Kendall Hill-Smith



University of Newcastle - Political Science

Kendall Hill-Smith found out that even when you don't get the job you apply for, you can still end up finding a job that's perfect for you.

After first applying at the ORS Group, an employment staffing service with offices all over Australia, Kendall was discouraged to find out the job she had her heart set on was filled internally. But the company saw something exceptional in her, and one month later, they called her back and offered her a job as a marketer for the company.

Kendall also loves to seek out various creative outlets. Her favorite post-work activities include painting, reading and dancing. "I find that a weekend spent dancing, an evening spent reading or painting and good times with good, positive people get me through any sort of rut. Plus, it makes my work life so much more smooth and enjoyable," she says.

Sometimes the best support you can give someone is an ear and a smile.

What is your typical day like, and what types of things do you do in your job?

I work remotely, so I spend most of my day in front of the computer sourcing different positions, education opportunities and pathways for our unemployed, indigenous and youth clients.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Being able to positively influence people’s lives -- by finding them their dream job, giving them options for free education and the confidence that they can do anything they set their minds to.

What challenges keep you awake at night?

Some of our clients are heavily medicated, are having criminal issues or simply have grown up in the wrong environment. This is something that I try to not take on too deeply, otherwise I’d be bogged down all day in empathetic thoughts. So when I go home, that’s when I tend to try and think of ideas to help these amazing people move forward. Sometimes the best support you can give someone is an ear and a smile.

What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?

I moved away from my friends and family; however, I’ve now met many, many amazing new people and friends. So I guess this isn’t a sacrifice at all: I’m building up networks nationwide for vacation time!

What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?

Don’t double handle. Deal with the situation/task now. If you continue to work around the tasks you find all-encompassing, they'll pile up and you’ll feel even more overwhelmed. Break it up and jump on it!

What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly those in your industry?

There are many different employment services providers, so I’d say it’s about getting your voice out there and actually being heard. If you truly believe in what you’re doing, you can find the right platform to voice this and make it work for you. I think that if you haven’t grown up with the Internet, which a lot of women in my industry haven’t, it's a huge disadvantage.

Who are your role models?

I love Sylvia Plath. Her way of thinking was very forward for her time, particularly noting the expectations of women to be seen and not heard, which in the end ate at her. I also like Geri Halliwell, who many recognize as Ginger Spice. She’s ultimately very switched on and has managed to turn herself into an amazing role model after much duress and a challenging upbringing. (The Spice Girls are still one of my favorite groups!)

What are some of the rules you live by?

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” -Marie Curie

“My religion of life is always to be cheerful.” -George Meredith

“The important thing is to never stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein

What advice do you have for women who want to be in your industry?

Go for it! I love that I get to utilize my marketing and sales knowledge for the greater good. I’ve gone from selling magazine space in a past role to managing an entire state's business development just by loving what I do, working for it and setting goals for myself. Think outside the box and set yourself apart.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I’d love to be in a human resources or national business development role. This side of the industry means I can source/create new and exciting pathways for those who need them, whether it's a new education program, traineeship or a chance to gain the skills required to work in their dream job. I love the creativity and hope to be able to stay within that forever!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Again, just the key point to think outside the square. If you have an idea, run with it. Even if it’s just half an idea. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you can make it happen. Try not to take on the judgements of others and just immerse yourself in those things that give you a sense of achievement and a reason to wake up!