“Little by little the tasks on the course pushed me into both being more open and curious.”


Thomas Arnestad wasn’t sure how to get out of a career that had stopped inspiring him. The Launch Pad helped him rediscover his curiosity and find a role that put a spring back in his step..

What was your work situation before the Launch Pad?

I was working in an agency, selling photography services for real estate purposes. 

I was doing a whole bunch of things there – project leading, business development, a great variety of tasks. I’d been in the company for about nine or ten years.

How were you feeling about your work?

I felt like I’d run through pretty much everything I could do in that company. 

I was growing tired of everything, and going down quite a negative spiral by the end. Everything just felt dull and pointless.

Why did you decide to join the Launch Pad?

I was truly fed up with what I did, but it’s hard to break out of that mindset.

I had been googling stuff, and somehow ended up on the Careershifters website and signed up for the emails. 

Then on the last day of a holiday I was on in Spain, I was feeling like I really didn’t want to go into work the next day, so I opened up one of the emails again and saw there was a course starting the next day.

What had you previously tried to do to make progress on your career change?

I’d been browsing job ads, and I went to a free counselling service that was offered by my municipality in Norway.

But that didn’t really set me in any direction. 

They asked me, “What do you really want to do, what’s your dream job?” But that was my main problem – I had no idea.

What were your reservations or skepticism about the Launch Pad?

I’m always sceptical about new things, especially if it’s a paid service with lots of people recommending it.

Are they paid to tell a fictional story, or is it real…?

But, after talking to Careershifters I got a real impression of what the course could offer, and felt secure that this would not be a waste of money.

What was the experience like?

What I liked about the experience of the course was that we didn’t really dig into that question of what we “really” wanted to do at the start. 

The tasks and challenges were kind of targeted towards a greater goal, where you would hopefully get some insights about yourself, and start understanding what would be a good fit.

What were the highlights?

As part of the course, I think I sent a post to all of my LinkedIn contacts, telling them what process I was going through, and if they were willing to talk to me about what they do.

I got so many responses from people, including people I hadn’t spoken to for twenty years. Everybody just wanted to help, and thought it was really cool and brave.

What were the toughest moments?

One of the tasks involved being bold and reaching out to strangers.

This really freaked me out. It was awful at the start, but really good in the end, to see how people reacted.

It was scary and felt awful, but also rewarding, to see that most of the time, people are glad to help you.

What was the impact on you? 

It opened me up.

I actually found my new job over a meal in the canteen at work, just talking to some people from the company I eventually moved to.

The important thing was being curious, and asking them the right questions. Without the course, I wouldn’t have asked the questions.

When I asked them who they were looking for, they explained, and I said: “You’re basically describing me.”

How did the Launch Pad help you get clear on and move into your new career?

I didn’t get a Eureka answer to what I really want to do.

But I got clarity about what I’m good at, what I’m comfortable doing, and where I excel, which is about working more with people.

And finding things that are meaningful to me – my current trial with health care is a result of what I found out during the course.

Little by little the tasks on the course pushed me into both being more open and curious. I also learned how willing people were to help if I just asked for it.

Where are you now in your career?

I still work with visual communication in the real estate business, but solely on new property developments. 

Before, the business I worked for focused on second-hand properties, but here we focus solely on new developments. So you have to sell something that is not built yet.

So while it's similar in some ways, it’s quite different.

I’ve also just started a part-time job, on top of my full-time work, being a personal care assistant for a guy who needs help.

How do you feel about your work?

I’m not sure if I’m going to “get married” to this work – it might be a step towards something else, in the end; I’m still curious about other things.

But it’s enabled me to feel positive about going to work again.

And I took on the care job to see if that’s something that makes my days more rewarding. If it is, maybe I can do more of that stuff in the future.

I still feel I’m searching a bit, for where I’m going to end up later on. But this might be a continuous process all the way.

What’s been the impact of your shift on your wider life?

I’ve learned to be curious again.

I find myself a lot more often now talking to people about their work – asking what people really do, what their days are like. Those are really interesting conversations.

And now, in a social setting, I can brag a little about my work.

What would you recommend to anyone considering the Launch Pad?

I would say that it will enrich you as a person. 

Even if you don’t make a career change, you’ll absolutely get something personal out of it. You learn a lot about yourself during the process.

Anything else you’d like to add?

For everybody that wants to have a change, with pretty much anything in life: be open, be curious, then you’ll meet people, and doors will open.

You can find full details about the course on our dedicated Launch Pad page.