In the first episode of the Pop Your Career podcast with Bec McFarland, I’m sharing a little about my own career, as well as how I came to be the founder of a career coaching practice. You’ll get a bit of an insight into who I am and why I decided to start the Pop Your Career podcast, as well as a bit of a taster of what’s to come in future episodes!

Links I mentioned in this episode:

1. Meet Bec McFarland, Founder of Pop Your Career – Transcript


[00:00:00] Hello hello. It’s Bec McFarland here, helping you do better and be better in your career. I am the proud owner of the Pop Your Career podcast. And I am here today to tell you a little about me and how I came to be a career coach.

[00:00:47] You see, when I was a young girl, I had dreams of becoming an archeologist. I know a lot of little girls want to grow up and become archeologists. But mine was quite specific because [00:01:00] I wanted to be just like Indiana Jones. I was mad keen on anything related to ancient Egypt. And my hobby was reading reference books just to learn and memorize as much as I could about this really fascinating time in our history.

[00:01:15] Now you can imagine, right. A year three kid who is asking for ancient Egypt reference books for Christmas. Yeah. I wasn’t necessarily very popular. It was in about year three though, that I decided that archeology or more specifically Egyptology was going to be my future career. And I was pretty funny. I had ambitiously researched and mapped out my university study and all of the steps that I needed to take in order to become the Bec version of Indi.

[00:01:48] So this included going to the news agency, getting the UC guide, identifying the university admissions index score that I needed in order to get into the courses that I’d selected for [00:02:00]myself. It was quite an involved plan and just to make things even more embarrassing for me today, I also preferred to go by the name, Becky Lee at that stage. That is a phase that I am happy, did not last long.

[00:02:15] When I finished year 12, I got the scores that I needed to go ahead with my carefully laid plan. It was very, very exciting. I remember that I wasn’t able to actually attend the event at the school where everyone found out their course scores. So I rang the reception office the day after and waited and waited for her to go and get my score.

[00:02:36] And I needed 80.4 in order to get into the course that I’d applied for. And my score was 80.9. I absolutely balled my eyes out on the phone because it was like all of these plans that I had been working on over my whole life or all of a sudden coming into fruition.

[00:02:57] But then I guess something wasn’t quite right, [00:03:00] and I think that it was because I’d been following this plan for so long without really even evaluating it. It was like, I made a decision in year three and that decision was set in stone so I just carried out the plan. And when it came to crunch time, time to actually look at going to uni, I freaked out a little. So what did I do? I took a gap year and I’m using air quotation marks because it’s 20 something years later and I’m in the gap.

[00:03:36] So where did I end up? Well, my career has taken a few turns over the way. I spent a few years first up in medical administration, and I later did a stint as a skip tracer for a debt collection firm, which was a very big eye opener. If you’re not familiar with the term, skip tracer basically it’s somebody who finds people when they [00:04:00] have skipped out on paying their debts. So it’s like a little bit of an investigative role. It was very, very exciting, but definitely not something that I wanted to do in the long term.

[00:04:09] Since 2005, though, the bulk of my career has been in human resources. And of course, I love to make silly dad jokes. So I always find it quite funny that all through school, I ambitiously pursued this career in archeology where all the people are dead. And instead I ended up in HR, I feel like it’s some kind of past life punishment or something, but I guess I’ll never really know.

[00:04:38] Since taking on my first role in recruitment, I’ve held a few different roles under the HR umbrella, worked in agency recruitment in both boutique and multinational organizations. I’ve done in-house recruitment, labor hire, generalist HR. I’ve worked in the public sectors and in the private sectors. And I’ve even been the HR manager of a small to medium enterprise here in Canberra, [00:05:00] Australia, where I live.

[00:05:01] Uh, And I did that for about four years before going in and doing a little bit of time in the public service. So as a side note though you might find this interesting if you think about the timeline of my career. So I began my career in human resources in 2005. But interestingly, I actually wrote my first resume on behalf of someone else in 2003.

[00:05:26] So two years prior to actually starting to work in the industry, I had a colleague who needed help. She needed to write a resume. She didn’t know where to start. I knew that I had strong writing skills, so I offered to write it for her. And then the seed was planted. So by 2015, when I started Pop Your Career, I’d been writing resumes and selection criteria responses casually for friends and friends of friends and family friends.

[00:05:53] I’d earned a bit of odd cash, but I never really took it seriously. Aside from a three month stint [00:06:00] where I worked as a resume writer full time while I was between jobs. In 2015 when I launched my business officially, I offered career coaching, but my bread and butter was the writing. So I was writing resumes, writing, cover letters, writing selection criteria responses.

[00:06:17] I did that successfully for three years along the side of my role in the People and culture team at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. So I stayed there for three years, really, really just so grateful for that opportunity to experience human resources within the public sector. And I think that it has really broadened my skills and experience as a career coach.

[00:06:41] So in 2018, I actually threw in the towel and I left my APS job behind. And this was so that I could focus on growing Pop Your Career. Early the following year, I then made the decision to stop writing resumes and selection, criteria responses, and focus on career coaching. Now I might talk a little [00:07:00] bit about this later on in a future episode, but the long and the short of it was that I found that I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled by the writing anymore.

[00:07:08] I was constantly living on someone else’s deadline, and I felt like I just always had these deadlines that were looming over. It was through some interesting conversations that I had with a couple of my best friends and also my husband, where I realized that the beauty of owning your own business is that you actually get to make, decisions about the type of work that you want to do.

[00:07:30] And I just didn’t want to do that kind of thing anymore. I guess you could say that the rest is history because since then I have been career coaching and absolutely loving it. It’s one of my favorite, favorite things to do. Now, for those of you who know me, you’ll also know that I launched my second venture, Pop Your Business in early 2020.

[00:07:52] So this was right around the time that the pandemic hit. I found that I was getting a lot of inquiries from people who had met me [00:08:00] through networking and through other events, who had seen the success that I was experiencing in Pop Your Career. And they wanted to know how they could experience that kind of success in their own businesses.

[00:08:10] So I did a little bit of business coaching. I under the radar, I always say I was like the incognito business coach. But in 2020, I officially launched that arm of my business and started really focusing on helping business owners get the business stuff under control so that they can focus on the work that truly lights them up.

[00:08:31] I believe that this mission ties really, really well into the work that I do with Pop Your Career. As you can see that word again, fulfillment, it underpins absolutely everything that I do.

[00:08:44] I then launched my third business, which is called BizCBR. It’s a Canberra business network earlier in 2022. And this was just because of the fact that I’m a keen networker. I love helping people to connect with other people who might [00:09:00] be able to help them move forward in their businesses and their careers. And so it was so exciting to me to develop this network and give people an opportunity to meet other business owners and to connect, to learn and to grow. And so far it’s been so much fun.

[00:09:14] This episode is brought to you by the Career Clarity Quest, my absolutely free, seven day program, which is designed to support you in getting so much clearer about your next steps. Find it at

[00:09:28] So I live, as I mentioned in Canberra Australia. It is winter now. So it’s about the time of the year when my amazing husband Mac starts to curse me for my decision to move back to Canberra, to be closer to my family.

[00:09:48] And this will go on for the next few months until spring returns. If you’ve ever been to Canberra, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s that whole idea of having to wake up in the morning and defrost your car before [00:10:00] you go anywhere, it’s really not that fun. If you’re ever visiting invest in some thick socks.

[00:10:07] So I live here with my amazing husband, as I mentioned, his name is Mac. I’ve got a beautiful dog, Jasper. Jasper may pop in and out of episodes every now and then I try and keep him quiet, but you know, dogs don’t always like to listen. So if you do hear a little bit of barking in the background of future episodes, That’s just him trying to put in his 2 cents.

[00:10:30] And I also have two beautiful bearded dragons. One is called Skittles and the other is Simon. Family is really, really important to me. So I feel extra lucky to live nice and close to my mum and dad. They live in the same suburb as me, and we’re able to spend loads of time with them. I’m also blessed to have fabulous network of friends who are ever so supportive. If that’s you and you’re listening to this, this episode is dedicated to you [00:11:00] and I love you.

[00:11:01] In a future episode, I’m going to talk more about fulfillment and why it underpins everything that I do in all three of my businesses. And I’m also going to share with you my career fulfillment framework.

[00:11:12] So this is a framework that I developed that outlines the key areas that you need to look at when considering a more fulfilling career. It is really useful and really actionable framework that I think will serve to make very interesting conversation for the Pop Your Career podcast. In the meantime and before we sign off, I would just love for you to take a moment to just consider one question for me.

[00:11:40] And that question is this, are you feeling fulfilled? Are you feeling fulfilled? Like really? Now, if your answer is no, then don’t stress. That’s what this [00:12:00] podcast is all about. It’s providing you with bite-sized and actionable tips, ideas, and concepts that you can implement for a more fulfilling career. And if you are feeling fulfilled, I would still love for you to listen along.

[00:12:14] You never know what you might learn, and you can never be too fulfilled. Right? Thank you so much for listening to the first episode of the Pop Your Career podcast. I look forward to catching you in the next one. Take care.

Find me online:

About the author 


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.