Dr. Polly McGee exemplifies this more fluid approach. Her education and skills have allowed her entry to multiple careers since graduating with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tasmania in 2009, and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University in 2013.
Rather than following a career, I followed curiosity. When opportunities arose, I said yes, relying on my capacity to learn and adapt.
Her list of jobs is diverse, indicative of a non-linear pathway, and include: chef, café owner, adult film reviewer, political lobbyist, senior innovation grants manager, IP Manager, not-for-profit co-founder, academic, author, strategic marketing lead and director of corporate affairs.
"What I noticed early on was how much my capacity to analyse information, adapt and apply to the situation and audience was valued."
My academic training at UTAS gave me the capacity to innovate in my thinking, which then lead to innovation in those businesses I worked with, and my writing.
These days Polly runs a digital strategy consultancy where she gives advice on engaging with the digital economy, and writes strategy and high-level content for a range of clients. Projects include the ongoing authorship of the Tasmanian State Government’s Digital Ready content and providing the go to market strategy for a Sydney based global ed-tech start-up entering the Chinese market.
Polly co-founded Startup Tasmania, which provides support and community to Tasmanian initiatives. She has been voted one of the most influential people in Australian Start-ups and is active nationally in championing female founders, in particular, and greater distribution of funding to female-led ventures.
She is an
accomplished author, her writing examining a central theme of self-investigation and
awareness. Her latest title, The Good Hustle, released through Murdoch Books in March 2018, blends the ancient wisdom of yoga with modern-day business practices. The outcome is a mix of mindfulness, spirituality and entrepreneurial action. "The Good Hustle takes complex yogic philosophy and mashed it up with lean start-up principles. Those two things hadn’t been put together previously, but somehow worked."
Polly is invited regularly to teach others how to create their own “good hustle”. Whether in the corporate world, talking to social enterprises or peak bodies, Polly’s heart-centred business advice is sought-after. Like many in the business world, her focus has shifted over the years from making revenue, to making a difference through sustainable business practices.
She teaches this philosophy with passion and has been invited to work with hundreds of start-ups and managed multimillion-dollar innovation grants programs, crafting new ways of disrupting traditional business models.
Polly's profile has lead her to be a sought-after as a speaker. Whether on stage or via live social media streams, Polly covers everything from yoga and business to gender and digital strategy. She's also a media commentator covering business and culture.
Wherever she goes, she brings her "good hustle" and an urgency for people to wake up to their own happiness.
Today, Polly has a simple philosophy about life – that every question can be answered with “yoga, meditation and patting retired greyhounds.”
And a rich, diverse education.
Still looking for your “good hustle”? A degree in Philosophy from UTAS could provide answers.
Or what about studying Creative Writing? Find out more.