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Embracing Change: My Journey of Reinvention and Empowerment

Throughout my life, I have continuously changed my path, embracing new opportunities and challenges with an open heart and mind. My journey began at the age of 16, when I left school to join a Youth Traineeship scheme with Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (now known as AstraZeneca). Specialising in computing, I was immersed in a world of technology and innovation that would set the foundation for my diverse career.

A group of high school students in school uniform.
Me (and some of my school friends), in our final year of secondary school

Early Career

After two years in the traineeship, Zeneca took me on as a Graphic Designer. It was a significant shift from computing to a more creative role, but I embraced it with enthusiasm. Alongside this new position, I completed my degree in Graphic Design at Manchester Metropolitan University on a part-time basis (fully funded by my employer which I would be grateful for years down the line, as it meant that I avoided student loans). This period taught me the value of flexibility and lifelong learning, as I balanced work and education to carve out a niche for myself in the world of design.

Diverse Industries

From my role at Zeneca, I ventured into various industries, each providing unique experiences and insights. I explored fashion, healthcare, publishing, education, social enterprises, hair, and luxury retail. Sitting on the boards of several social enterprises allowed me to contribute to community-focused initiatives, further broadening my perspective and skill set. Each industry taught me something new, enriching my professional journey and personal growth.

Bold Moves

One of the most significant and bold moves of my career was in 2010, when I decided to move to London. I took up a contract with Harrods, which soon became a permanent role. Leading their social media for 7.5 years was an exhilarating experience. It was a time of immense growth and achievement, as I navigated the fast-paced world of luxury retail and digital marketing. However, at the height of my success, I made the difficult decision to leave Harrods and return to Manchester.

Back in Manchester, I embarked on a new chapter as a marketing consultant. This transition was more than just a change of job; it was a return to my roots and an opportunity to redefine my career on my own terms. Collaborating with eight other Black business owners, I co-founded The Black United Representation Network (BURN). BURN is an organisation focused on the social and economic empowerment of the Black community in the North of England. Serving as the Managing Director for a year and remaining on their board of directors, I was deeply involved in initiatives that aimed to uplift and empower the community.

After my time with BURN, I took on the role of Director of Marketing & Inclusion for an award-winning training provider. This role allowed me to combine my passion for marketing with my commitment to inclusion and diversity. However, after 14 months, I realised that I no longer wanted to be an employee. A week before my 45th birthday, I made the bold decision to resign. It was a scary step, but I knew it was the right one for me.

New Ventures

Fast forward to the present day, and I am starting all over again. It has been just over a year since I went solo, and I am enjoying every single second of it, despite the challenges. This new chapter is filled with exploration and experimentation, as I leverage the experience I have gained over the last 30 years to pursue different avenues.

As some of you will already know, one of my current ventures is renting out pieces from my wardrobe, a business I have been nurturing for the last 3.5 years. This venture not only aligns with my passion for fashion but also supports sustainability by promoting the reuse of clothing. It is a small but significant way I am contributing to the fight against fast fashion and its environmental impact.

Looking back on my journey, I am reminded that it is never too late to have a change of heart, even when you have a few grey hairs. Each career transition, no matter how daunting, has been a stepping stone to something greater. The experiences I have accumulated across different industries and roles have made me more resilient, adaptable, and open to new possibilities.

If my journey can encourage just one person to take a leap of faith, embrace change, and pursue their dreams, then it is worth it. Women, in particular, often face societal pressures that can make bold career moves seem risky or impractical. But it is crucial to remember that women make up 51% of the global population. It is time we started running things, shaping the future, and making our voices heard.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Embracing change is not always easy. It requires courage, determination, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. But it is through these changes that we grow, evolve, and discover our true potential. Whether you are just starting your career, contemplating a mid-life shift, or exploring new interests later in life, know that it is never too late to reinvent yourself.

As I continue on my path, I remain committed to empowering others, especially women, to be brave and take control of their destinies. The more we can do to inspire each other, the better. Sharing our stories, successes, and even our failures helps to create a supportive community where we can all thrive.

My journey is a testament to the power of embracing change and the endless possibilities that come with it. From my early days at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals to my current ventures, each step has been a unique and valuable experience. I encourage everyone reading this to take that bold step, embrace the unknown, and pursue their passions with vigour and confidence. Together, we can make a difference and create a world where everyone has the opportunity to shine.

And please don't hesitate to share your stories and journeys. Yes, I know that it can feel weird, talking about yourself but the more we share, the more we can inspire others to be brave and make bold moves in their own lives. It is time for us to lead, innovate, and change the world for the better. Let us embrace change, celebrate our journeys, and empower each other to achieve greatness.


Just what I needed to read on this Monday morning! After navigating childloss for this past year, I am returning to work today. But instead of returning as a Manager I am easing myself into it part time and exploring opportunities to start a new career. It’s very daunting not knowing what to do when you’ve always done one thing and done well. In my heart I know it’s time to move forward I just need to have the courage. So thank you for sharing your story! Xx

Replying to

Hi, thank you so much for your comment and apologies for not replying sooner. Firstly, I am so very sorry that you have experienced child loss. I agree that it's very daunting doing something new, when you're used to doing something that you've always done. I am glad that you know it's time to move forward and I wish you every success. It's not easy to be courageous but here you are taking this bold step. Do keep in touch - I would love to hear about your progress. Lisa 💕

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