How I’m making my career dreams a reality
What will I do when Ieave school? How do I get a job? What job can I physically do? Are you an adult or teenager reading these words and relating to each one of these questions as you recognise the all too common feeling that you are stuck in terms of finding work? Well as a person who knows the feeling, I can tell you that those thoughts are very common, especially if you too have severe disability.
Hey my name is Gretta and, well, I pretty much categorise myself as many things: a uni student; a social butterfly; a sister; an aunty and lastly someone who has severe cerebral palsy. As long as I can remember I have always been interested in the idea of becoming an independent adult, moving out on my own, accessing the community independently and being able to manage a household just like the strong independent woman I always wanted to be. As I embarked on my journey towards this dream, it started to become increasingly clear that one of the main foundations that needed to be put in place to achieve this dream was to become completely financially independent and stable.
In my case, I feel that the idea of getting a job wasn’t purely based on getting money or becoming financially responsible. Although I am the first to admit that this idea of money has been part of it – I am human after all – I do feel that the concept of this twigged a lot of other desires of my personality. These included being able to contribute to society, contributing to solving issues I see in my community, stepping into an image of maturity and being more uniformed within my peer group and people my own age.
It was with all of these things in mind, along with the fact that I have been known to have a strong work ethic, that I felt that I needed to get a job. Lucky for me, this vision has come to life over the last seven years. Thinking back, I feel the real starting point in initiating this vision – as well as my current vision of a future career as a human rights journalist – was being offered to do a presentation at a Northcott employee meeting with three other customers when I was attending Northcott’s Parramatta Life Skills program at the age of 20. I remember around this time I thought to myself that it would be very beneficial to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that passed by me. Remarkably, this idea worked wonders. It turned out that the first presentation I ever did was the starting point of a whole lot of presentations, chances to run workshops, ample opportunities to meet and talk with politicians plus many awesome trips to train and mentor staff and customers in various parts of New South Wales. I found that as these events gradually kept coming, so did valuable attributes that I still cherish today. These have included strong bonds with my employees, vital skills in presenting, training, mentoring and writing, and excitingly a very well paying job which I still have today.
I know for a fact that it was primarily due to developing these attributes, and having these experiences, that I sit where I am today. The main areas which this has been visible have been in my goals of becoming a human rights journalist, my writing ability, and the fact that I currently have my own blog.
In terms of the idea of saying yes to every opportunity, I feel that the way I developed my blog is a prime example of how well this idea can work. Basically, I started to increase my love of writing even further a few months ago when I was asked by my manager at Northcott about doing an article about siblings. Admittedly, around this time I was pretty unwell due to having surgery and having certain events happen around me, which unfortunately put me in the darkest point of my life. Remarkably, what I found was that it was when I was specifically asked to write this piece that everything changed. I guess this was because I felt I was needed for something.
It was from here that I started to become addicted to writing. I started to lust for anything I could find to write about, and to gain journalism experience. Long story short, it was after an online article I did that I began to think that I needed to do an independent blog.
Incredibly, it was around this same time that my mother sent me a video of this blogger called ‘World Nate’. To me, this was the exact video I needed because it was filled with step-by-step instructions on how to make your own blog in a really easy way.
Four months on, it is very easy to say that I have never looked back. After a few trials and errors of names and themes, along with attending a few blogging courses, I am now looking at my path to the future. I now have a growing blog named ‘On Our Own Tracks’ filled with positivity, information and smiles. My aim is to gather as much journalism experience as I can, while taking every opportunity I possibly can and to keep saying “Yes!”
To discover how Northcott can support your career dreams check out our Vocational Skills program.
Tony Petrin went from Northcott customer to Northcott staff member.