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Red Sofa Interview: Rachel Brushfield, The Talent Liberator

Do you want to energise your career?

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Posted by Roger Eddowes on 26/05/2020 @ 8:00AM

I'm always pleased when we publish our Business Godparent newsletter each quarter. This time our Red Sofa interview was virtually, but it still gives us a great idea of who Rachel Brushfield is, and the great work she does ...

Rachel Brushfield has seen her own career change over the 20+ years since she established her business, Energise!

Rachel Brushfield has seen her own career change over the 20+ years since she established her business, Energise!

copyright: rachel brushfield / energise

Rachel's mantra is to help her clients to liberate more of their talents and achieve an uplifting breakthrough when at major career and business crossroads. She advocates a 'portfolio career' which is one that can be flexed and adapted for changing times.

"Everyone has different strands to their career, rather than
just doing one thing!"

Portfolio careers have been growing for a while now, fuelled by younger workers wanting to travel and set up their own businesses as well as the 50+ market seeking a slope rather than a cliff-edge to their retirement.

Coronavirus has caused many people to have a career reset, even if it isn't what they would have chosen for themselves. People resist change, so forced change such as during the outbreak can have a positive outcome.

Lockdown has been treating Rachel pretty well. She says it's been a relief not to travel because a lot of her coaching is done on the phone and via Skype anyway. She has been in lockdown with her husband and cat, though she hasn't had the home-schooling responsibilities other self-employed people have had.

Spring cleaning for Rachel has been thorough this year and she is lucky to have both a garden and an allotment to work on. She writes a lot anyway so lockdown has not been that different.

Rachel has seen her own career change over the 20+ years since she established her business, Energise. At the start, in 1997 she did a lot of freelance strategy work, defining brands and business pitches because marketing and brand strategy is her career heritage.

After retraining as a coach mixing executive, life and career coaching she started to attract mainly women professionals wanting a career change who needed help marketing themselves.

Now she is a published author, does a lot of content creation and events for membership organisations and women's networks. She co-runs her own network called PWHub for senior employed women in Oxfordshire and does a lot of career coaching and works with businesses needing to change/update their workforce planning.

Rachel doesn't feel she fits nearly in one box, nor does she want to! She often works with people who don't fit into one either. People reach out to Rachel when they are ready for change and are fed up with being fed up and know they can't crack it for themselves.

She has helped a wide range of people, including someone who was made redundant and went onto set up a business organising cheese holidays and someone who changed from being a solicitor to a manager for an orchestra. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, Rachel can help you take those first steps to a new career.

"She certainly loves the variety of what she does
and loves to always be learning!"

Rachel is most satisfied in seeing her career coaching clients grow in confidence and find clarity in their goals. She finds it lovely when they came back to her at the next major career crossroads for help once more.

Her role involves lots of listening, questioning, thinking outside the box, making connections and introductions for those she works with. She has done more events on helping women to blow their own trumpet than on any other topic. She's also very good at positive reframing which is a useful tool for the world we currently live in.

She says there are 8 tips to create sustainable and fulfilling career success in these fast-changing and uncertain times:

  • Build your network

  • Take responsibility for your own career and make sure that your skills and knowledge are future-proof

  • Look at trends as they can change quickly

  • Invest in your career capital (things that make you marketable vs your competitors)

  • Believe in yourself

  • Create a career plan A, B and C for uncertain times

  • Know and follow your values

  • Get a career coach!

Rachel doesn't think the work will go back to what it was before the Coronavirus outbreak. It had already started changing, but very slowly. However, the lockdown has forced companies to rethink and embrace the new normal. It will be better for the environment and offer greater flexibility for many, especially working parents.

"More people are going to have a portfolio career in future!"

Rachel is looking at how she can re-invent what she does in the online world and is updating her online offering. You can discover more about Rachel Brushfield and Energise at her website, www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com or you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about Rachel Brushfield, call me on 01908 774320, leave a comment below or click here to ping over an email and I'll put you in touch with her.

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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.