“It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
These are the words of Warrnambool’s Dakota Wake who sought career advice when she was unsure of what her future held.
Like many school students before her, the importance of attending university was a common theme, yet when Ms Wake, 21, began studying primary school teaching she didn’t know if it was for her.
She went to the Skills and Jobs Centre at South West TAFE after a family member recommended it.
“I was thinking ‘Is this what I want to do? Is this where I want to go?” Ms Wake said. "So I had a meeting with (careers coach) Michael Absalom and he was really approachable and easy to talk to.”
Worried what would happen if she dropped out of uni, he talked her through the various options and how today’s employment landscape was constantly changing
“He was really helpful. He said ‘you don’t need to have a career in one specific field anymore’. It’s not that big a focus anymore. I think in my head I had that you go to uni, you get a degree and you do that job until you retire. He was like ‘people don’t do that anymore’. People are constantly upskilling.”
He encouraged Ms Wake to use the education support qualification she’d gained earlier and get back into the classroom. If she enjoyed it she could return to studying teaching later on or continue working as a teacher’s assistant. She also works at Bohemia Cafe which she loves and finds rewarding.
Ms Wake said she went from being worried and anxious about her future to a feeling of relief. “It was like a weight had been lifted off me,” she said.
“It was just really helpful to have that outside perspective from someone who had been through it and had multiple careers rather than a single career. He was like ‘you don’t need to know where you’re going’ and that was really reassuring.”