194. How to change sectors, overcome pandemic "blues," and start a side hustle: A conversation with wellness advocate Mandy Hooper

career change wellbeing women's career Jul 10, 2023
The Job Hunting Podcast Episode 194: How to change sectors, overcome pandemic

Our guest Mandy Hooper shares her inspiring journey of balancing a successful career as a Service Delivery Manager for a major retail chain in Australia and New Zealand while also pursuing her passion for wellness. Mandy talks about her sector transitions and offers valuable tips for professionals seeking to follow her lead and change sectors or industries. She also discusses the importance of hobbies in avoiding burnout and shares her experience with managing burnout during the pandemic. Join us as we delve into Mandy's story and learn from her unique insights. 

Here are my favorite takeaways from this episode: 

  • How she incorporated sports and wellbeing into her life: In her introduction, Mandy explains her love for wellness and her diverse professional background. She has a busy job as a Service Delivery Manager, and her side ventures in wellness, book publishing, and podcasting. So, listen to learn how she manages it all without burning out (and how she recovered from burnout in the past). 
  • How she successfully changed sectors and industries: We explore Mandy's experience of moving sectors and her success transitioning from forestry to tech within multiple industries. We learn the factors that enabled Mandy to change industries and the strategies she employed during these transitions. 
  • Tips for Changing Sectors or Industries: I asked Mandy to share tips and advice for professionals considering a change of sectors or industries, especially regarding overcoming common challenges and leveraging transferable skills during a career transition. We also discuss how to proactively plan and navigate the process to ensure a successful switch. 
  • Why she started a side hustle and how she does it alongside a full-time job: My favorite topic to discuss with Mandy was her side hustle and starting a Podcast. We also discussed the importance of having a great hobby to prevent burnout. 
  • Managing burnout during and after the Pandemic: Mandy shares her journey and her responsibility as a leader of people in dealing with burnout during and after the pandemic and the strategies she employed to overcome it. We discuss the effects of the pandemic on work and career plans and how the employee value proposition and wellness support need to shift for organizations to reconnect with their employees and attract talent.  

Want more episodes on wellness? We got you!

We have a great number of episodes with experts and professionals who are passionate about wellbeing at work. If you click on the "Wellbeing" category on this page, you will be able to review them and choose what to want to listen to next! For a high-energy conversation about the importance of food in maintaining wellbeing, consider listening to the amazing celebrity nutritionist (and former corporate exec!) Michelle Chevalley Hedge. Another great episode is with women's health experts Natalie Moore and Lisa Saunders, who are doing a great job advocating for wellbeing at work, working with companies and corporate leaders.

About our guest:

Mandy Hooper is a health coach, educator, information junkie, wellness advocate, and the proud mum of two phenomenal humans. She is a published author, a certified personal trainer, and has a double degree in science and forest science, a diploma in Project Management, and a mini MBA. 

After 20 years in senior technology roles across many industries, Mandy now provides busy professionals with coaching and accountability to help them on their wellness journey to vitality one step at a time with joy and peace. Mandy lives with her incredibly patient husband in Melbourne, Australia. Learn more about Mandy on her website.

Timestamps to guide your listening: 

  • 05:44 - Mandy Hooper's Journey from Forestry to Tech
  • 10:38 - Mandy Hooper's Art of Answering 'Why' in Career Change
  • 11:36 - Challenges and Closed Doors
  • 15:13 - Mandy Hooper's Path to Career Transitions
  • 17:28 - Passion Project or Side Hustle? Unraveling Mandy Hooper's Journey to Balance and Ambitions
  • 22:58 - Navigating the Irony of a Health Side Hustle and Avoiding Burnout
  • 25:35 - A Guide to Prioritizing Health and Wellbeing Amidst a Busy Career and Post-COVID Transitions
  • 31:58 - Understanding the Psychological Impact of Trauma: Navigating Burnout and Mental Health in a Post-Pandemic World
  • 38:25 - Mandy's final words

Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


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