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career transitioner/ restarter


Counsellor I Psychotherapist, The Blue Pencil

(In her 50's)


Her story (as shared by her nominator, her husband)

Shirley left the workforce to take care of our children and the family. After sixteen years and having relocated to live in the States and Shanghai on my work assignments, we returned to Singapore. Shirley was intentional to live out the rest of her life in an even more meaningful way.


Shirley then pursued her Masters in Counselling despite at an age of 46 years old then. She did a vigorous course of over 2 years; attending classes in the night and working on her assignments while still taking care of the family.

Thereafter, worked to start up her own clinic. Today, Shirley owns and runs a counselling practice and has helped many of her clients.


At the age of 48 years old after 2 years of pursuing her Masters, Shirley started up her own counselling practice from zero. She now has many referrals which is a strong testimonial of the help she has given to her clients. She is now considering to upgrade her skills by pursuing a doctorate degree.


Shirley has self-published a book “Bleeding Hearts – A gentler look on self-harm” which is now available at Kinokuniya.


In her words:

Greatest achievement

To be able to set up my own private practice in counselling.


Biggest challenge thus far

When no one wanted to employ me after the completion of my studies, I started my own private practice instead.

Shirley Woon.jpg
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what judges say

Took on the challenge of building a career after not working and setting up own practice when no one would hire her. 

Kudos on not giving up!

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