On Dec 4 2020 I had the pleasure of presenting at a workshop called Post School Work Options for Year 10 kids at North Lakes High School, organised by The Smith Family Learning for Life. Truly this was an unexpected joy to volunteer for, to invest some of my knowledge and experience into the next generation of professionals here on the Central Coast. My personal philosophy has always been about maximising life across all spheres, and I believe that living on the Central Coast is a good foundation for a healthy lifestyle. The downside to this is that there is often a perception that our area leans too heavily into the “lifestyle” realm and not enough into that of “professional success” or “diverse opportunity” – my goal is to nurture and educate a Central Coast that espouses all of these. The purpose of my short presentation was to inspire the kids as to this possibility.
Joined by speakers from Newcastle University, Tafe NSW and Headspace, with a number of additional organisations offering various forms of employment assistance, we were able to have some productive conversations with the kids. My own differentiator was that as an employer I was to speak of challenges and tips in hiring, internships and alternative learning options such as Skillshare and Udemy, particularly as they pertain to digital marketing. My own learning journey has extended well beyond traditional means. In the marketing & web industry you must always be learning – new trends, new technologies, new markets and many more variables keep you on your toes. Too many of our industry peers rest on knowledge that’s 10+ years old, and unfortunately that is just too outdated. The good news for up and comers is that there are digital marketplaces like UpWork or Airtasker to test the waters as a freelancer if you’d like to begin your journey as a designer, developer, marketer or many other fields. A solicitor at the workshop was sure to remind everyone that there are tax implications of these platforms, so don’t get caught out!
As a 29-year-old business owner, my highlight was in finding the kids quite relatable (shouldn’t really be so surprising). It was warming to receive some positive feedback personally. To know that I have made even a small difference in the career journey of a few individuals makes it all worth it to me:
“Sam Mad Lad, very helpful for starting of career”
“Sam was the best person I talked to”
Feeling a little puffed up after this I admit, although I didn’t do anything exceptional other than hang out and be real with the kids. Of course, it was not entirely selfless, a secondary goal of mine is to equip the next generation of future workers so that I can eventually hire those who stick with it and show potential! Over the last year I have been involved in several groups with fellow business owners and council members here on the Coast. One of the problems that has been flagged in these conversations is that our aspiring talent often seeks work elsewhere and moves away. This is a problem that I intend to take part in resolving! It starts with us business owners and parents changing our perception and the way we talk about our home.
Thanks for having me Smith Family and North Lakes High, you’ve got some great kids there and I look forward to what’s in store for them over the next 5 years.