Carmel O'Reilly

Carmel O'ReillyI’m Carmel and I’m the founder of Evolving Careers Players. I have 15 years experience coaching, training and helping people manage, develop and transition their careers. I often get asked how the idea of combining learning and development with corporate drama came about, so I’ve written a short story to tell you about My Career Story

My career began in the world of Finance which I really enjoyed while I was doing it, and that was as much to do with being in a good environment and working with great people as well as the job itself. There came a time when I wanted to move on, and I happen to believe we all have more than 1 career within us, should we choose to change paths.

I returned to college and undertook my degree in Career Coaching and Management with Birbeck University and secured a position with a Careers Consultancy Company. It was quite a juggling act initially: working to bring in needed income while studying and gaining practical experience to launch my new career and business.

My learning and development has always been important to me and now I was in a position where I was working with individuals and organisations on their learning and development programmes. The 121 work came easily but I felt inhibited delivering the group work - I suddenly became quite wooden! To overcome this I undertook a Foundation year in Drama, along with several shorter acting courses and a year long Directing Course which led to me being Assistant Director on a production of Hamlet which went on to being performed at the RSC Open Space in Stratford Upon Avon - my claim to fame!

It was then I had my eureka moment of how the techniques, structure and methods of theatre making are significant in the world of career learning and development: The unique skills sets performing artists have had to develop in their craft brings learning alive. This is ‘learning by doing’ enabling the practice of new skills sets and behaviours in a safe, supportive, challenging and creative environment.

I was now able to combine my knowledge and experience of career learning and development with drama-based techniques, collaborating with performing artists and Evolving Careers Players was born. Our work enables individuals and teams to be more active, spontaneous and flexible, freeing their minds to use their imagination in being inventive and original. The intrinsic nature of our work helps foster creativity, team spirit and emotional intelligence.

This is a win/win for me, because along with a love for learning and development I am also passionate about the Arts, and now I’ve created a career which embodies what’s important to me. I work with interesting people helping them to manage, develop and transition their careers, supporting organisational learning and development programmes, and I work with a team of performing artists in delivering the work - a definite win/win don’t you think!

And the name: “Evolving” because our work is all about helping individuals, teams, and organisations evolve. “Careers” is the specific focus of our learning and development programmes, and “Players” was the word used for performing artists in Shakespeare’s time and “Meet the Players” is a line from Hamlet (and my eureka moment!), and we here at Evolving Careers Players believe playing is a very important part of learning and development.

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