On average we spend up to eight hours a day, five days a week at work – so it’s important we invest our time doing something we are really passionate about.
Aussie entrepreneur and author of Love what you do and Never work a day in your life, Penny Spencer (pictured), says “The important thing is to love what you do. The passion for whatever business you are in has to be there. If you want to be successful, you have to love what you do every day. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”
Penny Spencer built her company from scratch to where it stands today as a multi million dollar business group which includes a network of travel companies.
Penny built her successful network of travel agencies from humble beginnings, starting her career in the travel industry as an 18 year old in 1984. While studying a travel course, Penny volunteered at Adventure World in Brisbane to gain experience, where she stamped brochures and absorbed what was going on around her which led to a part time junior role after graduating from her course.
After working in both wholesale and inbound, Penny finally found her feet at World Travel Headquarters working in the domestic corporate area. She worked her way up to Assistant International Consultant, before becoming a Corporate International Consultant managing her own clients. Over the years she worked in and managed many corporate travel agencies and in 1998 she left to start her own business Spencer Travel.
Customer service is vitally important to Penny who vowed to offer a service where people felt they were her only clients. She had the passion and knowledge for the industry but figuring out how to run the business was the challenge.
In order to increase her management skills, Penny joined the NSW Government and ABN Mentoring program while in her second year of operating Spencer Travel. As a result, Penny is now an accomplished staff manager and business leader who works to create a positive workplace culture that prioritises career progression, staff inclusion and team work.
As the Managing Director of the Spencer Group of Companies and an established industry leader, Penny is also a regular commentator in the media on the issues of travel and business. She is also a member of various business industry organisations such as the Entrepreneurs Organisation.
Penny’s really passionate about travel and is an industry mentor and co-founder of the not-for-profit organisation, the Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME), a program designed to provide knowledge and support to upcoming travel industry professionals.
Here, Penny shares her top tips for finding the career, or starting the business, of your dreams:
- (1) “Ask yourself– what is your passion? Where do your interests lie? What makes you happy? –Is it outdoor work, working with children, working with animals? If your passion doesn’t match your current line of work then you are probably in need of a change of career.
- (2) Be honest with yourself about what makes you happy and ignore other people’s opinions on your choices. It doesn’t matter if you are making a move to an entirely different industry that you have no experience in, the whole point is to find a new path in an area or job that motivates you and makes you happy to get out of bed in the morning. Live the life you want, not what others expect you to do.
- If you are not sure what you want to do, but know you want a change– consider seeing a career coach or counsellor – this is their area of expertise, they may see something that you have not yet realised yourself. Ask your friends what they think you are good at – you may be surprised.
- Once you have clarified the area or role you want to move into – research the company or the industry–and ask the following; Does it offer the type of hours /culture that you want /promotion opportunities that you want?
- Reach out to the relevant contacts in your desired area or industry who can guide you in the right direction –the knowledge you can gain from experienced people in your desired industry is priceless..
- Consider doing unpaid work or further study to start with, as this may be an easier way to break into a role or industry you want to move into.
- Ensure the company you are looking to work for is aligned with your own personal values.
- You need to respect the people you work for – or want to work for so do your own research on the company and owners.
- Don’t be afraid to ask high profile professionals in the industry you are looking at entering, anything about that profession or industry.
- Don’t be driven by money be driven by your passion.
Penny’s book “Love what you do and never work a day in your life” uses her own experience to offer advice to others on business and career progression in any industry.
“I wrote this book because I wanted to share my story to help inspire other people achieve their own career or business success,” said Penny. “Whether you’re in business already or thinking of starting a business in any industry or looking for a career path, this book offers a few kernels of insight to help people realize their own potential and know they can achieve anything they want when they put their mind to it.”
“I love having the opportunity to share my story to help inspire others to achieve their own success in whatever industry or career path they choose.”