“I’m thoroughly enjoying the new challenges after years of feeling stuck in a rut.”

From Recruitment to Fitness

When a tragic loss changed Shanade's priorities in life, it was only a matter of time before she knew she had to get out of recruitment and start doing something she loved. Find out how she harnessed creative thinking, energy, and action to get out from behind her desk and launch her own online fitness business.

What work were you doing previously?

I forged a solid and successful career working in the City within large HR departments that focused on Recruitment and internal Staff Deployment.

What are you doing now?

Life took an exciting turn in November 2012 when I founded StudioONE, an online pay as you go fitness studio. Every day brings a new challenge. I'm involved in anything from filming, directing and location scouting, to day to day admin, and web development.

Why did you change?

At the beginning of 2012 I tragically lost my father which dramatically changed my life’s perspective. I suddenly had a huge desire to spend my time doing something which was challenging, rewarding and personal. I have always had a passion for fitness, and saw a gap in the market. Not wanting to quote a cliché but life really is too short. It felt like the right time to make a difference.

When was the moment you decided to make the change?

After the loss of my father I started to evaluate my life and quickly realised that the largest proportion of my days are spent in a work environment.  I wanted to spend this time doing something that would give me a sense of achievement, and excitement to get up in the morning.

Are you happy with the change?

Absolutely! I can honestly say it has been one of the most exciting times of my life. I would be a liar to say it hasn’t come with a truck load of challenges but each and every one presents me with new skills. I now have an ever evolving thirst for business and entrepreneurship.

It’s been a complete turn around and I’m thoroughly enjoying the new challenges after years of feeling stuck in a rut. Careershifters definitely helped me take the first scary step, after reading about others who had made the move I felt totally inspired (and a little bit competitive!)

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

The buzz of a busy office is something I missed initially, and having no one to bounce ideas off can be de-motivating.  So to combat this, I decided to rent desk space in a great creative office and continue to keep my toe in the corporate world by taking on a part-time role.

How did you go about making the shift?

The first thing was to confront my fears and plunge into a world of part-time employment to free up some time. I spent endless hours researching my market, competitors and potential customers. Once I was comfortable with knowing where I wanted my business to go, I drew up a business plan and started having conversations with influential people.

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

My employer was extremely accommodating and offered me a new part-time role that helped me create a four-day week. This income combined with my savings helped me on my way.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

The uncertainty of the unknown, and bearing the responsibility of making the change work for me.

What help did you get? 

I used my relationships to help. If I had a problem or question I would tap into my network. If they didn't have the answer, they usually knew someone who did. I even had my bank manager linking me in with a new start-up network!

What have you learnt in the process?

So very much. Listen and be a sponge, soak up as much information and advice as possible. Know your market and product inside out. If something doesn't work out the first time around, dust yourself off and try again. Chances are the second time around will give you a better result.

What do you wish you'd done differently?

Nothing yet, it's been a blast.

What would you advise others to do in the same situation?

Do it, do it, do it.

What lessons could you take from Shanade's story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below. 

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.