Home > Success Stories > I Found the Career I Was Meant For

I Found the Career I Was Meant For

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 8 Jul 2013 | comments*Discuss
Career Difference Working Job

For many people, work is simply a way to make sure your mortgage and bills are paid, with any particular enjoyment of the actual work more of a bonus than an expectation. For others, work is a fulfilling but often stressful way to pay the bills. For a lucky few, work is a true expression of their character, their ambition and their passion, with the fact that it 'brings home the bacon' a beautiful benefit.

For James Goldman, 37, from Edinburgh, the majority of his working life had fallen into the first category. He felt sure that there must be more out there, but he had no idea of what he wanted and how to find it.

Looking for Something

James explained, “I always felt a sort of jealousy towards people who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do from a young age and were able to follow their dreams. I didn’t really have a clue what I wanted to do, I just knew I needed to pay the bills, but I still felt a nagging sense that there was something just right for me out there, I just had to find it.”

After completing a bachelor’s degree in history, James followed the majority of his friends to London in order to find a graduate job. With most of his contemporaries getting into Advertising Sales or Recruitment, James started on a graduate training scheme for a high street recruitment company.

James continued, “There were elements of the job I really liked, such as the interviewing and the sense of finding a great job for someone, but I really didn’t enjoy the sales targets or the hugely competitive atmosphere.”

Started Own Business

After about three years with this company, James and one of his colleagues decided to start their own recruitment company that harnessed the softer aspects of the industry without the same hard sales requirement.

He explained, “We worked out that we needed to make far fewer placements because we would be keeping the whole fee, so we could afford to concentrate on a more bespoke service. I found this way of working far more appealing and I was a lot happier, but there was still a sense that I was just ‘passing time’ rather than doing something that made a difference. I knew that I was making a difference on some level as I was matching candidates and clients, but it still seemed too greedy and I was uncomfortable with that aspect. I was also surrounded by very similar people from very similar backgrounds, I was keen to see a bit more of the diversity of the world.”

It was a chance encounter with an old school friend that helped James to harness his true career potential. On a visit to his family in Edinburgh, James bumped into someone that worked at a local Government-run community business advice centre and asked James what he did for a living.

Lightbulb Moment

James continued, “I said that I owned a small recruitment agency but that I was thinking of selling my share to my partner and take some time out. He told me that there was a maternity cover position available at the centre for someone to help disadvantaged young people back into work, or to Set Up Their Own Businesses.

"As soon as he said it, I knew that was what I wanted to do, as it would utilise all my work experience while still fulfilling my need to do something of use to people. I asked him who I should contact for an interview and I called them the same day. I was offered the role for six months and, by the end of the contract I knew that this was what I wanted to do full time. I put forward a proposal for them to keep me on permanently and thankfully it was accepted. I sold my share of my recruitment business to my partner and, although I am earning a lot less than I used to, it’s enough to live on and I feel so much happier. And you can’t put a price on that!”

Another Career Change Success Story

Discover how one reader's chance meeting with an old teacher led to a career that has changed his whole life, in our article A Change Meeting Led To A Career Change.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Lynch
    Re: How to Become an Insurance Broker
    So I have a lot people that want life insurance how do I become a insurance broker or even help someone by passing these…
    26 May 2024
  • Sam
    Re: How to Become an Insurance Broker
    I would like to become an insurance broker for cars, vans and taxi duo to the high request. Any suggestions? Please contact…
    24 May 2024
  • Rich
    Re: Working with Animals
    Good Morning. I am 55 years old and have been working in social care for the last 12 years. I have always loved animals and have a high…
    25 February 2024
  • Alpha
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    I love this content, it was helpful, check this out also.
    31 January 2024
  • Angelina
    Re: Finding Work Experience as an Adult
    Hi I'm 31 years old and have a disability I'm looking for work experience either in a nursery or as a receptionist at a…
    8 October 2023
  • Nimmi
    Re: Finding Work Experience as an Adult
    Hi i am looking for work experience in account assistant position. Thank you
    26 September 2023
  • Nimmi
    Re: Finding Work Experience as an Adult
    Hi I am looking for work experience in account assistant as I am having Acca and BA degree qualifications. I am available…
    26 September 2023
  • Shaz
    Re: How to Become an Insurance Broker
    Hi We would like to start private hire insurance business. I need more information about this. Can you please contact me…
    19 September 2023
  • Bron
    Re: Finding Work Experience as an Adult
    would like some help or advice on how to gain more experience that will help me get back into work
    16 June 2023
  • Rob
    Re: Becoming a Mechanic
    Hi. I'm 57 and have been working at a dealership for just 4 months. I love cars and would be an honour to be able to service or repair them!…
    28 April 2023