Kellie Davis spent her career working in private enterprise and was looking for a new opportunity to contribute to the community and advocate for others. She recently graduated from ICAN Learn’s Diploma of Financial Counselling course and agreed to share her experience.
Time for a Change
I was happy in my career, but I felt I needed to hit the reset button. I was looking for a new challenge where I could help others and be a voice for people in our society that don’t always get heard. I am a confident person and have strong advocacy skills, so I wanted to use these strengths in my new career.
When I researched the role of Financial Counsellor, I knew it was the path for me. I made sure I understood as much as I could about the role and the study commitment required before making the leap, but it was the perfect fit.
Once I started the course, I was amazed at how much there is to learn to become a Financial Counsellor. There’s so much to it! The course was incredible and I learnt so much, not just about financial counselling, but about myself too.
COVID lockdown turned out to be a positive experience for me because I couldn’t go out socially, so online study was a great use of my time. I’ve met a lot of new friends through the course, so we could support each other and pull together during this crazy period. I have so much respect for my fellow students and the teachers, they are such passionate people.
The hardest thing about undertaking the diploma was finding a balance between study, work, and family life. Mature age study is challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. I thrived on learning.
I actively sought work placement in the early stages of the course and was fortunate to secure an Intern role while studying. Several opportunities came up, but I’m now employed as a Financial Counsellor, working 4 days a week, which was always my dream. It’s vital to be proactive and seek out opportunities, they’re out there if you chase them!
The learning continues even once you are working. I love increasing my knowledge and learning from the experienced professionals around me, who have been incredibly supportive. Most professionals in the sector freely share knowledge and are happy to mentor new Financial Counsellors.
A Path with Heart
My proudest moment was making one of my clients, David* cry. He had a bit of a ratbag history and had been in prison for a while but had worked at turning his life around for several years. He came to financial counselling for an old debt that he was determined to repay. David had already put everything into place to succeed even before meeting me, so I simply told him what a great job he was doing. He paused, then burst into tears. He told me no one had ever praised him, and it meant a lot to him. David will never know how much his reaction meant to me.
Changing careers has been the best investment I’ve made. I feel different, in a good way, like I’m a better version of myself. And I thought my study days were done! You just never know what life has in store for you.
*Name has been changed