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Just for fun, I thought I would turn the interview spotlight onto my Relaunch Your Career “partner in crime”, career coach Dana Hughes. Here is what she said!

  • What did you want to do when you left school?

I wanted to be a teacher or a psychologist. I am driven, and always have been, to understand how people function and ways to get from here to there.

  • What was your first job?

Very first job ‘real’ job was as a teacher in an inner city school in Melbourne. It was fantastic and delivered all that I had imagined teaching would be. Spontaneous and feisty students, a supportive staff of whom many are still friends and some wonderful stories of antics and mishaps of students and teachers alike. After 10 years I woke one morning knowing my time as a teacher was done. It was like a switch had been flicked and I no longer found the dramas of adolescents endearing. It was time to leave.


  • What are you doing now?

Career coach, facilitator and project manager and would be author.


  • What has been you darkest career moment? How did you get out of it?

I have the strongest memory on the eve of a new school term. I was working as a teacher, because I had not been brave enough to say “I’m done”- I was attached to school holidays etc. Anyway, there I was, lamenting about my lot in life. All I wanted to do was run away and blame anyone I could. I can still hear my partner saying “What would Dana say to you right now?” … A moment to walk my talk … and I did. I resigned and took a job as a waitress ready to regroup and reinvent.

  • Who / what has been your greatest influence in your career?

There have been a number of significant moments and people in my career some as mentors others as reminders of what not to be and then there have been moments that brought epiphanies

  1. As a new teacher I have the good fortune to have a supervisor who taught me about the value of being professional
  2. Travelling around the world on my own for many months realising that I was a good judge of character and I could survive
  3. Moving often and the need to reinvent myself to meet the situation


  • What has surprised you or have you learnt in your working life?

I often stop and question how I got here – to have crafted a career that allows me to do most of the things I love. Teaching, coaching, creating and inventing new ways BUT none of it in a way that I had imagined at 21. I remember a lecturer at Uni telling me I had a talent for creating fun ways to learn new things and that’s how I approach what I do – make it a  game or adventure and see how it unfolds.


Dana and I would love you to join us in Inverloch at our next Relaunch Your Career  Workshop on October 18 2014. These workshops are a chance to reflect, refine and strategise for your next career move. Go to to find out more.