I decided to become a researcher having completed my PhD after many years of working in industry. Upon doing so, I found that I had more qualifications than most in my field and therefore gaining work back in the field was difficult. As such, the PHD very much changed my work course into one of research.
And doing so was such a fantastic path for me, as I am thoroughly enjoying working as a Research Fellow. No other job in my life has been so interesting and I have no other work goals but to remain in a research position.
I completed my PHD in November 2008, where the research focussed on safety in organisations and change management processes. Since that time I have been responsible for producing more than 12 successful grant applications and have been project manager and a researcher on six major ECU projects evaluating social programs for the State Government.
Since moving to the Sellenger Centre in June 2008 I have worked on and am currently involved in projects focussing on safety training initiatives for the construction sector as well as those linking vocational training and marginalised groups including ex-offenders. I am also actively engaged in drafting ARC grant applications that build on existing research.
I have found that a research position mirrors a consulting model, as it requires a considerable amount of self discipline and the ability to work on my own and with others, including industry partners.
What I find most attractive about a sole research role is the pure autonomy as it provides me with the opportunity to almost run my own business whilst being paid a wage. I decide what I want to research, who I would like to work with, and what I want to work on each day.