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From the random Paralympian to the inadvertent gem expert – new podcast explores guests’ ‘accidental careers’

A new podcast is putting a spotlight on those with ‘Accidental Careers,’ and hopes to both entertain and motivate the next generation to look into the vast range of jobs they can do in the process.

Accidental Careers is hosted by Lindsey Stephens, whose own career, accidental or otherwise, includes stints on the commercial teams for Newsquest, Global, Archant, and even Prolific North.

It is aimed at young adults embarking on their careers, but also likely to be of interest to professionals of all ages, or presumably those hoping for an ‘accidental’ career change, and sees Stephens interview guests to discuss the unexpected steps that got them to where they are today – many doing jobs or in a career they hadn’t even heard of when sat talking to their careers officers at school.

Guests to date include Chris Skelley, who accidentally became a Paralympic gold medallist at judo in 2021; Helen Dimmick, who inadvertently flitted from prima ballerina to leading gemologist, and Suzan Holder, who augmented an already fairly intriguing-sounding life as a journalist, Loose Women executive producer and spouse of Slade legend Noddy Holder, by becoming a published author of music-tinged romantic comedy.

Stephens said the inspiration for the podcast came from seeing her daughter face the same pressures she had in her youth: “I can say with certainty that 20 years ago when I had just left school, I had no idea that the job I do today in media sales even existed and so when I recently saw my daughter face the same pressure I did to pick the best subjects for her ‘dream’ job, not knowing what that dream job is, I knew I needed to do something,” she explained.

“Accidental Careers looks to normalize and remove the pressure around not knowing exactly what you want to do by the time you’re 20 or even 30, by exploring the journey successful individuals have taken to get them to a point in their work life where they feel like they have found the career for them. We hear from former NHS consultants and even lawyers who turned their back on mainstream careers to follow their real dreams. In most cases it seems to be a series of unlikely events and jobs that has got them there and that’s half the fun – the journey.”

Accidental Careers is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts with a new episode uploaded each week.

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