Reskilling from manual labour to tech job

“Man, I will learn. I will carry the timber and sweep the floor, which I did for a number of months and worked my way up.”

This belief of Guy Everingham’s has taken him across states and industries. Earlier in life you’d find him behind the bar, before moving into the construction industry “because they made better money”. From there, he maintained one of Gina Rinehart’s super yachts.

Guy was about to make a full circle back into hospitality to open his own restaurant when COVID-19 hit.

From chef to cybersecurity

“In 2020 I thought, ‘Oh, it’s not a good time to sink lots of money into a restaurant.’”

At the age of 41, Guy started his fourth career, embarking on a 12-month cybersecurity course. He now works as an Associate Consultant at MTX Group, where he’s happily soaking up the perks of working in an office environment.

“I’ve never worked in an office. I’ve always been on site with men and tool belts and work in the sun.”

“But everyday is different. Everyday I’m learning. It’s amazing being surrounded by supportive people. 

“For me, I wanted to get into tech because I could see a future where no pandemic is going to shut it down. 

“I wanted more earning potential and work-life balance. When I’m studying 40 hours a week and then working 30 hours overnight I never saw my partner. Now I get weekends and nights off. That’s what I was looking for in a 25-year career.”

Growing in tech

The room for growth was an important step in Guy’s choice to pursue the tech industry. 

“Not many chefs at 50 years old do what they were doing at 30. Many chefs in Australia make 80 to 120 thousand dollars a year, and that’s if they’ve been in the same place for many years.”

From Guy’s position as an Associate Consultant he could move into a role as a business analyst or the development side “with more coding heavy stuff, more solutions architecture and customer service platforms.”

Even if this sounds out of reach for you, take a leaf out of Guy’s book of wisdom

“If you can admit you don’t know anything, your mind is open to learning something. I think honesty is an important thing.

“I was always really pushing back on learning to code because we all have that mentality of what a coder or developer does – they’re in a dark room, with fat bellies and chips on their development devices.”

Coding is often a prerequisite to many courses, which stopped Guy from exploring a tech career sooner. But now he believes that mindset needs to shift.

“If you don’t know X, you can’t do X. That’s our sort of precluding people from education, right? That, to me, is a crazy scenario.”

And, it is a crazy scenario. The number of pathways into tech are growing.

Read more in our Australia’s Tech Jobs Opportunity – Cracking the Code to Australia’s Best Jobs report.

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