Changing your career path as an adult can be incredibly daunting. A weighted decision by nature, having the courage to stop and reflect on your long-term goals is a moment that can change your life forever. Beyond immediate responsibilities, choosing to do what you love—even if it's later in life—is an experience that can satisfy those questions you keep asking yourself about who you are, where you're going and who you want to be.
For Collarts student Joel Watson, leaving his decade-long career behind as chef was a decision that changed his life and opened up a new world of passion he'd never thought possible. "At the beginning of this year, it became apparent to me that my career as a chef was no longer fulfilling my hunger for knowledge," Joel explains. "At the age of 17, I became a dishwasher and very soon after, landed my first real job as an apprentice sushi chef. I have always been good at cooking, so when things fell into place and I started building a career in it, it really seemed like a logical life-path… or should I say, The Safe Life Path."
Like so many other students and staff, refocusing on his passions made Joel realise there was more to life than picking the safer option. "I had always loved the music industry and longed to be a part of it one day. However, the responsibilities of a chef became so demanding that my passion for music moved further into the background of my priorities."
"After working in the food industry for over 10 years, I had a revelation. I made the decision to sacrifice a stable income in order to pursue my dream of becoming a music producer. I knew that studying Audio Production was going to be my best chance at igniting the spark that had been missing in my life thus far."
Reflecting on his work as a Chef, Joel soon began questioning where he was going long-term and how his love for music was always there, calling. "After working in the food industry for over 10 years, I had a revelation," he mused. "I made the decision to sacrifice a stable income in order to pursue my dream of becoming a music producer. I knew that studying Audio Production was going to be my best chance at igniting the spark that had been missing in my life thus far."
"When you have spent years of being comfortable in a specific trade, the thought of leaving that behind and returning to study is extremely daunting. All of a sudden I found myself wading into a pool that I’d dipped my toes in years ago," Joel continues, excited. "Honestly, it’s scary —but you can’t give up on your dream!"
"I decided on attending Collarts the second I walked through the door. The energy was so alive and welcoming."
Just as Joel refused to give up, he began searching for options and opportunities that would give him the best-foot-forward in the creative industry. When asked why he chose Collarts, the answer was simple. "I decided on attending Collarts the second I walked through the door. The energy was so alive and welcoming. I walked in hoping to one day be a producer and a better musician. Now that I’m in my second trimester, I’m already confident I can do every job I have ever dreamed of such as working live shows, studio work, post-production, synthesis, sound design and more."
"Since starting my Bachelor of Audio Production I am happier than I’ve been in years. When you go from doing something you don’t enjoy in excess of 90 hours per week, to learning about and being part of what I love, it’s a dream come true."
Joel Watson is a current Collarts student studying the Bachelor of Arts (Audio Production). Interested in joining the Collarts community? Follow your passion and check out our courses here. Applications for 2018 are now open!
This story was originally posted in June 2017 by Yama Indra and has been edited by Monique Myintoo.