Name: Nicole Hopley
Position: Bore Hole Technician (Qualification: Fitter and Machinist)
Company: Mancala and Founder of Beautiful Trades Guild
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of Construction & Development?
- The ownership I get to have when undertaking repairs on machinery.
- Knowing that other tradesmen send faulty machinery to me, and that my role is to assess and get that machinery back to a safe and operational condition.
- I get immense satisfaction out of troubleshooting and repairing faulty equipment, to then see it in working order.
- I love the opportunities I’m given, from wind turbines to working at an underground level. There are so many different avenues a trade will take you.
Where do you see life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
My current 5-year plan includes getting my passport. My current role is looking after a critical component of raise boring equipment. With this, a lot of the equipment I’m responsible for is sent all over the world – I want the ability to go with the equipment and install it, not just commission it from our factory.
My biggest wish though is that in less than 5 years I would like to have my own female apprentice (not that I’ve ever had an issue with teaching males). But my succession plan has not been put in place yet.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
Dear 13yr old me,
Pull your head in! Your mother is a struggling mum of 5. You are not entitled to anything but food, shelter, education, safety and love.
When your older and wiser, you won’t care about the lame budget shoes and hand me downs you got for Christmas…you will just want the presence of family.
Sit in front of class…stop horsing around in the back row. Stop aiming to impress the cool kids in your year…because they end up stacking shelves when you’re getting promoted.
Whatever you do choose to do with your life, DO NOT give up on your passion, that’s where money and happiness hides. And stop thinking you know it all; you don’t and no one in history ever has!
Don’t throw in the towel…throw your hat in the ring, it will be pleasantly surprising where your life will end up.
Love and courage
From 33-year-old you.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Communication. This is the big one! No matter how good you are at your job, people will judge you on first appearance and first encounter. Don’t be shy, don’t be too confident, don’t swear too much and don’t agree to everything. So many don’ts! My do’s are to listen – not just listen but hear what is being said and use that information. Do use humor! People love to laugh, laughter takes the uncertainty or uncomfortableness out of a situation. Don’t fear asking! Ask for advice, ask for clarification, ask for everything. No stupid questions…they don’t exist.
- My second most valuable skill has been adaptability. Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Make sure you are versatile. Even if you think you only want to do a certain aspect of your job – an employer will look for not only experienced experts in a given field, but they look for team members or team players.
- My last skill is not a skill but a value. Never be late, always be ready to start before your start time. Don’t rest on your laurels, if you can do more just do it. Be humble, and proud of your successes without wanting acknowledgment. But refuse to be disrespected, integrity and respect are key values to live by.