In the 21st episode of Unique Careers, Unique Lives Podcast my guest is Liam Anderson, who has worked as a trainer, consultant and coach with individuals and companies from all over the world, helping his clients to address various business challenges. His professional passions include improving sales and contact center performance, helping start ups to set up and run their sales processes and working with business leaders to improve their internal and external communications.
Why should you listen to this episode
I met Liam through a peer-coaching program and loved his career journey and the way he described it. He has wonderful story telling skills and called his career as a “bowl of spaghetti thrown against the wall”.
Listen to our conversation to learn how career challenges can bring new opportunities and how you can see and take these opportunities.
Also you would not want to miss a wonderful story teller!
My Key Take-Aways
Liam ended up leaving Royal Navy due to health reasons and found himself working as a Customs Officer doing VAT Inspections. Who of you has customs officer as a dream job? I did not even have it in my potential vocations list. But to his surprise, he loved it! The job offered variety, learning, connection and alone - time.
One ending brought a surprising happy beginning! You never know what is good and what is bad - you can stay curious and stay on the course!
He changed the customs officer job for tax consultant and did not feel he was fit to the institutional culture. He needed money and found himself doing tele-sales, which also did not bring him much financial gain.
One of his managers had told him:
“Somehow I got the impression that there is a tiger inside of you but I don’t know what button to press to let it out!”
Liam said the button was desperation.
He put his selling skills onto use the day he graduated from the “English teaching” course where they were given a number to call for a potential teaching job in Greece. While everyone was enjoying the graduation party, Liam rushed to the phone and called the number immediately. He did not hang up till he got an appointment to bring his documents in. He got the job and started his teaching career.
His teaching experience, his telesales experience, and his customs officer experience all came in handy when he applied to a job for an IT Company that provided software for call centers.
“No experience which you have in life is wasted.”
When I asked him about his suggestions for people who got stuck he remembered the words of his Fleet Chief Petty Officer:
“The measure of a man is not what he does when everything goes well. The real measure of a man is what he does when he’s been knocked down.”
He mentioned that most boxers do not need the 10 seconds to get up when they are knocked down, they could already get up at 5 but they use the time to rest and gather energy. As the boxers, people who got stuck can also take a bit of time to grieve, then it is time to get back up.
He suggests leaving the conventional ways of analyzing your potential, leaving to evaluate yourself with your past jobs but bringing your skills together, and seeing more opportunities.
I loved talking with Liam and I saw his bowl of spaghetti as an art piece on the wall. I hope you also enjoyed this episode.
Get in touch with Liam
Alternatively, you can post your comments here and I promise to pass them on to him.
I wish you a wonderful continuation of your journey - or shall I say cooking your own spaghetti!