Jackie, a seasoned banking professional with over 20 years of experience, has embarked on an inspiring career change journey from finance to early childhood education. Her courageous decision to transition from the corporate world to nurturing young minds showcases her dedication to making a meaningful impact in the lives of children and working parents.
What motivated Jackie, a seasoned banking professional with over 20 years of experience, to make a career change from finance to early childhood education?
Jackie’s illustrious career in finance included her recent role as a team leader at NAB, where she oversaw complex corporate loans and led a team of over 75 professionals. However, she had a desire to contribute more directly to her community and provide support to parents facing the challenges of balancing work and family life.
Driven by a personal mission to assist working families, Jackie found her calling in early childhood education. She recognised the need for high-quality childcare that not only nurtured children but also eased the burdens on parents, just as she had experienced with her own family.
“I knew I needed a change, but I didn’t know what that was until I thought of how OAC helped me when I had children. I wanted to give back to families just like mine,” Jackie explained.
Surprisingly, Jackie discovered that her background in finance and her newfound career shared commonalities, such as the importance of structure and routines. These organisational skills, once used in the world of business, took on new meaning when applied to the care and education of young minds.
How did Jackie leverage her background in finance when transitioning to a career in early childhood education?
Transitioning from the corporate world to early childhood education was not without its challenges. Jackie had to adapt to different physical demands, such as keeping up with active children, and her coffee breaks were now scheduled. Nevertheless, she grew to appreciate her fellow educators who shared a deep commitment to the well-being of the children they cared for.
Jackie’s journey into early childhood education included a Traineeship Program at Only About Children (OAC). The paid program, lasting between 12 to 18 months, welcomes individuals without prior qualifications or experience, offering comprehensive development programs, paid leave, study time, and dedicated mentors. Jackie’s experience serves as a testament to the numerous opportunities within the field and its dynamic and rewarding nature. Early childhood education isn’t just a job; it’s a means of making a genuine difference in the lives of children and their working parents.
One of the highlights of Jackie’s new career is witnessing the creativity and imagination of the children she cares for, which has sparked her own creative side. Her daily routine now revolves around the needs of the Surry Hills Campus Nursery Room, filled with enriching activities such as music, singing, and baking biscuits. Every moment is an opportunity for both the children and Jackie to learn and grow together.
The most rewarding aspect of Jackie’s job is witnessing moments of joy shared between the children and their families. When parents come to pick up their children at the end of the day, Jackie often shares stories of their achievements, ensuring that each day concludes on a happy note.
What advice does Jackie offer to individuals contemplating a career change into early childhood education?
For those contemplating a similar career change, Jackie offers valuable advice. She encourages individuals who genuinely love children and are willing to work diligently to consider a career in early childhood education.
“You just have to try it. If you’re not afraid to work hard and love children, then give it a try. It’s such a needed profession, and it’s so rewarding,” Jackie emphasises, highlighting the pivotal role educators play in shaping the future.
Jackie’s inspiring journey underscores the abundant opportunities in early childhood education and its potential for making a lasting impact on the lives of children and their families.
We’re currently taking new trainees across many of our campuses. Learn about Only About Children’s unique traineeship program here.
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