EPISODE NINE - STEVE KEITH
The son of a mechanic Dad and secretary Mum who together went on to run a business, Steve Keith’s career journey has taken him on a quest of curiosity and learning to become his authentic self and stand in his own power.
The first member of his family to go to university, Steve graduated from the prestigious Durham University and became a Teach First teacher in an inner-city school before life eventually led to him to a new challenge and a space where he could come out as a gay man at the age of 25. A chance conversation led him to join the early careers recruitment team at international consultancy firm EY, eventually becoming a senior manager where he championed inclusive recruitment for graduates and apprentices.
One day when he was struggling with the pressures and challenges of success and delivering award-winning campaigns, a key conversation with his boss released something within him and led to him taking some time out to deal with his anxiety and mental health challenges. This gave him the time and space to be curiosity led and ultimately gain clarity about what really matters to him. He now runs his own business, Curious Consulting, as an early careers consultant specialising in LGBTQ+ inclusion and mental health, and social mobility in the workplace.
As part of this, he set up and runs the Queer Student Awards (QSA), an annual hybrid celebration of talented young LGBTQ+ people in the U.K. and beyond, who are proudly leading in their lives and the communities around them.
Hear how his firm belief in the power of following his inner voice, curiosity, and learning has led him to develop the courage, persistence, and belief needed to deal with imposter syndrome and say yes to opportunity, including becoming the creator and podcast host of My Career Story, QSA awards creator and host, and running a successful consultancy.
Steve can be contacted via:
Black Box Thinking - the surprising truth about success and learning from mistakes by author, Matthew Syed.
Teach First - an education charity which places and trains talented people to lead, advance and inspire in some of the UK's most deprived areas.
Daring Greatly - an exploration by Brené Brown of how the courage to be vulnerable can transform our lives.
You can read a transcript of the episode here
EPISODE EIGHT - Dr Lorna Collins
By the age of 15, Lorna already had an exciting equestrian career in front of her and represented Great Britain several times successfully in junior eventing. Passionate about speed and with a Dad who was a champion jockey, at 16 she set herself another goal – to become the first woman to win the Grand National. She was also on track to become a student at Cambridge University. Out on the gallops one day, disaster struck, and she had an accident which almost killed her.
Her catastrophic brain injury led to her developing a number of psychiatric illnesses including an eating disorder as a coping mechanism, resulting in frequent hospitalisation over the course of the next twenty years.
Despite this, as a highly functioning and very bright polymath, Lorna still managed to study, eventually gaining her PhD from Cambridge. More study later led to Lorna securing her dream job as a creative health lecturer at University College London.
In this inspirational story of survival and growth, hear how Lorna’s art and natural creativity became her medicine helping her to find her voice and recover, how she uses a growth mindset and persistence to overcome challenges and create opportunities, and what led to her deciding to leave academia to follow her passion and become a writer and artist as she turned 40.
Her first children’s novel, “Squawk – a book of bird adventures” has recently been published by Vanguard Press.
Lorna can be contacted via:
How Creativity Revived Me – Lorna’s TEDx talk
Imposter Syndrome –a sense of feeling a fraud, even when the evidence indicates otherwise.
Flow – the psychology of optimum experience written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness.
Mind - the mental health charity where Lorna volunteered.
Gilles Deleuze – philosopher and metaphysician, author of “Francis Bacon, the Logic of Sensation”.
Herbert Marcuse – philosopher and social theorist.
Squawk – a book of bird adventures – Lorna’s first children’s book, published in February 2023.
EPISODE SEVEN - Natalie WILLIAMS
After studying International Politics and gaining her PhD from Aberystwyth University, Natalie Williams became a lecturer - only to find she hated teaching.
Not sure what to do after that, she ended up working in academic administration at the university, rising through the ranks to become a Quality Assurance Manager and an Academic Registrar.
Following a divorce and heading for 40, she felt the need for change, so when a secondment opportunity came up to go to Mauritius to set up a branch campus, she leapt at it. Little did she realise that it would lead her to changing career completely and to her discovering her passion.
Hear how she struggled with conflicting values, identified vital lessons from doing a PhD, and how she trusts her own internal guidance system to make decisions as a successful entrepreneur and luxury jewellery maker.
Natalie can be contacted via:
Aberystwyth University – world class international politics department
RE-INSPiRED Professional – the career change programme Natalie did with Carolyn Parry
Jim Fortin – the subconscious self-transformation coach
EPISODE SIX - CHRIS JONES
Chris Jones had a eureka moment at university when he discovered the joys of being a cameraman while studying for a media degree. Suddenly and unexpectedly made redundant during the pandemic, he now uses his natural ability to build relationships in his work as a podcaster, event host and walking guide.
Starting as tea boy and runner, his journey took him all around the world filming for sports programmes like Grandstand and World of Sport and including following the British Bobsleigh team, a commitment which ultimately cost him his first marriage.
A chance conversation born from his spirit of helpfulness while filming in St Moritz one day took him from behind the camera to in front of it. Little did he know that it would lead to a career spanning just sort of 30 years as the face of the weather on S4C, the Welsh language television channel. His media profile led to other opportunities as part of his portfolio career including an approach by sock manufacturer, Corgi who worked with him to design a range of household ware as well as weather-themed socks that have sold all around the world including to Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister.
All was going well until 2020, when he was hit by three things: the loss of his radio show; a prostate cancer diagnosis, and the unforeseen blow of being made redundant.
Listen to his remarkable story as he overcame the challenges he faced through talking, walking and singing his way to rebuild his career as a podcast and event host, presenter, charity ambassador and Non Exec Director, as well as developing a new Welsh well-being walking business.
Chris can be contacted via:
Cool Runnings – the epic story of the Jamaican bobsleigh team and their Olympic quest
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Grief/Change Model – a proven and effective approach for dealing with any form of loss
The Japanese art of Kintsugi –mending broken pottery with gold
Rhod Gilbert – epic Welsh comedian currently dealing a cancer diagnosis
Bridgend Male Voice Choir – film with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke
Velindre Cancer Centre
Keep Wales Tidy
(Please note, Carolyn will receive a small commission if you purchase via any Amazon links included. As they say, other brands are available!)
EPISODE FIVE - VICKY RUSHTON
Vicky Rushton found her voice advocating for her very sick second child, Oliver, at the age of 21, and now uses it to help others express themselves through design.
One of thirteen children, she grew up in Manchester and left school at 15 to help bring up her siblings. Pregnant at sixteen, she bought her first home with her partner and balanced bringing up her daughter with a career in retail sales. All was going well until life threw a spanner in her career plans and she had to spend the next four years caring for her second child who was born disabled. A third child followed along with a move to live near her father in North Wales and an architectural salvage business.
A chance conversation at the school gates took her back into education at Bangor University, where she found her love of design engineering and business. She completed her degree and won an entrepreneurship award from Santander.
A brief spell teaching and then working in a charity led to another chance encounter with Gerallt Evans, a blacksmith in Conwy, North Wales. Vicky is now Co-Director and equal shareholder of Gerallt Evans Metalcraft Limited, creators of the world's first indoor crazy gold course at Zip World and other metal art and furniture installations, made from fusing ancient blacksmithing techniques with state of the art technology to create unique pieces that are not only beautiful but practical.
Listen to her remarkable story of how she created her own identity out of a chaotic start and went from surviving to thriving by learning to follow her energy and passion for design engineering.
Vicky can be contacted via:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey
Flourish - a new understanding of happiness and wellbeing – Professor Martin Seligman
(you can read more about PERMA here.)
Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
Educating Rita – film with Michael Cain and Julie Walters
Mary Poppins – film with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke
(Please note, Carolyn will receive a small commission from book and film purchases you make using the links above. As they say, other suppliers are also available!).
EPISODE FOUR - JULIA GOODFELLOW SMITH
Julia Goodfellow-Smith is a self-confessed adventurer, speaker, writer, and author of best-selling books. But that’s not how she started out.
Originally a management scientist born in the era of Thatcherism, she became a small business banker, but found the constraints of working in the corporate world made her feel like a square peg in a round hole.
Her desire for more freedom led to investing in a franchise helping businesses to reduce their energy costs. Meanwhile, the call she heard in her childhood from the Save The Whale advertising campaign always stayed in the background and led eventually to her developing an environmental career. A significant emotional event served to remind her that life is for living and a more recent health scare paved the way to becoming the best-selling author and adventurer she is today.
Tune in to find out why she has always volunteered, what it takes to write a book that publishers want to publish, and discover how walking the Camino Way changed Julia for good.
Julia can be contacted via:
Significant Emotional Experiences and values – developed by John Massey
Quality of life assessment – free questionnaire from the World Health Organisation
The Conservation Volunteers
The Royal Society of Arts
episode three - mel cameron
Mel Cameron is a people person whose career journey has taken her from media studies at college and working in Pizza Hut to embracing her love of travel and falling into a career in the summer camp industry both. She has worked in various camps in the US, gaining resilience as helped young people to make the most of their experience. A mature student at university, she went on to advance her career in the industry by taking advantage of opportunities to take on student digital marketing and attraction roles in the UK.
All was going well until a certain global pandemic reared its ugly head. At this point, she had to make a conscious choice to change her story. As often happens when we had a dream in mind, life conspired to help her put her values and skills to work in a new direction. A twinkle in Mel’s eye became a reality and she is now in a role she loves, training and working as a careers adviser in Lampeter, West Wales, for the University of Wales Trinity St David. Always one to be busy, she is a firm believer in giving her time where it’s needed and also volunteers for St John’s Ambulance, Tŷ Hafan the Children’s Hospice for Wales, and the National Youth Advocacy Service which has given her additional skills and experience to help her grow.
Mel can be contacted via: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcameron83/
Self-efficacy - developed by Albert Bandura
Planned Happenstance – developed by John Krumboltz
St John’s Ambulance
Tŷ Hafan the Children’s Hospice for Wales
National Youth Advocacy Service
EPISODE TWO - WHy THE REASON IS CHANGING ITS NAME...
This mini episode outlines the impetus behind changing the title of the podcast from The Reason to Change Your Career.
Listen to find out how many hours you will spend at work during your lifetime and just how few people are currently doing work they love.
Watch out for new episodes from inspirational people coming soon!
This short clip explains briefly why "The Reason" podcast has changed its name to "Change Your Story".
Episode One - Cathy Presland FRSA
This episode was recorded under the original name for this podcast, "The Reason"
Cathy Presland is an executive coach and leadership consultant, former economist, public policy professional and senior leader. An adviser to Governments and international organisations around the world for over twenty years, she has lived and worked in Africa, where she designed and led global anti-poverty initiatives including setting up a micro-lending fund for women, working for a policy think tank, and consulting for the World Bank, the European Union and other governments and international organisations along the way. She had held senior positions in the public sector, working alongside heads of government, negotiated EU regulations, and headed up the strategic development of multi-billion-euro economic development funds.
In 2009, she moved away from the world of large-scale change in 2009 to become the person behind the scenes who supports the leaders of today and tomorrow. A highly regarded trainer, she had over 24,000 students in her online training courses, was a tutor for the Guardian Masterclasses series, and is the author of Write! Stop waiting, start writing, a well-regarded guide on writing non-fiction. She is Co-Lead at the RSA’s Coaching Network.
Cathy can be contacted at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherinepresland/
Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The Royal Society of Arts