Welcome back to my stories platform where we share our journeys with immigrants that have moved from different parts of the world to Australia, a land of abundant opportunity but with its own challenges that we are all navigating with wisdom, harmony and love.
Introducing our next guest on this platform – Nick Shrestha, a certified career coach who guides international students with the right job opportunities. He is on a constant goal- achieving spree. I personally enjoy his motivational posts on Linkedin, which is why I thought I’d interview him. Hoping we learn a bit or two from his journey and experiences.
Can you tell me a little about your journey, where you grew up, your family background, and life back home?
My childhood was a mix of two different towns, but Bhairahawa holds the essence of my hometown. I’m the youngest among four siblings. Dad, a retired government Accounts officer, and Mom, the homemaker and family communication minister, made our home rich in love, even when we were financially constrained. Despite the challenges, it was a treasure trove of experiences and I was passionate about cricket and ping pong.
Did you pursue your education in your home country, and how was the education system there?
Yes. I pursued the first phase of education back in my home country. I completed my bachelor’s in Business Administration (Banking & Finance). Though I faced my share of challenges, managing seven course failures, I managed to retake without extending my academic year (My parents had no clue about this!). The education system there relies heavily on exams and rote memorization, with a relatively slow syllabus update pace. The advantage was that the private education system operated entirely in English, making graduates globally competent.
Did you work in your home country, how did that contribute to your growth?
Yes, I worked for three years in Nepal before heading to Australia. My roles ranged from selling websites to assisting Australian students in finding internships to being a Regional Sales In-Charge for a leading corporate house. Those experiences introduced me to the practical world, instilling functional skills, fostering an ambitious mindset, and programming a sales-oriented approach. My current business is significantly influenced by those experiences.
What motivated you to move to Australia?
The desire for change and higher education nudged me towards Australia. Initially, I considered other places like New Zealand or Ireland as my options, but eventually, my sister’s positive experience in Australia played a significant role in my decision-making.
How was your journey in Australia? Any culture shock or gaps you experienced?
My first job was as an outdoor direct sales agent at a shopping centre. If you’re curious, I took up an odd job like many international students, then yes, I did for a few months. I got a job with Westpac when I was studying and that transition was a profound one—from being the only international student in a full-time sales job to standing out as the only Nepali in my university program. Adapting to the direct communication style and diverse cultures was challenging yet fascinating. Assignment styles here were very confusing because we never used references!
How did you adapt to the culture in Australia?
‘Life encompasses both the familiar aspects we understand and the mysteries that remain beyond our comprehension.’
So, there I was, realizing that change was on the horizon and being open to soaking up every lesson life had to offer. Language hurdles and figuring out the ins and outs of Aussie workplace customs were a bit of a head-scratcher, but you know what I did? Smiled my way through it and wasn’t shy about asking for help (something we all hesitate to do because of cultural barriers).
I decided to dive headfirst into local scenes, even if it meant stepping out of my comfort zone. It was a purposeful move, a choice to blend the finest bits of both worlds and make a home for myself in the vibrant Australian setting. And you know what? It worked like a charm. Life’s a lot like that, isn’t it? You gotta roll with the waves and find your rhythm.
Did you experience failure, and what did it teach you?
Failures are inevitable. One significant failure was skipping a job interview early on, believing I wouldn’t get it because of my student visa constraints. Looking back, it was a foolish mistake. I believe in turning points more than luck—embracing lessons from failures is where real power lies.
How did you combat loneliness, if at all?
I wouldn’t call it loneliness. Initially, I missed my life back in Nepal during the transition. Being passionate about cricket and making friends kept my life exciting. Now, my passion for work and what I want to create gives me solitude, not loneliness.
Share your career path with us as a career coach and any advice for newcomers in Australia.
Success is an ongoing journey. I haven’t achieved half of what I want yet. Success involves knowing yourself, picturing your future self, and grinding towards it. I always looked for opportunities, used my selling skills, and maintained the right attitude.
- Embrace every job as a learning opportunity; even if it’s not your favorite, it provides valuable insights into what you may want to avoid. Taking odd jobs initially is okay—survival is key. Enhance your soft skills, adapt to local work dynamics, and continue exploring what truly resonates with you. Be mindful of the advice you seek; guidance from successful individuals can shape your mindset.
- Your career is more than just a means of survival; it’s an introduction to the world, defining your identity, values, opportunities, happiness, and success. Your work gives your life purpose, so aim for what truly matters to you—it’ll have a lasting impact.
- Half the battle is won when you pursue what you genuinely enjoy.
- The adages “Happy wife, happy life” and “Happy career, happy life” share the same truth: fulfillment in personal and professional aspects contributes to overall happiness.
What advice do you have for people moving from other parts of the world to Australia?
Success doesn’t come just from moving to Australia or alike country; it comes from thinking and acting in a successful way, choosing a different path. The challenges and difficulties faced in Australia is different and real, but to your family and friends, you might appear as the most successful and rich person. People here struggle more to find a balanced and fulfilling life, and a career they genuinely enjoy, than simply maintaining a certain lifestyle. Getting a house and a car might be easier than finding a job that makes you truly happy and fulfilled.
Young immigrants need to grasp this idea and prepare positively for their future. It’s almost certain that you won’t be successful unless you truly reap on what you do than chasing more money. How much can you earn without long term career development? In my experience, working in the Western world can be more stressful, and it can feel like something is missing. Your happiness and success in your career are directly linked to how successful you become in life, but this is hard for many people to have this wisdom. A single piece of advice: “Have a clarity on your career goals, regardless of any circumstances then everything else will make sense.”
We heard about your recent award? Tell Us More!
So, this award holds a special place for me, because I’m the first and only Nepali citizen in Australia to make it to the Top 40 under 40 list of young, ambitious business leaders. It was a fierce competition, with around 2,000 participants from various industries across Australia, and I was among 39 other talented entrepreneurs and executives.
The award ceremony took place on November 29, 2023, at Park Hyatt Sydney. It’s more than just a trophy; it’s a reminder that I’ve got to put in even more effort to tackle societal issues and innovate for a better future.
This recognition isn’t just about success; it’s a nod to the work I’ve been doing, a gentle encouragement saying, “Hey, you’re on the right track.”
You know, deciding to start a business is one thing, actually starting it is another, but proving yourself is a whole different ball game.
This award was a BIG reward from the universe telling me that I’ve aligned with my purpose.
Tell Us About Career Panacea
Career Panacea empowers international students, graduates and skilled migrants by providing a platform for them to discover their potential, fostering the creation of their personal brand through industry placements, resume and cover letter crafting, online branding, and intermittent recruitment services. Our guidance is oriented towards their holistic future, aiming beyond temporary success and happiness to ensure lasting fulfillment.
You can head on to my website to find out more and get in touch with me for a consultation if you ever need one and we’ll get you through this!