another client who’s who I’ll see later. And, um, she said just Starting to think about some of the areas that we’re gonna be talking about this afternoon. She’s already feeling better about her job because she realises There are things that she can do to change the current situation, and she’s somebody who’s gonna make a career move.

Um, and it might take time. Well, I know every day I’m gonna be a step closer. So [00:39:00] she’s really sweet the way and she’s, you know, and she was somebody who was very, very upset that about the work and how she wasn’t getting promotion or anything, but it’s like we’ve now opened her eyes to these different things that she can do. And, um, and she’s already feeling better just because she started thinking about making a change.

Mat: And actually that that focus on what you can do, whether that’s career moves and also the things that stress you at work.

You know, that’s really powerful because so many of us spend so much of our headspace worrying about things that that that we have no influence over. And and we forget to do anything about the stuff that we do have influence over. And, you know, we do have influence at Where can we have influence over our personal careers? And we forget to focus on those things because all the time, we’re worrying about stuff that that we don’t have any influence over.

Denise: And yeah.

And and so often, it’s only when somebody mentions it or pass possibly hears this that they think, You know what? That’s a good point [00:40:00] because we get so caught up in life. Um, and that’s why it’s really useful to take A step back and and I I I I’ve not got strong religious beliefs, but Sunday is a bit like my Sabbath. And I don’t I switch my phone literally off Saturday night when I go to bed, and I don’t switch it on until Monday morning. I have proper alarm clock.

Um, and it’s really good to have a day when, you know, I’m not even reading, you know, my Sunday paper on my iPad. I’m not doing anything. And it just gives you a complete break. Um, so I don’t know how I mean, I’ve only been doing this a few weeks now, so I’m hoping I can I can keep it up and sort of Model it? But I think it is useful just to to take to take a day of rest, to give your whole body a chance to To relax and to do stuff that’s good for your body, like, you know, go for a walk, go for a swim, or

Mat: lift weights.

Yeah. You’re giving me ideas as well now. I’ll [00:41:00] bring us to a close, Denise, and, um, so to maybe if I could just ask you to summarize, you know, what what would be your top tips for for a 50 plus doctor trying to make career decisions.

Denise: First of all, how are you currently feeling about the job? Is it something that is it’s so bad.

On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 2. You’ve gotta make a move. Or is it like a 6 or a 7, so you’re looking for the For the small tweaks. So first of all, it’s like, where am I at? If you decide I need to make a radical move, Do the things I was saying earlier.

Remind yourself of childhood. Think about the things that interest you. Begin to explore. Maybe work with a career coach to get some ideas. Um, and if it’s a small tweak, then it’s it’s it’s easier, possibly.

But I think it’s a step at a time To realize it’s going to take some time and just to have some nice stuff going on in your life to support you because anytime we make [00:42:00] a change It’s leading to more stress. So we just need to balance that. And if you’re Living with somebody, you know, you’ve got a partner, a husband, wife, whatever. Um, get them on board. If you still got children living at home, Get them on board because you want support from your family.

Um, and if you are thinking about something that’s gonna affect your finances, Then you do need to probably to talk about it with the people that are gonna be affected by it because they may be really supportive. Um, But if they’re not, and the first thing they know is suddenly your income’s dropped by 75 percent. Yeah. That and I do know of a person that Did that and and then the partner left. This wasn’t something that worked with me, but But I just heard, you know, meeting them elsewhere, and it was like, that’s a really radical way of doing things.

But I said nothing because, you know, it wasn’t for me to say I’d have done things differently because [00:43:00] I’d already made the decisions.

Mat: Wonderful. Thank you very much,

Denise: Denise. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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