I’ve never been the girl who always knew what she wanted to do with her life. I’ve always wished I was, but it just wasn’t my path. So, how do you know what your path is, when to stray from it, (or when to throw away the map entirely and create your own?) Ivy College challenged me to tell my career story, so today I will talk about my unique career path; including some surprising facts about myself! I hope that it will give everyone some insights and inspire you to reach for your goals!
Sometimes, when I look back at all the things I tried and the different jobs I’ve had, I think, was that really me? I regret nothing, and now that I am older and wiser, I can see that everything I ever tried contributes to the skills and position I am currently in.
What I always knew about myself was that I was a creative person, and loved everything music, literature, art and fashion. What I didn’t know, is that you could actually have a career in those fields! I had thought it was impossible!
When I left school, I studied at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music for a year. It was here I studied Jazz Music. This might come as a shock to some reading this, but I’m a church girl from way back, and music is in my blood! The reason I finished up after a year was because I realized that singing and music was something fun that I wanted to do, not something I wanted to do as a career. The joy was sapped right out of singing for me because of homework, practicing, performing for marks and generally having to be somewhat perfect at the craft. I was a little disheartened when I left, because the thing I thought I loved the most turned out to be the thing I just couldn’t do anymore.
So, onto the next adventure. The fitness industry. Another shock I know! I enrolled to study Fitness & Health and began working as a PT and Aerobics Instructor!! For those of you who might have known me growing up, this career path would make complete sense as I was right into sport and quite the athlete in my hay day! I absolutely loved working in the fitness industry. I met some really fantastic people, I got to work out everyday and it was a great lifestyle, but alas, with all the exercise came injury. I was suffering from shin splints really badly, and was advised by a physio that the only way to heal was to rest my legs. But it was my job to use my legs to teach classes, so this wasn’t really an option.
The timing around making the decision of what step to next take was quite good in terms of the next phase to the rest of my life. At this time, I was dating this boy, Guy Sebastian, who had just auditioned for this show, Australian Idol, and had to be in Sydney for the remainder of the year. He asked if I could please take over teaching his singing students, which to their disappointment I’m sure, I accepted!
To cut a very long story short, Guy went ahead and won Australian Idol and made the permanent move to Sydney.
I followed soon(ish) after and once again, found myself back at the drawing board. New city, new opportunities, zero friends and zero job. I got myself a full time job as a receptionist to get the ball rolling (and pay the extortionate Sydney prices!), and enrolled in a fashion course to study in the evenings. Studying fashion was a life long dream, and while I had the fresh start, I thought why not?! I had no idea that this would lead me to assisting one of Australia’s top stylists, which lead me to standing on my own two feet as a working Stylist. Since then, I have had the incredible opportunity of working with celebrities for red carpets, video shoots, photo shoots and album covers. I’ve had my own television show on MTV, met and collaborated with amazing designers, worn and styled with the most amazing clothing, shoes and accessories, worked with international artists and basically lived the dream in the fashion industry. If you would have asked me if this would be my job back when I was singing jazz, I would have said you were dreaming!
Take it from me; someone who has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Nothing is for waste. Every lesson is crucial to success and it doesn’t matter if you have tried a million different things to find the one thing you know is for you, it is all worth it (even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time!). Learning your craft is one thing I cannot be more passionate about. I hope I never stop learning, and if that comes in the form of school, extra studies or being around people who know more than you, lap up every piece of information you can. Learning will never stop, and should be the highest priority for any job.
No success comes without hard, hard work. There is no such thing as an overnight success. The people who you think it comes easy to, is not usually the case. Those who are in the game, working, hustling and getting the job done are the ones who get called back, get booked again and are at the top of their game. Here is something else I know for a fact: getting where you want to go means being nice to people, getting back to their emails and phone calls, respecting their time and effort, saying thank you and meaning it, showing you appreciate the team around you, being grateful, having a smile on your face, and always seeing the silver lining, even on your roughest day.
There will always be tough moments and people who try to bring you down. There will be times where you want to quit, and don’t quite see the path that is in front of you. There will be times where you will feel disheartened, disappointed and discouraged, but you can never let that affect your dream, your purpose and your belief in yourself.
If you want it, then you can have it. With the right amount of skill and guts, the world is your oyster. Go out and get it.
Ready to take the next step in your career and follow your passion? Ivy College offers a range of flexible online courses that allows you to study in a way that suits your lifestyle. An award winning support model means that a team of experts are on hand to assist you in progressing through your course, outside of business hours and 7 days a week.
To help you achieve your career goals, the Ivy Career Service team offers comprehensive career coaching, resume services and expert advice on your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you are in the best possible position to take the next step in your career journey!
Stay tuned for the next instalment of my career series, sponsored by Ivy College.
S H O R T S / Sass & Bide
B L A Z E R / Rachel Gilbert
P H O T O G R A P H Y / Zac Poor