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Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - East Midlands: Monday 4th November, 2004

LIFE SWAPS

Tractor in a field

"When I grow up, I want to be……."

We all had dreams as children of what our ideal job may be, but how many of us are actually living that dream?

Inside meets two brave souls who reached a cross roads in their career and changed their lives dramatically.

Working 9 to 5

For any of you ‘nine to fivers’, chained to your desk, dreaming of a life in the great outdoors, let Jan McCourt serve as inspiration.

"As a little boy, I’d always wanted to be a farmer. I’d spend my time dreaming up budgets, not particularly successfully, and dreaming about it."
Jan McCourt

Jan spent the majority of his working life as successful investment banker in London.

After reaching a crossroads in his career, Jan swapped office for barn and purchased Northfield Farm at Cold Overton.

Idyllic

You may be forgiven for conjuring up idyllic notions of green pastures and milking cows. The reality however, is a little different as Jan reveals.

"The first thing I had to do was to take a steer that was ready for killing from the field to the abattoir... change my clothes, wash up, put on a white coat and learn to butcher."

Meat in a chiller
Butchering is one of the harsh realities of farming

Life as a British farmer, particularly in the current climate, is notoriously difficult and life for Jan is a constant struggle to make the farm profitable.

In an ironic twist of fate, Jan finds himself making that familiar journey to the nation’s capital in order to sell his wares at speciality markets.

The colleagues Jan once worked along side are now customers and loyal ones at that.

Struggle

However idyllic it may look to Jan’s ex-colleagues as he serves up fresh produce, what they don’t see is Jan’s early arrival and battles to assemble the tent before the market opens.

Jan's market stall sign
Jan finds himself back in London, selling his produce

"It’s a struggle financially, it’s a struggle physically, it’s been a struggle emotionally." Jan McCourt

And it certainly has been an emotional struggle as Jan’s wife has decided that she too wants to follow her own path and they are currently going through a divorce.

Alterations in lifestyle can and often do have major impact on personal relationships, as life coach Vicki Espin explains.

"One of the big pitfalls about making a major change in one big step, is that it can have a massive impact on other areas of your life. For instance, on family relationships."

"It’s a way of life and it’s a better way of life."
Jan McCourt

Even with all the major upheaval that Jan has faced, spending time in the fields and with the animals reinforces his resolve.

Passion

Indian spices
Jitesh turned his passion into a career

Jan is not alone in his desire to change his life. After 22 years as a television repair man, Jitesh Badiani woke up one morning and decided to start a restaurant.

Jitesh has always been passionate about food, experimenting with new recipes and cooking regularly for his friends. Now he makes a career out of this passion.

Jitesh's successful career change has allowed him to spend more time with his family. His business is ever expanding and Jitesh's latest venture is to turn a hardware shop into a restaurant.

Both Jan and Jitesh have worked hard to make a success of their new careers and it hasn’t always been easy. Yet offered with the choice to go back, both men are firm in their resolve, their decisions have been the right ones.

See also ...

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Life coaching

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