Business & Real Estate

Local resident turns curvy career into podcast

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Courtesy of Beth Davies
Los Altos resident Beth Davies, right, interviews Michael Forrest for an episode of her “Career Curves” podcast.

Los Altos resident Beth Davies has had a curvy career, starting out as a lawyer and transitioning into human resources for companies such as Apple and Tesla before launching her own podcast, aptly titled “Career Curves.”

The podcast, which began in August, shares her career story and those of others. Davies hosts; Dan Henkle serves as executive producer.

Although the pair only began considering the idea of creating a podcast in October 2018, Davies had already owned the URL careercurves.com for a while at that point.

“When I left Tesla and start to think about what I wanted to do next, there was something really appealing to me about helping people in their careers,” she said. “And the name ‘Career Curves’ came to me.”

So Davies purchased the URL two years ago.

“It’s perfect,” she said of the name, “because of this idea that current careers are really curvy and they’re not straight lines.”

Davies added that the goal of the podcast is “to inspire people who might be feeling stuck in their careers” by featuring stories of those who have worked in various fields.

“So we know a lot of people say, especially as they’re coming out of high school or coming out of college, ‘I don’t know what I want to do with my life,’ as if they have to make one decision at the front end that is going to determine everything,” she said. “And yet, when you talk to people who are later in their careers, you find out that you don’t have to worry about making one decision and sticking to it forever.”

Another goal of the podcast, she noted, is to share information that people might not have otherwise.

“We recognized that if you’re interested in doing something that nobody else in your family has done, it’s unlikely that the people in your family can tell you how to break into that field, whatever it may be,” Davies said. “And so we wanted to kind of democratize access to these kinds of stories.”

According to Davies, people often don’t know where to start when trying to choose a career. She referred to a common misconception that people’s careers should relate to things they were passionate about as children, which she said is untrue. Of the people she has talked with, many simply stumbled into their career and found out they loved it when they initially did not even consider it.

Learning curve

After Davies found the inspiration for her podcast, she still had several steps to accomplish before going live, which she aimed to do in six months.

The first step was finding guests. Davies and Henkle made a list of people they had met throughout their careers, expecting a yield rate of approximately 75%. To their surprise, everyone they contacted agreed to appear.

“There’s something about saying to people ‘Your story can inspire others’ that has them say, ‘I would love to tell it; please help me tell it and be that vehicle,’” Davies said.

Next came gaining the technical knowledge. Davies said neither she nor Henkle had previous experience with podcasts, so they taught themselves podcasting from various online resources, including YouTube videos.

Although Davies said that measuring the reach of a podcast is difficult, she is happy with the progress “Career Curves” has made. She said approximately 400 people access each episode, 17% of which come from outside the United States. Listeners hail from more than 65 countries in all – including Romania, the United Arab Emirates and Kenya.

“We had no idea that we were going to hit people outside the U.S.,” she said. “We thought we’re telling very kind of American-centric stories, because it’s people’s careers in the U.S., and yet we’ve got people all over the world who are listening.”

That wide reach may relate to the variety of guests featured, in fields ranging from tech to public service and fashion.

“Diversity of stories and diversity of guests are really important to us,” Davies said.

She added that she loves all of her episodes, but an interview with Dr. Marcus Watson, a dentist, particularly resonated with her. She said interviewing him surprised her; at first, she assumed his career would be a straight line, but it turned out to be really curvy.

“There are some things that he’s done for himself around creating work-life balance that were just eye-opening for me,” Davies said. “He’s a dentist who during his career found himself with tremors. And as a dentist, you can’t have tremors. And so he at that point really needed to both come to terms with that and then redefine himself. And so it’s my favorite because it wasn’t anything that I expected it to be.”

Moving forward, Davies plans to keep on telling stories.

“We’re not overly orchestrating and overly designing it,” she said. “We are kind of waiting to hear from our audience and our community what the need is and where their energy is.”

To listen to the podcast or learn more about “Career Curves,” visit careercurves.com.

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