“I wanted to feel inspired when I got out of bed in the morning.”

Solicitor to Founder of Challenges Worldwide

Clocking in his time at work in 6-minute units was starting to drag for Eoghan Mackie. He was longing for work he felt excited about and being a commercial lawyer simply wasn't delivering. Now, he runs an amazing charity called Challenges Worldwide. How did he make the change?

What was your role in your old job?

I worked as a commercial lawyer. Work included Information Technology and Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, Banking and Commercial Property.

What is/are your new role(s)?

I run a charity called Challenges Worldwide. My responsibilities are diverse, ranging from strategic planning and fundraising to growth into new countries.

Why did you change?

I wanted to feel inspired when I got out of bed in the morning. I needed to feel that I was learning a lot in my work and I wanted to control that.

Are you happy with the change?


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

There is nothing that I miss

I certainly don't miss clocking my time in units of 6 minutes - the software ironically called ‘carpe diem'!!!

How did you go about making the change?

This is the short answer - I knew I wanted out, so I tried to figure out what was important to me. You can't pick something to do until you know what is going to tick the boxes for your own blend of wants.

What was the most difficult thing about changing?

Starting from scratch and having to learn everything all the time.

What help did you get?

Various people in the Mezzanine in Elizabeth House


Personal contacts.

What have you learnt in the process?

An enormous amount about:

Running an organisation - this is a huge category, which I won't detail now

Myself - it has been tough and in that climate you have to front up to a lot and focus hard on developing a lot.

What do you wish you'd done differently?

I am a big believer in the hard times being the most valuable learning experiences. That said, I do think that being a little more decisive in some of my decisions around staffing would have helped. People are the hardest part of any business.

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

Perseverance pays off.

You can do anything you want, you just have to decide what you want to do. That is more about who you are and where your strengths and interests lie.

What lessons could you take from Eoghan'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.