Career-Changer Series: From Full Time Employment to Freelance Producer
Last month, I shared the career change story of the amazing Ellie White, as part of my ongoing Career-Changer Series. These interviews seek to share the inspirational stories of people who have made the decision to change career. I ask them about their career shifts and what advice they have for others considering a career change.
I hope by reading these stories and interviews that people realise that anything is possible with a little time and effort. No one needs to feel stuck in a career they don’t enjoy. There’s always something else you can do. I hope these stories inspire you to make a change and do work that you love.
From Full Time Employment to Freelance Producer & Creative Consultant
My second interview is with Amalie Englesson. Having moved around a little bit to try and understand her frustrations with her career, Amalie still couldn’t quite verbalise what she wanted her work to look like. She had ideas but nothing concrete. Here she shares what helped her define her options and how she got started with working towards her long-term career goals.
1. What work were you doing before?
I’ve been working full time for interactive studios as a Producer and Studio Manager, and I’ve done a bit of marketing in the past too.
2. How did you know a change was required?
I knew for a long time, at least 3 years before I made the jump. I even changed jobs in the same field because I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I was equally miserable. I knew that it wasn’t right for me, I just couldn’t express what I was looking for.
3. What helped you make the decision to finally do something about your situation?
As tacky as it might sound, I watched a TED talk by Ashley Stahl, and I could recognise everything she said. She herself had made a career change, and is now working as a Career Coach, and I knew from what she said that coaching was the sort of help I needed.
4. How did you go about deciding what you wanted to do instead? What helped you make that decision?
Talking about it with Alice, structuring my thoughts, and then creating a strategy for making it happen. The process was so thorough that I not only now know what I want to do, but I also why I want it.
5. What new career path have you chosen and why?
I’m now freelancing as a Producer and Creative Consultant, but it’s the first step in building my own studio in the future. My future plan has taken many shapes but always involves me running my own small creative studio, and I feel like it’s slowly getting there. These things take time and I’m OK with that.
6. How are you going about or how did you go about changing careers?
Alice gave me a lot of practical tools to help me structure and project manage myself, which is a bit ironic since that’s a big part of my job! But it’s difficult when you have to do it for yourself.
I spent months preparing, meeting people, and speaking to recruiters. The thought of quitting my job and not having something to do next was frightening, so I waited until I felt the timing worked best for me. As soon as I felt ready, things couldn’t have gone better and faster.
After I quit my job, I sent out an email to my closest friends and people I knew in the industry, telling them what I was up to and what I was looking for, and it resulted in me having so many options!
7. What’s been the hardest, most difficult, or unexpected thing you’ve encountered about changing career?
Dealing with my own fears and the uncertainty. Everything else has been fun so far!
8. What’s been the best part about changing career?
Meeting new people, being inspired, spending time on the things I like to do, working with people who want the same thing as me and helping each other succeed.
9. What advice would you give to others considering a career change?
Just do it! It’s not worth continuing in work that maks you sick. Personally, I was worried that it was a lot of money wasted if it didn’t work out, but I've made the money back, and, even if I hadn’t, I’m so much happier, so it would have still been worth it.
10. What support, help, or resources would you recommend?
There were a few exercises that Alice and I did, such as personality tests, prioritising talents, beliefs, and interests, etc that I found super useful in terms of understanding why I wanted to do what I’m doing - and they were fun to do too.
One of the first things I did, which was really helpful, was to send out an email to friends and people who I knew might have interesting connections. In the email I explained what I was doing, what I was looking for (jobs, connections, recruiter recommendations, etc), and I included a piece of text they could forward as an introduction to me and my CV, making it really easy for them to help me. I think it was massively successful because it’s more personal than posting things on Facebook (which can also very helpful). Just talk loudly about what you want so people know how to help you.
Other than that, I speak to a lot of new people at events to understand more about the industry, follow all the companies I find interesting, and read other people’s Linkedin profiles and interviews. Since I work in the creative industry, I use all the relevant sites to keep up to speed on events and talks.
If you’re considering a career change of your own, and Amalie’s story has inspired you to finally take action, get in touch to discuss how working with Alice could help you figure out what you want to do instead and how you can make it happen.
Editorial Assistant (previously an EA)
I first contacted Alice at a time when I was feeling very low about my work and desperate to make a change. Alice listened closely to my needs and tailored our sessions to the specific challenges I was facing. She was quick to follow up after our sessions, to reflect on what I’d said, and to give me further exercises which would help with my development. Alice really helped me to build my confidence to think logically through potential risks of leaving a job and of moving into a new sector, which I did and where I have just started my first job. I have recommended Alice to many friends and friends of friends who I hope will benefit from her coaching as much as I have.