Changing careers: top tips from a legal recruiter turned business owner and interior designer

By Anouska • 20 September 2023

Anouska is a supporter of Young Women’s Trust and volunteered on our Work It Out CV feedback service, providing invaluable feedback for young women. In this blog she reflects on her own career path and how she got to where she is today, sharing some of her top tips for young women thinking about a career change.

Getting involved with Young Women’s Trust

My first introduction to Young Women’s Trust was at a corporate fundraising event at a city law firm in 2016 when I was juggling my role as a senior legal recruiter alongside nurturing my new business, an interior design studio, which I would go on to focus on wholeheartedly shortly thereafter.

The aims and initiatives of Young Women’s Trust really resonated with me having grown up in a part of the U.K. where roughly 1 in 5 children grow up in relative poverty and aspiration is not always encouraged nor support given to lift young people to achieve their potential. I became a Young Women’s Trust ambassador shortly after, before volunteering for their brilliant Work It Out CV and job application feedback i service, providing tailored CV feedback for young women, something I’d had a lot of experience with as a recruiter!

Changing my career

Before changing careers, I’d studied law and strongly considered entering the profession as I had (and still have) a real interest in human rights. However, after spending the summer interning at a human rights law firm in the U.S. I realised that it wasn’t quite right for me.

I’ve had an interest in interior design since childhood and had an inkling that this might be the path I was destined to take, however, it seemed a distant possibility given my experience at that point, so I took a graduate role in legal recruitment and gave myself a bit of time to explore the possibilities before committing.

My first real step towards changing career paths was undertaking a part-time course at KLC school of design. A year or so later I had a chance meeting with a man whose wife had made the change from law to interior design and I ended up interning at her and her business partner’s design studio. This experience really cemented to me that I was on the right path.

These women were some of the first female entrepreneurs I’d known, and their own career paths helped give me the confidence to focus my efforts on my ambition of running an interior design business.

My Top Tips

From my experiences so far, my key pieces of advice are:

1) Accept invitations to meet-ups and social events

By expanding your network you could meet a mentor, connector or supporter who will be invaluable to your career.

2) Sign up to a course (or courses)

If you don’t have experience in your field of interest, start with a short course and if after this you’re pretty certain it’s the right path for you, take the plunge and sign up for a more comprehensive course if you can.

3) Gain practical experience

Reach out to companies or organisations, expressing your interest in their work and asking if you can undertake work experience with them to gain practical experience in your area of interest. You might be surprised how many doors open this way!

My business now

Over the past 8 years my business has gone from strength to strength, and I feel lucky to have a career that’s dynamic and full of positive challenges. My studio was listed in Country & Townhouse magazine’s Finest 50 Interior Designers issue this year which was very exciting and hopefully encouraging to other young women who are on the cusp of making changes in their career and are nervous about taking that leap of faith.

Check out Anouska’s Instagram.

If you’re thinking about changing careers or you’re unsure about what your strengths are, our Work It Out coaching and CV feedback service could help.

Thinking about switching to a career in tech? Join our October YWTea webinar with our partner Cisco where you’ll discover how to write a career change CV and the best entry points for those without experience.