So far none of our clients has taken the plunge that Lucy Kellaway did – leaving her job, home, and husband to retrain as a teacher (and along the way setting up the charity Now Teach) . . . although one of our clients did think long and hard about the possibility of teaching.

Re-educated is a warm, funny, and very honest account of what it is like to turn your world upside down. And it is shot through with a great deal of self-awareness and a lot of good sense. It’s a story that will resonate with many.

In the course of my research for The Paradox of Partner Retirement, the Global Head of People and Talent at one of the largest of the international law firms suggested that to succeed in a life after law, partners needed to de-skill. I have puzzled over that remark ever since, for surely what professionals need is to recognise and articulate their skills.

Lucy Kellaway is rather more thoughtful.

Writing of some of the challenges she and her colleagues at Now Teach faced, she noted,

Yet for most of us learning provided less of a problem than unlearning. It’s not exactly that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. You absolutely can. What is hard is getting the dog to unlearn its old ones. It was this unlearning of decades of experience of working at other things that proved hard for almost all of us, and was the undoing of some.

If you would like to talk to us about what might come next and the challenges of unlearning – and you may even become the first client we steer to Now Teach – call either Jane Harris (07973 488 539) or George Wilkinson (07875 570 365) or drop us a line at

. . . and if you want to read  Re-educated (published July 2021 by Ebury Press), you’ll find it at any good bookseller and for more information on Now Teach, visit their website