When Andy Quick started his career in community services, he never imagined his job helping others would impact on his own health. After the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle started to catch up with him, he started to look for a new career that allowed him to positively impact on people's lives in a more practical way.
"Fitness was always a love of mine, when I first left school I did a little bit of study around fitness but never took it anywhere. I went down a completely different pathway and I got stuck behind a desk for 10 years," Andy said.
"Then I just decided one day I'd had enough of it, I didn't feel healthy, and I wasn't happy with the direction my life was going," he said.
Once Andy decided to make the change to a career in fitness, it didn't take long to decide on the best place to get qualified for his new career.
"A no brainer for me in terms of the best place for me to study fitness was TAFE Queensland. I didn't want to go to uni and do another four years — I didn't have the time for that as much as anything else — and I didn't want to just go and do a dodgy two week certification with no genuine experience behind it," he said.
"TAFE Queensland was fantastic because the teachers have real-world industry knowledge and some great connections to the local fitness industry, which allowed me to plug straight into some awesome work experience and helped me to get on my feet running my own business and working with other people really quickly."
Combining his previous experience working in social policy and community development in the aged care sector, Andy decided to focus his fitness career on helping mature-aged clients.
He started his own business Independence Movement, specifically aimed at helping older clients get the most of our their retirement years. He now runs mobility, strength, and balance classes for older adults across the Sunshine Coast as well as working with a boutique gym offering private sessions with clients.
"We're living for something like 30 years longer than we did 100 years ago, and you want to get as much out of that time as you possibly can. Being able to work really closely with older people one-on-one I've been able to have a much more rewarding experience helping people to get the most out of life than I did just sitting in an office typing up documents," he said.
After 10 years of climbing the corporate ladder and being chained to his desk Andy is thriving in a more rewarding and active role. He's also enjoying the challenges of managing his own business and being his own boss for the first time in his career.
"Being my own boss is a really interesting experience, it's so different to working in a bureaucracy or big organisation. There's always more that you can be doing but it's really fulfilling work so it doesn't feel as draining as you might experience if you're stuck in a nine-to-five," he said
Andy credits TAFE Queensland for giving him the practical skills he needed to make a career change.
"Getting my certificate IV from TAFE Queensland opened the door for me to have that career change I really wanted and needed. It's given me the opportunity to start a business and to pour myself into something I'm really passionate about," he said.
"I love being able to really help someone on their journey to get where they want to go in life, and I'm able to do that so much better now than I was previously, so I couldn't be happier."