Embracing Change – A Career Change Journey Part 2

Denni2My Personal Experience
By Denni Maree Ranking
check out part 1 here

There are so many different sayings about change; ‘if you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done’, or ‘It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave’.

I’d have to say that although at the time I may have felt like the path I have chosen was leading me nowhere, upon reflection, everything I did lead me somewhere so much better. It was scary, but it was so worth it.

After leaving the salon, it wasn’t long before I picked up some casual work with a fire safety and security company. The short time I spent with the company was incredible, I learnt so much in such a small space of time. It was sad for me to leave, but something new had come up, I was offered an interview with Learning Partnerships as a Business Administration Trainee!!

I was extremely excited. All the jobs I had been applying for whilst still a hairdresser were business based/administration positions – because it was exactly what I wanted to try. Unfortunately, most employers would look straight past my name, because the only work experience I had as a young adult were limited to the hairdressing industry.

My mum and I went shopping for a nice business-y looking dress, and a professional pair of heels. It was all very exciting. My mum has plenty of experience in the administration area, so she had a fairly good idea about how to dress for a business interview. Which, by the way, was very different from the edgy, funky style that hairdressers would normally wear to an interview and what I was accustomed to.

The day of the interview came around. I was so incredibly nervous… I didn’t want to stuff this up! Thankfully, during the interview Miranda (told me later, that she) could easily see that even though I had only ever been a hairdresser before, the customer service skills I had developed were transferrable to a new industry. This was such a relief to me; that someone believed I was capable of adapting to a new environment!

I couldn’t wait to get started. But amongst all the excitement I still had my doubts – having already spent so many years of my life as an apprentice, and to now be a trainee again. But I rolled with it, and coped through the learning curve the best that I could.

The year of my traineeship at Learning Partnerships was honestly the most positive work experiences I have ever had. I am still blown away today by how much I learnt during that time. Not only was I thriving at work, I was thriving at home and in my social life as well. I was fulfilled to a point where family members would comment, even to my parents, that it was like I was a whole new person. My happiness and energy was clearly radiating.

I finished my traineeship in July last year. It felt so good to have another qualification under my belt.  It also meant I was no longer just a hairdresser. It was proof I was capable of so much more.

Post-traineeship, I have enrolled in a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, as well as a Double Diploma in Leadership & Management and Business. This was partly my decision, but a lot of it was encouragement received from my co-workers and Miranda. I have never before had a group of people that believed in me so much and wanted to see me succeed.

Oh and I earned a new title too – Denni-Maree Rankin, Learning Partnerships Student Liaison Officer. I even have business cards! The title was chosen due to the relationships I have developed with the amazing students we have here, and leverage one of my skills, which is to talk or connect with people from all walks of life. It was a perfect fit for me and the next step in my career. I love working alongside all the students and watching them make new pathways to success in their own lives, just like I did.

It is an incredible feeling. I am so glad I jumped right in and decided to make a change in my life. I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

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