My Journey to SACARE: Find that passion!
It has always been on my “To-Do List” to interview an “Employee of the Month” at SACARE. Well, time crept up and I’m yet to do one… until now! And
guess who was awarded Employee of the Month for April? Me! So, I’m going to take the lead and start interview number one by interviewing myself. Here,
I’ll share with you about my journey to and with SACARE, and why I think you should join me ;-)
Q1. Tell us about your journey to SACARE?
It started a year ago in May 2017, I had just returned to Adelaide after spending a month in India where I learned to become a yoga teacher. Before that, I was living in The Hague, San Francisco, and Sydney… it had been six years since I’d been back “home”, so it was quite a strange feeling. Previously I was working in a technology company and founded an American company called ‘Boomcast’, which was a social network focused on positive change. I absolutely loved it until the stresses of running a startup took its toll. After some unpredicted life obstacles (yes, we all get them), I was ready to recharge and reset back in Adelaide. I had my yoga teaching certificate and was prepared to settle into this new profession, but was too afraid to take the plunge. I decided to happily work as a waitress at an “organic cafe”, until I figured out next steps. Well, as fate would have it, clearly that was not an option for me because my mum, Salli Toovey (who’s the fitness instructor at SACARE) mentioned that Chloe Kempe (General Manager of Client Relations) had posted on Facebook that she was looking for a “digital marketer” for SACARE. Well, well, that was what I had been doing for the last five years! So I met with Chloe (who, believe it or not, also used to be my old babysitter), she shared what she needed and I shared my experiences, and well, it seemed like a perfect match. The only problem was that I couldn’t shake off my free-spirit vibe and was ready to get out of the digital world. So I said, “I’ll help you out for a couple days a week for a couple of months.” Two months have now turned into twelve months, I’m almost full time, and I have no intention of leaving anytime soon!
Lesson learned: Be prepared for a step-back, but keep looking outward and don’t be blind to the amazing opportunities that land in your lap! You never know what doors they will open.
Q2. What do you love most about the company?
I can’t list one thing that I love the most, there are too many, but let me start with… the dogs! When I left The Netherlands, I had to sadly say goodbye to my fur baby Snoop Dogg. When I arrived at the office, being greeted by sometimes up to eight dogs in the morning is such a joy! From pugs, to puppies, to Dalmatians, the dogs help create such a loving, happy atmosphere… and always bring laughter.
Dogs aside, the people are just amazing. I generally feel that I could go to anyone about anything, and they’ll always offer an ear or a hug. For a family run and owned business, family goes way beyond the Marshall family, it’s in the essence everywhere, and you can really feel it. I definitely get a sense that each and everyone cares so deeply about their job and the greater impact that they are making on our clients’ lives.
Big hearts, also come with a lot of fun! SACARE knows how to do balance. The office has a cool warehouse space and bar that feels like it’s something out of San Francisco. We use it for meetings to birthday bubbles, and daily fitness sessions. But that’s just the office, you should see the disability accommodation facilities! They’re absolutely stunning. Their ethos, “If it’s not good enough for our family, then it’s not good enough for anyone”.
You don’t have to worry about finding time to exercise! They’re definitely forward thinking when it comes to “corporate wellness”. I don’t know too many
companies where you can participate in free daily fitness sessions and a healthy breakfast and lunch!
What else?! The list could go on, but one more thing that I’d like to mention, is that they care about your professional growth. Anything is possible! There are many different career opportunities within the company and if you show interest, and passion then they’re open to support your goals.
There is always something to do when you think with an open, creative mind!
Q3. Why the disability sector?
I definitely did not see myself working in the disability sector after my Visual Communication studies, and because I came from creative tech/advertising industries. Although, when I was running the online community, I helped a lot of people who suffered from mental health issues and this slowly made me realise what purpose in work entails.
When passion meets with your talent and your work, that’s when you find your purpose.
Arriving in the industry was actually pretty exciting because I felt like I could inject a young creative vibe into a sector that needed it. With the arrival of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, where the government has invested over a billion dollars into, this is a sector to watch, and be a part of! Did you know that 1 in 5 people have some form of a disability in Australia? That statistic blew me away, and might give you something to think about…
Q4. What have your highlights been so far?
One of my first projects at SACARE, was to share some of the incredible stories from staff and clients. I worked alongside a videographer Mike Worsman, and captured several stories, one of which was of Nick Benwell whose words of wisdom about not letting yourself get into a dark place will stay with me forever. You can check out his story here.
Another highlight has been catching up with one of our client’s Alice Waterman, and we work together on her fortnightly blogs. For somebody who cannot walk and is non-verbal, her energy and personality is actually amazing, and it’s an honour to work alongside her.
Working with SACARE has definitely strengthened my perspective of human beings. No matter what our differences, we all desire the same things - to be happy and to be loved. If you can deliver you sparkle, you’ll get an abundance back in return.
Q5. Any advice to someone thinking about a career move?
If you’re feeling a little stuck in a job that you’re finding unfulfilling, firstly change your attitude. What can you add to the company you’re working for to give not only yourself a new zest but also the workplace? If you can’t answer this, and still feel that you’re in need of a change, I highly recommend seeking work in the disability sector, because there is a job for everyone, and it’s an industry that has its arms wide open for the young, progressive, creative and big-hearted souls. From accounting, to therapy, design and more… there’s something for anyone. Have a look at what your talents are and think about where you can put them to make you feel good about yourself, knowing that your talents are appreciated and accepted. Choose to work with a company that shares similar values to you. Be prepared to take a risk by stepping sideward (not forwards), this still provides growth and may give you the accelerated step you need to go towards the right direction. Keep moving until you find the place that feels right for you.
If you’d like to join the SACARE family, take a peak of what jobs are available here… we mainly have support worker roles available at the moment, but if you feel that you have something that you can offer that maybe we haven’t considered yet… then I’m sure your resume is always welcome! If not, why not consider some volunteer work? I guarantee that spending an hour a week (or every two), with one of our clients will keep you coming back for more! And… you’re always welcome to meet us at the HQ Bar for a Friday afternoon drink, chat and play with the dogs!