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Rachael Shaw - I’m still struggling with workaholism

“I’d accidentally, or inadvertently, climbed the corporate ladder without a plan of wanting to do that" - says Rachael Shaw during this interview on my podcast about her career change. The focus of this episode is on Rachael's steps gradual steps away from "workaholism" and towards creating a better balance in her life. She talks about how things have improved since she left her job, but also shares the challenges that she is still facing. She emphasises the feeling of freedom that trailrunning gives her, and how spending time in nature can help with anxiety and depression. At the end, she offers you two powerful questions to help you think about your perspective on career change.

"I’m still struggling with workaholism."

In this episode I interviewed Rachael Shaw, a self-employed Business Consultant who previously worked in a high level job in the travel industry. Rachael shares the personal experiences that led towards her career change, how working with a coach helped, why running has an important role in her life, what things have changed since she left her full-time job and what she still struggles with, and how she enjoys spending time in nature.

Here is the full list of questions that I asked Rachael:

  • What personal experiences led you towards your career change?

  • How did you start to open up other options for yourself?

  • What was it that made you go towards the business consultancy work rather than pursuing the trail running coach route?

  • What approaches did you try when you started looking for a new job and did any of these work for you?

  • How has coaching helped you along the way?

  • How did you come across the coach that you worked with?

  • Are there any tools or experiences that you took away from your experience of being coached?

  • Why does business consultancy appeal to you?

  • Is there anything that you’ve brought from your previous work working in the travel industry into the self-employed work that you’re doing now?

  • Is it mainly small businesses and startups that you want to work with?

  • How did you discover your values and match these up with the work that you do now?

  • How have things changed since you left your job?

  • Why do you think it was that you were so focused on work?

  • Do you think you lost any parts of yourself while working in the travel industry?

  • How do people you work with usually discover you?

  • Have there been any resources that have helped you to create your business and to guide you on how much to charge?

  • Is there anything that you’ve struggled to adjust to?

  • Why do you think it’s so hard for people to give themselves the permission to have a bit more freedom with how they spend their time?

  • How have your family, friends and husband responded to your career change?

  • Where would you like your work and lifestyle to move towards from here?

  • How did you get into trailrunning?

  • What are you like when you’re out running compared to when you’re sitting in front of your laptop?

  • What do you think it was that gave you the motivation to start running?

  • How do you enjoy spending time in nature, and why is this important to you?

  • Do you think that there is anything that stops people from spending more time outside?

  • What powerful question would you ask somebody who is thinking about changing their career, but concerned about leaving a secure and well-regarded position - that might help them in taking a step towards a new decision?

Tune in to this episode of About The Adventure Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, About The Adventure website, or click on this magic link to listen on your favourite app.

I think that this interview will be particularly valuable if you are thinking about:

  • a decision to step away from the corporate ladder

  • how to start opening up other options for yourself

  • working with a coach as you approach change

  • setting up your own business

  • getting into running

This interview came about after I posted a message in the Conscious Entrepreneurs Facebook group that I was open to hearing from members who wanted to share their career change stories on my show. Rachael got in touch with me and shared a list of points that highlighted some of her experiences, and straight away I knew that she would be a great guest on my podcast because she is open and honest about her struggles that other people can relate to as well.

Since recording this interview, Rachael has decided to pause her consultancy work and has started a part-time job at Mind, a mental healthy charity. Mind is an organisation where she was keeping an eye on roles for around 5 years and this felt like the right place, right time, and right role for her. She still isn't quite over the burnout that she's been going through, and running a consultancy was too much too soon.


This episode was recorded outdoors in the Peak District by Sarah Lister on 26th July 2021 and edited by Gabby Wolstenholme. Rachael and I were sat in the sunshine, with the slopes of Mam Tor towering above us and bees buzzing around us. After the interview we enjoyed a trailrun together, picked up some litter along the way, and cooled off for a quick dip in Grindsbrook.

You can visit Rachael's website here and connect with her on LinkedIn. References mentioned during this episode are noted with links in the show notes.


About The Adventure has a patreon community where you can support this podcast, receive support with your own career change, and attend events organised in collaboration with my podcast guests.

Visit About The Adventure website to email Sarah, the podcast host, with your comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Subscribe to Sarah's newsletter to receive episodes in your inbox, along with career change interviews and career coaching questions.

If you enjoy my podcast I'd really appreciate it if you could please write a quick review on Apple podcasts or Podchaser. Your review could help someone else to discover my podcast and help them with their career change.

Podcast music is by Tsarzi and podcast artwork by Tiffany-Francis Baker.


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