Hi, I am Dr. Nicolas Till Deuschel
On this site, I share how I went from being an anxious, always pleasing and stuck in the rat-race professional to creating a well-paying career and fulfilling life on my terms.
Now I help ambitious professionals like you to thrive in their work-life (without sacrificing your soul and fortune to gurus or burning out in the process).
How it Started
Hardworking and motivated but overwhelmed by choices, competition and thousand of life-hacks
Starting to own a fulfilling work-life was not smooth. In fact, the start into my professional career was anything but enjoyable.
While I graduated from the ‘elite’ University of Oxford and started a promising career as consultant McKinsey in London…
The Big Recession hit hard in 2009. Doomsday talk was around me and hard-working city boys constantly reminded me I should be grateful that I found a well-paying job and to “suck up” the hours until 2am.
So, there I was: A twenty-something-year old graduate ready to conquer the world, working in my first job: A consultant to make banks more profitable. However, in my 16-hour working days I found absolutely no passion in crunching excel tables and pretending to care about some exotic bank KPI.
My confidence crumbled and I doubted that after all those hard years of studies, I can ever find a job that is interesting & allows me to build a fun life.
In 2010 I cut the cords, quit my job after I finished the graduate program and jumped into the unknown.
It was hard as everyone warned me that “you will never find a job again”, that “quitting during a recession a promising career is the dumbest thing you can do” and “that a job must suck if you want to win”.
I moved to Switzerland and – surprise - I was happy. No job, no money and no friends – but free to re-create a career aligned to my authentic strengths,
The long walk
New start, failing, getting better, more failing and eventually progress
When you quit a job, jump into the unknown and try re-create your career, struggle is more the norm than the exception.
Long hours spent on improving my application deck. Rejections after I thought I sent “the perfect” application, while trying to keep my motivation that there must be a job I will like.
And then this nagging self-doubt “Maybe all the hard years of study were not worth it and settle for what you get?”
My friends were landing well paying-jobs and starting to offer paying my drinks while they tried to convince me "maybe go back". But with every application I sent my CV got better, with every messed-up interview and every rejection I learned more.
And finally, I discovered that finding an outstanding job was not at odds with my profile.
I had to create a plan to own my successful work-life first. Once I was crystal clear on how my authentic strengths provide value to companies, things suddenly fell in place. Not only did I get interview call-backs but to my biggest surprise I received job-offers from reputable companies, and I had a choice to decide (and say no).
Within just a few months, I started working at the strategy consulting firm Roland Berger in Zurich (Switzerland).
It was a fast-paced, fun and exciting time, where I felt alive. My work was valued and well-paid, I felt confident about my abilities and I did something I enjoyed. I learned that working in a position aligned to my strengths felt good.
Aso, I saw how some executives were thriving at work, while others were constantly struggling. When facing challenges they kept growing, created new ideas and continued to enjoy their life.
How and why we flourish in our work & life fascinated me. In 2012, I thus started my Ph.D. at ie business school to understand the science behind human motivation and performance.
Then things took off:
- I learned the exact science behind human motivation and growth. Fascinated by these insights I tested them on myself…
- I started my own freelance consulting which allowed me to live an exciting life as a student.
- And in 2014 I became a Vice President at one of the biggest insurance companies in the world (Fortune 500). As the youngest member of the leadership I saw the other side as I overlooked the HR Strategy of the group, was responsible to oversee external consultants and interacted with the board and C-Suite.
But soon again, I struggled.
Why? I had the well-paying “jackpot” job, lived in a stylish condo next to the lake of Zurich, travelled the world in first class and had the shiny big watch.
Yet, I was empty. With all the life-hacks, career obsessions and corporate politics I became a victim of my job. I was trapped in a rat-race and forgot the life part of my work.
This time I promised myself that my profession not only pays well but also fufills me. In short, I was determined to build a work-life on my terms.
Me in 2009 as "young city boy" thinking that buying bottles in fancy clubs was cool and showed success...and in reality being clueless about my future, burnt-out in the wrong job and jealous of others 'who seemed to have it all together'.
Ten years later when I returned to London and gave a workshop to a C-suite executives at big financial service company. Feeling grateful how life turned out ... and damn excited to be actually sitting on top of the Gherkin tower - next to the big shots and enjoying a Singapore Sling after I called it a day.
NOW AND NEXT: CREATING MY PROFESSION
Freedom: A work-life on my terms.
With the help of Eva Her (life coach & psychologist) I re-created my career again.
Working with highly ambitious professionals, I have seen many top executives, senior leaders and business owners who are on paper extremely successful but are death inside. Scariest of all, they became a victim of their own success. High 6 and 7 figure incomes did not mean financial freedom but dependency on a salary check as expensive mortgages, private schools and “social appearances” all had to be paid.
Seeing this ‘slavery to money’ forever changed me.
I promised myself in the word of Ayn Rand that “Do not let your fire go out“. No one should be stuck in a job where they don’t flourish or that hinders them to live their private life.
Fully committed to my doctorate, I delved deep into researching how employees thrive at work. I discovered that the problem often lies with a misfit between our own motivation type and the team, company or environment we work in. Thus, if you struggle right now as a professional, it is not because you did not try hard enough but because you did not find the tools that fit to you.
Passionate about sharing these scientific tools, in 2016 I started my current Human Capital Advisory. Since then, I am advising leaders how employees perform and thrive at work. Working with multinational clients not only allowed me to earn a 6-figure income while studying full time at one of the world's leading business schools, but also to be location independent.
At this point, thought leaders contacted me for advice. In 2019 Ross Thornley and Mike Raven co-founder of their start-up aqai approached me. Their idea to improve employee adaptability in this biggest time of technology change immediately fascinated me. So much that a few months later we filed a patent together for an AI based coach-bot to help employees (and their managers) to prepare for change. Since then I am proud to part on their Advisory Board and feel honoured to have helped senior leaders at the United Nations, Strategic Coach and IMEG to help their employees adapt and thrive in change.
I mention all this here, just to clarify that when I talk about helping you build a successful work-life, I do so from actual experience. I'm not a ´success coach´ who's business is to sell you ´success hacks´ that are too broad or unfounded.
Where it comes together: Becoming a Researcher and Advisor
All my research aims to help employees grow with evidence-based action-steps and thus replace pseudo-science or simply wrong ‘expert advise’.
Therefore, I continue advising company leaders on how to thrive at work based on their authentic strengths.
Then my dream came true. After several years of juggling between a full-time Ph.D., a challenging (ahm crazy) supervisor, and a demanding job, finally in 2020 I earned my Ph.D. from ie business school.
Shortly after, I started as a research professor at Spain´s leading Carlos III University. As faculty member I am free to research the science of wellbeing, creativity and how employees adapt best to change.
However, I saw that so many of us are still struggling for years to achieve their career goals while trying to flourish in their life
Therefore I started this webpage: That you as an ambitious professional find straight forward and proven tools fit to your challenges & help you achieve the professional growth you’ve been working toward.
My aim that you don´t feel alone on your life's journey & to help you realize that:
You came too far and invested too much already
You do not need to settle for less because you know you are capable to achieve more
You deserve advice from someone who faced similar challenges as you in a competitive work world
You can grow professional career while enjoying your life
You do not have to guess which life-hacks work, you can learn tools that fit to you
You do not have to suffer, burnout or undersell yourself just because you want a work-life on your terms.