Inspirational career stories

Read some inspirational stories about people who have overcome many obstacles in their lives to reach their career goals.

Sometimes getting the job that you want – and the life that you want to lead – may seem almost impossible. 

Everyone faces obstacles of one sort or another. For example, maybe you:

  • left school without qualifications
  • have been out of work for some time, and are worried that employers won’t want to hire you
  • have family commitments that make it difficult to train for the career you want
  • feel unable to change careers, because the job that you want may earn you less money than you are making now
  • did things in the past that you are not proud of, but now want to move on with your life
  • have a disability that makes everyday tasks more of a challenge.

These challenges don’t mean that you cannot reach your career goals. You may just need to take a bit more time to make the changes you want, or approach things in a different way.

How did they do it?

Read some career stories from inspirational people who have faced challenges in their career paths, but have all managed to find their way forward, and get the job they wanted.

I was 18 and out of school. All I wanted to do was play computer games and drink beers with my mates. But my stepmother wasn't going to let me waste my life, so she encouraged me to do Outward Bound.

Pete Bradley

Pete Bradley

Call Centre Operator

It was a really hard time. My husband had always been the breadwinner, and now we were reliant on welfare. It was a big drop in wages, and we had to account for every single cent.

Manutai Leaupepe

Manutai Leaupepe

Tertiary Lecturer

I thought, 'I can’t carry on living like I am'. I had no focus at all, and I could see all my friends weren’t doing very well.

Fiva Latu

Fiva Latu

Executive Housekeeper

You’re responsible for how you feel about things. Job hunting can be really discouraging, but you’ve just got to do the things you need to do to keep yourself happy and sane.

Sonya Thomas

Sonya Thomas

Marketing and Communications Assistant

There was a point in my life that I thought I couldn’t do anything. I thought I was useless at everything. But then I realised that’s not the way it is. I got rid of my self-limiting beliefs. It’s interesting when I reflect back on where I started, then where I am now.

Tony Venning

Tony Venning

Medical Physicist

Updated 15 Jul 2016