Nathan is in his sixties, originally from Fiji, and is currently self-employed in his business in event management. Nathan has experienced a number of transitions across his adult life. The first couple of his transitions were directly associated with the vocation, i.e. diploma in tropical fisheries, in which he was trained. These include becoming a fisheries officer in the Department of Primary Industries in Fiji then the same role in Sri Lanka under the United Nations volunteer program. His occupational focus was slightly changed as he was relocated to New Zealand – doing the experimental work on the breeding process of prawns, then to Australia – becoming the chief biologist in crayfish farming in Beaudesert. After that, he transitioned into different roles which were dissociated with his earlier vocation, including detention youth worker, and investigation officer in fuel subsidy in the Queensland Treasury. Nathan has now settled with his own business in event management.

Nina is in her late twenties, Korean born and raised and grew up in Australia, and is currently working in creative industry. Nina started working in a design firm since her second year of university study. She progressed fast in the industry. She was initially employed as an interior designer then promoted into project management in less than 6 years. However, due to a back injury and to some extent the pressure with the management role, Nina decided to leave and change to more admin role, remaining in the creative industry but working with developers.


Olivia is in her mid-40s, originally from Nigeria, and is currently employed as a disability support worker. She is quite rounded to her approach to working life which is often shaped by economic imperative. Also, life is an adventure to her. Growing up with and being influenced by her grandfather who was a very prominent lawyer in Nigeria, Olivia completed her law degree as a result. However, she did not practice law per se but worked for a real estate organisation preparing legal documents for two years then becoming a sales rep for another two years. Then she moved to Australia with her husband who was granted permanent residency through skilled migrant visa scheme. Completing a Certificate III in Aged Care then a Diploma in Community Services allows her to work across various health facilities. She is now in the process of setting a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) registered business.


Parker is in his fifties, Australian born, and is currently completing a law degree to become a lawyer after being in the aviation as a pilot for 15 years. Parker had a number of transitions (i.e., moving across different airlines), including becoming i) a flight instructor, and ii) a first officer then Captain for Australian and international airlines. Seeing the uncertainty of the aviation industry in the era of pandemic, Parker decided to move out of aviation and took on a law degree to become a a solicitor with the Queensland supreme court.

Patrick has a long career trajectory of becoming a pilot, pilot instructor, organiser of procedures to ensure flight safety, interspersed with setbacks in this career due to disruptive events such as the pilot strike in the 1980s, drop-off in demand after 9/11 and, in more recent times the Covid pandemic. Within these destructive events were shifts around in careers, sometimes supported and sometimes frustrated by supervisors and managers. Transitions, beyond initial transition into being a pilot, were often associated moving from one airline to another to another or, state or country to another. His early career as a pilot commenced with securing a pilot’s licence, and then moving up to be an instructor within light planes, before moving into general aviation. Within general aviation he worked in a range of roles within companies and was titrated to fly on a range of single and multi-engine planes and involved in a range of different kinds of pilot work. 

Paul is in his seventies, Australian born, and has retired from his fulltime employment. Paul was trained with a 5-year apprenticeship in toolmaking then completed a degree in mechanical engineering. Paul has experienced a number of transitions across his adult life, including (i) being conscripted into Australian Army for two years after his apprenticeship, including a period in Vietnam (ii) becoming a fitter first in small businesses in Sydney, then at coal mines in southern NSW, (ii) becoming mine engineer then Chief Mechanical Engineer at rural sites in Qld and NSW, and (iii) starting his own one-person mechanical underground mining consultancy until he was forced into retirement by an injury in 2015.

Phoebe is in her twenties, originally from Kenya, and is currently employed as a communications officer by a not-for-profit organisation. She came to Australia for her postgraduate studies in communications and advertising. Her workilfe started with an internship at a non-profit organisation (NGO), working with diverse cultures located in Africa and Pacific. After one year of internship, she has been employed on a casual basis as a communication officer at this NGO. Her employment is project-based. She has been provided with professional training and development to become the manager when the opportunity (i.e., funding) arises.


Randall is in his sixties, originally from Hong Kong, and is currently managing two Optometrist practices. Randall’s transitions indicated a continuity of entrepreneurship. He has experienced a number of transitions, including (i) working in restaurant and becoming an Optometrist in Australia, (ii) working as an Optometrist and opening five private practices, (iii) managing other eight businesses and maintaining two Optometrist practices, and (iv) managing the two practices and doing postgraduate studies including a graduate diploma, a master by research and a PhD.