Taking a year-long sabbatical from work with Francine Mends


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Francine Mends’ life is unrecognizable from several years ago when she was feeling trapped and miserable in her highly specialized field of neuroradiology, with no escape in sight.

After a series of personal tragedies that emotionally shook her to her core, she decided to finally make some serious (and scary) changes in her life, including doing something she never imagined she could do: take a year-long sabbatical from work. 

Since then, she’s quit her job, lived internationally, worked as a digital nomad, and started her own business. 

Listen in to this replay interview with a normal person from 2019 that’s even more relevant now than it was back then! You’ll hear Kristen and Francine talk about…

  • How she broke through her self-imposed limitations to finally make big life changes that she never imagined she could make.
  • How she was able to take a year-long sabbatical from work to travel the world and get right within herself.
  • Once she realized she wanted to work for herself, how she figured out what business to start. 
  • Her criteria for choosing a bridge job to support her new business, without sacrificing her newfound freedom.
  • What advice she wishes she could give her past self or anyone who’s feeling trapped in a career they don’t love.

After you’ve listened, leave a comment below to let us know how Francine’s story resonated with you.


One-on-one coaching will be open for enrollment again next Friday, January 21st! A few pointers to keep in mind:

  • We’ll be taking on a small number of clients this time — probably fewer than 10!
  • This is for people interested in getting started in January or February.
  • You don’t have to know for sure that you want to move ahead with coaching. You just have to be serious enough about it to want to have a conversation.
  • If you’re not ready now, or you’ve found us in-between “official” enrollment periods, then you can add your name to the wait list and we’ll contact you if and when we have an availability.

And if you want to hear more about how coaching with us works, check out our episode from October, 2020: Why career coaching has (almost) nothing to do with your career.

If you’re seriously considering coaching, check out this page for all the details so you know what to expect!


Francine doesn’t have a passion. At least not in the traditional sense. She’s curious, and embracing her passionless curiosity has made coping with life’s uncertainties (like breaking her collarbone in Myanmar) tolerable and even fun.

As a recovering perfectionist, a recovering physician, a writer, and a formerly shy person, Francine loves hearing people’s stories and sharing lessons from her journey.  Although she is currently nomadic, having last lived in Portugal, her heart is firmly planted in NYC. She relishes not having to wake up early, eating freshly made guacamole, and listening to water sounds (including but not limited to waterfalls, fountains, ocean waves). 

Francine is the founder of Evolving Conversations, a platform for anyone who loves deep thought and deep conversation and wishes it was easier to make better connections in their everyday lives. She firmly believes that you can talk deeply about anything, and she helps other do so on her site Evolving Conversations (onevolving.com). She’s on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at Onevolving. You can also find her on Medium, where she regularly writes guest posts that are the stimuli for the deep, provocative conversations she loves to have with people in her growing community.


Ghosting your job with Lana Jackson (May 2018)

How to work less, live more, and make great money with Katie Mongelli (July 2018)

Finding a dream job after years of searching with Teanca Shepherd (September 2018)


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