Returning to work after any long absence can be hard. Whether you've recently become a parent, had a long sabbatical, or are coming back from a major illness or injury, you might be left wondering whether your skills are still up to scratch or if you need to change careers altogether.
If you decide you need a change, there are ways to not only change industries, but also progress through them with relative ease based on your current skills and knowledge. As Amy Owen realised, there is no shortage of ways for you to transform your life and career through education.
When Amy Owen returned to work as a cook after having her first child, she enrolled her daughter in day care. A chance conversation with the centre director about balancing work with family life resulted in an unexpected job offer.
A career in early childhood education and care had never been on Amy’s radar, but it has turned out to be a career she loves, and a stroke of good luck.
“I landed on my feet. I needed to change components of my life since becoming a parent, and adapting my working life was an obvious starting point.”
Amy adores children and flourished in her new chosen profession and industry, completing her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care within the first year of changing careers.
When Amy progressed into a Room Leader role, she enrolled at TAFE Queensland again to complete the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.
Amy attributes much of her success to the flexible study arrangements available. As a full-time employee, Amy opted to study through workplace training, meaning she could fit study in around family and work.
A Workplace Training Officer (WTO) visited Amy periodically as well as staying in touch with her to help her navigate the lessons and assessments.
Since finishing her diploma in 2015, Amy has been promoted twice; once to Assistant Centre Director, and then again to Centre Director within the Kidzco group.
Now Amy is hiring her own team and says she would not hesitate to hire TAFE Queensland trained staff, knowing the courses firsthand.
“As an employer, I particularly notice the added passion and knowledge of staff who have trained with TAFE Queensland, compared with those trained elsewhere.”
But Amy says the biggest payoff involved is the example she has set for her daughters.
“I knew I needed skills to change our lifestyles. Completely aside from getting my diploma and doing well at work, I was able to demonstrate to my daughters the power of education. I wanted to show them that you can do anything you set your mind to. And I did.”