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Rewriting his story: Joe’s creative career change

Training and skills case study

After getting his degree in furniture design, Joe Casey built his career in a tactile environment, working with his hands to make furniture and design installations.

Born with a degenerative hearing condition, by his late 20s, Joe had lost almost half of his hearing.

Joe Casey case study

“In Melbourne, the streets are 90 decibels on a good day!” Joe says.

Fitted with hearing aids on both ears, he found that city life and loud carpentry workshops weren’t the best fit for his lifestyle and long-term career goals.

He packed up and moved to Sale, where the TAFE Gippsland Skills and Jobs Centre suggested a few courses for him to consider. Now, Joe is halfway through studying his Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing.

“It’s a quiet environment and I can actually flourish,” he says. “I’ve always enjoyed the creative side of life – art, music, literature. It’s thrilling to tap into that side of my brain.”

Joe made the decision to switch careers at a time in his life when he was looking for more fulfillment. He was eager to find a job that was more engaging and tailored to him.

“As a millennial, I think my generation is changing what career paths can look like, and normalising making a change that’s better suited to your lifestyle, goals and needs,” he says.

An avid reader, Joe is now learning how his favourite authors mastered their craft. He aspires to join the ranks of literary legends.

Joe Casey case study

“I’d love to write a classic, but I think more than that, I’d just love to be good at my craft,” he says. “I want people to be able to read what I write, relate to it and understand it.”

Returning to study was a no-brainer for Joe. As he describes it, “education offers the ability for people to grow in life, so why wouldn’t I further that and try to be a better version of myself?”

Joe dreams of travelling around Victoria, being able to write from the road and draw inspiration from both the natural environment and everyday people living their lives.

“The closer I get to the end of the course, the more I think about where I started,” he says. “It’s definitely worth it to see that progress and change happen. My advice? Go for it! What’s stopping you?”