The Lightbulb Podcast

Join Guernsey girl, Martine, for a weekly creative chat where she shares resources, actionable ideas and the occasional knowledge bomb (!) This podcast is for artists, makers and creative business owners interested in marketing, social media, business and technology. The Lightbulb Podcast is available to download and subscribe to in iTunes and other podcast directories.
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Apr 1, 2017

The one where I reflect on making a massive career change.


Hello and welcome to episode 38 of the Creative Me podcast. Today I'm talking about making a massive career change. This is something that I've done in my career, and I wanted to share my story with you and also explain a few things I took from the experience.


Let's rewind quite a few years: I want to give you a picture of 18-year-old Martine.

I completed my A-levels but didn't go to university. I could have gone but, for whatever reason, I didn't. Because all my friends went to uni, I felt I was a bit of a failure.

I'm not insinuating people who don't go to university are a failure - this is not the case at all. I think I felt that way because I saw all of my friends doing it. I felt a bit left behind and that perhaps I hadn't achieved my potential while I was in the school environment.

Off to Work

I joined the working world aged 18 and morphed into this almost unrecognisable overachiever. I was very keen to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible, and I did just that.

Finance Career

Fast forward to my late 20s, and I was working in finance for a trust and company administration firm. We'd created as the offshoot company to deal with property ownership structures, and I got very involved in that part of the business.

I ended up being invited to join the Board of Directors before I reached the age of 30. I was the only female on a board of four men who were all over the age of 40, and it was quite an experience.

Made it

I thought I'd made it that point. I had a good salary. I had a very nice sports car. Things were, on the face of it, great.

I had to travel a lot for my work, which sounds terribly glamorous, but it's not; you only see airports, and you're 'on' 24/7. It's quite exhausting.

It looked as if I was happy and satisfied and I'd achieved everything I'd set out to.

Did My Work Matter?

After a few years, I started questioning my job and whether it was important to me or not. The truth was that deep down; I did not care about my work.

When someone asked me what I did for a living, it was too complicated to explain. And also, I just didn't believe in it.

I got to the point where I realised I had to make a career change. I analysed my career to date and tried to look at themes that flowed through what was quite a varied career, and the one thing that kept coming through my CV was training.

Teacher at Heart

I reflected on this a great deal worked out that in my heart, I'd always wanted to teach. The only reason I didn't take the traditional route into teaching was that I didn't go to university.

In one of my more training orientated jobs, earlier in my career, I did an initial teacher training qualification, but that was it.


Now, I'm not a great believer in fate, however, while I was getting to the peak of my dissatisfaction in my finance role, a very odd opportunity presented itself through somebody I knew.

It was a maternity cover position at our local further education college, teaching office administration. A friend of mine who worked at the college she told me about it and I just had this weird gut feeling to go for it.

I applied for the job, and I got it, and I took the position.

It was a huge gamble. It was just a 12-month contract and a huge pay drop. It was a complete leap into the unknown. I was terrified, but I took the leap.

The First Few Weeks

I won't lie to you, the first couple of weeks were horrific.

I started on Monday, and I remember, on Wednesday, sitting in bed with my husband crying my eyes out saying "what have I done?"

But I stuck at it and grew to love it.

After a Year

After a year, the College decided they didn't want to lose me and they made my position permanent.

For a few years after that, I taught in office administration, and it was great.

Within those first few years of teaching I completed my full teacher training qualification, and around that time I became interested in teaching teachers.


An opportunity presented itself to do a two-year secondment on a part-time basis at the same college to work with my colleagues to teach them how to use technology in the classroom.

In addition to this, I'd been enjoying teaching the initial teacher training qualification. This felt like a good next step for me. And it was part-time, meaning I could work on developing my OWN business.

What Next?

I'm coming to the end of that two-year secondment now, and I've got some important decisions to make.

But that brings you up-to-date regarding where my career change was and how it came about.

What Did I Learn?

  1. Sometimes you need to take a gamble.
  2. It's a good idea to have savings in the bank when making a massive career change.
  3. Trust your gut.
  4. Your health always comes first.
  5. You spend a lot of your time working - make sure you are doing what you consider to be important work.

What About You?

I'd love your comments on the episode. Pop into The Lightbulb Club for a chat or email me. I'd love to hear from you.