top of page

How I helped a serial career-switcher find her true calling | PART 1 - GRIEF IS CRUCIAL IN JOB LOSS

Lynette (not her real name), is the protagonist of this 4-part blog series. I have decided to pen down my coaching journey with her because she embodied many of the struggles faced by professionals in the creative industry.

She is a multi-talented professional who had her roots in the field of music. In search of a career that could provide financial stability & job satisfaction, she had switched to working as a school teacher, graphic designer, video producer, event organizer, marketing manager, and more.

When I first spoke to her in early 2021, she was at the verge of a mental breakdown. She had spent the past 2 years freelancing on short contracts and was struggling to make ends meet. She had sent out hundreds of job applications, without getting any call-ups for interviews.

Letting it all out

We spent the first few sessions talking about her past experiences. We drew a career timeline and took time to delve into her previous careers, and why they didn’t work out. We discovered long-buried emotions. She had felt

- abandoned when the first company that she worked for closed down abruptly;

- betrayed by her boss when she was assigned to a different jobscope;

- rejected when a fellow colleague was chosen for promotion over her;

- disappointed in herself when she was “headhunted” to a new job to lead a team, but couldn’t win the trust of her subordinates

Whenever she went through an emotional setback, she felt the impulse to change out to something totally different. A change of job wasn’t enough, she wanted a totally new career!

Eventually, we were able to connect the dots, and spot a pattern in all the episodes. Having trusting relationships at work was important to her. Every time, she felt that her trust was broken, she bolted and escaped to new environment. She had skipped over the painful part of facing up with her own disappointments and having to mend relationships. The vicious cycle repeated itself when she faced challenges at the next job.

Seeing the big picture was a good awakening for Lynette. This time round, she took time to grief. Besides speaking to me, she met up with friends and shared with them what she was going through. She plucked up the courage to connect with a few ex-colleagues, and rekindled lost relationships. She was finally getting healed.


Grieving is a natural response to loss. Maybe you have lost a job, or couldn’t find work that brings you joy & purpose, or perhaps you needed to take a break from work to care for someone dear to you. Take some time to grief and ponder over your loss.

Write a song about it, chill out at your favorite gallery, or simply confide in a friend. Invest time in getting healed. We’re humans after all.

Now that Lynette had taken time to grief, she was ready to move on. Read on to find out the next step in our journey.

Part 2 – Career Clarity & Skills Analysis

Part 3 – Putting together a Functional Resume

Part 4 - Jobsearch (networking & interview)


About the Author

Peiling, Chan is a certified Career Coach with a background in media & theatre. In 2011, she founded Starlight & has been working closely with stakeholders in the creative industry since then. She helps:

- professionals & students build fulfilling careers through career exploration, resume & portfolio review, interview preparation & job matching.

- business owners acquire cost-effective insurance coverage for film shoots, stage performances, events & exhibitions, media equipment, drones & more.

In her free time, she indulges in gourmet coffee and catches up on the latest Iphone hacks :-)