Late last year, our consultant Charlotte Smail was invited to speak on a panel as part of the UWA’s CareerConnect Conference. The yearly career-support mentoring event is delivered by alumni, for alumni, to give recent graduates a solid foundation and resources to move forward in their working lives.
Charlotte sat as a panellist for Not just a job: The evolving world of work, commentating on the increasing complexity of careers and the elusive ‘work-life balance’. The topic posed the question of whether a separation of work and life is realistic; suggesting that to have it all, you’ll likely have to do it all at once. Joined by fellow panellists Tshung-Hui Chang, Lou Forster, Andrew Walker and moderator Anna Burchfield, conversations emerged around curiosity, passion and being open to opportunities.
Starting off her career in a very different direction, Charlotte is personally aware of the difficulties of navigating today’s world of work and finding a sense of balance. Having completed a Bachelor in Architecture in 2013, it wasn’t until she began her Master of Architecture that she realised her career interests and passions lay more in her relationships with people.
After completing her Masters she transitioned to full-time consulting at Tower. Fast forward to 2020, she is working part-time as a consultant for Tower, studying a Master of Counselling at Notre Dame, and volunteering weekly at the Samaritans. It’s all an ongoing journey, and one she never thought she’d be on. But not knowing is okay – the important thing is being open to opportunities when they present themselves and being curious about where they can take you.
The journeys of her fellow panellists have been equally varied, with their own twists and turns. As they discussed, knowing what you don’t want to do can be just as valuable as knowing what you do want. As put by Lou Foster – “everything is a learning opportunity.” Every step will take you closer to finding your “ideal career” – balancing what you enjoy, with what you’re good at, and what’s important to you.
We’ve highlighted below some of the key advice from the panellists. To listen to the full recording of the event, click here.