Our latest career path story is from Trevor Lloyd who was recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to the community. This achievement is simply the latest in a long list, as you’ll appreciate when you read his story.
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What’s your current position and what do you do?
I am the Managing Director of a small property valuation company based in Blaxland, NSW. Lloyds Property Valuations employs eight people, four of whom are property valuers, the remainder being office and support staff. Our work is primarily mortgage work for bank lending purpose in both the residential and commercial sectors. In addition, we carry out family law work, compensation, investor analysis, court representation and much more.
As a leader of a team of very professional people, it is my job to ensure harmony within the team, provide professional back up where required, facilitate ongoing valuer training and ensure that clients are receiving the service they require.
We look on our employees as being members of a family. There is no length to which we will not go to ensure that staff are being cared for. This includes generous family leave provisions, flexible working hours and conditions, and even pay in advance if necessary. Such provisions come back to the business with loyalty, honesty and output.
What other activities you are involved in?
For the past 22 years, I have been heavily involved with the Rotary Club of the Blue Mountains. I have also been involved with the Red Cross where I served for 4 years as the Blue Mountains Coordinator for Tele Cross, which is a daily in-touch telephone call to people living alone.
I was the inaugural President of the Glenbrook Toastmasters Club which trains people in public speaking. We also helped train students at local high schools to develop strong speaking skills.
Finally my involvement with the local Chamber of Commerce has enabled me to see clearly the challenges and obstacles that are faced by small businesses.
Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?
Most certainly not. I was keen to be a green keeper so that I could feed my fetish for the look and the smell of a freshly mown lawn. I still have the fetish but my lawn at home is smaller than I had envisaged and now I have a gardener who mows the lawn for me.
What was your first job?
I started work in 1968 at the Munitions Filling Factory at St Marys, NSW as an apprentice carpenter. It was ironic because, in my last year of school in Year 10, I had told my woodworking teacher that I no longer had an interest in woodwork and wanted to skip to a more useful subject to get m through the School Certificate. I got through the School Certificate but only just. I ended up completing my apprenticeship with the PMG as a Trainee Technical Officer (Building).
Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career?
On 18th January 1977, I was in the front carriage of my regular train on my way to work. I had just completed my Building Certificate Course in 1976 but had to go back in early February to sit a post exam in quantity survey, which I had just failed to pass. I was such a lazy student.
At 8.10 am, the diesel engine left the rails and hit the stanchion of the Bold Street Bridge at Granville and bent it at almost 90⁰. As a result, it cut through my carriage leaving only a platform on wheels and killing ten people, including one lady who died in my arms. I still wonder how I survived.
At that point I realised that life had a purpose and that I should work harder to achieve the goals that I had and, with my first child on the way, to be in a better position to provide for my family.
This is not the best way to have a life changing experience. Ultimately 83 people died and 210 people were injured at Granville.
I completed the Associate Diploma of Business (Valuation) with flying colours back in 1990 and never looked back.
Who has inspired you?
There are many people in all of our lives who say something that may change your life or may be a role model we admire.
My father once said to me “if you aim for the stars, you’ll reach the clouds”. I remember I was never happy with the clouds.
One of my fellow commuters, when I told him that I was about to embark on a four-year Valuation Course – and would be 40 by the time I completed it! – simply said “What age will you be in four years if you don’t do the course?”
An old sage tradesman who was close to retirement when I started work once said to me “You will spend more time at work and see more of your workmates than you will spend at home with your family, so make the best of it and enjoy the ride”.
Lastly, my mother-in-law who grew up in the Jewish sector of Amsterdam during the Second World War said “Look what I have become in spite of my past and because of it”.
What would you tell your younger self about life and careers?
Turn your labours into challenges. When you are stuck at school and can’t understand, instead of heading for the no-hopers, turn to someone who did understand and ask them for help.
Always support and encourage those around you who appear to be square pegs. They usually become the successful ones in our society because they concentrate on what is important, which sets them up for long-term success and not short term gratification.
Everyone is capable of being a millionaire. It just requires goal setting, focus and work and it is within all of us.
Do you know someone whose career story should reach a wider audience? Please drop us a line to let us know!