As I progressed through High School, it was starting to get to the stage that a career path needed to be decided.
The ‘What are you going to be when you grow up’ question had come up often enough already, and the first sensible response was, I recall, ‘a teacher’. 🧑🏫 🧑🏫 🧑🏫
As a student, I was to follow my Dad’s footsteps to Wesley College in Perth, and I remember at the entrance interview with the Principal, my Dad telling him that I was going to be a teacher. This seemed to impress the Principal.
Later, as my academic bents became evident, and after I was expelled from Wesley, it was a bit clearer to all that I was just a good allrounder. I didn’t excel at anything – science, arts, music, maths – the scores were always in the upper quartile, but not at the top. Even in sport, I hovered between the A team and the Captain of the B Team. 🏅 🏅 🏅
So, my Dad took it on himself to find a Uni course that needed just competence in all subjects, and Linguistics was the answer. The science and study of language combined scientific analysis, mathematical calculations and humanities sense of general speak. 🎓 🎓 🎓
I did an Honours Degree in Linguistics at ANU. The faculty focused on Australian Indigenous languages. I moved on to honour my original teacher goal by finishing a Diploma in Education at Monash Uni – in General Studies. 🎓 🎓 🎓
This took me to a teacher-linguist role in Outback Australia, and I worked with remote Indigenous communities, transcribing their language and teaching the written form to the adults.
I returned to mainstream teaching via schools near Mt Gambier. Then moved back to Melbourne to commence a new career in hospitality(I loved the smell of coffee and the taste of carrot cake), then on to retail(I love office supplies as well), and then business(great business people have always inspired me).
None of what I have done has been a passion. Who knows what my passion is. It’s not essential. I only do things that interest me. That’s the gold seam I follow. I keep tapping away until the seam peters out, and there is no more value. I follow a path until I lose interest.
Everything I’ve done has been of value – to me. I’ve enjoyed speaking to groups, designing learning material, creating purposeful work with teams, seeking solutions to business problems, doing deep work on topics of substance, studying, and learning.
My above-average grades have taken me everywhere. I’m thankful that I didn’t follow a narrow road to professional success and instead experience a rich life of general happiness. 🤗 🤗 🤗