Never in her wildest dreams did Carol Melville think she would ever become a hairdresser.

But while helping in her daughter Karlah’s hair salon on weekends, the opportunity to join her full time as a hairdressing apprentice came up and she thought ‘why not’?

“I’d been working as a merchandising administration manager for 20 years, with a staff of four looking after 40 supermarket stores,” says Carol.

“I hadn’t really thought about a career change before, but realising I’ve still got 20 years of work left and couldn’t really go any further in my current position, I jumped at the chance."

Helping to make her career changing decision easier was the joy she experienced when helping in the salon on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Carol enthusiastically resigned from her management job, and enrolled to study a Certificate III in Hairdressing (SHB30416) with TAFE Queensland – the same qualification Karlah studied to become a hairdresser.

A change in career after working for two decades in the same job did make Carol nervous, but she quickly settled into study life as soon as her course began, with her teachers and classmates helping to put her mind at ease.

“I was nervous about going back to “school” after all these years, but everyone is so friendly and helpful - there really wasn’t anything to worry about at all,” continues Carol.

“The salons we train in are the same as actual salons and the teachers are all wonderful - there is no such thing as a silly question and I’m comfortable asking them anything.”

She credits the combination of the experienced teachers and the industry standard facilities for helping her realise her passion, build her skill set and get her job ready – even though it’s a steeper learning curve than she expected.

While Carol admits learning about hairdressing is more difficult than she thought, she enjoys the challenge of learning new skills and keeping her brain active.

“Hairdressing is a lot harder than I imagined it would be - the science of colouring and the reasoning behind cutting – there’s a lot more to it than I thought! But I’m asking lots of questions and trying not to overthink things,” she says.

She’s motivated and determined to pass her course so she can work alongside her daughter as a confident and capable hairdresser.

“There is definitely something to be said about getting out of bed each morning and going to a job that you love,” continues Carol.

“To be in a happy atmosphere where clients love to be, is a great feeling. So many people don’t like their job for one reason or another, so I consider myself very lucky."

TAFE Queensland offers a range of courses in hairdressing, barbering, and salon management. Students gain valuable customer service, time management, and teamwork skills and experience the basic realities of life in a salon.



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