A beacon of good advice
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.