From failing high school and getting fired from jobs to becoming a professional musician and successful business owner, Luke O’Hare is using his inspiring story to encourage students to start thinking about the next stage of their life.
Travelling across the region with the NSW Business Chamber Skillsroad Show, he told students not to stress about picking “the right job, career or university course” right away.
“It’s more about discovering yourself – what your good at, what your skills are, what your strengths are,” he said.
“My biggest advice is; when you’ve got a skill or a strength, or you find something interesting, that’s your body and your mind telling you to focus on that stuff.
“A lot of times people are scared to jump and look at the stuff because they fill their head with negative excuses straight away – I’m not smart enough, it’s too competitive, it’s too hard.
“You’ve got to give these things a go. What’s the worst that could happen? Yeah, you might fail, but you might succeed as well.”
Mr O’Hare says he was a “good student”, but at the age of 14 his dad past away, which set up a “negative chain of events”.
“I didn’t do the HSC or get an ATAR, I just didn’t care for it at all,” he said.
“I watched all my mates get apprenticeships and go to uni – I kept doing nothing. I had a few random jobs, got fired from a couple, I just had a really bad attitude.”
He was lucky enough to get a job at a music centre, working under “the first positive mentor I ever had”.
There he flourished, becoming a professional music travelling around Australia.
“After that, I decided I need to get qualified in something, so I ended up going back to TAFE studying fitness and youth work,” he said.
“Through that I got involved in the fitness industry, created a little personal training business and had a lot of success investing in gyms.”
For anyone unsure about their future after school, the Skillsroad Show website is a great starting point.
“The career quiz helps you learn about your personality and then it gives you a guide about what possible industries might suit you,” Mr O’Hare said.
“I could speak for hours about all the great stuff on the website. There are hundreds of videos and links about university and different jobs, they can do their resume and they can actually apply for jobs online.”