Podcast: Breaking down barriers with Chris Lawler

Age Defying Careers
Age Defying Careers
Podcast: Breaking down barriers with Chris Lawler



As a high school drop-out, Chris Lawler could never have envisaged that one day she’d be running her own consultancy business, with four degrees under her belt and her sights set on a PhD. Chris was plagued by bouts of illness as a teenager so she left school around year 10 and worked a number of odd jobs before finally landing a role as a teacher’s aide. Ironically, it was back in the classroom that she found her calling and was inspired to finish her schooling, so she could become a teacher.

After just a few years however, Chris suffered a serious injury and despite rehab and multiple surgeries she was forced to retire from her dream career. This roadblock sent her down an entirely different path – one that would eventually allow her to start her own business, and work on her own terms.

Her career journey is storied and enviable. But dropping out of school left Chris with self-limiting beliefs that have plagued her at different times throughout her life. As she explains to Elise Stevens, the greatest barriers we face are often the ones we put up for ourselves. Here she shares a few tips for breaking them down.


  • How to identify and fight self-limiting beliefs.
  • How to tackle ignorance, bias and prejudice.
  • The impact running your own business can have on your health and wellbeing.
  • How volunteering can be a valuable learning opportunity.
  • How to turn redundancy into opportunity.
  • Why women need to get better at looking after women.
  • How hardship can help you build unique empathy and connectivity.
  • Why employers need to be flexible when life interrupts work.


breaking down barriers Chris LawlerChris Lawler is the Managing Director of CRL Consult, which provides consultancy and education services for strategic initiative management, government and controls, ePMO, portfolio, program and project management capability, coaching, mentoring and education. She enables organisations to invest in strategically aligned projects delivering financial, social and environmental value.

Chris is passionate about volunteering and is a Global Advisory Group Member in Organisational Project Management for the Project Management Institute and is a founding Board member of LGBTIQ support network We Are The Village. She lectures at the University of Sydney and Southern Cross University.

You can connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

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