Laura Walker: Fear, Confidence and the Psychology of Mid-Life

Laura Walker is an award-winning researcher, author and experienced practioner whose book “Dancing with Fear and Confidence: How to Liberate Yourself and Your Career in Mid-life” was published in November 2020.  She runs her own business which blends consulting, writing and coaching.  She previously held director level positions for businesses across six sectors including retail (John Lewis partnership), pharmaceuticals (GSK), insurance (Aviva), oil and gas (Centrica), defence (BAE Systems), Luxury goods (Burberry).

Our conversation starts with Laura’s varied career journey and how she developed an interest in the psychology of mid-life.  She starts with her early interest in psychology, which arose when she and her sister (as identical twins) participated in some studies during their childhood.  In her career she made a number of moves, some due to opportunistic openings, and In this discussion she describes some ups and downs of that journey.

Moving then to her current focus – the psychology of middle age and the dance of fear and confidence that many have to do, we bust some myths about middle life – the first being that it typically a time of “crisis”.  Other myths include beliefs about the desire to retrain and adapt as well as the willingness to contribute well into mid-life and beyond.