For most people, leaving the public service pretty much involves heading to the private sector to consult back to government.
But one former APS6 has left the federal public service after more than a decade to consult to a much higher authority.
Canberra woman Cristina San Martin is a medium who offers intuitively-guided healings and psychic readings. She's given up the seductive public service benefits of flex leave, a guaranteed payrise each year and 15 per cent superannuation to use her clairvoyancy skills and align with what she describes as "a much higher life calling".
San Martin is "sick of trying to force my heart-shaped self into the round hole of the public service".
The former policy officer, who worked for three major departments during her 10-year government career, says while she's always known she has special psychic abilities, it wasn't really something she actively discussed in the tea room with her departmental colleagues.
"I would normally put the feelers out, through conversation, to see who was open to new age, awake, spiritual ideas and if I felt comfortable speaking with those people about it I would," San Martin says.
"What I did find was that most people are open to it, and want to hear and learn more about it. They're curious and eager to understand it more."
But when San Martin told her public service colleagues she was leaving the department to work exclusively on psychic readings and spiritual healings, there were more than a few raised eyebrows. Especially from her EL2 boss.
"I did receive a few negative comments like, 'How on earth will you make money? Or get paid? Are you really going to give up all this?'," she says.
"It's interesting that people have these fears and ideas around how we 'should' traditionally make a living.
"My decision to leave the public service is about embracing a slower pace of life to help others and living a life of service rather than focusing on a pay cheque.
"In the end, to be honest, I care very little about what other people think of my lifestyle choices."
San Martin, a former Merici College student, said she knew as a child she was "different".
"I knew things I shouldn't or even couldn't have known," she recalls.
"I could predict what we'd be having for dinner. People would come over to our house and be upset and I'd know why. And I knew certain things were going to happen before they did.
"At times it was confronting. I was so young and inexperienced in the realms of spirituality. So I decided to get educated, I read a lot of books; I spoke at length with family and friends about my experiences and asked questions, lots of questions.
"It's fair to say I ended up knowing more about spirituality and the afterlife than I did about primary school English and math."
In her 20s, "the cray-cray really picked up speed", San Martin says, and she read hundreds of books, attended a multitude of courses and started using her psychic ability to help family and friends.
When her father Guillermo San Martin handed her a deck of old Casino Canberra playing cards in 2013, she started using the cards to "see people's stories and the possibilities for their future".
She still uses the same deck of cards in her readings today. But don't make an appointment with San Martin expecting to hear from a specific relative who's passed away.
"My readings are centred on energy and focus on your highest path," she says.
"It's also very much about having conversations with the heart."
But can psychic readings really support a single mother and her two children?
"Change is scary," San Martin admits.
"I'm heading into a line of work that's not your average run of the mill and it does make me a bit nervous.
"But being in the public service no longer felt in flow for me - actually it felt completely wrong - and I knew I wanted to do something that helps others.
"I feel good. I'm stepping up and doing my bit to help raise the consciousness of the collective through this work."
For more information head to cristinasanmartin.com