FROM TALENT DEVELOPMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY

“I realised that it was OK not to know where I was going, and that I could embrace that.”

FROM TALENT DEVELOPMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY

Ross never planned to go into talent development, but once he was there, he didn’t know how to get out. The Launch Pad helped him embrace the process of finding a career path that energised him, and he’s now progressing fast in a field he cares about.

What was your work situation before the Launch Pad?

I was working as a project manager in talent development. 

This was a position that I fell into, as I enjoy working with people. I hadn’t really mapped out my career or consciously chosen to go into that field of work; I just fell into it. I was there for about five years, and there were no real progression opportunities.

I also took the role for a practical reason: I needed a job in London.

How were you feeling about your work?

Frustrated, fatigued, demoralised, and quite helpless. 

I didn’t really know a way forward.

Why did you decide to join the Launch Pad?

I found Careershifters online and often read the articles. 

I then dipped my toe in the water with a one-day workshop. I really enjoyed that process and the takeaways I got from that were great; I really wanted to develop that further. 

The eight-week Launch Pad provided the perfect opportunity to do just that.

What had you tried previously to do to make progress on your career change?

I spent a lot of time scouring job boards, looking for exciting opportunities, but without any real direction.

I applied for the odd role, but I often found that I didn’t really have experience in that field, and didn’t get very far. 

I had toyed with the idea of working in sustainability, but I didn’t fully understand how this could be a serious career or how I could get into it without a background in it.

What were your reservations or scepticism about the Launch Pad?

It’s a big investment of time, energy and money, and I was worried that I would invest all of that in the eight-week course and not get anything useful from it. 

I was also worried that the course wouldn’t be very practical, just theoretical, and that I would then struggle to apply that theory.

What was the experience like?

The experience was fantastic. 

It totally dismantled a lot of psychological barriers that were holding me back, and gave me really practical tools and methods. 

It was as much about the journey as about the destination. 

The rich community that you become a part of is incredibly powerful too.

What were the highlights?

The highlights for me were learning to embrace the journey of discovery, and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone to grow personally. 

And also connecting with so many interesting people with incredible insights.

What were the toughest moments?

It took a lot of time and effort, and it hasn’t always been easy.

Like when I got my first full-time role in sustainability, that didn’t work out. My confidence took a knock from that. So the difficult things for me were keeping faith in myself and the process.

There were many points along the way where doubts crept in, about whether I was doing the right thing, and whether I was capable of changing careers. And if the tools that the Launch Pad equipped me with were enough to actually get me there. 

The key to managing that is just not to listen to the doubts – continue regardless, keep the big picture in mind, and maintain focus in the process.

What was the impact on you?

I feel that I’ve grown enormously as a person. 

It’s given me confidence in myself and my ability, and has made me much more comfortable with the unknown. I’m a very planned person, but I’ve realised that the journey is just as important as the destination, and you should enjoy that journey.

What on the course led to that impact?

The course really pushed me into things that I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with.

It’s in these moments that I think you grow the most. I needed to allow the course to stretch me and help me grow, to be brave and approach the course missions with an open mind. 

The benefit of an exercise or task sometimes wasn’t obvious at the time, but became clear later down the line. 

Also the community that I became part of is incredibly powerful. I was no longer alone in doing this, and I could lean on that community for support, opinions, or advice. I really valued that.

Where are you now in your career?

I now work in sustainability as a campaign manager for a global renewable electricity initiative at the Climate Group.

This is the second organisation that I’ve worked at in the sustainability field, and I’ve been promoted twice since I joined in 2019.

How do you feel about your work?

I finally feel engaged and excited by my work, because it’s something that I fundamentally care about. 

I also love the people that I work with, and I finally feel like I fit, and that I’m valued. 

And there’s great opportunities for progression as well.

What’s been the impact of your shift on your wider life?

Previously I felt really frustrated and quite fatigued. 

Now I feel confident, hopeful and energised, and that positively impacts every aspect of your life.

How did the Launch Pad help you get clear on and move into your new career

The Launch Pad took me on a really useful journey of expanding the options I could see available to me.

It  enabled me to home in on what I value and enjoy, understand how this can translate into a career and then equipped me with the practical tools to actually make the shift. 

These are valuable tools that I will use again and again, throughout my career. 

It makes something quite scary, very practical, achievable and enjoyable!

What would you recommend to anyone considering the Launch Pad?

I’d recommend that you act as soon as you can, and sign up. 

Procrastination is the thief of time, so the sooner you get moving, the better. 

The process is challenging and it pushes you into many areas of discomfort, but it’s that journey of exploration that needs to start as soon as it can. The sooner you start to do that, the sooner you will start to reap the rewards of the things you learn.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Don’t be scared of making mistakes.

This exploration should be fun, and it will help you work out what works, and also – more importantly – what doesn’t work. This will help you understand the complete picture.

Just get out there and enjoy exploring. The more you open up to and embrace the process that’s laid out by the course, the more you gain.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

 

Photo and video © Kenneth Chu

You can find full details about the course on our dedicated Launch Pad page.