Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A change of direction

The Millie of a life-time ago!

Son #2 in Melbourne has been talking to us about wanting to change the direction of his working life. He's always been passionate about film-making (particularly editing), but has never actively pursued it as a full-time career. His current job is well-paying, however he hates it, but it has allowed him to build a good nest-egg of savings. Now at 28 he thinks that moment in time has arrived & its now or never to take that gigantic leap of faith & study full-time.

In thinking about his decision & what advice to give him, I started to think about my own career path. At 17 I desperately wanted to become a journalist. However, there was no tertiary degree at that time (1973), the only way to enter the industry was through a cadetship with News Limited (who owns our daily newspaper) & with only 2 places per year & over 3,000 applicants, I didn't have enough self-belief to even apply. So as many of us did then (& to my parents relief!), I went nursing. I enjoyed my 3 years & came out at the end with a qualification, & sort of accepted that this was to be what I would do for the rest of my working life.

In my post-grad. year I developed an interest in Intensive Care/Coronary Care nursing, & did the tough post-grad. Diploma. Then an unexpected move into the highly-specialized area of Cardio-Thoracic (Open Heart Surgical) Intensive Care came along. From the very first moment in that environment, I knew I'd found something I could really love & give my all to. So that was it, I was hooked.

That is where I stayed for the next 10 years (in between all the babies!), studied for & gained my Cardio-Thoracic Critical Care degree & continued to love it totally. However, in late 1990, a chance conversation with a senior colleague altered the course of my work life forever. She recommended me for a non-clinical position that I'd never considered, & yes, much to my amazement I secured the position.

So for the past 18 years I've enjoyed an amazing ride in an area that was so totally out of my comfort zone! It has allowed me to experience some incredible moments, travel the world, meet my heroes, make life-long friends from my client base, constantly challenge myself & be on the forefront of some amazing ground-breaking technology.

So I guess in counselling Son #2, my only option is to advise him to go for it! After all, I took that step (albeit shakily!) & my life changed forever. I would be so interested in hearing your stories - if you are doing something very different to what you planned to do originally, the chance encounters along the way that led you there & those 'interesting' forks in the road that confront us & present opportunities in the most unexpected forms.


  1. Good Morning
    I left something for you at my blog

  2. That is great for him, Millie. I was a Newsagent for quite a while before moving to Tas and having the children. Just before #1 son came along I managed a bakery (hated it), then went to the Dept Of Primary Industries and Water, before leaving work full time to have the 2 boys...so now I am endeavoring to open my life long dream (which I thought would remain a dream)little Shop. The etsy thing is to keep me satisfied til the real thing goes ahead soon. Well thats my boring path to now. Have a great day. Ness xx

  3. Our lives changed in the most unexpected form ... we had a daughter with a disability. Out the window go all the plans while life takes a completely unexpected turn ... seeing life in a different way, siblings taking on more responsibility than ever expected. The list goes on ... I would say ... go for it while you can

  4. Thanks Viera!

    Ness, you're live is certainly not boring, we just have to check out your gorgeous blog to confirm that!

    Queen of the Armchair, what a beautiful & meaningful comment. Sometimes life does have other plans for us, & we need to put our dreams on hold for a while. Your advice is very wise & one that I'll definitely pass onto Son #2.

  5. No problem Millie ... here 'tis,
    1.2k calamari tube: 250g flour: 20g sea salt: 5g cracked pepper (you could try different peppers): 10g chilli powder.
    . cut calamar into thin strips
    . combine flour, salt, pepper, chilli in bowl & mix well
    . put small amounts of calamar into flour, coat well, shake off excess
    . deep fry in small amounts for 2 minutes to keep it crisp. Enjoy ... let me know what you think. Thank you for calling by.

  6. Hi Millie, have put a full version of the recipe on my post along with a photo ... have fun!

  7. By all means I agree, he needs to GO FOR IT!! Life is too short, not do what you love. I think so many of us choose a profession based on what others think we should do, especially when we are young.
    My career has taken many turns and one thing I do know, is that if you work a little each day toward your passion, the Law of Attraction will go to work for you!
    Life was not meant for regrets.
    Best of Luck to your son!!

  8. Loved reading about your career changes - i wouldn't think many people end up doing the jobs that they originally train for. I did a science/law degree at Uni majoring in cryptology, got chronic fatigue syndrome which kept me in bed for a few years, got married and started my brood. 5 kids later I adore being a stay at home mum (most days at least!) and getting to be creative with my little sister and fantastic mum keeps me sane!
    I hope your son really enjoys the challenge of his career move - I would always encourage someone to do what they really love.

  9. Dear Shawn - what great advice. It's so obvious that you are living your dream with such passion & joy!

    Gosh Clare, you have packed such a lot into your life! But what you are doing now is wonderful & it shows in everything you do. I think its impossible to keep creative talent like yours tucked away, it just has to be free.

  10. Hello Millie

    I've just started discovering all the wonderful blogs out there, including yours. I'm also from South Australia, so it is nice to read all about someone so close to home! Love your sense of humour too.
    Hope it all works out for your son, I think following your dreams is always the best policy.

    Catherine xx

  11. Millie - what a fantastic mother to provide him with the support and encouragement to pursue his dream.
    I've finally finished my study, after 29 years of life! - two university degress (commerce and law) and now my CPA certification, I enjoy what I do and I'm lucky that it pays well, but one day I hope I can follow my little creative desires. We'll see! Sounds like that is what your son is doing, and he has done the right thing - has the savings behind him to do it. Think that might be my problem, I have lots of spending behind me, think your post has reminded me that if I save up maybe I could follow my dreams eventually - Thanks "blogging mum"!! xx

  12. Did I know you were a nurse? Funny that. I am definitely in the fork phase too, have my Masters happily underway but have a very strong pull towards event/ PR/ decorating and styling - I always said that i woud do it one day and at 28 as well, I am no less passionate about both career choices! I am going to give it a shot before I hit 30 - getting my savings in place first though. I agree that he should go for it!

  13. Welcome Catherine - how lovely to have another South Aussie in blog world!

    Oh Miss K - what you might lack in the bank account area you more than make up in the big heart dept.! My bestie started as a CPA, but is now Chairman of the Board of a major public company - so what a great future awaits you!

    Dear Em - how lucky would Vogue Living, Madison, Elle Decor etc. be to have you as their Interiors Stylist! They should be banging down your door right now! Your wonderful sense of style is a wonder to behold - so fresh & never contrived. I truly believe that is where your future lies.

  14. Hi Millie, I loved reading about your career path - quite similar to mine. I worked as a secretary in an Architects office for a couple of years after school then decided to do nursing. I loved ICU nursing so studied a Grad Dip in Critical care and have worked in ICU for about 12 years. I have always been passionate about interiors, so Hayley and I decided to study Interior Design and start our own business - have to pinch myself sometimes because I love it so much! Following our passions can be hard work but always worthwhile! Tracey x


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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