career change

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     EMILY FLETCHER

“An awareness of the need for change is the first step to actual change.”

I’m on my second career as a Pilates Practitioner – my first career was in logistics.

I ended up at uni when I was 22 or 23. Between that and high school I did all sorts of odd jobs: office admin work, catering, restaurants. I went to uni because I wanted to do something more meaningful, so I enrolled in an Arts degree with a double major in linguistics and Japanese, with a bit of French thrown in.

Once at university however, I realized it was a bit impractical. It seemed like there weren’t many jobs where my degree would lead me, and I lost my way a bit. Besides, I was struggling with the university life, balancing working and studying.  Continue reading

Personal Trainer Caine Tsang doing pushups

      CAINE TSANG

“When you help a guy lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, it’s going to improve not just his life, but his kids’, too.”

I am a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active.

After I graduated from high school in Geelong, I went straight to work. I didn’t really have a focus on what I wanted to do, so I just took a job that came my way. I started out in the furniture business, doing things like furniture assembly and spraying. Over a about three years, I changed a few jobs and companies, but in the end realized my heart wasn’t in it.

Next I thought I’d get into cooking. I started with a cookery course at Gordon’s institute in Geelong. From there I applied for a few shift jobs in Surf Coast and Geelong area.  I worked as a chef for about 5-6 years, though I never completed the test part of getting a certificate. It was hard to combine studying and working as a chef. Continue reading

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     MEL HIATT

“I believe there’s a real synergy of your mind, your body and your spirit. When you’re working on your body, you’re training your mind and your spirit.”

I run two Step Into Life fitness franchises in Bayside.

Growing up, I moved around a lot, eventually finishing school in Victoria. Yet all through school I had a part-time job at McDonald’s – kind of ironic, with my current career in health and fitness! But it gave me good grounding and work ethic; I learned a lot about systems and processes.

After school I was offered a place at university, but it was a long way away from home and I wasn’t ready to move out. I decided not to go and continued working at McDonald’s as a manager. I was doing that for over a year.

After a while though, I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere, so when the police force were doing a recruiting drive, I thought I had nothing to lose by applying. Continue reading

Rachel Fletcher Events Manager on the grounds of Grange Winery.jpg

     RACHEL FLETCHER

“I am big on not having regrets.”

I’m an events manager at a winery in Lancefield.

I coordinate weddings and conferences, which involves liaising with clients, discussing details, planning and overseeing their events.

I wasn’t sure what to do after school; I moved around, doing hospitality and sales jobs. After Year 11, I worked at a supermarket, but soon realized there had to be more to life. That prompted me to go back to school to do year 12, and then university.

I chose Sociology as my major, and then Asian Studies and Japanese as my minor, because of my father’s influence. I discovered after a year that I didn’t like Sociology: it was impacting how I interacted with people, making me over-analytical rather than social!  I ended up making Japanese my major and dropping back to part-time study.

When I was 25, an opportunity arose to go and live in Japan. Continue reading

Scott Lambert Owner's Corporations Manager

      SCOTT LAMBERT

“Sometimes you have to give in a little, to think, ‘is it worth the fight?’  Now, even at home, I ask that question, and choose to keep the peace.”

I’m an owner’s corporation manager at MiCM Real Estate.

Soon as I finished school, I went into a chef apprenticeship, but only lasted twelve months. There were a couple reasons, one of which is that I’m very clumsy. Once, I cut my hand and dropped a tray of caustic acid on the floor – burning my eyes – and had to work with patches on them. A month later, I was cleaning under the bain-marie when another apprentice emptied boiling water on my head. So, even though I loved cooking, I decided I was too accident-prone.

After that, I spent 3 years working in factories – first as a fork lift driver, then a storeman.

I was 21 when, driving from Lake Epiloch, I hit a tree at 100k per hour and was laid up for five weeks. During that time, realizing I didn’t want to be a forklift driver forever, I decided to return to uni to do a Diploma in Criminal Justice, as I’ve always been interested in law. Continue reading

Krystal Malady catching up on her emails at a local cafe

     KRYSTAL MALADY

“If I don’t get asked at least twice a day if I can get free milk, my day isn’t complete!”

I switched careers from being a flight attendant to working as a sales rep for Lion Nathan.

I completed my VCE in 2002 in Hoppers Crossing. I was a bit confused about what to study next, so I got into animal psychology, not being entirely sure what the course entailed. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get into the veterinarian industry, as I loved animals. I completed the course, but it turned out to be more about research, lab work and testing on animals. I was too emotional for that.

I briefly worked at a bank, but that wasn’t for me either. In the back of my mind I always thought  of being a flight attendant. Flying seemed glamorous – little did I know then! Continue reading

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    TENDAI EVANS MANGWIRO

“Going home empty-handed was not an option”

I am a chef de partie at MoVida Next Door in Melbourne.

My first passion was IT. I’ve always loved doing it, starting with high school. It was really interesting, especially in Zimbabwe where I am from, because it is a developing country and it’s a relatively new thing there.

After I finished my A-levels , I did a graduate diploma in IT at National Institute of Technology. NIT is an Indian college, but they have a subsidiary in Zimbabwe. Originally I wanted to be a systems engineer, but I ended up doing network engineering at NIT, because in order to do systems you had to have really high grades, which I lacked unfortunately! Continue reading

Photographer Andrew Harrison in his home studio with his scruffy assistant

     ANDREW HARRISON

“What’s my next challenge?”

I am a photographer. I have a business called Passion8 Photography.

In the 70’s, I went to the famous experimental school, Ardoch High, in St Kilda. We called teachers by their first names and only had four core subjects, the rest were electives.

At 15, I decided I was ready to live on my own, so I got a flat and left school to do an upholstering apprenticeship. I loved making furniture from scratch, sewing, working with my hands. I learnt how to sew in high school, actually. One of the electives was Machinery, and a few of my mates and I thought, “Yeah, let’s get into machinery!” We rocked up and it was sewing machinery. Continue reading