Gen Hallam tells us about a move from Engineering to Nutrition Coaching: The Good, The Bad, and The Great!
Other from some very happy teenage years spent behind the record counter at WHSmith in North London, my first career was in development planning, working for some of the world’s largest multidisciplinary engineering consultancies. After a career break to have my three children, Ben (16), Emily (13), and Rebecca (9), I helped my husband set up Hallam Consulting, our structural engineering and project management business.
Why did this change?
When the pandemic hit in 2020, we had lots of time to ourselves and to think about life’s bigger questions over lockdown. My children were a bit older and more self sufficient, so it was a great time to think about moving my career in a new direction for this next stage of my life.
What is your new career and how did you get into this?
I have always loved cooking, been interested in food, and am fascinated by how the food we eat can have a big impact on how we feel. I am also a very sociable person and love working with people, so when I started looking into nutrition coaching it ticked all the boxes for what I was looking for in a career. It also helped that a good friend of mine (who happens to be an excellent women’s PT and peri-menopause coach – you might have heard of her 😉) got wind of what I was considering, thought it was the perfect career for me, and then encouraged and motivated me all the way!
Explain a bit more about your role/qualifications etc?
I am certified as a nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition, the worlds largest and most respected private nutrition coaching education provider. I love their positive, non—judgemental approach to food, coaching and dietary preferences, and it’s a great coaching community to be a part of.
How does it compare to your old career?
Well, I now spend a lot more time, engaging with people instead of staring at spreadsheets and word documents. I also spend a lot of time looking at photos of other people’s plates of food, which I love! My favourite thing is when a few weeks into a coaching programme, a client messages me to tell me how much better and energetic they are feeling. I literally do a little whoop and have a dance around the kitchen, it really does bring me so much joy!
I’ve also surprised myself with how much I enjoy going back into corporate settings to talk in front of larger groups of people about nutrition. It just goes to show that if you are sharing information on something that you’re really passionate about it is so much more enjoyable. Three years ago, there is no way that I would have believed you if you told me I would doing corporate presentations again, and absolutely loving them!
As with any new business, the minor downside is the hours of unseen work that you do to try and get things up and running for little or no pay/ recognition at the start. I think that’s why it’s important that your new career is something that you really love.
One thing that can’t be overstated is the importance of surrounding yourself with inspirational and encouraging women when you have a career change at this stage of life. I’ve met so many amazing women over the past three years who have started their own ventures after a career change, and the support and sense of community is really uplifting. Not least 40s Woman & Beyond’s Anna Black who has been my biggest cheerleader, inspiration and mentor, and who makes it her business to raise up, promote and support other women and their businesses. Thank you Anna!
Follow Gen @ghnutritioncoaching and https://ghnutritioncoaching.com