Volunteer Spotlight

Meet John

Schools Industry Partnership, Vanessa Perkins

 We asked one of our Inspiring volunteers, John, what it means to him to be an Inspiring the Future volunteer

How long have you been volunteering with Inspiring the future? 

May 2021 ... 20 months. 

What made you want to get involved and volunteer with Inspiring the Future? 

I have a 'giving-back' strategy and I had always wanted to do something similar with secondary school students.  I had a gap, because I was already helping primary-school kids with their reading, and mentoring university students about their careers.  I couldn't believe my luck when I found you, in an exhibition at Western Sydney University one day. 

What is it about volunteering with Inspiring the Future that you really enjoy? 

It's the working with young people ... who are our future ... and being able to act as a sounding-board for their career ideas.  They need somebody else, somebody independent of family and school, to talk to ... and we are that sounding-board. 

Has your career journey taken the path you imagined it would? 

I only imagined the next step in the career journey ... no more than that ... and I did get what I wanted each time.  I need to add that there have only been seven steps - five as an employee, and two as a self-employed professional.  And being self-employed requires a great deal of imagination, as well as confidence and resilience. 

What is something about your career journey that has surprised you? 

Yes ... the power of mentoring.  I would not be doing what I am doing right now if it weren't for Chris, Terry, Ron, Peter, Danny, Neil, and John.  This is why I mentor and have always done so throughout my career, once I had people to manage or guide.  I have had the most rewarding and enriching career journey, and that's down to the seven mentors who guided me along the way.  I am doing my best to return their favours. 

What is one piece of advice that you would share with young people today? 

Can I have two?!?  Number One - find a mentor, or trust that a mentor finds you (as happened to me).  Number Two - go with the career opportunities as they arise, especially when you are called about a potential next career step.