In an article that appeared in Northern Echo, we learn about the events that led Mike Lever to change the direction of his working life. According to Mike, ‘It was 2008 and I worked for Northern Rock. Our daughter Miah had been born through IVF. She was early and it had been a tough time, in and out of the hospital. Finally we were all at home together, enjoying a lazy weekend. I went upstairs for a shower and collapsed – I’d had a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage.’
‘The months after that were very difficult, especially for Deborah my wife, who was looking after a small baby and visiting me in the hospital. I have a few gaps in my memory and a constant headache, but the whole episode made me think about doing something different.’
Armed with a degree in Economics from the University of Wolverhampton, Mike’s first full time job was at the Inland Revenue. ‘The people were lovely, but the job just wasn’t for me.’
Mike went on to work for Northern Rock for more than 17 years in a variety of roles – mortgage advisor, sales trainer, area manager – ending up as the training & competence manager, an Assistant Director role, based at the bank’s Head Office.
‘When I left Northern Rock I took time off and did a lot of things I’d always wanted – including having a flying lesson and drawing up my family tree. I also joined Durham Toastmasters, where I met Nevil Tynemouth from New Results. We talked and I ended up joining the company.’
Mike was crowned national Sales Trainer of the Year at the annual British Excellence in Sales and Marketing awards, run by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management
“The fantastic thing is that I get to work with a huge variety of people, from managing directors to sales staff, and it makes getting up in the morning and going to work so satisfying. And we’re growing and bucking the trend.”
Mike wouldn’t recommend illness as a way of changing track, but it helped him reach a place he calls his dream job. ‘I think I have been very fortunate in the lot of ways. And here I am doing what I love, in a great part of the world. It hardly gets much better than this.’
Click here to read the full article.
Thanks to Mike Lever for sharing his story; The Northern Echo for committing its resources to interviewing Mike and publishing his story; Google for helping me find the story; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.