A curious career chameleon and writer

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I was born and raised in South Wales. I’ve lived in England all my adult but I will always be proud to be Welsh.

There are many things that fascinate me. Learning new things and staying curious is key to my happiness.

Being a runner is core to my identity.

I started my career in medical research — finding new treatments for cancer to be precise. I have a PhD in Biochemistry as well as a Master’s degree in Toxicology. I left academia after a stint of postdoctoral research in Oxford to join a global tech company. …


A curious case of weirdness in the stats

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I am approaching the end of my first year of writing on Medium. And I’ve loved almost every minute of it.

I promise you this is not another Medium meta article. Not from me at least, as I generally avoid writing about writing on Medium. Even though I enjoy reading meta articles from other writers like Shannon Ashley.

I am writing about something I’ve observed in my Medium stats in the past week that I’d like to throw out to the wonderful writers' community to see if anyone can help enlighten me. If you want to call that meta then…


What if your strongly held beliefs are all wrong?

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We should all challenge ourselves to be open-minded. To rethink what we thought we knew. Instead, we hold onto our beliefs and opinions to avoid appearing inconsistent or flaky.

But it’s even more profound than that.

What we believe forms a core part of our identity. It’s central to who we are. As much as you are your habits, you are also the summation of all your strongly held views about the world, from our religion, our politics, and even your opinions on the food you eat.

For the record, I’m trying to persuade my family to become vegan. So…


And how you can apply these lessons to your life

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I’m old enough to remember simpler times before our electronic devices took over. When I would arrange to meet with friends in the pub on Friday by talking with them instead of having to scroll through a hundred What’s App messages to decipher the time and place that everyone eventually agreed to.

There was no YouTube for entertainment when I was a teenager. We had just 4 channels on the telly and one of them was reserved for the Welsh language. It mainly broadcast Eisteddfodau or sheepdog trials.

When I started my first job, printed internal mail was still a…


What if it’s not the answer to all your problems?

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Achieving financial independence is all the rage these days. Or maybe it’s the algorithm tricking me into thinking that everyone else is having the same thoughts as I am.

My definition of financial independence is having enough money to be free to pursue what you want to do with your time. Having choice. Working in a large corporate is the opposite of freedom and choice.

Your day is decided for you when you work for a big company. You can say no to the constant barrage of unnecessary meeting requests, but you will always be expected to deliver work for…


Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make the career switch

A female scientist in a lab performing an experiment
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You can focus your career on becoming really good at something narrow and specific like employment law or tax accounting — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that if it makes you happy.

Or you can throw yourself with enthusiasm at whatever next takes your fancy. Then spend the first year of each new job feeling like a complete imposter, until you feel reasonably competent, get itchy feet, and try something else.

That’s me.

I’ve been a scientist finding cures for cancer. I’ve been a bid manager working on winning multi-million dollar contracts with large global corporates. I’ve found innovative…


Because giving is the best way of getting something back.

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If you want to be happy then you need to stop being so selfish. You may like to think you are a generous person. But when was the last time you did something to help someone else, without expectation of receiving anything in return?

Western societies have become sadly inward-looking as we have become more secular and consumerist.

Call me cheesy if you want to, but I have the words of the late great George Michael in my head.

“The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we’ll take our chances
’Cause God’s stopped…


Do you want to yell this at someone you know?

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We all love a good moan. I certainly do. And there’s been a lot to complain about lately.

Moaning is easy.

Optimism is hard.

I admire people who can get on with life without whining about how tough everything is. My mother was that kind of person.

She had a tough life with a ton of crap thrown at her. She had every right to gripe. My father’s sudden death at age 54. Giving birth to several stillborn children before me. Living most of her life on welfare despite being fiercely intelligent.

But she rarely complained.

I want to be…


Start-ups are not just for the young.

When I think about the image of a successful entrepreneur, it’s the Silicon Valley or Shoreditch type that springs to mind. This betrays my bias, based on what I see in the media and the podcasts I listen to.

The poster child of the start-up community is white, male, and between the ages of 21 and 35.

Any older and you’re past it. No way can you build a successful business if you’re in your 40s. And you have no chance if you’re female or from any ethnic minority.

Who do you picture in your mind when you think ‘entrepreneur…

Dianne Sullivan

Curious Creature. Voracious learner. Scientist turned writer. Obsessed with personal growth, personal finance & running. www.lifebydianne.com

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