Case Study: The Pivot Candidate

The Pivot Candidate


For the past year, the word ‘pivot’ has become standard in our conversations. Businesses have hadto pivot from providing a ‘bricks and mortar’ experience to selling goods online. Our favourite restaurants have had to pivot from in-house dining to takeaway service.

At Pain Free Personal Statements, we have been dealing with the notion of ‘pivot’ for a number of years. For example, we frequently advise and support individuals at different points in their careers to change course, alter direction, find a new lease of life ….

How can Pain Free Personal Statements help the Pivot Candidate ?

We have helped many clients hoping to undertake specialised postgraduate courses – eg law conversion, associate physician, PGCE (teaching) etc., Our clients come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Some will be employed in roles in which they experience little job satisfaction but all have come to Pain Free Personal Statements because they cherish an ambition to
‘do something different’. 

Many make their initial contact with us through the 30 minute virtual consultation which we offer, completely free of charge and with no obligation.

What happens during the free consultation call ?
In this initial conversation, our experienced consultants discuss the client’s motivation for change. What is the client hoping to gain, both personally and professionally from a proposed move ? A few well-chosen questions and short exercises on self-reflection help both client and consultant to uncover the core characteristics needed to succeed. Often, a throwaway remark turns out to be vital in helping both parties to truly understand motivation.


Following this initial exchange, if the client wishes to engage further, the designated consultant will work closely with them to help them articulate their vision for the course they have chosen. 

Real Life Story – Darren H. – the played-out pharmacist

One such client was pharmacist Darren H. 

Darren got in touch with us after a particularly gruelling day in the community pharmacy where he had worked for seven years. He’d had enough. He had
recently read about the relatively new role of physician associate and concluded that the time was right for him to make a change. The last time Darren had written a personal statement was when he applied for his current job.

The consultant began by discussing Darren’s motivation and career progress to date. Darren had chosen pharmacy because it played to his strengths in Chemistry and Biology at A Level. He had enjoyed his undergraduate studies and achieved a 2:1. Both parents worked in white-collar jobs but had not gone to university themselves. They were very proud of Darren’s success, saw pharmacy as a ‘safe’ career with status in the community. For Darren however, dealing with demandingcustomers in a role where he did not receive recognition or support, job satisfaction was almost non-

Darren saw his motivation as ‘ wanting to help others’, ‘ a work situation where he would be part of a team’ ‘potential to progress through the ranks, maybe even take further qualifications’. Asked how he thought his role as a pharmacist would help him, Darren identified huge experience in dealing with the public; comprehensive knowledge of common treatments prescribed; focus onaccuracy, attention to detail when dispensing drugs to patients; excellent understanding of how the health service operates at a local level; up to date knowledge of plans for future reforms, reorganisations of the health service.

The physician associate course is two years full time – Darren has savings, can possibly access support from parents and is willing to work part-time to fund his course. He is looking forward to getting back to study again because he feels he is in a rut and a move away into a lively, university based environment would be very welcome. 

Darren still has some convincing to do – his parents are not 100% supportive of his decision to go back to college. In their minds, he has a good job and should stick with it.

Where to next:

In preparation for a second virtual conversation, the consultant advised Darren to research the courses on offer, decide which ones he wanted to apply to and have a look at the specific application processes in each case. 

Postgraduate applications vary, depending on the institution. As with
applying for a job, it is vital to bear this in mind when writing the personal statement. Darren’s academic achievements, work experience and personal motivation will need to be matched with the specific course requirements.

Are you considering a pivot?  Why not book a free consultation with one of our consultant?