Structured thinking and reflection to choose a new role

Barbara, a corporate lawyer, felt she was not compatible with a legal career. Her profile revealed she had enjoyed maths and sciences at school and liked helping people in the community; it showed she disliked opinion-based subjects, alienation from day-to-day community activities and ‘vagueness’. She liked analysis, certainty, time to reflect and digest material, a structured environment, being part of a team and practical work. We analysed a range of careers for which she might be suited, taking into account preferences, style, interests and skills. We considered her values which impacted on her eventual choice of career and mapped three alternatives.

This resulted in Barbara applying for and being accepted on a teacher training course to teach maths in secondary education. This gave her the opportunity to provide the expert role she still wanted, whilst gaining a sense of achievement through helping others and an environment where she could live out her values.