by Deeon Taylor-Dean
In 2011 I made one of the biggest decisions of my life to date; to pack a large suitcase and travel to London on what was supposed to be 3 month holiday. It transformed into a 5 year trip of a lifetime. I can still remember the day I left, sitting at my parents’ house feeling sick with nerves as the time came even closer to leave for the airport. I was scared. What if I didn’t like it? What if I don’t know how to work the London underground? Did I save enough money? What if I don’t make any friends? The unknown was extremely daunting and to be honest I don’t think I actually wanted to go anymore, BUT I had already paid for my airline ticket so the stingy man inside me took over and got me on that plane.
My 5 year career prior to departure consisted of completing a 2 year traineeship in the International Freight industry with Uti Australia, plus the next 3 years working in various operational roles also within Uti. The current Future Force team spent time with me and taught me well. My trainer, Linda, was awesome. While I was far from the model student, she understood my work situation and adjusted her training sessions accordingly. At the time I didn’t appreciate the value of the knowledge she was imparting. Little did I realise how important and what impact that experience and piece of paper (read ‘qualification’) would have on my later travels.
I arrived in London and came across my first hurdle within minutes… “The London Underground” 11 different lines and 270 different stops makes it difficult even for the seasoned user of the underground. Thankfully, and I’m not sure why, but I was surprised how helpful the staff at the Heathrow underground station were. The staff set me up with an “oyster card” (London’s equivalent to a Myki) and a tube map with directions written down for me. I arrived at Acton town station to meet up with a friend of a friend of another friend whom I had never met to stay at his house while I set my self-up. Much to my delight he got his days mixed up and wasn’t even home when I arrived. With no phone or internet I couldn’t contact him so I did the only thing I knew I could do and that was head to the pub and wait the day out….. Eventually we met up and I picked a nice spot on his floor for the blow up mattress. The house we stayed at was your typical Aussie/London share house, 14 expats staying in one house… and I was worried I wouldn’t meet people, HA!
After the initial shock of the move I found myself my own accommodation in another share house with only 7 expats in this house so not quite as crowded and certainly less crazy. When two friends of mine came over for a holiday not long after that, we decided to hire a car and drive to Rockwerchter music festival in Belgium via Paris, Bruges and then onto Amsterdam. It was at the end of this trip I realised that a 3 month holiday wasn’t going to be enough. Arriving back in London I called my parents immediately to advise them I might be staying a little longer and they couldn’t have been more supportive, but now it was time to find a job to support this new found love of traveling.
I immediately thought back to the start of 2006, about 6 months after I had completed year 12. I saw an ad on a job seekers page and immediately made contact with Future Force. Richard sat down with me to talk about interview techniques and how to rewrite my resume and prepare for interview – lessons that paid dividends then, and hopefully would again.
I interviewed with a company called DB Schenker in London. My qualification and interview skills were clearly important to them and held me in good stead as I was offered the position the next day. This would never have happened so easily without my Future Force traineeship background. To think it was now paying dividends for me on the other side of the world made me very thankful indeed.
Now with a full time job (that was more than a job – it was a continuation of my career) I started booking weekend trips to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece or anywhere in Europe I felt like going, especially with plane tickets that cost about the same as a new shirt for a night out on a weekend. I became part of the family in my share house and enjoyed coming home to check in on everyone’s days and future travel plans, I can’t explain the bond you make with your housemates in this situation other than calling them family. A perfect example of this was birthdays when you couldn’t possibly be more home sick and arriving back to the house after work to find everyone hiding in the dark to shout SURPRISE and sing happy birthday! No one really has much money over in London to spare but everyone would buy a small funny or even homemade presents for you to open while eating one of Tesco’s finest chocolate cakes on your birthday away from home.
After 5 years and 21 countries it was eventually time to come home. I couldn’t believe the change in me as a person during this time, losing wallets, bank cards, phones and even a passport overseas you realise how resilient you are, you learn to stand on your own two feet and deal with things on your own and you learn very quickly just how equipped you actually are to tackle each hurdle living abroad throws at you. Even with all these difficult hurdles that travelling can throw at you, you cannot beat sipping a coffee in front of the Colosseum in Rome, riding a gondola down the canals of Venice or a week sailing a yacht around the Croatian islands in the middle of their party season.
Now back in home, I was immediately offered a job at DB Schenker here in Melbourne. Once again my stints at Uti as a trainee and operator in Melbourne and 5 years at Schenker in London providing my employer with the confidence that I could step straight in and get it done, which of course is exactly what I did. Funny now, how things go in circles – I’m now employed by Future Force training starry eyed new entrants, just like I was all those years ago.
The life of a traveller cannot be beaten and I can honestly say I would not change a single moment of my time abroad. I recommend taking the plunge and moving to another country as a must do in life. It’s even better when you have a transferable career, which my traineeship provided, even though I had little concept of that when I started!
Future Force was the best fit for me, as I wanted to get into the working field straight after finishing high school.
The best thing about it all is that Future Force offer you excellent schooling about Transport and Logistics as well as providing hands on experience.
My trainer Michael has a lot to do with where I am today, his expertise and persistence in his training has been very helpful within my work.
Since graduating in 2013, I have grown so much within the industry. I have been fortunate to trial different departments to find which best suits me.
The perfect entry point into the world of freight and logistics, extremely skilled and motivated team that really CARE about your career and ambitions, even to the point of keeping touch 5+ years after graduation.Stefan Sutherland, Business Development Executive
Boundless career opportunities in the freight & logistics industry and highly motivated team that help kickstart your professional career. Family like atmosphere, cannot recommend highly enough.Emir Osmanagic, LCL Product Lead, Australia and New Zealand
When I started my traineeship, I quickly realised that I had a limited understanding of the industry and experience in an office environment. After meeting weekly with my Future Force trainer for the two year period of my traineeship, I was able to learn about the logistics industry efficiently, while maintaining a comfortable pace for me to grasp concepts strongly. Not only have I built skills within my workplace, but also organisational and life skills.Declan Broderick, Operations all rounder
As a fresh faced teenager in 2003, I was fortunate enough to commence my traineeship under the guidance of the Future Force team. They provided me the necessary tools to be successfully employed at market leading international freight forwarder, along with comprehensive training, knowledge & skills required to succeed in my position as the national leading cargo insurance sales rep today!Jeremy McNamara, Business Development Executive