george grombacher 0:00
Come on. Well I plug this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Dr. Elaine Hickman. Dr. Elaine is a career Energizer. She’s the co founder of re energizing your career, she’s helping professionals move into new territory. Welcome, Dr. Elaine.
Elaine Hickmott 0:30
Oh, I’m so excited to be here, George, thanks so much for having me on the show, I can’t wait to get
george grombacher 0:38
super excited to have you on, tell us a little bit about your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do.
Elaine Hickmott 0:46
Write that and let’s start with I live and was born in the UK, and I’m married to the lovely Martin. And I would say that I generally view life from the bright side of things. Even if it gets a bit achy, and the brown stuff hits the fan, I always try and view the bright side. And I generally genuinely take pleasure in the simple things. So I’m not hugely materialistic looking for a big yard type of person. It’s a simple stuff that really, really fills me with joy. And I love what I love cooking. I love learning, walking, growing vegetables, all that fabulous stuff that helps me to breathe and have some freedom to be creative and feel you know that fascination in the world around you, I suppose, is the best way to describe me and that side of me. And I suppose I better sort of mention a little bit career wise, because it’s so inextricably linked to me as a person. And I, I started it all started, I suppose when I was on an industrial placement at a nuclear power station many decades ago. And I made two choices. One was I wanted to be an industrial chemist. And the second was that I wanted to do a PhD in chemistry. And I did both those things. So I set off to be an industrial chemist in product and process development, got bitten by the business bog decided to pivot and go commercial B’s business leadership stylee, which I did, and ended up on their board of a training company through plenty of pivots and plenty of role changes, company changes, sector changes. And then when I got there, I thought, Oh, I’m not quite sure this is what I expected. So I made a choice. And I left and I left with a blank piece of paper and went off on the entrepreneurial phase of my adventure, shall we say, and through several twists and turns and lots of learning and lots of fabulous people. I ended up in the Career Development space where I know I belong, and I just love it. And as you say in that career development space, I’m a career Energizer there reenergize in your career, hope is new when it’s brilliant and exciting getting off that off the ground. And I help people revitalize reimagine, reinvent their career adventures. And those might be people who wants to invest on an ongoing basis by you know, really seizing career development as a lifelong choice. All those who are Acadia transition points who have like I said, maybe the brand stuff has hit the fan. And the stalker, they’ve fallen out of love with their career, or they want to do something completely different. And you asked me way back then when I went on my little beyond there, you asked me why I do what I do. And it’s there’s lots and lots of reasons, lots of reasons. But I would say that first and foremost, depending on your age, your location, your background, your access to impartial career development support can be quite varied or you might not have had any because in education, you may have been lucky enough to have got some but when you become out of that space, what happens is nothing’s impartial anymore. Everything’s got a bit of side to it a bit of a gender and, and you need that impartiality because the other point is that the career landscape is very dynamic. The world is always changing and evolving. And your career is your story, your your professional story, and that needs to evolve to and the core of my work really is that I want people to be able to take uncertainty change and those transition points and the energy that that creates and the opportunity that creates and turn it into something positive and hopeful. Rather than being fearful and fixed when when things change or things don’t quite go to plan.
george grombacher 4:56
Amazing. Thank you for sharing all that. That’s a lot of really, really cool stuff so when you were a little girl were you just like oh my god chemistry I just it’s it’s it’s amazing
Elaine Hickmott 5:08
well it’s it’s funny you should say that because no question and I could be really cheeky now and go well George The answer is no and then just go silent so cruel so I the the gist of it is that really when I was when I was young when I was a lot younger and I was at school and dad I don’t mention how many years ago that was I was really into modern languages you know French and German I studied that and was pretty pretty damn good at it actually an English and and all that sort of literature sort of stuff. And I made a choice when we had to make the sort of academic decisions that you make in the UK sort of education system at the time that I wasn’t going to do that after I got to a certain level I was going to do something sciency I was going to do science because I got more career opportunities and I genuinely made the had those thought processes when I was sort of 16 years old and I wanted to be a medic a Doctor of Medicine right? Because really the career advice I got was very limited it was a it was oh and it was very it was very oh we slightly sexist shall we say so quite a few years ago now and the only thing I could really see that if you did physics chemistry and biology that you could go on and do was be a Doctor of Medicine because that was the only sort of doctor I knew existed and so I went for that didn’t get the grades didn’t get the place and I ended up in chemistry and chemistry because I really wanted to go to university but ultimately I didn’t get didn’t get the grades and I made a choice that well chemistry sounds interesting. Let’s give it a whirl and it is a fantastic decision I made I’m so proud of my what would have been 18 year old self there and for picking yourself up just in a self doubt and go right then come on then let’s get this sorted. And it was better. I’m glad that I didn’t do Madison actually, chemistry fits my personality. It was the fantastic floodgates so lots of exciting things so rock on 1618 year old Elaine I say
george grombacher 7:24
for sure 1,000% rock on 1619 year old Elaine like that that’s the I think that that’s incredible. Fascinating. It’s I love learning about people and you’re obviously a really really intelligent person who is able to really dive into languages and then get your brain around chemistry and to be mature and and tough enough to be able to pivot and say okay, this is obviously not the path for me but this is something I enjoy so let’s let’s let’s let’s change gears How do you think about sort of balancing your what your head wants and your heart wants when you’re looking at at at a careers?
Elaine Hickmott 8:08
Right I think that well first of all, there are two inextricably linked portions aren’t they really? And I think it’s quite interesting. You should ask me that because I had this random experience of coming up with this idea recently. And because someone Someone mentioned something to me and I call it my Whoa, what’s that? What’s that again? Say you’ve heard of the woowoo cocktail having this sort of cocktail? Well I call it the whoo Whoa, cocktail. So that’s w o w h o A. And what happens when you start thinking about different things in your career you want to make some changes or changes is thrust upon you. You sort of get a bit tipsy a bit drunk on the whoo whoo whoa cocktail because part of you is actually quite excited about it. And part of you is actually go no Whoa, stop it now and it’s quite a heady quite heady mix. And I think that that and the way the whoo comes from the whoa comes from can be logical or emotional. Either way, you know, you don’t doesn’t want bit doesn’t come from what the head and one bit doesn’t necessarily come from the heart. But I think because your career is your professional story, then it’s about taking a step back and saying like, Okay, what is it that My heart wants, be honest, and what is it that my head wants? And let’s find find the opportunity to make those meet in the middle because you can have both he can he can manage it. I genuinely believe that and and I’ve done it and helped other people do it
george grombacher 9:49
through saying that you can in fact find that connection.
Elaine Hickmott 9:53
Yes, I do. I do believe that you can and part of part of the work that I do is Well, if at the core of what work I do, I’ve created my innovate approach. And at the heart of that, is this openness to the fact that you can, you can balance these things, it’s being creative, being being able to look at the world in different ways to embrace all the different sides of you, and to work them in together.
george grombacher 10:23
which surely doesn’t make sense. And, you know, my heart goes out to people that that had an experience like you, you got crappy career advice was probably horribly sexist and limiting. And, you know, think thank goodness, you didn’t really pay attention to it. And he talked about how a lot of the advice that’s out there right now is just there’s an edge to it, or there’s some kind of a slant to it in one way or another. So there’s all these different things that are pulling us away from embracing your heart and, and and your mind and the reality that you can actually have a career doing this.
Elaine Hickmott 11:01
Yes, yeah. Because it is such a personal thing. And everybody’s got an opinion about your career. People judge you about your career, people, people get their identity from their career. And I think a lot of people forget that it is personal, and that it isn’t a job because that’s one of the the distinguishing points that I find a lot of is that people are so why due to the fact that career equals job and job doesn’t equal if that’s not true Korea is I call it I call it a living beastie. I sort of I won’t put some sort of fake terrible Scottish accent on there. Because I can’t do it anyway. But it’s the it is it’s this living beastie and you need to feed it and nurture it. And you can’t just feed it with logic, and it’ll go mental. They go crazy if you just keep feeding it with emotional stuff. But you do need to nurture it, and you need to take a step back. And you need to do that regularly. And it’s, it’s a commitment to you, and why wouldn’t you want to give a commitment to yourself? going forward? Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
george grombacher 12:11
makes sense to me. But why don’t people want to do that? fear, uncertainty, relationships, society, their friends?
Elaine Hickmott 12:21
All of it, all of it. Some people have different baggage, different buttons, I would say. And I and I think sometimes early, early career stuff sticks with you. And the the attitude to career has actually changed over the years. And I think different generations have different views of what a career is. And what’s what’s worthy enough to be called a career because you know, some people are quite snobby about it all. And I just think there’s lots of different baggage that people have a misconceptions about what career actually is that? No wonder people go Yeah, yeah, I just keep on going, keep on going. And until it gets really bad, then I might do something about it. Will that’s just going to make it worse, isn’t it? We all know that. Because we’ve all done stuff, haven’t we, where we’ve put it off and put it off and put it off? And actually what happens is, it doesn’t get any better. It gets worse.
george grombacher 13:21
Yeah, believe it or not the stuff that we try to suppress, it doesn’t start to get worse, it will not get better on its own. We have a misconception of what a career is. That’s probably should have just led led with that question. What, what is a career
Elaine Hickmott 13:40
I believe, from my own personal experience in the different people I’ve worked with, and the different people I’ve observed. That sounds a bit creepy, just binoculars in people’s gardens, Windows or anything. And what I’ve observed is that there is this idea of this career being this static thing so you you set off on a career path, and then you change it and then you decide Oh my word I’m going to change career and it’s all big and it’s and then that’s you you do something different and and then it’s well you failed because you did something else or it’s always really sort of negative structured sort of spy feeling. To me if you look at it as your professional story, where you are, well you’re the hero in it audio you are there you’re going to experience ups and downs, there’s going to be twists and turns there’s going to be some mega plot twists, you might actually decide you want to go full circle, but every change and shift and evolution is a different chapter, which is a progression from the last it’s not it’s it’s not diminishing what’s gone before and it’s not making anything but that better. We’re all worse or lesser or smaller, you see this rich, rich thing that goes on through life. And the other side of it is in it makes them that is that I try really hard to say the word career, not careers. So it’s career tips, career advice, and try and drop the s. Because career is all the way through. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t have different careers. You have one career, one professional story that has lots of different chapters.
george grombacher 15:31
Make sense to me? Is it good? I would say, Yes. Is it? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it relative to? Well, because we are all these things career is singular. So that I did so so that I was a chemist for a while so that I was in corporate America for a while so that I’m a career coach. Now that is all part of your career. Yeah, see you. So I resist being categorized. I dislike that immensely. And there’s a lot of psychology going on there. But I think that some people like that a lot. What are your thoughts on that? Oh,
Elaine Hickmott 16:16
well, you and I, obviously, across the many miles that we are separated, are heavily linked. Because I have a almost a morbid aversion, but I have I really have a serious aversion and fear of that whole being pigeon holed type stuff. I really do. And I realized and I did we do it in business, don’t we, we know we need to nation, we do it. And this is not about us. It’s about helping other people find us. And so we can help people and all that sort of really great stuff. Ultimately, I can see the logic behind that. But being pigeon holed as an x y Zed is Yeah, I find it difficult. Oh, yes. I think I think I yes. It’s all in a bit of a cold sweat here you talking about?
george grombacher 17:05
Yeah, it’s such an interesting thing, because we do find identity in in the work that we’re doing, or the impact that we’re having. So I suppose it’s just a function of how you look at something makes all the difference?
Elaine Hickmott 17:17
Yes, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I think your identity is, is if it’s if it’s stuck, and linked to a job title, or a group of possessions or whatever. As soon as, as soon as that changes, there’s, there’s disruption in the force. not going to make any stores references that but it does that to you, doesn’t it if you’re too connected to that, but if you’re saying right, here I am, an off I go and, you know, whatever comes next it comes next, I’m not talking about I’m not being some sort of completely free hippie, whatever, whatever. Here, I am quite hard bullets. It’s sort of releasing some of the things that tether you to things that probably don’t quite matter as much as you think you do. And one of the things I call it, I call it your portable personal power, your power doesn’t come from the subject, that your things that you know the power doesn’t come from your job title, it doesn’t come from, it’s within you. And so when you move and you change, you take it with you and you just use it in different ways.
george grombacher 18:28
I love it. Just certainly, like in my identity to a job I had or to, to an asset that I own or a thing is is probably really foolish and dangerous. When should I no longer do that thing if I move on from it or it’s taken away or something happens. So a lot of wisdom there. Dr.
Elaine Hickmott 18:54
e? Thank you. I would I would catch CTU job very very still very very still for that I don’t make any noises to spoil your podcast quality but if we were looking at each other and weren’t doing what we’re doing, I would curse to use
george grombacher 19:13
lane you’ve already given us a lot of them but the people are ready for your difference making tip What do you have with them?
Elaine Hickmott 19:19
Right? Well, I suppose in a way because the conversations been so fantastic and thank you George for that. I’ve just been it’s been a joy. Honestly, I would I would say that it’s first of all, it’s first and foremost take a more dynamic view of your career. See as your ever evolving story the story of your professional life. We lots of rich and ever evolving chapters some some might be a bit more well gritty, shall we say the numbers and how big a plot race but no non is non is inferior or superior to the other. It’s just part of that ever evolving story. And I think in that And I said the word hero before, I think what I would say is in a career context and careers, your professional story content, see yourself as being a value creator, wherever you go, so that rather than subscribing to the more transactional view of a career, I suppose that you know, what I call it is the employer, employer job, employee sandwich, let’s call it that. Don’t don’t see yourself in that transactional way, see yourself as a value creator. So what do you make a difference? How do you make a difference in the context that you’re in at the moment? How, how are you going to make a difference in new contexts that you might want to set and seeing that Stokes both sides of the coins that you know that other people are a part of this mix as well? So that’s what it is dynamic, career dynamic view, story, value creator?
george grombacher 20:56
I think that is great stuff that definitely gets Come on. Come on. I love it. Thank God. If we all if we all thought of ourselves as value creators, and that was our focus world would probably be an even more beautiful place than it currently is.
Elaine Hickmott 21:12
Oh, yeah. Oh, yes, indeed.
george grombacher 21:17
Well, then, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you?
Elaine Hickmott 21:22
Well, I would say the best place to go would be Elaine hickmott.com. And if you go there, you will be able to join us at the new reenergize in your career hub, you’ll be able to access over 230 blog articles on career life and learning and stuff. And if you fancy something a bit different and even more colorful than my website and my blog. You can follow me on Instagram, which you can get through from Elaine Hickman calm and you’ll get colorful tips and hints. Rainbow feed stylee
george grombacher 21:59
outstanding. If you enjoyed this as much as I did so Elaine, your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Elaine hickmott.com that’s elainehkmott.com and check out all the wonderful resources, read some of the blog posts that are on there and you could find her on Instagram as well. I’ll list all those notes of the show. Thanks kindling
Elaine Hickmott 22:27
my absolute pleasure. Thanks, George. It’s been a been a blast
george grombacher 22:31
been. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai