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Meet the people of Dream Job
In a brand-new television series, psychologist Sabina is on a mission to take 16 everyday Australians on a life changing journey, where each must step out of their comfort zone and road test their dream job.
Sabina has broad experience in counselling, facilitating, coaching and consulting for organisations, groups, individuals, couples and families. Working with clients in both private practice and company settings, Sabina’s expertise addresses life transitions, workplace and career issues, mental health and well-being, among other areas.
SEEK has teamed up with Sabina to help each of the aspiring career-changers navigate the barriers that are holding them back.
“Over the course of our lives we grow and change as individuals, therefore it makes sense that the career we once enjoyed, may not be the career we will always want. Multiple career transitions are a typical part of life for most of us.
Having made a significant career change myself, the concept of Dream Job appealed both personally and professionally. Through the power of storytelling, I’m hoping Dream Job will help to normalise career change, and inspire hope and action for the many people who currently feel stuck or at a career crossroads,” says Sabina.
Knowing all too well that often one of the biggest hurdles to change is psychological, Sabina will help each of the Dream Job participants embrace the idea that career change in some shape or form really is possible for everyone.
Abbey knew from the age of nine that she wanted to be a ballroom dancer. Stepping into her mother’s studio in Ballarat was entering her happy place. Dance was Abbey’s profession and her world for 20 years.
“I was a competitor and then a professional dancer in a stage show called Burn the Floor.” Abbey was doing what she loved and got to travel – it was a thrilling career. But, sadly ballroom dancing can’t always be a career for life and Abbey retired at the tender age of 30.
“My body was starting to tire and I wanted a different future for myself. I could definitely spend my life saying: 'Ready? Two, Three Cha Cha Cha!', but I want new challenges and to feel fulfilled.”
Instead, to move onto what she calls a “real job”, Abbey returned home and worked as a receptionist by day and ballroom dancing teacher by night.
But Abbey didn’t find reception work fulfilling and decided that she needed a new career, so she turned to her other passion – writing. “I started writing a newsletter for my family and turned it into a blog.” With the dream of one day being able to write a novel, screenplay or musical, Abbey now has her sights set on being a professional writer.
Abbey’s confidence has been knocked a little after applying unsuccessfully for numerous copy writing and content roles. Abbey believes she has what it takes, but there’s just one obstacle: “My problem is that I don’t look very good on paper. I have limited experience and I have not done very much in terms of study.”
Can Abbey prove she has what it takes to earn a living from her writing?
Life is good for Andrew. He has a comfortable job as an account manager, beautiful twin daughters Florence and Olive and is engaged to fiancé Claire.
However, Andrew has always wondered whether working in a nurturing profession such as nursing could be another option for him.
Andrew grew up in the industrial north of England, where the mindset was that men went into the trades. Nursing was always perceived as a “female career” and he didn’t see it as an option for him.
But when his father passed away in 2012 and one of his daughters spent time in hospital in 2015, Andrew took note of the wonderful job the nurses did caring for his loved ones and it ignited his thinking about a career change.
Andrew is hoping that this opportunity provided by Dream Job will help him understand if nursing could be the job for him. “The drawbacks are at 45 I don't want to start study for three to five years and get into an area that I end up not being 100% comfortable in,” he says.
Will Andrew’s passion for the profession be enough to see him move from a well-paid job to a new career? And how will he manage the family commitments if he decides to go back to school?
Bill has the gift of the gab and thinks it’s wasted in his current IT career. The father of two spends his days fixing computers remotely or at people’s desks and in a word, he’s “bored”.
His younger colleagues get excited every time a new technology comes out. But Bill says it’s like having a new cover for your couch, which still does the same job. “I think, ‘here we go again’.”
Bill loved computers when he first started working in IT. Nowadays he does the work to pay the bills. He needs a new career. But having always worked in IT, Bill doesn’t know exactly what else he’d be good at.
The secret to a more satisfying career could lie in his passion for luxury cars. Bill loves the exclusivity of cars such as Porsche and Ferrari and believes that selling such objects of desire would be exciting and challenging.
His support team, wife Toula and teenage children Tabitha and Anthony think Bill’s bubbly personality and superb negotiation skills would make him a great salesperson.
Can Bill’s love of cars and silver tongue see him become a confident car salesman? It’s a big leap from fixing IT problems for others to winning over customers and closing the deal on a $100,000 car. Has he got what it takes?
Elise loves sharing happiness with others. As a midwife she saw the joy of new lives coming into the world, so after having to wind down her nursing career following an accident that injured her back, Elise found something was missing.
She found her joy again in floristry and now wants to see if she can make it her career path.
During her recovery from the back injury, the mother of three had time to reassess her life and ambitions. Elise spent a lot of her recovery time reading which inspired her to pursue her passion of flower arranging.
If she won the Lotto, Elise would begin a full floristry qualification instantly and buy her own floristry business to fulfil her dream. But at the moment, the financial cost of Elise returning to school is a weight too heavy for the family of five to bear living on husband Ben’s humble Ambo salary.
None-the-less Elise has started taking short courses to teach herself floral arranging because she found it helps her forget her back problems. She gets lost in the flowers. “It’s my happy place and allows me to share in others’ happiness.”
She launched her garage-based floristry business Petals & Lace on the Bellarine on Instagram, which has attracted a few local clients and given her confidence. “Seeing people’s response when they receive flowers is so beautiful.”
To take Petals & Lace on the Bellarine to the next level Elise wants to pursue a full career change course at Bloom College. So, Dream Job is going to give her the opportunity to try her hand at it.
Can Elise find a way to make it work for her and her family and make her dream become her reality?
Jetta’s upbringing revolved around food. “We’re a great big Italian family and that’s what we do,” she says.
Since Jetta had a gastric bypass operation a few years ago, she can’t enjoy all the foods she once did. Instead she loves pleasing everyone else with her cooking. That includes three hungry teenage sons.
After being a stay-at-home-mum for 15 years, Jetta started working as a canteen supervisor at her sons’ school. Her ambitions in food however are considerably more refined than school lunches.
The mother of three dreams of making petit fours (bite-sized cakes) in a pâtisserie. “They are such pretty things,” she says. “Pâtisserie is an art.”
While she couldn’t be prouder of her three growing boys, Jetta desperately wants to add a successful career to her list of accomplishments because; “Life would be that little bit brighter if I could,” she says.
To get her dream off the ground Jetta enrolled in a pâtisserie course at Holmesglen Institute, but is desperate to get some experience to learn more and to find out if she has what it takes to succeed.
Can Jetta harness her love of fine food and make a success of being a pâtissier?
Check out all the behind the scenes photos from the show including the participants working in their dream jobs.
About the show
At SEEK, our purpose is to help people live more productive and fulfilling working lives, yet we know that almost 60% of Australians feel stuck in their current careers.
To help bridge that gap, SEEK sponsored ‘Dream Job’ – a video series that aims to break down the barriers that hold so many of us back by highlighting, through real people, how achievable a change really can be.
Hosted by psychologist Sabina Read, Dream Job covers the stories of 16 Australians who were motivated to take the leap to test drive a new career after reflecting on the impact an unfulfilling career was having on their happiness.
Watch the stories of these everyday Australians who were given the chance to test drive their dream job and explore career advice around making a career change.