Meet the ca­reer shifters

Th­ese amaz­ing women have changed ca­reers – and thrived. Here they re­veal how you could, too

Red - - CONTENTS -

In­spir­ing advice from the women who have rewrit­ten their fu­tures

CEO to ca­reers guru. Lawyer to app founder. The fol­low­ing women have rewrit­ten the tem­plate for their ca­reers by shift­ing from one in­dus­try to an­other. So, if you’re un­happy or un­ful­filled at work, why not take their lead and make a shift? It could be small or big, fast or slow. But when it comes to your ca­reer, with hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion, any­thing is pos­si­ble. “Work with peo­ple you like. Team­work is ev­ery­thing” “IT’S FIRST ABOUT LET­TING GO OF WHAT YOU KNOW”

SA­MAN­THA CAMERON, 46 From Smyth­son cre­ative di­rec­tor to founder of wom­enswear la­bel Cefinn What do you wish you had known be­fore you shifted ca­reers?

“There are lots of things I wish I had known be­fore I started my busi­ness, for in­stance, how much more com­plex it is de­sign­ing and pro­duc­ing cloth­ing as op­posed to leather ac­ces­sories. Maybe if I had known I would not have made the leap, naivety can be a good thing.”

What is your ca­reer mantra?

“Try to only work with peo­ple you re­ally like and try to make it fun. Team­work is ev­ery­thing.”

What does suc­cess mean to you?

“Look­ing for­ward to go­ing into work each day.” MAU­REEN CHI­QUET, 54

From Chanel CEO to self­em­pow­er­ment guru, au­thor and speaker

Chi­quet is no or­di­nary cor­po­rate high flyer. When she started a mar­ket­ing in­tern­ship at L’oréal in 1985, she had “ab­so­lutely no busi­ness knowl­edge. I hadn’t taken an eco­nomics class in col­lege – I was a lit­er­a­ture ma­jor.” But this didn’t hold her back – she went on to join Gap (as an as­sis­tant mer­chan­diser), launch Old Navy, be­come pres­i­dent of Banana Repub­lic and even­tu­ally took over as Chanel’s CEO in 2007. Her ma­jor ca­reer shift oc­curred early last year when, af­ter leav­ing her po­si­tion at Chanel due to “strate­gic dif­fer­ences”, she de­cided to pour her en­ergy into writ­ing and speak­ing. Now, in a new book, Be­yond The La­bel: Women, Lead­er­ship, And Suc­cess On Our Own Terms, Chi­quet is cham­pi­oning a more emo­tional ap­proach to lead­er­ship. As an in­tro­vert, “it didn’t fit to be hy­per­ag­gres­sive or overly am­bi­tious. I re­alised that I could be a bet­ter leader when I could tap into some of the things that were more in­her­ent in who I was, by lis­ten­ing, let­ting your­self be in some­one else’s shoes, be­ing curious and ask­ing ques­tions, as op­posed to telling peo­ple what to do.”

“I’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY” “The less you know, the less fear you carry” “THERE WILL AL­WAYS BE A FEW SUR­PRISES” “ASK AND LEARN LIKE CRAZY” “It’s been the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing time”

MOLLY GUNN, 39 From fash­ion jour­nal­ist to en­tre­pre­neur and founder of Self­ish Mother

If you’ve seen pic­tures of Gil­lian An­der­son and Jo Wood wear­ing T-shirts and jumpers em­bla­zoned with ‘MOTHER’, ‘STRONG’ and ‘WINGING IT’, you’ll al­ready be ac­quainted with the hand­i­work of Molly Gunn.

Gunn, who started as a fash­ion jour­nal­ist, in­clud­ing for Red, launched Self­ish Mother in 2013, as a plat­form for mothers who aren’t de­fined by their chil­dren.

She says, “When I was a jour­nal­ist I would in­ter­view en­trepreneurs and wish I was sit­ting in their seat, but I didn’t think I had what it takes to run a brand, es­pe­cially fi­nan­cially. I’ve learned along the way.”

Now, she has over 80k In­sta­gram fol­low­ers and a cloth­ing brand, The FMLY Store, where £10 from sales of each slo­ganed piece go to char­i­ties such as Women

For Women In­ter­na­tional and Mother­s2­moth­ers. Four years in, Gunn em­ploys five staff, and has raised £600,000 for char­ity.

MIL­LIE MACK­IN­TOSH, 28 From re­al­ity TV star to fash­ion de­signer and founder of Mil­lie Mack­in­tosh What do you wish you’d known be­fore you shifted ca­reers?

“If I’d known ev­ery­thing then I may have sec­ond-guessed my­self, but I would have been on a fast track. To know noth­ing is be­ing thrown into an in­tense learn­ing curve, which was over­whelm­ing but ex­hil­a­rat­ing. Some­times the less you know, the less fear you carry. I started with a sense of the in­dus­try, but with the en­thu­si­asm of a new­bie. In some ways, I had the best of both.”

CAROLYN MC­CALL, 55 From teach­ing to advertising to CEO of the Guardian Media Group to CEO of Easyjet

With her his­tory in advertising and media, be­com­ing CEO of Easyjet in 2010 seemed an un­likely ca­reer move. But it’s clear Mc­call had the lead­er­ship skills and prowess to tran­si­tion into any busi­ness. “I’ve learnt that it’s great to have an open mind and a fresh per­spec­tive,” she says. “It al­lows you to ques­tion long-held as­sump­tions and so-called ‘sa­cred cows’.” Her next ca­reer move will take her back to media, as she has just been ap­pointed chief ex­ec­u­tive of ITV.

“That no mat­ter how much due dili­gence you do, there will al­ways be a few sur­prises.”

TA­MARA RA­JAH, 35 From part­ner at Mckin­sey & Co to founder and CEO of Live Bet­ter With

In 2015, Ra­jah left the city ca­reer she had been do­ing for 11 years and launched her on­line busi­ness, Live Bet­ter With, which cu­rates prod­ucts to help the symp­toms, side-ef­fects and ev­ery­day lives for those liv­ing with cancer. “I had a burn­ing wish to make an idea come to life be­cause I wanted it to ex­ist in the world and that mo­ti­vated me to make the shift,” she says. What qual­i­ties does some­one need to make a ca­reer shift?

“Hu­mil­ity to know you’re start­ing again and a will­ing­ness to ask and learn like crazy.”

WHIT­NEY BROMBERG HAWKINGS, 42 From se­nior vice pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Tom Ford to co-founder of Flowerbx

Bromberg Hawkings could have stayed in her job at Tom Ford for­ever. “I’d worked my way up from the bot­tom and had been there for 19 years. It wasn’t a case of be­ing un­happy.” But she re­alised, while shop­ping on Net-a-porter and Ocado, buy­ing flow­ers to send on be­half of Ford was in­con­sis­tent. She cre­ated Flowerbx, al­low­ing cus­tomers to or­der sin­gle-stem bunches of flow­ers on­line. The com­pany raised £1.5m in in­vest­ment, and calls brands like Louis Vuit­ton and Chris­tian Dior clients.

What advice would you give to some­one who wants to shift ca­reers?

“Do it! I can’t be­lieve how ter­ri­fied I was. This has been the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing time of my en­tire life.”

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