THE BLOG

Why It's Never Too Late to Change Your Career

13/01/2015 12:28 GMT | Updated 14/03/2015 09:59 GMT

Whether it's the panic of another birthday being around the corner, or the after-effects of one Christmas tipple too many, the new year is the time often associated with a change of career.

But after changing my own career path this year and setting up a new business with my closest friend, I was surprised to find out how few people believe they are doing something they truly love.

Some 49 per cent of people are seriously thinking about changing their job, according to a study of 2,000 workers carried out a few months ago by Kalixa Pro. Three in 10 are keen to do something completely different, while two in 10 describe their jobs as 'meaningless' and too stressful - with 15 per cent saying their hours are too long.

But a change in attitude and technology, coupled with people taking control of their work/life balance and the rise in remote working, is certainly having an effect. More people than ever are choosing to do something about it and start up their own business.

According to the latest figures provided by Companies House to StartUp Britain, there were more than half a million start-ups launched last year alone.

My own journey may be slightly different to the norm, but the message is the same - 'it's never too late!'

I was a partner at Deloitte and a workaholic until my life was turned on its head following a brain injury less than three years ago.

A sub-acute, sub-dural haematoma, it was caused through a combination of over-doing it at the gym and flying - Sao Paulo, Moscow and Dubai via the UK each time - and all within 10 days.

The change in air pressure meant the vein I had burst whilst over-doing it in the gym didn't clot and I suffered a 10-day bleed.

Enough blood to fill a coke can was removed from my head when I was rushed into hospital, with my family told I'd be lucky to survive.

Luckily, not only did I survive, but I did so with minimal side-effects which is extremely rare.

However, the old adage of 'you only live once' certainly rang true in my mind as I recovered.

I had always planned on retiring early and then travelling the world, but I almost hadn't lived to see my 48th birthday. When I was given the option of an early retirement, I took it and went travelling for six months.

I'd already fallen in love with Cape Town and the surrounding areas when I'd worked in South Africa for nine months, but another four weeks spent exploring southern Africa countries left a lasting impression on me.

When I arrived home, the idea for my new venture Cape London was born over a drink with one of my oldest and best friends, Andy Leach, who I'd remained close to from our school days.

We both love South Africa, love wine, had run successful businesses and had a complementary set of skills.

And so we began our new journey together, with the idea to market individual wines and wineries in a more engaging way, often through promoting the inspiring or intriguing stories, people or places, behind them.

We launched late last year and Andy and I are loving every minute of our new venture.

I have always worked at something I love, however this is different, as this is working for myself and with my best friend - and backing our beliefs and visions, not someone else's. It brings an extra passion and commitment to the process and, ultimately, a more fulfilling reward.

I remember once reading the quote; "If you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life!" and that feels very apt right now.

My dream job may have presented itself to me in the most unusual of ways and with me lucky to still be alive, but I'm so thankful to get the opportunity.

So if you're someone who is considering changing their career this year, or setting up their own business, I'd advise you to be sure of your idea, do the market research, plan well and be prudent. But go for it, you never know what's around the corner.

The only person stopping you following your dream is you.