Getting started in a dream career

Credit: mezzotint

Charlee Morgan has a fab job. The popular radio personality with a huge heart has worked at radio stations in four provinces, and can now be heard on Calgary’s up! 97.7 from noon to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Last week Charlee posed a question on FaceBook: “How did you get into your line of work or career?” and shared her own story about getting started.

“I was in high school and won a contest on a Vancouver radio station to be a DJ for an hour!” she wrote. “Following graduation, signed up for Broadcast Communications at BCIT and I’ve been on air ever since!”

Charlee — who shares her home with three rescue animals and says she spends her free time “chasing down strays in the street” — was attracted to radio at a young age.

“I would sleep with a transistor radio under the covers so I didn’t get caught by my parents,” she said.

Many of Charlee’s Facebook friends and fans also have interesting stories of getting started in a dream career. When I said I’d love to quote some of those stories in my column, Charlee was enthusiastic and helpful. So thank you to Charlee Morgan and those who shared their inspiring “getting started” stories. Here are a few of those stories:

Christine: My parents owned a flower shop growing up and I BEGGED to design flowers… wasn’t allowed to touch a flower until I understood all aspects of the business including washing buckets, scrubbing toilets and making coffee!

Todd: My stepson was killed in a car accident and I found myself working closely with the funeral home in planning his funeral. I made up the service folders, DVD video, chose music etc., and realized I was meant to be in the funeral business. It was truly a calling. Ever since then, almost 8 years ago, I’ve been in funeral service.

Shasta: I started 14 years ago (with a cleaning company). I cleaned houses for 8 months and found out about an office position opening up. I applied, got promoted, and gradually worked my way up to office manager. Not bad for someone who doesn’t have a post secondary education.

Kelsey: I was in a job and they went bankrupt. I had just signed the papers to my new house 2 weeks prior. I was desperate to find a job and make money. I called up all the business cards I had collected and let them know I was available to make them websites. I had enough clients that I never did look for a “JOB” again. I’ve been an entrepreneur since then. That was 1999!

Janice: I was waiting to get into Grad school in Psychology when my old elementary school needed someone to fill an emergency maternity leave. I said yes to a 6 month contract which led to a full year contract. Then someone suggested I return to university to get an education degree and voila 20 years later I am teaching English and a Classroom Support Teacher, combining my two loves!

Robert: I followed my passion. I’ve been trucking for over 30 years. Always a paid vacation traveling all over the place exploring new places.

Apryl: Started in school…wanted to be an Architect till I found out I had 8 more years of school to go while trying to raise 4 kids. Got into Property Management because I knew how a building was supposed to work and how to maintain it.

Crystal: I was a chubby European girl whose family took WAY too many photos and I hated how I looked in every single one of them. I majored in Art and Design and realized in my final year I hated it but was really into the photography component. I graduated and the rest is history! I think what makes me a good photographer is knowing the insecurities clients feel being placed in front of a camera so I want to make them look amazing! I take the time to put them at ease and to make them look beautiful!

Don: I have ALWAYS hated offices. Principal’s office. Boss’s office. Etc. Just never seemed to have good experiences in offices. I have always loved being outside. And I love being able to look over the job at the end of the day, and seeing what I have done. Can’t do that shuffling paper. So, I build roads, work in oil and gas, mining. I get to travel. I say that my office window has constantly changing scenery. That and I get to be alone for 12 hours a shift, making money, singing away at the top of my leatherly lungs. I know where EVERY Tim Horton’s in the city is. Life could be worse.

Tag Goulet is co-founder of and Academic Director of the International Association of Professions Career College which offers certificates for dream careers online at