50 Conversations

Professional reinvention: From chef to the UN to nonprofit executive director

Episode Summary

From chef to working for the UN to executive director for a nonprofit, Amy’s adventurous career path has been anything but traditional. Hear what it’s like to start anew and how to understand your skills as your career evolves. Plus, the benefit of choosing a graduate program abroad.

Episode Notes

Our careers are messy things, full of surprises and unknowns. Amy’s career path takes off in the kitchen, evolves into the restaurant consulting business, and shifts again as when she decided to go back to school in her 30s. She ends up in Brussels and later working for the UN World Food Program. Now, she leads a nonprofit, among other roles. We talk about professional reinvention, finding your path after an international adventure, and how to make sense of all your skills as your career evolves. We get real honest about the ups and downs of finding yourself after a career transition. Listen to this if your career doesn’t fit into a tidy box or if you just love a good adventure story.

Notable show quotes:

" I had a bit of an epiphany that was like, wow, all the times that I have struggled in life is when I'm really trying to struggle against being something that I'm not and trying to fit into this box that doesn't speak to me. It just occurred to me that I need to stop doing that."

"A lot of people were like, you're starting from scratch. And actually I'm not. The skills that you develop as a chef, like your project management tools, your ability to work with huge crews under massive amounts of pressure, are huge assets, especially when you're working in different cultures and new environments constantly. It is the kind of skill set you need if you work at the United Nations."