WIRe: Powering your career in a new direction

Do you remember that career plan that was mapped out for you after university, packed full of tips and tricks of the trade, as well as support and guidance to keep you on track? No, neither do I. Often, it can be difficult to stay on track, or even see the track for your career. Or allow ourselves to deviate and try new directions to see what’s best for us. Sometimes we can feel lost, perhaps directionless or even feel our enthusiasm and interest in what we do diminish over time, leaving us feeling less than satisfied in our careers and lives. Luckily, this year, Women in Research’s theme is all about energy and direction to help provide a guiding light through these tricky feelings and situations.

I was incredibly pleased to entice two fascinating speakers, Ryan Cheti and Emma Case, to our Women in Research spring event, who told such interesting and insightful stories that spoke to this very topic. I definitely won’t do justice to all the inspiration they brought to the evening, but I captured a number of thoughts that resonated with me.


Ryan Cheti @mrlyan: If you’re shit-scared, you’re doing something right

Ryan talked about wanting to do something different, and knowing how to shape his passions into that ‘different thing’ by studying the status quo. He studied art, biology and philosophy, all driven by a deep-seated desire to understand what it is to be human. Especially in a luxury category like dining and drinking out, Ryan wanted to understand how to incorporate sustainability and the experiential without compromise. But how do you make these things work together? You redefine what they mean. You collaborate. You create something entirely new. And if winning a wealth of accolades, including ‘Personality of the Year’ and ‘Bar of the Year’ for Dandelyan are anything to go by – it’s a successful approach! Ryan left us with this thought: do you want to wake up at 30 and hate your life? No. Don’t be afraid of change. It’s not failure, it’s learning.


Emma Case @theemmacase: life is too short to not enjoy what you do

Emma’s enlightening talk focused on getting the simple things right. Sometimes we get so caught up on what we should do, or holding on to goals that weren’t all we expected, that we fail to focus on the basics. Emma had some guidelines for us to help refocus our energies:

  • Don’t ignore that niggling feeling, it’ll eventually become a scream
  • There’s never an ideal time to pivot in your career, so go for it
  • Don’t look at what you don’t want, look at what you do want
  • Stop being so realistic, why can’t that dream career be yours!
  • Play the hand you’re dealt like it’s the hand you want
  • Be curious, explore and play
  • Trust yourself; you know your inner voice best
  • Assemble your ‘A team’; you need honesty as well as support


A commonality between both speakers was a love of understanding people. Throughout their career choices, a driving force was to better understand and help the human animal. Focusing their efforts in this way helped them create and shape their ideal careers. A career that allows them to deliver to what they’re passionate about and to use their energy in ways that make them happy and fulfilled. Realigning your perspective to what it is that you enjoy, what you want your day-to-day to be about, can ensure we have a wealth of energy to help guide us forward. Such refreshingly simple yet inspiring career advice can help clear the fog of wasted energy, and help us continue building happy and satisfied careers.


For more information, check out the WIRe website here!