A bea­con of good ad­vice

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Lach­lan Durl­ing

ST AU­GUS­TINE’S year 10 stu­dents said they were com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing their pas­sion and find­ing a job in their cho­sen field on July 31 at the Bea­con sign­ing day.

En­cour­ag­ing the stu­dents to live to their po­ten­tial was guest speaker, Gen Y spe­cial­ist Darren Pereira, who spoke to the stu­dents and 30 com­mu­nity mem­bers in at­ten­dance.

Ever since find­ing out a ca­reer in ac­count­ing wasn’t for him, Darren makes a liv­ing trav­el­ling around shar­ing his story and en­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to ac­knowl­edge their strengths and weak­nesses to find the job they love.

“I be­came an ac­coun­tant for KPMG at 21 and I thought I had made it. This place had mar­ble ev­ery­thing through the of­fices and I got there straight out of univer­sity,” he said.

“But in 12 months, I was the worst per­form­ing grad­u­ate out of about 116. One day I came in, they all got a pay rise and I was the one who didn’t, every­one knew it too.”

Darren said af­ter work­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment where his own per­cep­tion of him­self was shat­tered, he spi­ralled into de­pres­sion for two years.

“From where I was then to where I am now, it was a hard slog. I had a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with pain,” he said.

“But I also know the ab­so­lute joy you get from do­ing what you love. It’s the ques­tion you ask ‘if money was no ob­ject, what would you do?’

“I thought I wanted to be an ac­coun­tant but it was my dad’s voice in my head telling me to be­come one.”

He said the de­ci­sion for him to change ca­reers was sim­ple, but the ques­tion that plagued his mind was, to what?

“I had no idea. I know 50-year-olds who have no idea what they want in life,” he said.

“But your gift is about util­is­ing your skills to help oth­ers. It can be dif­fi­cult be­cause other peo­ple can recog­nise your tal­ents a lot eas­ier than you do.”

St Au­gus­tine’s prin­ci­pal Luci Quinn agreed with Mr Pereira and added a sup­port net­work was one of the best ways to help your ca­reer.

“In the first year of this job I found it quite hard but I had peo­ple around me to sup­port me and help me mas­ter my skills. I can con­fi­dently stand here to­day and say I love this job,” she said.

“But you need to be open to other peo­ple’s feed­back of you. A men­tor said to me, ‘know what brings you joy, are you good at it and do peo­ple need you to do it?’

“At St Au­gus­tine’s, we want you to be whole peo­ple.”

Darren Pereira speaks at St Au­gus­tine’s.

Cameron Boal signs the Bea­con pledge.

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