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Changing his career for the better

Changing careers is exciting and amazing for personal growth, according to recent graduate Luke Styles, who has changed careers twice with TAFE Queensland’s help.

After working in hospitality for 10 years, Luke decided he wanted to follow his passion for helping others, which saw him complete a Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015).

“Helping others is one of my passions, and through studying a certificate in community services with TAFE Queensland I was offered a supervisor role in Brisbane during my placement,” Luke said.

“But after working in the industry for two years, I decided an office environment didn’t suit me, so I decided I wanted to retrain in a different field but still help others.”

“As I loved working out and training, and specifically boxing, I thought ‘why not get paid to do something I love?’ So I came back to TAFE Queensland to study a Certificate III in Fitness (SIS30315) and a Certificate IV in Fitness (SIS40215),” he said.

Soon after joining, Luke knew he was on the right path, with the course’s content, his classmates, the facilities and how it was delivered giving him confidence that he’d made the right choice.

During the six month certificate IV course, Luke’s passion for exercise was formalised as he learnt the science behind fitness, about the body’s energetic systems, how to exercise with the correct techniques, and how to help clients with their weight-loss or muscle-gain goals.

“Studying at TAFE Queensland was great — we could take the theory from the classroom to one of the three gyms on campus and put it into practice. I quickly realised that you could have the best intentions, but if you haven’t got any quality knowledge and understanding of fitness and the industry behind you, you’re not going to be a quality trainer,” Luke said.

“During my time I had access to a weights room, spin classroom, a boxing area and a sports hall as well as amazing teachers and a world-class education that enabled me to quickly learn what I was passionate about.”

“The teachers here have decades of experience and I learnt all about the business of personal training, exercise physiology, posture, strength conditioning, anatomy, exercise science and how it all goes together,” he said.

During the course, Luke’s teachers also organised real clients for the students to run group fitness classes and one-on-one personal training with from different businesses around Brisbane.

Students were given a list of clients that they had to make contact with to discuss their fitness goals. They then arranged a training program tailored to that client before meeting them and delivering a workout.

“It was awesome to see the whole class taking clients through their paces with agility ladders, boxing gloves and pads, sandbags, skipping ropes, medicine balls and battle ropes — we had a lot of fun! After each session, we self-evaluated and reflected on how we could improve for the next time,” Luke said.

With boxing being Luke’s major passion, he worked out at 12 Rounds Fitness while studying, making industry connections along the way.

When he completed his certificate III, those connections landed him a trainer role at a 12 Rounds Fitness in Brisbane, teaching clients how to get fit through boxing.

“Boxing is a great way to empower myself and others and with fitness being my calling at this stage of my life, combining the two into a job is the sweet spot for me,” Luke said.

Luke remains flexible about changing careers as he knows as long as he’s studying towards something he’s passionate about he’ll be dedicated to it.

“Put simply, I want to do something that gets me out of bed each morning and I love everything about training. In five to 10 years I might come back to TAFE Queensland to teach fitness or change careers completely,” Luke said.

While Luke credits TAFE Queensland for helping him change careers, he stresses that you only get out what you put in and dedication is the key.

“You need to be the hero in your own movie and embrace the fear of the unknown and it’s up to you to choose what direction you take. Change is hard, and that’s normal, but if you’re moving towards your passion you’ll quickly adapt,” Luke said.

“I’ve been through TAFE Queensland twice and both times I’ve quickly found work and had a lot of opportunities open up to me within the industries I trained in,” he said.

Luke’s advice for anyone contemplating embarking on study for the first time or thinking of changing careers is straightforward.

“Follow your heart — if it’s something you love and you have the drive to do it, go for it. TAFE Queensland can help you make your passion your profession and will open doors to finding work where you can do what you love.”