Smile, introduce yourself and ask people how they are, how have their day been, what are some of the projects they are working on, what are they keen to hear the speaker talk about? Often the conversation goes from there as it’s more informal and friendly.
Meet Leona D’Vaz – a Melburnian foodie (naturally) whose new found love for words recently prompted her to quit a successful 6-year corporate climb in online advertising to learn about the art of storytelling and photography, so she can live her dream life and career. Anyone who has ever done a career pivot will tell you that the hardest part is figuring out where and how to begin. Leona smashed through that biggest barrier and voila, the universe answered. Ladies, that’s usually how it goes.
From memory, woman.com.au presented as an incredible conduit for two great loves: attending events and freelance writing. As it was only two months old, I was keen to be involved in what I believed to be an exciting online publication in the start-up phase. The ethos of being ‘woman’ centric and providing a one-stop shop on articles portraying influential women, key events and a real community feel, really appealed to me.
Currently I am the Marketing Manager for The Australian Writers’ Centre, a freelance writer (setting my business up) and studying two degrees – one in Journalism, the other in Photography. Only five months ago I executed a full career change after close to six years of working in online advertising. After handing my resignation in, I focused on the writing industry and by fortuitous timing, The Writers’ Centre needed a Melbourne based person, so I went for it!
Even though I studied Business (HR Management) for well over 15 years on and off (there is a third degree, yes!), I came to the conclusion that career paths can and do change. My early thinking was to stay in a ‘corporate’ role, but my internal compass was in conflict. I learnt it’s never too late to change direction and utilize your former learnings.
To become a photojournalist and documentary maker. Predominantly for communities in developing countries.
Innate curiosity to know more.
Great question. Digressing was an art I really cultivated, until recently. Through really looking objectively at how I function best, I realised my tendency to become overwhelmed was really exacerbated by multi-tasking. Now I schedule time to devote to specific projects I am working on.