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We asked Dan to tell us about his professional journey before and after his Personal Career Management coaching sessions…

“I had been working in the investment business for nearly 30 years, much of it for the same company, I was a New York based investment manager. It had never really been what I wanted to do with my life, but I sort of found myself almost by accident in it and with a very fast-growing start-up firm which allowed me to do some fun things. It was a good bunch of guys and I’d come in on the ground floor and they’d been good to me and it was a little bit hard to leave but seeing the end potentially in sight I was forced to think about what my next move would be and I just didn’t really have it in me to just move laterally to the next hedge fund. I needed to take a step backward and have a little bit of a rethink.

I was looking for a change, I needed some help in trying to figure out my next move.

I didn’t really know what I was looking for, I just felt as though I needed another perspective and an outside perspective and somebody who would listen to me, get to know me, get to understand me, and perhaps allow me to step out of my mould and look at the possibilities for me going forward.”

Dan signed up for Career Coaching with Personal Career Management

“I used to call it my sort of weekly shrinkage, but I must say it was the most enjoyable part of my week and a lot of that was down to the Career Coach that Personal Career Management paired me with.

It was a hugely enjoyable experience, sometimes our lives get so involved that we find ourselves really not having someone with whom we can sit down on a regular basis and discuss our feelings, our thoughts, our motivations, really taking the time for ourselves.

As successful as I had been, I had come to feel that there was nothing else I could do than what it is that I’ve been doing for the last 30 years. And it was through the guided introspection and the conversations that I was able to suddenly realise that there were lots of other things that I could do that perhaps would be more fulfilling.

After a few months, the inner entrepreneur that I always kind of felt I had inside me but wouldn’t really allow myself to explore started coming out and ideas just began to come to me.

It was really important to think about doing something you love and loving what you do and that just wasn’t the case with me, I had come to realise I was working to live and not living to work, so I thought that the best starting point was to think about what it was I loved and what I could really be passionate about.

After working with derivatives for many years, financial derivatives, which are as the word implies nothing but air, I really wanted to do something with my hands, make something and make something I could be proud of. I’ve always been a great lover of whiskey and I thought that putting two things I love which was the Cotswolds where I had a weekend home with my wife and whiskey together seemed like a good idea.

It’s the first full scale artisanal and craft distillery in the Cotswold, making the first ever Cotswold single malt whiskey and also a very well-loved dry gin called Cotswolds Dry Gin.

My life has transformed in as many ways as you could imagine, my wife and daughter and I moved from London to the Cotswolds full time where we live on a farm in the middle of nowhere. We have nearly 50 staff most of whom have got as little experience as I do but are as passionate as I am about the project. We are now exporting to 40 countries, our products are in all of the major UK supermarkets. We’re doing far better than I could ever have hoped for.”

So what would you say to anyone contemplating a career change?

“I would say you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s very much a function of the chemistry with your coach and if you find somebody who you enjoy speaking with, who’s intelligent, who’s insightful, and who motivates you then you’ve probably got a good match. Give it time, allow the process to work and you’ll find very quickly yourself opening up and opening up to change, to possibilities, to the potential that you have.

I would absolutely recommend Personal Career Management, working with them was absolutely instrumental in probably the biggest change in my life.

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