Guest Blogger, Pat Duckworth shares her career change from Civil Servant to Cognitive Hypnotherapist and Award Winning Author.

"It is Monday morning and I am sitting in my home office writing this blog before I have a Skype session with a client followed by a face-to-face cognitive hypnotherapy session later this afternoon. The sun is shining through the window and I am looking forward to my day.

Rewind 6 years and I would have been at my desk in Central London working as a Senior Civil Servant for a big Government Department. I was working for a boss who was a bully and did not appreciate the work I was doing. I had been working in the Civil Service for over 30 years, most of which had been happy and productive, but now I was 54 and I wanted to do something for me, something that would use all of my talents.

I had been interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) for many years, so I enrolled to do a 10 month weekend course to learn NLP and Cognitive Hypnotherapy. My idea was to qualify and set up as a therapist while still working. However, an opportunity suddenly arose to take early retirement and I jumped at it. Then the fears started. What did I know about starting a business? I knew nothing about bookkeeping or setting up a website or writing advertising copy. What I did know was that I loved learning and I had acquired many skills over the years so what was stopping me from learning these new skills? Nothing!

My first step was to join a local networking group who met every Thursday. That helped me to build contacts with local business people and to learn from their experience. I was also able to practice my ‘elevator pitch’ and present my business in a supportive environment. I also shared knowledge and experience with the other members of the cognitive hypnotherapy course through an online forum.

I enrolled for whatever free or cheap business seminars were relevant to my business. These included the HMRC workshops on tax issues which were very helpful. Webinars can be a great way of picking up tips and advice.

More recently I have become part of a Mastermind group. Mastermind groups generally comprise 4-6 people who are seeking to grow their business and have a variety or skills and experience. My group meets over Skype on alternate months and in person the other months. It provides me with new perspectives on my business and I benefit from the other members’ skills.

In 5 years I have set up my business locally, started a weekly clinic in Harley Street, written three books, delivered numerous courses and workshops and worked with clients in Toronto, Los Angeles and Cyprus.

Hot Women Cool SolutionsThe benefits for me in making the change 5 years ago are numerous. I have a mixture of activities every day and I love everything that I do! Running my own business satisfies my values and uses all of my strengths. I love learning and sharing. Helping clients to overcome their problems and lead a fuller life is very important to me. Working as a sole practitioner could be lonely but I deal with that through networking and having great, supportive contacts. 

I have also used coaches at different stages of my new career and this has been invaluable. I was coached through the process of writing my book as a way of branding and promoting my business and that has been very successful.

If you are thinking of making a career change, choose something you love and follow your passion."

Bio - Pat Duckworth MBA, NLP Master Prac., Dip CHyp., HPD., is a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, award winning author, coach and founder of Hot Women, Cool Solutions.

Pat sees clients on a one-to-one basis at her therapy rooms in Harley Street, London, Cambridgeshire and Toronto. For clients who are unable to attend her clinics, she works with them over Skype. She specialises in women’s health, particularly working with women who are experiencing menopause symptoms including hot flushes, weight gain, poor sleep, loss of confidence and mood swings.

Pat has formed a collaboration with leading nutritionist, Jenny Tschiesche, to write Cool Recipes for Hot Women. Together they are offering a weekend retreat in France in May to help women who are overcome menopause symptoms. Book now at http://hotwomencoolsolutions.com/retreats/

You can contact pat by email pat@patduckworth.com