How A Career Change Can Turn Your Life Around

Rhianna Bridgett is now Head Trainer with the Western Bulldogs
Image credit: Liz Vagg/Western Bulldogs

Feeling stuck in your job? Hating life? We’ve all been there. But how many of us have the guts to actually make a dramatic change?

Rhianna Bridgett remembers the precise moment when she decided that enough was enough, and she wasn’t going to put up with a job she hated anymore.

‘I was driving home after working eight days straight of 12-hour shifts. I was sad and unhappy,’ she recalls.

As a supervisor in a serviced apartment chain, Rhianna spent most of her days dealing with unhappy customers, and the constant confrontations were taking their toll.

‘I ended up feeling physically sick at the thought of going to work every day... and I asked myself: can you really see yourself doing this for the rest of your life?’

That 20-minute drive home completely changed her life.

Rhianna went to work the next day and resigned immediately.

‘I made the decision then and there to go back to school, and make a change for myself,’ says the 27-year-old who is now a qualified myotherapist and working as Head Trainer with the AFL’s Western Bulldogs.

So how did she get there?

Like anything, especially a career change, things didn’t happen overnight. And perhaps the biggest hurdle (as it is for most of us!) is often deciding what exactly you want to do with your life.

For Rhianna, the idea of pursuing a career in massage came out of a conversation with her mum, who reminded Rhianna how much she used to enjoy giving shoulder and neck massages as a young child.

‘To be honest I didn’t really think you could make a successful career out of [massage],’ Rhianna says, but she rolled the dice and enrolled in a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice.

This quickly turned into enrolling in a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and a few years later Rhianna did something she never thought she would do – enrol to study at university.

‘Enrolling at Endeavour was a big deal,’ Rhianna says, ‘I was the first person in my family to go to uni, let alone successfully obtain a degree.’

She was drawn to the high standards Endeavour College of Natural Health had after watching her supervisor work, and realising this was the calibre she wanted to aim for.

Enjoying what she did, however, didn’t alleviate any of her fears when it came to uni life.

‘It was definitely a little bit nerve-racking. I had been told numerous times growing up that I’d never be smart enough to go to uni,’ Rhianna recalls. ‘I felt a lot of fear because I had only studied at TAFE level, and I was unsure that I was up to the standard of a degree.’

But once she got to Endeavour College of Natural Health, her anxiety slowly disappeared thanks to a combination of the hands-on training, the lecturers and the nurturing classroom environment.

Since graduating and finishing the Bachelor of Health Science (Musculoskeletal Therapy) – now known as the Bachelor of Health Science (Myotherapy) – Rhianna has forged a successfuly career as a myotherapist and is now in her third season as Head Trainer for the Western Bulldogs’ VFL division, and also works at a physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne.

‘My role with the Bulldogs sees me work closely with the team’s physiotherapists and doctors and managing other trainers to ensure the players have all the support they need to flourish on the field.’

She’s finally in an industry she loves, and now does work that she finds both meaningful and fulfilling.

‘The thing I find most satisfying about my job is seeing the results of my clients and helping people who come in with extreme or chronic pain,’ Rhianna says enthusiastically. ‘And it’s not just about being able to change their physical status, but their mental status as well.’

When asked what her drives home from work are like these days she said, ‘I feel happy, content, satisfied and grateful that I have found my calling in life!’

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