“If you can do a job that makes you happy, follow it. People are always trying to steer you where they want, but if you’ve got something you’re passionate about it stick with it.” – ITF Volunteer Charles Galayini
On Wednesday 14th of June, 3 volunteers participated in speed career networking with a small group of students from year 9 – 11 in Parramatta. The students are a part of the links-to-learning initiative run by our Inspiring the Future partner the Australia Schools Industry Partnership (AusSIP) and go through a 6-week 1-day a week course that looks at careers, employability skills and building confidence. The students were encouraged to ask questions and find out about the volunteer’s careers and how school informed where they are now.
Volunteer Candice from Fitted for Work revealed to one group of students that she “never thought community service was an area to work in because no one ever talked about it.” She had to drop out of school due to family struggles and in turn found it difficult to enter the workforce. Candice volunteered for Fitted to Work, however, and due to her initiative and hard work, was asked to take on a paid position when one became available. Now the assistant manager of the Parramatta store, she was able to share with current students her struggles and how she overcame them.
The conversations between volunteers and students flowed freely, each group speaking for 10-15minutes before the volunteers rotated. Architect Edwin Vanegas shared with students that “the best thing about [his] job is that every day is a different day.” His career did not begin as an architect, and his story of hard work to achieve his goals and change his direction was important for the students, as it demonstrates the flexibility of career within our lives.
Many of the student’s questions centred around school and what the volunteers had enjoyed there. Volunteer Charles Galayini shared that “the subjects I hated, like Maths and English, are actually the ones I most use today.”
This pearl of wisdom is one of the most important things that informal career conversations through ITF can provide students, a connection between their current school learning and their future dreams, goals and aspirations.