What I’ve learnt…


…about changing continents, careers and creating a completely new life

I’ve made some big changes in my life in the last four years and I’ve experienced the whirl of emotions, setbacks and leaps forward that come along with any big transition.

My changes involved moving back to the UK after 22 years in Dubai at the end of a 35-year marriage; creating a new life to support myself; shifting from paid employment to creating my own business; moving from a cosmopolitan city to a regional capital in the South West of England; from living in a large family home to a small sunny apartment; and from living amongst a wide circle of family, friends and connections to starting a whole new network of friendships as a single woman.

So I think I know a little about change.

As a career change coach, it’s also my business – so I know both the theory of moving through the four stages of change and the messy practice. And I know from working with clients around the world that everyone experiences change differently.

The Four Instincts
In my own story, I realized there were four clear instincts that I followed in finding my own inspiration to build a new life in which I could thrive.

First instinct – Security
When I first arrived back in the UK, my initial thought was to secure a job that would help me feel settled, that used my skills and had meaning. Luckily, this didn’t take too long (six months and five applications). But after a couple of years I started to understand that this had only ever been intended as a short-term position and that now I was ready to start the thrilling journey of what I really wanted from this stage of my life!

Second instinct – Being authentic
I dived deeper into coaching, strengthening my qualifications and experiencing the power and joy of uncovering what mattered most to me. I was on my way to founding Freestyle Careers, the business that enables me to stand in my highest values every single day, make the contribution and have the impact on people’s lives that I’d been craving and that uses my strengths and talents to perfection. I knew both rationally and intuitively that this was where I was meant to be.

Third instinct – Making the leap
So I started the journey from safe, reliable employment to being a solopreneur – with all the uncertainties and steep learning that go along with this choice. I became an expert in the four stages of transition: disorientation, accepting uncertainty, emerging clarity, and finally, integration into my new path. Of course it wasn’t that straightforward – ups, downs, whirlwinds and so many doubts and fears were my frequent companions.

Fourth instinct – Time and space to honour it
But I didn’t lose faith. In September 2018 I started working full-time in my own business: Freestyle Careers. And it was only then that I knew I had to mark this occasion fully, with my eyes wide open, with commitment, presence and intention. I needed to celebrate this achievement and the result was developing an online course and self-guided retreat: INSPIRED – Starting Again with Confidence.

I emerged from this experience with absolute clarity and conviction that I have everything I need to create the next stage.

Why taking time and space matters
From my own life, I know that we often feel over-loaded by demands on our time, drained of energy and lacking purposeful direction.

Taking space and time to notice where we’ve come from, exactly where we now are and what our true futures could be, will allow replenishment, clarity and confidence about the next chapter.

And your new start?
What changes are you experiencing or creating in your life? Whether moving house, re-locating to a new country, starting a new career or finding yourself in new personal circumstances, deciding to press pause and start again with confidence will give you renewed certainty and clarity.


Becky Kilsby
Career Change Coach & Life Designer