Good financial management, commitment and adaptability are important skills Victorian high school leavers must adopt to thrive in today’s world of work and life beyond secondary school, according to some of the state’s top career and financial coaches.

The end of secondary schooling is a major milestone for many young Victorians as they make the transition to adulthood and prepare to enter university, vocational studies or the workforce. Not-for-profit organisation, Doxa, provides programs for disadvantaged young Victorians to support them through their education.

“This period is often stressful for many young people and can become a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s particularly challenging for disadvantaged young Victorians who often struggle with finding and keeping meaningful work once they leave high school and enter the workforce,” said Doxa CEO, Steve Clifford.

To assist young Victorians navigate this challenging and exciting stage of their lives, Doxa has gathered tips and insights from top coaches including Finance Academy Australia, Heart Sparks and TRIPOD Enterprise Education. Each organisation provides self confidence, career, and financial management workshops across Doxa’s educational opportunity and employment pathways programs.

Keep your personal finances in check!

For many high school leavers, the transition to the workforce will become the first time that they will earn a salary. Chinmay Ananda, of Finance Academy Australia (AAA), assists disadvantaged youth to effectively handle personal finance throughout university as part of Doxa’s Cadetship Program.

“It’s important for young people to know how to handle finances once they start earning a wage. I always tell young people to always make more money than you spend. To know if you are making more money than you are spending, first you need to know how much you are spending. Remember, you shouldn’t make assumptions when it comes to finance; you should know the exact dollar amount,” he said.

Doxa Cadet and RMIT University Student, Kim Quinones, said as part of her professional development training at Doxa, she learnt about financial management and planning. “It’s been great to gain some new skills and guidance on how to deal with bills and manage your spending. Throughout my high school and university experience, financial planning is something we don’t get as part of our education, so it has been a big help for me,” she said.

Aim for commitment, not just motivation

Commitment is often viewed as a quality rather than a skill. Many young people believe they need more motivation, when in fact, first and foremost, they need to tap into a deeper commitment to what they really want.

“Being committed is a skill that can be chosen, increased and learned. It’s about continuing to show up when things feel hard and motivation is waning, especially in challenging instances where you are being turned down for jobs or further study,” said Johanna Parker, Life, Confidence and Speaker Coach, Speaker and MC at Heart Sparks.

Adapt your skills from one opportunity to the next

No matter what industry you land in, jobs and roles are ever changing. Young people need to not only embrace change, but be flexible in their dreams and aspirations.

“Sometimes to get from A to B, you might have to swing all the way past Z first. Those who embrace change and adapt their skill from one opportunity to the next will have a huge advantage in the future world of work. Whatever skills you learn in one opportunity or job will take you forward to the next, and use for the rest of your life. Understanding how these skills transfer is key to success,” said Betsy Tolmer, Director of TRIPOD Enterprise Education.

Former Doxa Cadet and now full-time Sales and Marketing Assistant at Melbourne-based agency Anecdote, Shelley Fenech, added that being able to communicate articulately is important in the workplace and this is something she’s developed during her time as a Doxa Cadet.

“Something they don’t teach you at university is that conveying your message in the most efficient and quickest way possible is highly valuable in a busy world. Having emotional intelligence is also crucial. The way you interact and work with others is super valuable. These relationships are what can foster your potential or hinder it,” said Ms Fenech.

Many of Doxa’s programs help disadvantaged youth gain the support, skills and confidence they need to be strong contenders in the workforce and active contributors to a university community. It is one of but a few Victorian organisations providing programs to support disadvantaged young people across key development and life cycle stages from primary school right through to university or post secondary school studies and employment. For more information on Doxa and its programs, visit



Media contact: Jackie Smiles | | 03 9092 8449