The Young Employee of the Year Award was not something I'd heard of prior to being nominated but it has played a huge part in my life since being chosen as the overall winner 10 months ago.
It was a real turning point for me when I was interviewed by 3 members of Waipukurau Rotary. I talked with them about my employment history and also my goals for my own photography business. I clearly remember saying that I'd love to one day photograph an All Blacks game. However, I would need better equipment and more practice to get to that level.
By being a nominee, I grew in confidence as the process gave me the experience of doing an interview. My first job, at Pleroma, came about through a work experience day for high school and I remained in that same business for 12 years while never having to do an interview. By having someone nominate me for this award, it showcased the skills I'd gained and the things I have worked hard at during my employment history. But it also showed me my worth and just how far I've come in the last few years, despite several difficult obstacles; I left an abusive relationship, was diagnosed with a chronic illness, my parents separated and I lost a very close friend to suicide. The Young Employee of the Year process helped me learn to be my own cheerleader and push myself outside my comfort zone.
The financial reward from winning allowed me to continue to invest in my photography business. I was able to upgrade my laptop which meant my workflow became much quicker and my brother then bought me a large computer screen for my birthday. With having upgraded my computer equipment and because I'd been working with a mentor, I knew it would be essential for me to also upgrade my camera in order to have the right gear for the jobs I wanted. Therefore, I approached my bank for a loan which was approved so I went ahead and purchased a new camera and 4 lenses. Because the prize money helped significantly and gave me the boost I needed, I now have all I require to do my best. With finally having decent equipment, I kept saying yes to every opportunity that came my way. This included photographing games for the Magpies, the National Basketball League, our Black Ferns, Maori All Blacks and finally I got to photograph an All Blacks game - just like I once dreamed of!
Winning the award showed me that maybe it was time to keep pushing myself and put the skills I'd learnt to better use. Another job opportunity happened to come my way in July this year, so I decided to apply and got a job interview - an interview I was more relaxed about after having gone through the Young Employee of the Year process. I got the job and earlier this month, I began my new role working from home for one of NZ's most successful companies, Wētā FX. This came with a higher income, flexible hours and best of all, I get to stay living right here in CHB!
I truly believe all of the opportunities were out there but I had the confidence and belief in myself to give things a go which came from winning Young Employee of the Year 2021.
I will forever be grateful to those that saw something special in me!
"Morgan has been a huge part of our business for the last 12 years. As a small business we need staff who are versatile and can work in many areas of the business. Morgan is always willing to learn new roles and upskill herself, going the extra mile to complete all her work to an immensely high standard." From her employer Malissa Webster (Pleroma)
13 September 2022
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