“I just felt like I didn’t fit.”

Image of Samy Khelfa
From Business to Wellbeing

Aware he needed some time to recover from burn out, Samy Khelfa embarked on a career experiment which led him into a unique portfolio career. Find out how he faced one of his strongest fears to move into work that fits.

What work were you doing previously?

I was in business administration for a medical company in Denmark.

I had a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a master's degree in finance.

What are you doing now?

A wide portfolio career, with some business coaching for creatives, some intuitive energy therapy work and coaching, and working on my own art.

Why did you change?

I just felt like I didn’t fit.

Trying to fit so hard wore me out.

I had pent up stress from eight years of work and six years of university studies.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

When I realised I had no choice but to properly rest.

I was burnt out, exhausted from working and trying to work out what I’d learnt about career change, and then feeling I needed to put it all into practice.

How did you choose your new career?

I took some real time out!

Everything, I realise now, was connected to my energy around that time.

Energy work has been the constant ‘return’ that I have discovered I am drawn to, even way back when I was feeling drawn towards the creative industries.

But that wasn’t an instant revelation by any means. It was a whole journey.

What do you miss and what don't you miss?

I don’t think I do either way.

I’m not trying to recall anything from the past or keep anything away.

How did you go about making the shift?

I'd always had this strong sensation that something was stuck inside of me.

Then I thought of trying ten things focusing on all things energy – mainly through courses and seminars.

Just something focusing inwards.

I had no background in this area, only a sense of it fitting with what I was already discovering about myself with all these little career experiments that had moved me into more creative spaces in my wider life.

Literally moving me more into myself!

And along the way I found intuitive energy therapy – it helped with my own body and mind healing.

I developed my interest and practice in that, and I'm also developing some intuitive coaching alongside it.

How did you develop (or transfer) the skills you needed for your new role?

I was already around lots of creative people who were interested in all of these energy techniques.

I'm naturally inquisitive and interested, and I just learnt as I went.

How did you handle your finances to make your shift possible?

I made sure I had the equivalent of two years of savings when I was still working in my corporate role.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

Being seen as ‘alternative’ or ‘weird’ absolutely terrified me.

It was a monumental journey for me. The fear of being judged is something extremely strong for me.

I clearly remember the day I decided I'm going to put a little post on Facebook to say ‘I’ve taken this Reiki course and need volunteers for a career experiment’.

My heart was pumping!

I was so afraid.

But quite powerfully, because of the work I’d done, I was able to hold that physical sensation with a lot of love and tenderness towards myself.

What help did you get?

One of my primary supports has actually been my investment in ‘me’ – committing to my personal growth has now fundamentally helped steer all my other work.

I can’t emphasise that enough.

And that is the work I am starting to offer other people now.

What resources would you recommend to others?

I'd say if it’s as good as it was when I did it, try the Careershifters Career Change Launch Pad.

What have you learnt in the process?

Not to be afraid of the negative emotions.

Every time I felt something bad, I would be going ‘No, no, let me get right away from that.’

And because I am also a sensitive person, if someone else was having a crappy day I would be trying to organise their situation so that they could feel better so that I could feel better!

That is HARD work, and so much lost energy.

Once I started dissolving those blocks, so much energy became available to me.

What do you wish you'd done differently?

To have been less fearful earlier.

Samy took part in our Career Change Launch Pad. If you're ready to join a group of bright, motivated career changers on a structured programme to help you find more fulfilling work, you can find out more here.

Plus, if you know someone who's made a successful shift into work they love, we'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line at [email protected]. and you could win a £25 / $35 voucher in our monthly draw.