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Andy Darnton - From day one I almost knew it wasn’t quite right for me

“I think it’s getting that headspace that’s so important when you’re looking to make a decision, but don’t quite know what the answer is.” - says Andy Darnton in this interview on About The Adventure Podcast. He shares his story about leaving a career as a commercial lawyer. He talks about the need for change, his concerns about what other people might think, how he started to explore alternative options, why Legal Tech appeals to him, and his experience of getting back into the mountains and becoming a Mountain Leader. At the end of the interview, Andy asks a question for you to explore if you are thinking about a career change.

"I had no idea what else I wanted to do"

Andy put his career as a commercial lawyer behind him for a simpler life. His freelance work as a technology consultant has given him more freedom to pursue his love of nature and to qualify as a Mountain Leader.

We met up to record this interview on Kinder Scout, enjoying a walk in the rain first. We sat on the eastern edge, our backs supported by a huge boulder stone. There was hardly a whisper of wind, so you might be able to hear the buzzing bees in the background.

I think that you'll find Andy's story particularly helpful and inspiring if you're feeling stressed and anxious in your current job. You might also find it useful if you're interested in training and qualifying as a Mountain Leader. It's a really enjoyable episode if you have an interest in walking, microadventures (Alastair Humphreys gets a mention or two), learning new skills, and stories about choosing to take a different path.

Here’s the full list of questions that I asked Andy:

  • Can you start by describing what you were going through when you started to think about a change in direction?

  • What was on your mind while you were at work? What types of questions were you asking yourself?

  • How did you start to explore and find your answers?

  • What have been the highs and lows for you so far?

  • Do you think that the culture of work can change?

  • Do you think that having a purpose is an important part of your career change story?

  • Has freelancing given you the freedom that you wanted to spend more time in the mountains?

  • Have your stress and anxiety levels changed since you became self-employed?

  • Which aspects of the course have you found the most challenging and how did you approach them?

  • Why is having the ML qualification important to you?

  • As a leader, what do you think is unique about you and the experiences you’re offering to people?

  • What question would you like to ask, to help people think creatively about changing careers?

Tune in to this episode of About The Adventure Podcast on the player below, or click one of these links through to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, in your other favourite apps or click here to download it.


This episode was recorded while sitting on Kinder Scout by Sarah Lister on 29th July 2022.

Take a look at Andy’s website to see the adventures he has planned, his blog Highs and Lows, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram. You can read a previous interview with Andy on my blog here.

Email with your comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive episodes in your inbox, along with career change interviews and career coaching questions.


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