The SYCK Career Podcast

Ep 96: Leveraging Curiosity and Compassion to Accelerate Your Career with Nicholas Whitaker


In this episode, I sit down with Ex-Googler and executive coach Nicholas Whitaker to explore strategies for navigating toxic work environments and taking charge of your career. 

Nicholas shares invaluable insights drawn from his experience, offering practical tips and empowering advice to help listeners thrive in challenging professional settings. From building a strong support network to understanding personal values and boundaries, Nicholas emphasizes the importance of preparedness, curiosity, and self-compassion in achieving resilience and success.

Tune in now to gain actionable strategies for owning your career journey!

In This Episode:

  • 00:00 - Introduction
  • 04:59 - The importance of top-down leadership
  • 05:39 - Examples of Companies with Positive Work Cultures
  • 07:00 - Navigating the unconscious work environments
  • 09:57 - Nicholas’ career in Google
  • 13:49 - Transitioning from temp to full-time employee at Google
  • 16:26 - How Nicholas dealt with impostor syndrome
  • 20:10 - Effect of lack of psychological safety
  • 24:38 - The incentive gap in implementing psychological safety
  • 30:27 - Strategies for navigating toxic work environments
  • 33:49 - Nicholas Whitaker's experience with layoffs 
  • 35:57 - Preparing for job loss and uncertainty
  • 39:06 - Career as a jungle gym
  • 40:58 - Nicholas last piece of advice

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Meet Nicholas...a Midlife Transition Coach, Co-founder of the Changing Work Collective, and Host of The Needs Improvement Podcast. As a Double Certified Life Coach, and with 20+ years in big tech and media, he specializes in guiding mid-life tech professionals, to break free of their golden handcuffs to find purpose and fulfillment beyond titles and paychecks.

His mission at Changing Work Collective is to radically transform the nature of work from the inside out while championing healthier work environments and a renewed sense of balance, purpose, and vitality. On the Needs Improvement Podcast, he shares inspiring stories and leads insightful discussions on what truly needs improvement in our corporate world—emphasizing neurodiversity, mental health, and well-being advocacy.

Through all of his various endeavors, Nicholas aims to be a champion for professionals navigating the shifting terrains of today's workplaces, ensuring they're equipped with the tools and insights to thrive.

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