Career Relaunch® show

Career Relaunch®

Summary: The Career Relaunch® podcast helps you navigate the dynamics and emotions of a major career transition. Hosted by career change consultant and keynote speaker Joseph Liu, each episode features candid, honest interviews with professionals from all walks of life who have left their old careers behind to do work they find more fulfilling and meaningful. Their stories of reinvention can provide you with inspiration, companionship, and reassurance as you relaunch your own career. Check out episode show notes, access free career change resources, or join our global community of listeners in 160+ countries at

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  • Artist: Joseph Liu
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 Advocating For Yourself with Claudia Bruce-Quartey- CR98 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:38

If you’re like most people I cross paths with out there, talking about your accomplishments or showcasing your achievements may not come that naturally to you. Communicating your successes can feel like you’re bragging or shamelessly self-promoting. Asking for what you want can feel intrusive or presumptuous. And just sharing your own accomplishments with others can feel awkward or forced. At the same time, if you don’t advocate for yourself, you run the risk of disappearing into the background. If you don’t drive visibility for your work, no one may be aware of your accomplishments. And if you don’t ask for what you want, opportunities are unlikely to just fall into your lap. In episode 98 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, Claudia Bruce-Quartey, a political scientist turned key account manager shares her thoughts on why making a career change often involves a leap of faith and why you have to be the one to advocate for what you want. I also share some thoughts on how I manage the delicate balance between modesty and self-advocacy during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Change Insights * Focus on the things you can control, not those you cannot. * Sometimes, you just have to take a leap of faith in your career and jump. * The onus is on you to make yourself seen and heard in your career. Listener Challenge During this episode’s Mental Fuel® segment, my challenge to you is to pick one aspect of your work that you feel deserves more support . . . and to advocate for it. Maybe it’s a project you feel deserves more visibility within your organization. Or an overdue promotion you feel is worth getting onto your manager’s radar. Or a piece of career news you’ve been keeping to yourself but want to share with your network. Whatever it is, take ownership of your career and proactively promote it. If you don’t advocate for it, you can be sure others won’t either. And you might just be surprised how people respond. Episode Chapters Overview Introduction Discussion with Claudia Bruce-Quartey Mental Fuel Listener Challenge Wrap Up About Claudia Bruce-Quartey Claudia Bruce-Quartey has followed a career path that’s required self-advocacy throughout. Raised in Germany as a first-generation immigrant after her parents moved there from Ghana, Claudia eventually completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in France and most recently relocated to Switzerland. Originally a political scientist with no knowledge of IT, Claudia’s now a Key Account Manager for the software company Red Hat. She also passionately works with underrepresented youth and female professionals to help them confidently speak about their accomplishments and ask for what they want in their careers. With over 8 years of experience in the Swiss Tech industry, Claudia describes herself as an agent for transformation, on a mission to create equal representation and opportunities. She’s also the author of the book My Hair, My Choice, a book that encourages young children to understand that being unique and different is great. Follow Claudia on LinkedIn and Instagram. Join her newsletter to access that worksheet she mentioned during our conversation and learn more about how to cultivate confidence at work.

 Leaving On a High Note with Aisling Drennan- CR97 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 52:46

When you’re not happy with your job, deciding to make a career change may seem more straightforward. However, when things are going well, do you keep riding the wave or make the leap and try something new? In episode 97 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, Aisling Drennan, a Riverdance Irish dancer turned artist shares her thoughts on shifting from an international stage to an art studio. We’ll discuss the deeply personal choice of when to walk away from an established career, the inevitable challenges of starting anything new, and the importance of championing your own work. I also share some thoughts on when you can tell the time has come to move on during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Change Insights * You can’t know everything from the start. You have to figure it out along the way. It’s about giving yourself time and accepting the inevitable mistakes along the way * You can’t be the champion of everything, but you have to be your own champion of your own work and ambition. * If making a career change was easy, everyone would be doing it. You have to constantly ask yourself, is this what I want to do? If yes, you must find a way to make this work. * Deciding exactly when to leave your job behind is a very personal choice. On the one hand, you could leave on a high note, knowing you may still have left to give and gain. On the other, you could leave after you feel like you’ve given everything you can, although it can result in dissatisfaction, burnout, and even resentment. * Expect the early days to be tough. Starting is often the hardest phase when you’re embarking on a new career path. However, if you know you’re doing what you want to do, with enough hard work and tenacity, you’ll turn a corner. Episode Chapters Overview Introduction Discussion with Aisling Drennan Mental Fuel Listener Challenge Wrap Up Listener Challenge During this episode’s Mental Fuel® segment, I discussed how to decide whether the time has come to pursue another path in your career. Consider whether you have: A) anything else to gain, B) more you could give, C) more you actually want to give. The choice is ultimately yours. I just encourage you to not overextend yourself too much and to walk away once you feel that deep down, the time is right to move on. About Aisling Drennan, Abstract Expressionist Painter Aisling Drennan used to be a former professional Irish dancer with Riverdance, performing internationally for almost a decade with her sketchbook and paint box in her suitcase. Originally from County Clare, Ireland, she dedicated the earlier parts of her life touring around the world, and dancing professionally. However, she eventually began a gradual, steady career transition into the world of art. She’s now a full-time, abstract expressionist painter, balancing her artistic endeavors with motherhood after the birth of her son in early 2022. Based in London, she now creates her artwork at Delta House Studios, where you can check out her paintings along with work from several other artists. Most recently Aisling Drennan’s work was selected for The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art’s annual exhibition (2023) & Gordan Ramsay’s new restaurant in the Savoy Hotel, London (2021). Drennan was an artist in residence at Cill Rialaig Artists Centre (20...

 Dealing With Insecurities with Rina Takikawa- CR96 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:07

Making any major career pivot involves a lot of bravery, risk, and complication. You’re dealing with not only the practicalities of switching career paths but also the insecurities associated with starting over. On Career Relaunch® podcast episode 96, professional ballerina turned Mooch product designer Rina Takikawa describes what triggered her to walk away from a career that was years in the making and the surprising links you can find between two seemingly unrelated careers. This sort of decision to let go of a dream you once held onto so tightly turns out to be quite a common one amongst the clients, listeners, and audiences I cross paths with in my line of work. Rina and I talk about why people make these brave leaps, what you can do to manage the pivot, and how much you end up learning about yourself when you’re forced to reconsider what truly makes you happy. During today’s Mental Fuel segment, I’ll also share a few of the insecurities I wrestled with when I started over in my own career. Key Career Takeaways * Your goals can change over time. When you lose the passion you once had for your career, you owe it to yourself to try and move on. * Making the decision to walk away from a lifelong dream is never easy, but if you can manage the complexities of letting go of the investment, you may just end up finding much more career fulfillment. * If you look hard enough, you can find the surprising, common threads across your seemingly disparate professional endeavors. Listener Challenge During this episode’s Mental Fuel® segment, I challenged you to identify, name, and share one of the insecurities you’ve felt recently in your own career so you can identify it when it shows up, accept it, and not allow it to paralyze you. Remember, having doubts doesn’t mean you’ve made the wrong choice for your career. It just means you’re dealing with a common dynamic that emerges when you make any unconventional move. About Rina Takikawa, Ballerina Turned Product Designer Today, I’m speaking with Rina Takikawa, a product designer based in Los Angeles. She’s one of the founding members at Mooch, a fintech startup building a Gen Z budgeting app, where she leads design and product experience. Rina has been featured in press outlets such as Business Insider and Built In and has spoken at the University of Arizona, UX Copenhagen, Ideate Labs, and CareerFoundry among others. Before transitioning into the tech sector, Rina was a professional ballerina for the Ballet de Catalunya in Spain. Follow Rina on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and her newsletter. Did You Enjoy This Episode? Please Let Us Know! * Tweet: If you enjoyed this episode and have a few seconds to spare, Tweet to let me and Rina know!

 Setting Clear Boundaries with Ali Jawa- CR95 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:27

Physician turned medical director Ali Jawa describes his evolution from physician to medical director and explains the importance of setting clear boundaries in your career. In the Mental Fuel® segment, I'll talk about the concept of defining clear thresholds that trigger you to take action in your career.

 Controlling Your Narrative with Maura Lightfoot- CR94 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:01

Controlling your own professional narrative is especially important when you’re changing career paths. Proactively taking control of your own narrative helps you ensure that your unique value and aspirations come through clearly and convincingly. On episode 94 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, HR adviser turned executive coach Maura Lightfoot shares her thoughts on finding your voice in an environment where you’re an outlier and the importance of identifying the common thread across all your diverse professional experiences.  I also share some thoughts on the importance of owning your own narrative during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Takeaways * Working abroad gives you an opportunity to find your unique voice when you are an outlier and minority in your workplace. * When you’re proud of the work you do and an organization values someone with your unique skillset and background, that’s a sign you’re working for the right employer. * Working in a mission-driven world doesn’t preclude you from burnout. In fact, you may be more susceptible to burnout because you’re so passionate about your work. * Find the common thread across your work. Everyone has the power to author their own story. * Often, you must go through a bit of messy upheaval in your career before you eventually find your way. It’s just part of the journey. Listener Challenge My challenge to you is to take some time to identify the common thread across all the work you currently do and have done in the past. What’s been your common motivation across your roles? What’s the singular purpose that gets you out of bed each day? Try to capture it in words and see how it sits with you. Share that statement with others to see how it lands with them. Making an effort to articular this can hopefully provide you with some clarity and direction when exploring new opportunities and communicating what you bring to the table in those situations. About Maura Lightfoot, Executive Coach Maura Lightfoot knows a lot about taking control of your professional narrative. Consistent throughout Maura’s career has been her drive to empower others in their work. From human resources in the Middle East to financial services management consulting in London to nonprofit organizational culture in Washington D.C., Maura’s international experience equips her with a unique perspective that’s both grounded and global. Now an executive leadership coach, Maura works with clients around the world including North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn more about Maura’s coaching work or connect with her on LinkedIn. Did You Enjoy This Episode? Please Let Us Know! * Review: I’d also love for you to leave a positive review and rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, which helps my show reach more people who want to relaunch their careers. * Follow: Be sure to follow the Career Relaunch® podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Goo...

 Adapting to New Surroundings with Stefania Tosini- CR93 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:59

Moving abroad for a job can be tough emotionally and practically. Leaving familiar surroundings and loved ones can lead to homesickness and isolation. Adapting to a new work environment, language, and way of life adds to the pressure. However, it can also be a broadening and enriching experience that expands your world in unexpected ways. Stefania Tosini, a press officer turned talent acquisition specialist is going to talk about what she wrestled with when making her decision to move from Italy to Germany during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. In episode 93 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, I also share some thoughts on the struggles I had when I moved from the US to the UK  during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Takeaways * Leaving one’s family behind to pursue a career can be a difficult decision to make. It can bring up a variety of emotions, ranging from fear and anxiety about leaving a loving environment to excitement for new opportunities and experiences to come. * Do not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs support from time to time. * Expectations can be a tricky thing, especially when it comes to your career decisions. Don’t assume that everyone will react to your choices in the way you hope. Listener Challenge During this episode’s Mental Fuel® segment, I talked about moving locations for your career. My challenge to you is to look forward instead of backward. To trust that you made the best decision you possibly could to serve what you felt was most important to you. Focus on doing everything you can to make the most of your current circumstances rather than dwelling TOO much on what you left behind. Start small and decide on one action you can take right now to more fully embrace your chosen path. About Stefania Tosini, Talent Acquisition Partner at Zalando Stefania Tosini is a polyglot with a background in international affairs and economics who recently made a big move of her own from Italy to Germany. With over 8 years of experience across multiple industries including roles in education as an English Teacher for the Japanese School of Milan, luxury fashion as a press officer for companies like Dolce & Gabbana, and now in online retail as a talent acquisition partner for Zalando, she finds her professional motivation in helping people find fulfillment and belonging in their careers. Did You Enjoy This Episode? Please Let Us Know! * Review: I’d also love for you to leave a positive review and rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, which helps my show reach more people who want to relaunch their careers. * Follow: Be sure to follow the Career Relaunch® podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or Android to automatically get each new episode on your device. Full instructions. * Stay in touch: Follow the Career Relaunch® podcast on

 Pursuing Your Hobbies with Jenny Goh- CR92 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:05

Pursuing hobbies and interests outside of our daily work can be incredibly beneficial for our personal and professional growth. Hobbies can help us relax and reduce stress, increase creativity and productivity, and even open up new opportunities and networks. However, it can be difficult to make time for hobbies when we are busy with work, family, and other responsibilities. Jenny Goh, a former conference event planner turned IT firm manager discusses the unique role transitional jobs play in your career and how side activities outside of work can be so useful to pursue. In episode 92 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, I’ll also share my thoughts about how hobbies have influenced my own life and career during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Takeaways * Admitting your own limitations and weaknesses can help you to re-evaluate your priorities and goals, and open up new opportunities for you to pursue something you might be more passionate about or better suited for. * Having a hobby or passion project that you look forward to outside of work can help recharge your batteries and give you the energy and perspective you need to tackle the challenges at work. There will be a day when you aren’t working in your current job anymore. * Learning from the successes and failures of others, as well as listening to the advice and guidance of mentors and peers, can help us navigate the professional world and make informed decisions about our own careers. * If you feel you’ve learned and given all you can in your current role, you should consider seeking new opportunities to continue your personal and professional growth. Listener Challenge During this episode’s Mental Fuel® segment, I invited you to pursue a new hobby this year. Perhaps an interest of yours that you’ve always thought about investing more energy into but just haven’t made the time for. Allow yourself the freedom to do something you think would be fun. This means regularly dedicating time to hobbies. Could you spare an hour on the weekends? Or even just 30 minutes one evening a week? Schedule this time into your calendar like you would with any other important task. About Jenny Goh, Product & Scrum Master Jenny Goh initially thought she would become a scientist, so she spent her university days studying biology and heading down a research path. But when she was working toward her graduate degree, she realized that a career in research wasn’t what she really wanted and maybe wasn’t her natural forte. So, she started soul searching and exploring things like event planning, and eventually landed roles working in IT for companies like IBM. Now, as a Project Manager and Scrum Master at Accenture, she’s hoping to use the skills and knowledge she’s gathered over the years to hopefully help and inspire others in their careers. Her hobby of learning ballet on the side at the Singapore Ballet has had a direct impact on her perspectives when she’s at work. So I wanted to get Jenny onto the show to not only explain her career transition but also to share her thoughts on the importance of feeding your interests outside of work. Did You Enjoy This Episode? Please Let Us Know! * Review: I’d also love for you to leave a positive review and rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, which helps my show reach more people who want to relaunch their careers.

 Heading in a Better Direction with Tom Keya- CR91 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:38

Corporate lawyer turned workplace wellbeing consultant Tom Keya candidly describes his pivot from law into wellness. We discuss the dangerous side of work hustle culture and the hidden costs of relentlessly climbing the corporate ladder. During the Mental Fuel® segment, I describe how to organize your work to ensure you’re honoring your professional priorities in the year ahead.

 Reconnecting With Yourself with Samantha Tovera-Agustin- CR90 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 56:15

When does it make sense to let go of stability to boldly pursue the unknown? In this episode of the Career Relaunch® podcast, Samantha Tovera-Agustin, an HR professional turned founder explains why she chose to move her career, family, and life from the Bay Area to the Philippines. We’ll discuss the challenging balance between work and parenthood, signs that suggest you may need a change in your career, and ways you can prevent career regret. I also share some thoughts on the importance of reconnecting with old friends during the Mental Fuel® segment. Key Career Takeaways * When you work hard to get to where you are in your career, letting go of all this investment is incredibly hard. * People often regret the inactions they took in their careers to do something bold and brave that honors their values. Surrendering to the unknown and allowing yourself to potentially fail enables you to open the door to new, exciting opportunities in your life and career. * To be there for others, you have to make sure you’re taking care of your own health and well-being first. * Societal expectations can lead us to feel like we need to be working and hustling all the time. But slowing down is not only okay but also necessary sometimes to see more clearly and reconnect with yourself. Resources Mentioned * We discussed the topic of regret. The book I mentioned is The Power of Regret by Daniel Pink, which I would highly recommend! Listener Challenge I’d challenge you to reconnect with a long-lost friend from your past. f you’re like me, I find it a bit awkward to suddenly drop a note to someone you haven’t spoken to in years. I’d still challenge you to do it—just to see what happens. Even if you don’t rekindle the relationship, at the very least, you can let that person know that you’re still thinking about them. And that alone can be valuable. You never know what kind of an impact that could have on them. About Samantha Tovera-Agustin Samantha Tovera-Agustin is a seasoned HR professional specializing in talent acquisition, leadership development, and employee engagement. When the pandemic hit in 2019, she launched her own business, Masarap Box (Facebook, Instagram) that delivers a monthly box of Filipino snacks right to your door. The past three years made her realize what mattered to her. In 2021, she and her husband made a big decision to move with their two young daughters (aged five and two at the time) from California to the Philippines, where she’s originally from, to truly honor what they valued most- which was to spend more quality time with family. Now back in the Philippines, her husband has also recently launched C-Suite Jiu-Jitsu (Facebook, Instagram), a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Center, and Samantha’s been able to work as an HR Consultant for Canadian and US firms, helping small to mid-size businesses with HR solutions- which also honors her professional values of serving others. With more flexibility in her schedule now, she’s been able to reconnect with her family, her friends, and most importantly,

 Waiting For the Right Moment with Kessler Bickford- CR89 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:56

Kessler Bickford, a former magazine editor turned anxiety psychotherapist, discusses the challenges of deciding where you take your career when you have multiple interests and the distinction between identifying and actually pursuing your professional interests.

 Being Honest With Yourself with Melody Mack- CR88 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:18

Melody Mack, an neurodiagnostics business owner turned project manager shares her thoughts on jobs feeling a bit like relationships, letting go of a business you created, and taking an honest look at who you are. I also share a few examples from my own career when I dragged some of my own issues around from job to job.

 Beginning a New Journey with Andrew Graczyk- CR87 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:50

Assistant professor of economics turned data science practice leader candidly describes his pivot from academia into the private sector. We also discuss the unique challenges of academic careers, the importance of being open to new sectors, and why confidence is one of the most important assets to have during career transitions. During the Mental Fuel® segment, I share my thoughts on what's behind The Great Resignation.

 Getting the Help You Need with Norma Kimber- CR86 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:49

Leaving a corporate job behind to start your own business is never as straightforward or simple as it may seem. Norma Kimber, an operational excellence director at an established, global financial services firm who pivoted to become a virtual assistant and business owner, shares her journey of walking away from her stable, senior role in the corporate world to start her own business. In episode 86 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, we also discuss what impact organizational politics can have on your psyche and the relationship between your own health and your career decisions.

 Starting Somewhere with Nicole Webb- CR85 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:16

Making a major geographical move can certainly be exciting but also disruptive, jarring, and disorienting. Becoming a new parent is such a privilege but also life-altering in a way that creates both benefits and challenges. Nicole Webb, a journalist and news reader turned media consultant and author, describes what she experienced when moving from Australia to Hong Kong and eventually China while adjusting to her life as a new mother. She'll discuss how she managed to adapt and thrive in the midst of tremendous professional and personal change. I'll also share my own thoughts on the importance of just starting somewhere when you're trying to figure out ways to turn your side interests into an actual business.

 Taking Imperfect Actions with Julia Taylor- CR84 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:05

Government defense intelligence officer turned web developer and founder Julia Taylor shares her thoughts on building a helpful community, thinking outside of the box, and creating your first website. I also share some thoughts on the importance of being okay with taking imperfect actions and my own challenges I faced building my first website.


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