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Stories From The Career Couch with Susie Lawrence

What Does Courage at Work Look Like?

Ep. 1

What does it mean to be courageous in your working life?

In this episode my clients talk about their own experiences of feeling brave … and not so brave! They explore how to listen to what you really care about and use this as a foundation for your decision making. How to cope with the uncomfortable ‘no man's land’ when you are making change happen. How to pick yourself up when things haven’t gone your way. We discuss how to manage physical fear and become more grounded and how to manage the ‘shadow’ side that can stop change happening.

More about my guests:

Gerard McHale is a junior doctor, training to be a GP in South London. He has worked across a number of NHS Trusts having studied medicine in London. Prior to medicine, he worked in finance teams across a number of organisations in London. He completed his chartered training in a “Big 4" Accountancy Firm.

Serena Evans is an actress, coach and facilitator. She trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and for 35 years has worked extensively in the West End for all the major theatre companies including The RSC, Royal National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. Serena combines her theatrical and coaching skills to help people in the private and public sector to connect and communicate more authentically and powerfully. Serena runs her own consultancy Speaking with Authenticity.

Polly Holmes has over 20 years experience working in branding and design, her clients have included the likes of: L’Oreal, Red Bull, BlackBerry, BT, WWF and Landsec. After running her own successful London agency for six years, she is now Managing Director of the branding and design agency Pollitt & Partners. Polly enjoys encouraging and supporting females in business to flourish, and is currently a mentor to an entrepreneur. Polly also has her hands full being a single mum to her five year old daughter.

You can learn more about my work at and on my LinkedIn page here; drop me a line with feedback and suggestions on what you'd like me to cover in future episodes.

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  • Welcome to Stories From The Career Couch with Susie Lawrence

    What does the concept of a career mean for you right now? What does it mean to search for a fulfilling work life? How does work shape our identity and give us meaning? The pandemic afforded some of us the chance to reflect and new possibilities begin to reveal themselves. This seemed like a great time to ask some of my clients to reflect and talk about their working lives. To create a podcast series and book that focused on some of the themes that I work with frequently with my clients. Each episode will give you an insight into how these clients think about the reality of their work and what they initiate to shape this reality. These are ‘regular’ people experiencing ‘regular’ lives and I hope they will illuminate experiences and themes that resonate with you.You can learn more about my work at and on my LinkedIn page here; drop me a line with feedback and suggestions on what you'd like me to cover in future episodes.
  • 2. How do we find Meaning at Work?

    In this episode my guests discuss their search for meaning at work. What does this sense of purpose look like? How do you define what feels meaningful for you in your career? How does this shift as you build your experience and live a bit more? We have been so conditioned to seek work that makes us feel passionate and to give so much of ourselves to our jobs, but can we seek meaning more broadly? How do go about doing this? Here's more about my guests; Diana Copper is an international strategist and policy maker who has worked in a diverse range of international development organisations focusing on human rights and sustainability. Diana travelled extensively as a child and knew from an early age that she wanted to ‘make a difference’. Sean Davey developed a career as a Brand Strategist after a degree in philosophy and as he approached 30 decided to step away to develop his social entrepreneurship skills with the Year Here programme. He is now exploring how to transform the world through social innovation. Ami Amin is a lawyer who talks about growing up as part of a highly ambitious Asian family. Ami works in regulatory law and has also shared her knowledge as a teacher of the subject. How did her very academic education shape her sense of purpose and how this has shifted now she is a mother?  You can learn more about my work at and on my LinkedIn page here; drop me a line with feedback and suggestions on what you'd like me to cover in future episodes.
  • 3. Does the Concept of 'Career' Shift and Change as we ‘Grow Up’?

    In this episode, my guests discuss what career means at their current stage in life. What do theyvalue? What are they looking for in their working lives and how has this shifted anddeveloped as they have matured? What career themes have resonated throughout theirlives? Do changes in society, building a family or the climate emergency impact their careerchoices? Do we need to re-think traditional stereotypes of life and career? How do wecontinue to explore and experiment with work as we mature?Here’s more about my guests who, of course, sit at different stages of their career story:Issy GillIssy is my youngest guest and after a degree in geography, she is building a career as asocial researcher. Issy enjoys delivering strategic and impactful research and wants her work toreally support the challenges society is facing. Her current role is within the strategy andtech policy directorate in the NHS.Sarah BellSarah is an independent communications consultant and non-exec director. She works toraise the profile of change makers and challenger brands who are driven by social purpose.Sarah has worked in a variety of organisations, before embarking on her freelance careershe was Director of Media and Campaigns at Nesta, an innovation agency. Sarah is themother of two young sons.Steven ParkerSteven has had a long and rich career in the corporate world. He has worked across theglobe in a wide range of well known organisations. His experiences include strategyconsulting, financial services, international payments and hospitality. He now spends histime advising boards and supporting organisations to grow.You can learn more about my work at and on my LinkedIn page here; drop me a line with feedback and suggestions on what you'd like me to cover in future episodes.