Meet Sarah Burgess. She is an accomplished and talented multi-careerist based in London. She has an active presence on LinkedIn and hosts a weekly show on which she shares career insights. Below you’ll find her compelling reflections on her hyphenated life.
- Career coach – My main work is as a career coach. My background is in Learning and Development (but I’ve also had decent chunks of time within IT and Operational Business units). My work includes lots of 1:1 sessions with clients, and also seminars/workshops with larger groups.
- Running coach – I help people who want to start running from nothing, want to increase their speed or stamina and help people train for obstacle races.
- Charity Trustee – at The Eyot Centre (a watersports centre with the aim of providing development and social activities for young people). This is a voluntary role but does involve a fair amount of work.
- Property rental – My husband and I have a property in Cornwall, UK which we let out for holidays, so part of my work involves managing bookings, sorting maintenance and promoting the property.
On her motivations for having many careers
I love variety, and I really like to be a part of lots of things.
All my work roles (I hope) help people to develop themselves and enjoy whatever they do. Although my roles are all different, they all have a coaching or well-being element to them. I like to be busy, and I like to meet and work with people from all kinds of backgrounds.
Advice for multi-careerists
Be realistic in what time you have. Try to set boundaries and schedule time in your diary to work on each career/role. Make sure whatever you work on is in line with your personal values. Use your network – make sure you stay in touch with people and let them know what you do.
Everything I do has to have some benefit to people – whether it’s helping them get the career they want, helping their mental health through sport (or an amazing holiday location!), or working on ways to get younger people into sporting activities, and supporting school/university leavers with career conversations.
There have obviously been times when I’ve worried about income. Having said that, there has only been one month in 18 years I’ve not been able to invoice something which is great.
I overcome these times by making sure I’m in regular contact with my network, letting them know how I can help them. Be more active on professional sites relating to your industry so you raise your profile. Sometimes I’ve struggled with admin support – and so I’ve been able to outsource some of that as and when needed.
The main advice is to let people know you need help – people like to help people!
On how many careers are mutually beneficial
The fact I’ve been in Learning and Development so long has helped all of the roles I have. I am able to build relationships with people, whether that’s face to face, phone calls, written or via social media. I think I have a knack of working out the best approach for that person and turning around difficult relationships to successful ones. Showing a genuine interest in people, acknowledging issues and appreciating what the person has to offer goes a long way in relationship building.
I’ve had some clients from career coaching then express interest in booking our holiday property.
My experience of facilitating workshops and running surveys is helpful now for my work as a Charity Trustee – I’ve been able to gather ideas and run sessions via zoom. I hope also to be able to promote the centre on LinkedIn as I do with my own business to generate much needed income from new members, team builds and venue hire!
On managing personal time
I have been based from home for the entire time I’ve been self employed, but in non covid times go to London twice a week for meetings. When my children were younger I nearly always walked them to school, then worked during school hours and then picked them up. For me, this was important as I wanted to be involved in school life and activities after school. Once they were older, I extended the hours more, but still tried on most days to be home before they left for school, and home shortly after.
The watersports centre I am a charity trustee of is home to Henley Dragons where my sons are both members (the oldest qualified for and competed for the Great Britain U18 squad in 2019). My husband I are also members now. So that works well for us, as we all have a mutual interest in the centre.
On what she wished she had learned earlier about multi-careerism
It’s not as scary as it sounds!
A Day In the Life
I don’t really have a typical day, the only day I have the same structure each week is a Wednesday when I host a weekly LinkedIn Live for 10Eighty (a consultancy of which an I am associate) called Career Insights. It’s kind of a chat show, where I have 2 guest experts on a topic.
So, on a Wednesday I always go for a run first thing, and then basically make sure everything is ready for the session, run the session and the afternoon is spent answering questions and then preparing for the coming week sessions.
Other than that, I try to have most of my meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, leaving me time on Mondays and Fridays to deal with admin, working on client CV’s/LinkedIn profiles, doing trustee work.
Evenings are typically for me to run, and in non-covid times have running clients.
Whilst my son is attending school from home via Teams, we try to have lunch together at his break from 12.30 to 1.00, and tend to watch a quiz show or similar on TV. We also walk together most days, either in the morning or after school depending on what works best that day.
I run 5 times a week. That is planned on Sunday for the following week, based on other commitments!
Where to find Sarah
Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books. His debut feature film production Fandango at the Wall is streaming on HBO Max. Follow: LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube