Simone Giesen on how to keep reinventing yourself in life and business.

Simone Giesen

By Simone Giesen

Did you wake up in the wrong life today?

I know what that feels like: a couple of years ago, I had lost my way and found myself stuck in the wrong career. I could not help but wonder how I had gotten myself into this mess and where exactly I went off track. 

I’m a planner — to the degree that I schedule tasks for exact times. Of course, I had safely mapped out and planned my future. I thought I had done “everything right,” but why did the life I had envisioned for myself feel so bad?

After training as a banker in Germany and completing my degree in International Business Administration in Germany, Switzerland, and the United States, I started my career in the finance sector one month after graduation — while most of my friends from Business school were struggling to find a job. 

Three years in, I felt not only lost and out of place, but uninspired, unfulfilled, and miserable. One day, the suffering became unbearable and I was desperate for a change. So I quit my job without a plan B, and within six months I started over: I moved from Germany to Switzerland, pursued a new education, jumped into a new field, and landed my first job that would finally put me on my path to becoming a coach. 

When making that leap, you do not have to do such a drastic switch like I did. The stakes are high, and there are constraints like financial implications or losing status — but it is your life and you deserve to be happy. 

If you are contemplating a career change as well, here’s what I have learned.

LESSON #1: Always trust your gut feeling.

When I signed my first employment contract, my gut feeling told me something was off. It just did not feel right, even though on the surface, I had landed a good entry-level job in a well-known and reputable company. Deep down I knew that this was not right for me and that I was settling. I chose the alleged security and financial stability that this job would provide over an unknown future and the stress of an on-going job search, which scared me at that point. So I ignored that nagging feeling, not knowing that feelings are designed to alert us to pay attention to potential dangers — but also opportunities. Research suggests that your gut-feeling draws on experience and intuition and can help you make a bold decision, if you listen to it. 

LESSON #2: Do a thorough reality check.

Make sure the vision you are following is really your own, and it is truly aligned with your passion, talents, and personal preferences. We are constantly influenced by the media, friends, and family — and it can be overwhelming to choose from all the options that are available to us. It is important to raise above the noise level and make sure that the path you are following is yours, rather than somebody else`s idea of a great life for you (even though they might mean well). For the people pleasers among us: this is your kind reminder that you are not here to fulfill other people’s expectations. Know yourself, accept yourself, then decide what you want and go for it. 

How do you know what’s right for YOU? Follow the energy! What really excites you?  What are you passionate about? What is the topic you could talk about all day long? When do you feel most alive? When do you lose track of time? 

The answers to these powerful questions might be some indicators to point you in the right direction. Then, do your homework. Research as much as you can, and talk to people in the field you want to work in. The new career might look very glamorous from afar, but what would an ordinary day in this line of work really feel like? 

LESSON #3: Manage the process and prioritize self-care.

While you are figuring out your next move, you will experience some uncertainty, insecurity, and most probably some anxiety. It is important to be gentle and patient with yourself in the process. 

Keep your inner monologue positive, and show yourself some compassion. You are doing the best that you can. Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself. What could you do today that will bring you one step closer to your goal? This transition phase might be a good time to put some healthy self-care routines in place to keep your energy levels up and keep you sane along the way. 

LESSON #4: Be your own cheerleader and celebrate every tiny victory.

In his book, Choose Yourself, James Altucher stated: “We’re taught at an early age that we’re not good enough. That someone else has to choose us in order for us to be… what? Blessed? Rich? Certified? Legitimized? Educated? Partnership material?” 

The truth is that you do not need anyone’s approval to do what you love. Show up for yourself and cheer yourself on. Every single day. Your mindset is your most precious asset. A strong sense of self-esteem combined with an unwavering belief in yourself will define how you face the world. 

It’s not about being arrogant, it is about having a realistic and healthy self-image that does not need constant approval from the outside. Stop waiting for anyone to choose you. Step forward and claim your spot. Whether you are dreaming of becoming an artist, a writer, a designer, an entrepreneur, or — fill in the blank — you already ARE that person. Give yourself permission and start showing up as her!

LESSON #5: Authenticity — own your story.

It’s your life and it’s never too late to course-correct. In my career, I have interviewed and assessed hundreds of people and have come to the conclusion that an apparent “rupture” in a CV is rarely a deal-breaker, if explained well. The skills that were acquired in one field in combination with life experience and your personality are transferable. As Steve Jobs put it, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.” Be true to yourself and own your experiences! 

I hope you could find some inspiration in my story. For those of you who feel stuck or lost, please keep searching. Things will eventually fall into place when you are on your path. How you feel about work and your career rubs off on your mental health and well-being, your relationships, and the way you show up in life. Never stop learning and thriving. We all will have to reinvent ourselves many times in life, but that’s really the point isn’t it?

Simone Giesen

Simone Giesen

Simone is an executive coach & organizational development (OD) consultant based in Zurich, Switzerland. Over the last 12 years she has worked in the field of leadership development for multinational companies in the finance, hospitality, technology and engineering sector. She now runs her own business, SGC Simone Giesen Consulting — specialized in personal & leadership development, coaching, and change management. Simone works with individuals, leaders and teams around the globe to empower them to reach their highest potential in life and business.

Meet Nisha Grewal, founder of luxury skincare line, Ambari Beauty.

Nisha Grewal

Nisha Grewal is the founder of Ambari Beauty, a Vancouver-based luxury skincare brand that blends ancient ingredients with modern innovation. Growing up in a proud Indo-Canadian home, Nisha and her family leaned into herbs, spices and adaptogens (healing herbs and mushrooms) for skin health benefits and pain relief. Seeing the added benefits of visits to medical spas, Nisha was inspired — she worked with a research team to create her line, combining clinical actives, smart adaptogens, and broad-spectrum oil. Launched in February 2021, in its first year Ambari Beauty built a loyal customer base across North America, landed Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman as retail partners, and Kourtney Kardashian as a fan. It’s now a multi-million dollar brand. 

  

My first job ever was… a kickboxing instructor and lifeguard.

I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I loved business and was passionate about product research and development.

I founded Ambari Beauty because… I wanted to create products that delivered instant professional-level results from the comfort of your home.

I’m passionate about skin care because… taking care of my skin helped to build my self-esteem and self-confidence. Being able to leave the facialist or derms office with glowing skin and no makeup on gave me a great sense of pride. I want my customers to feel just as proud of their skin after using our products.

My proudest accomplishment is… my formula, the Modern Blend, and all of the amazing feedback we’ve gotten about it from retailers, celebrities, and influencers. The Modern Blend combines smart adaptogens, clinical actives, and broad spectrum oil to give you overnight results.

My biggest setback was… launching Ambari during a global pandemic and trying to secure investments and retail distribution during a time when many brands were going out of business.

I overcame it by… showing how our unique value proposition of professional-level at home skincare served a growing consumer demand, and eventually securing retail distribution with two of America’s biggest luxury retailers, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. 

“Learn as much as you can about whatever industry you’re trying to break into. That might mean taking on an internship, or getting a mentor. From there, it all comes down to long-term planning, hard work, and determination.”

My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… to learn as much as you can about whatever industry you’re trying to break into. That might mean taking on an internship, or getting a mentor. From there, it all comes down to long-term planning, hard work, and determination.

The thing I love most about what I do is… receiving messages from happy customers and seeing how my products have transformed their skin.

The most exciting moment for my business so far has been… partnering with Kourtney Kardashians brand, Poosh!

If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… my work ethic, drive and dedication. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if my parents hadn’t instilled these values in me from an early age.

I stay inspired by… looking at other female entrepreneurs. I personally know how hard it can be to manage a business, be a mother, and find time for everything else in between. I respect strong females who are making a difference to shape their industries and act as role models for other young aspiring female entrepreneurs.

The future excites me because… it is full of new and exciting opportunities for growth!

My next step is… to expand Ambari’s product line into new markets internationally.