Summer holidays are a time for contemplating. Especially when sitting with an ice-cold beer, the smell of barbecues burning, the sound of waves crashing.

The thought of heading back to work is enough to fill you with dread and can affect your health.

But a select number of Kiwis will take the brave step and change careers.

At 29, Caitlin Marett, producer for ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan show, has decided to give up her 10-year radio career, move from Auckland to Christchurch and study to be a nurse.

She shares how she came to the decision.

Marett in the ZM Studios at NZME headquarters. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Marett in the ZM Studios at NZME headquarters. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
M

y friends are always saying that I am the mum of the group.

I always carry Panadol and antihistamines and like to check on them if they aren't feeling very well.

Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, Camp Quality, Make-A-Wish and the Child Cancer Foundation with their sibling camps over the last couple of years has become my favourite thing to do in my spare time.

In 2016 I volunteered at an orphanage in Cambodia for four weeks and had the best time. Then I spent Christmas 2018 in Kenya at another orphanage.

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Marett in Kenya where she volunteered at an orphanage - one of the many things that is contributing to her career change.
Marett in Kenya where she volunteered at an orphanage - one of the many things that is contributing to her career change.

One day I noticed that one of the children had fallen asleep on the floor in the corner in the middle of the day. This was unusual so I called her name and went over to her and it took a while for her to wake up. I felt her forehead and she was the hottest little human I had ever felt.

I called the head of the orphanage and told her that I needed to take her to a doctor right away.

READ MORE:
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Signs you've been in a job too long

I didn't really know what the outcome was going to be but I felt so helpless in that instance and just wish I knew what else I could do for her.

I never did find out what happened to Naomi after we got back from the doctors but I think about her often.

My mum is a nurse at a local GP in our home town Fairlie and I see how well-respected she is and the person who I look up to most in this world.

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❤️ @teddysphotos

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All of the above really made me come to realise that my passion is helping people, caring for them and talking to them.

I can't pinpoint one exact moment that made me realise that I wanted to become a nurse, but I always find myself feeling really helpless when I hear about people's struggles. And in the current climate, I figure that we could use some more medical professionals and if it's something that I'm passionate about and willing to do than I would kick myself later in life for not doing it.

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I find myself getting so emotional when I read or hear stories about sick or injured people, especially children (as I'm sure most people do) but I came to realise that I could actually do something to really help. I could physically help to make a difference in people's lives or at least help to ease their pain and put a smile on their faces.

It seems crazy to give up such a fun job - a full-time job with an income to become a full-time poor student again!

This has been the scariest, hardest decision I have ever made.

Marett is the producer of ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan show.
Marett is the producer of ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan show.
Meeting Justin Bieber in 2015. Photo / Supplied
Meeting Justin Bieber in 2015. Photo / Supplied
I

was always into drama and performing at school. I was always the entertainer of the family.

But I didn't actually know much about radio and broadcasting until people from the New Zealand Broadcasting School [based at the Ara Institute of Canterbury] came and spoke to us in my final year at Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru.

So straight from school I went to broadcasting school and then I went to Gore for nine months to do my internship at Hokonui Gold.

Then I was in Wellington for two and a bit years working as a producer and promotions manager for Classic Hits and then moved to Auckland for ZM.

It's funny because I honestly always thought that I would be in radio for the rest of my life. That I had found something I was good at. Plus, I'm quite stubborn so I like to stick to things.

I think that made it so hard for me to realise that there was something missing. As much as I enjoyed it, I wasn't feeling fulfilled.

On the job, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people including Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato.

And we've achieved a lot on our show. Fletch, Vaughan & Megan was named New Zealand's best music breakfast radio show for the second year in a row at the annual Radio Awards in June last year.

In November, the GfK independent commercial radio survey results showed we were the number one breakfast show for all New Zealanders under 40.

The ZM team are like my family. The hosts have become some of my best friends as have the other producers, James Johnston and Anna Henvest. I can't imagine not talking to them all day every day and having sore cheeks from laughing every single morning.

And I know it's going to be hard to find a boss better than Ross Flahive.

I will still have a foot in the media world by co-hosting the Girls On Top podcast [with Brodie Kane and Gracie Taylor] and a weekend ZM show.

But I certainly won't miss waking up at 4am every morning. That is, until I start shift work. At least I already have the unusual hours ticked off.

Marett will continue her podcast with fellow Girls on Top members Brodie Kane and Gracie Taylor. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Marett will continue her podcast with fellow Girls on Top members Brodie Kane and Gracie Taylor. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
I

am SO lucky to be able to talk about my move on my podcast and on the show and have received an overwhelming amount of lovely, positive messages from nurses all over New Zealand offering their help and support.

I have received messages from other people saying my decision has helped them to take the leap and decide to change their career or study something new.

I am lucky that at this stage in my life, as I approach 30 this year, I don't have any children or a partner to hold me back and I am still very eager to learn.

I want to let people know that it's okay to want to change your career after working 10 years at your profession.

It's bloody scary and I don't know how I feel about being a "mature" student. I only just paid off my first last student loan and haven't studied for 10 years.

It is very daunting to think, I won't be earning a full-time income. I am currently going through the processes with StudyLink and will receive a student loan and student allowance for part of my studies. Of course this will be a huge decrease from what I am used to earning a week but I am very lucky that my parents have a small place in Christchurch which will bring my rent payments down significantly.

I am going to have to be very strict on my budget and won't be living the somewhat lavish lifestyle that I did in Auckland. I have already been putting myself into the poor student mindframe and have already started offering free babysitting in exchange for meals at my sister's house!

I also recently became a marriage celebrant and I already have a couple of weddings booked which will help.

Interviewing Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Photo / Supplied
Interviewing Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. Photo / Supplied

Moving to a smaller town can also be a big change for people. But I grew up in the small town of Fairlie and studied for my broadcasting degree in Christchurch.

While I almost consider myself an Aucklander (don't tell my parents that) after living there for six years, I am really excited to be living in Christchurch again. I am closer to my family and I know Mum will be so helpful with my studies.

I can't wait to purchase a bike and ride to and from uni. I'm going to save so much on petrol!

I know this sounds SO cheesy, but I know that I will regret it if I don't follow my dreams and give it a good shot.

Marett, Fletch, Vaughan and Megan, and fellow producer James Johnston after winning at the NZ Radio Awards last year. Photo / Supplied
Marett, Fletch, Vaughan and Megan, and fellow producer James Johnston after winning at the NZ Radio Awards last year. Photo / Supplied

I am so aware how hard nursing and the medical industry is going to be. They are grossly underpaid for the work they do but I am willing to join the team and march along with them for fair pay.

I absolutely love meeting new people, chatting to them and finding out their stories. This is probably what made me a successful producer. I especially adore children.

My dream is to get into pediatrics. But things could definitely change over the course of my study and I may fall in love with the geriatric or emergency area. I am going to keep an open mind and am excited to learn about all of the areas through out my studies.

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I did not crop this photo of me and @joejonas 🙄

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Luckily I don't get grossed out by blood or vomit (too much) but I think I will struggle most with tears.

New Zealand has had a pretty rough year from the shootings to natural disasters. I feel so helpless and sad when I see these things unfolding and it makes me want to do more.

I would love to be able to get in there and physically help people with my hands.

But it really did just come down to good timing, a hell of a lot of courage and knowing that one day I will hopefully be pursuing my dream of helping people as a nurse.

The wrong job is affecting your health

Those unhappy with their jobs are twice as likely to report poor health and mental wellbeing.

Statistics New Zealand's Survey of Working Life released last year, showed 18 per cent of workers who were dissatisfied with their employment reported poor health, compared with 9.4 per cent of people who were satisfied.

"This may be that poor job satisfaction is having an effect on these individuals' health or that those who are experiencing poor health are finding work more challenging, less satisfactory, or more difficult to manage," the report said.

Eight-eight per cent of employed New Zealanders are satisfied or very satisfied with their job. Photo / Getty Images
Eight-eight per cent of employed New Zealanders are satisfied or very satisfied with their job. Photo / Getty Images

Sixteen per cent of those who were satisfied with their main job were classified as having poor mental wellbeing, compared with 43 per cent who were dissatisfied.

Eighty-eight per cent of employed New Zealanders are satisfied or very satisfied with their job.

The study also showed that Kiwis are a nation of job changers.

Employers tended to have longer job tenures. Seventy-eight per cent had been in the same job for five or more years, compared with 55 per cent of people who were self-employed.

Only 38 per cent of employees have been in the same job for five or more years.

The three industries with the highest proportion of staff who have had the same job for 10 years or more were agriculture, forestry, and fishing (38 per cent), manufacturing (32 per cent), and public administration and safety (31 per cent).

Workplace autonomy levels were lower for employees with short job tenure. Of employees who had been in their job for less than a year, 50 per cent had a lot of control over how they do their tasks and 38 per cent had a lot of control over organising their daily work.

When looking at employees with a job tenure of at least five years, these numbers increased to 67 and 58 per cent.

A small number of permanent employees (4 per cent) indicated that there was a high chance, or it was almost certain, that they would lose their job in the next 12 months. A further 12 per cent said there was a medium chance.