The older I get the more fierce I am at chasing what I want!
Some people call me ambitious and make it sound like that’s a bad thing. I’d like to think that I know what I want and I work hard for it. Working as an emergency department nurse gives me a constant reminder about the cycle of life. It could be over any second and I don’t want to have any major regrets on my deathbed.
I’ve learnt that when I go to work I need to set myself up mentally and physically, and instil within me that I can only do the best I can, as efficiently as I possibly can. Looking after my patients, both the easy and challenging ones, is all a part of ongoing learning process to be a better nurse; to be a better human being in general.
I was born and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, moved to Melbourne to study at Monash University about 20 years ago. I then moved to Hobart in 2010 and have been here since.
I started my career as an environmental scientist at a consulting firm in Melbourne shortly after I finished my Master of Environmental Science degree from Monash. I performed various roles from field staff to state-based client manager. Looking back, I did have a successful career…not bad for a girl from Indonesia who had no network or connections whatsoever when I first started. I enjoyed it, I learned a lot and I made friends for life with my former colleagues.
However, after almost 10 years in the industry, the stress of the job took the better of me. Towards the end, the main aspect of my job was about chasing money, which wasn’t really my thing. I then decided to take some time off work.
When I was ready to go back to my old job, the industry experienced a major downturn nationally, I was no longer needed at my old work. That was a bit scary (due to no income) but at the same time it made my decision making a lot easier! I had a whole year doing any old random jobs I could get my hands on, data entry, working at a backpackers’ hostel, working at a food stall etc whilst still trying to work out what I wanted to do. I also discovered the hard way about how limited and difficult it was to secure decent employment in Hobart.
I then decided that I wanted to work with “people” and I wanted a job where I can directly make an impact. I chose to change careers completely and do nursing.
In the background, my love for singing has always been bubbling away. I’ve always known that I could sing ok and performed a bit with bands back in Indonesia. I also have always known that singing makes me really happy. There’s something about being up on stage in front of an appreciative audience. It really brings me joy making others happy.
In the past few years, I have really put myself out there as a jazz singer, playing gigs all around the country as Nadira and Friends and I have loved every bit of it.
One of the great motivators for me to ‘make it’ is being told by someone when I first started out that I couldn’t sing and that I would never be a success in Hobart. I was furious at the time, but what a blessing in disguise. I am thankful for the experience as that lit the fire in my belly that I have today. I celebrated my 100th gig performing at a well-known jazz club in Melbourne in mid January 2019.
I’m all about JUST GO FOR IT! HAVE A CRACK! If you’ve been thinking about changing your career because your current one no longer brings you joy, doesn’t satisfy your needs, gives you grief even….then please do yourself a favour...MOVE ON!
I understand it is not as easy for some people to “just” change directions due to financial commitments. But as the saying goes, when there’s a will, there’s a way. I earn a lot less now than what I used to, however, with “loss” of income, comes work/life balance. I have more opportunities to pursue my passion, more opportunities to try heaps of fun things I’ve always wanted to do like modelling and acting and basically more time to enjoy life in general.
I already had contemplated my next “other” career. A career that is less strained physically with even more time flexibility and hopefully, better income. I still standby what I said about working with people in a job where I can directly make an impact on people. I’ve decided that I now wanted to become a psychologist. I’ve just started studying, one semester done. I’ll need to do 5-7 years of study before I can practice as a Registered Psychologist.
Photography by Lara van Raay and supplied photos of Nadira singing by JanBrylle RN of Photo Grapiya, Stefan Dobber, Sarah Walker and Gerard Ballinger.
This project was assisted by Bellendena Small Grants and Hobart City Council