I remember turning 45 years old and thinking to myself, 'Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?'
I was approaching my 20th anniversary with one the Big Four Banks. I was good at my job, my customers were loyal, I was financially in a strong position but still felt like there was something missing in my professional life.
I took a three-month sabbatical to give myself some time and distance to consider what I wanted to do next. During this time, I came to realize that financial rewards, while nice, did not make me excited to get up out of bed every morning. I needed something more. I wanted to work somewhere where I could see purpose in what I was doing, something that made a material difference to the community in which I lived.
Every morning for the previous six years I had driven past the front of IMPACT Community Services not really understanding who they were or what they did. I saw a vacancy advertised and was drawn to the phrase 'Community Services.' Intrigued, I started to do some research and I am glad that I did.
I am now a recruitment advisor at IMPACT, helping people change their lives for the better.
What I love about my job is that I can put all the skills I developed in the corporate world, (customer service, attention to detail, planning and organizing, public speaking, computer skills, data analysis, motivation, sales, relationship building) into action that helps people improve their lives, while seeing tangible results for the work that I do.
I enjoy working in and around people who share the same values as me who also want to make a difference to their community. The vibe at IMPACT is less individualistic and competitive and more collegial, outcome-focused.
At IMPACT you're not competing against others for a promotion or the boss' attention, not trying to outdo your colleagues. It is always about what outcome is best for the client, and that always involves a positive change in their lives.
The pay was not as lucrative, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not a deal breaker. The combination of salary sacrifice tax advantages, fortnightly RDOs and greater work flexibility made the position very attractive.
I feel more balanced and happy as a person and am motivated to do my best work for the community in which I live.
Before I started work I was an exchange student in Brazil for Rotary, which may have informed my sense of social justice. I then spent three years at Uni doing a BA in Economics, History and Government, and the next 20 years in banking.
At the bank, I wasn't fulfilled and wanted to do some charity work to feed that side of me that wanted social justice, but the bank work simply took up too much time and was already eating into two of the three pillars of life – family, work and community.
I was able to combine two pillars in one – work and community – as IMPACT helped me connect to the community; the connection that was always missing.
Every company and corporation has a mission statement that you are expected to know and align with, but IMPACT's mission and values were the first I could embrace 100%, that closely and truly aligned with my own.
My definition of success has evolved also. Wins are different than results. Meeting numbers and KPIs is different than helping someone who is changing their life for the better, either by making a positive change or getting a job. And I always strive to be good at both.