Professional retraining guide

[Testimonials] Their professional retraining has made them happier

Doing a professional retraining may not be the Holy Grail of a successful professional life, but we met 3 professionals for whom their new job in the field of transition allows them today to achieve professional success. Although they all have in common the fact that they have materialized their retraining project towards an impact profession, their training path, their career development and their sector of activity are very heterogeneous. That's what we liked about them. Because there is no typical path, no straight line to find balance and flourish at work.

For those who are wondering how to find their way into impact, who want to develop their skills, are reluctant to change jobs or are currently retraining in these fields, a little inspiration may be the way to to advance ? 😉


The first job

For their first professional orientation, Philippe and Chloé both did a job related to their studies. Philippe joined a large multinational in the field of chemistry following scientific studies. As for Chloé, she wants to go to a consulting firm after her business school, because of the many opportunities offered by the profession. Annabel, she undertook a professional reorientation from the age of 26, to be a webmaster, after having failed in obtaining her diploma as a school teacher.


The “big jump” at 44 for Philippe

“After 20 years, I had the impression of arriving at a dead end to develop what I liked: positive or impact models. I was engaged extra-professionally with the feeling of going elsewhere to compensate for what I could not find in my professional life. His desires for change, especially to launch his activity, he had them in mind for a while without having the courage to give himself “the kick that was needed to get there”. “Either you take the plunge, or you stop talking to us about it” his friends told him. To finally redirect his career, he had to “cut the cord with his employer.”

As part of his new professional project, he accompanies positive impact companies, SSEs or medium and large companies that have a real intention of shifting their business model towards more positive impact.


For Chloé and Annabel, multiple career changes

In consulting, Chloé learned a lot of things, but when it came to “stimulation, being happy to get up in the morning and having meaning, I was almost at zero,” she says. So at the age of 26, via a conventional break, she left her job, then left to live in Australia with her spouse. There, she began a process of retraining, training, and co-developing an incubator in the circular economy. When she returned to France, she worked for an impact salon on a permanent contract. But “the lack of freedom and the business side” do not correspond to her and after 6 months she asks for a new conventional break, which she obtains. After these professional reorientations, she finally realizes that she has many strings to her bow: in consulting, in the circular economy, in entrepreneurship. She gave new impetus to her career and set up an association, Les Halles de La Transition.

The stages of Annabel's career have also been punctuated by various professional changes over the past 20 years: she worked in the programming professions, moved towards web project management, until becoming manager of a team of 7 people. After a sabbatical to take stock and ask herself professional questions, she decided to continue to evolve in her profession and joined a company, still in the same professional field: digital. She finally leaves it in 2019 to “get away from the world of screens, stop solving problems that are not always very interesting and find more human relationships”. The gap between her ecological convictions and what she was doing was also becoming more and more important and she decided to find another way: the circular economy. She was then 46 years old.

 👉 Like Chloe, who called on a coach, if you want to be guided to choose another path? Here is an article that tells you about the possible accompaniments

They transferred their skills...

To undertake their professional change, none of the 3 interviewees started completely from scratch. “As part of my previous job, I had already acquired a solid background.” explains Philippe, who was able to follow training in coaching, paid for by his employer, to develop his skills, which he tested by coaching teams of managers and workers internally.

For Chloé, the creation of a Third Place coupled with her job as a CSR and circular economy consultant is an accomplishment of her career: “I branched off from everything I had learned in a job that suits me better.”

And for Annabel, it was her professional steps that forged her and gave her the courage to start a new career.


…Or have developed new ones

In addition to the coaching training he had taken with his previous employer, to understand the field of impact, Philippe completed his skills by engaging as a part-time entrepreneur for an SSE company. .

To retrain, Annabel went through a training organization to discover a new profession: the circular economy. She succeeded in her retraining and has been working since May 2021 as an independent within a cooperative called Coopaname, to test her activity.

👉 Like Philippe, would you like to accompany companies to transform? Fertiles helps you develop facilitation skills.

 👉 As Annabel is interested in Design Thinking? and French Future Academy offer training by professionals in this field.

What they didn't expect.

For Philippe, by deciding to change his life to be independent, he did not expect to have a professional passion. “I manage to make a living from an activity that I never thought I could do professionally. I spend my day doing things that I could only imagine doing in the evening, after work.” Another surprise for him: "I didn't expect to feel the need for the weekend less", as a freelancer, he makes time for himself whenever he wants.

Chloé, she did not think that making her professional project a reality was possible: “It's as if you were entering a world where you realize that you have achieved what you wanted to do, you have your box, your customers and then new ones. ambitions. It makes you believe in yourself even more. I did not think it would be so possible and concrete.”

Annabel, meanwhile, took a risk by deciding to change careers at age 46. Having bought an apartment 1 year earlier, his luck was to leave with a contractual termination and a severance bonus. “When you are unemployed you realize that you can live with the essentials, that a lot of expenses are useless and that is when you start to let go.”


Their advice

Philippe - “As a self-employed person, you have to coach yourself to be able to manage the less comfortable moments when you receive less salary.”

Chloé - “Push on things, do as much as possible in your personal or professional life, even if it means getting into the walls, to see what suits us or doesn't suit us.”

Annabel - “It's when you face reality that you realize it's no big deal.”


Want to know more about their journey?

Watch the full interview with Philippe, Chloé, Annabel

For further

👉16 steps for your professional transition

👉 There is no age to start: make a professional retraining at 354050

👉 I am an executive - what are the options for my retraining?

👉 Which professional retraining without any diploma ?

Take action

👉 Find a purpose-driven job

👉 Training in the professions of ecological and social transition