Kelly Swingler - She/Her
Burnout Prevention Strategist
Kelly Swingler is a Burnout Prevention Strategist and coach. Through her podcast, articles and books, as well as her coaching practice, she encourages people to look after their mental health and prevent chronic stress from taking over their life. She previously founded and ran a People and Change consultancy that worked with employers such as Waitrose, John Lewis, Luminus Group and Genesis Housing to ensure that their employees mental health was prioritised. As a former HR Director herself, Kelly also created the world’s first mental wellbeing program for HR.
Please tell us about your career
My job title is Burnout Prevention Strategist. And whilst advocacy is a huge part of my role, I focus more on Burnout Prevention than advocating for my Bi-Polar, although my podcast episode and a number of my blogs and articles about Bi-polar have been featured on BBC and a number of other platforms to highlight why the stigma around Bi-Polar needs to be removed.
I focus on Burnout prevention, because, the high and chronic stress that I experienced, was definitely a HUGE contributing factor to my Bipolar diagnosis and two other health conditions, and I found it really hard. I know we can prevent Burnout. And I know that when we do, we eliminate the stress, we eliminate the illness and we can prevent Mental Health issues from developing. I've been focused on Burnout Prevention full-time since 2020, prior to that it was a small part of my role when I was running my People and Change consultancy.
I started coaching in 2010 while I was still in Corporate, where I was working as an HR Director. After my first Burnout in 2013, I decided I need to be driving change at a deeper and wider level, so I started my first company, and I specifically focused on Burnout Prevention and Mental well-being for HR Professionals. I've widened this, walked away from my consultancy, and started my second business. My role now, suits me as an ND woman, because I'm fully in charge of my energy and my time, something I couldn't do fully whilst employed or whilst leading a large team. I know it can be done, it just didn't work for me.
I'm really proud of my career path and all that I've achieved. I've won awards, I've spoken on stages all around the world. I've written five books with two more mapped out and in the process of being written. I was the UK's youngest HR Director aged 30, having had twin sons aged 20. I've studied, researched, and created the world's first Mental Wellbeing program for HR. I've got an incredible community, a growing podcast platform, over 99k subscribers to my LinkedIn articles, and a trusted group of clients. I love what I do, and I'm driven by my mission of changing the world of work and preventing burnout.
My biggest aspiration in my career currently, is to influence policy at the government level to ensure that psychological health and safety is of paramount importance in workplaces and a legal requirement to eliminate burnout and prevent mental health conditions caused by work and workplaces.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
Quitting corporate for self-employment, seeing things others can't, asking questions others won't, doing things others wouldn't, learning to work to my strengths, learning to work with my energy, basing my work on my struggles, being as visible as I can be!
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
Don't waste energy trying to be anything that you're not. People always expect you to behave a certain way, don't waste energy on this, you need your energy for you! Trust your gut, everyone else will tell you what 'normal' looks like and what you should be doing, but you'll know what's best. Build your support team, you never know when you'll need them. Create time for you, just to connect to yourself each day. Know that you're not 'crazy' you are you.