Writer + Speaker
Every so often a certain type of beauty crosses your path that stops you in your tracks, that mesmerises for more than its physical features.
That is Monica Kade.
Yes, she’s striking, with a bright brilliant smile and with an etherealness – a stillness that seems almost out of place in this day and age. But, her beauty goes further than skin deep. You see Monica is a modern-day piped piper, a leader, trailblazer, a storyteller… and after reading her #careerstory, I dare you to not follow suit.
Monica’s career has evolved in the most breathtaking of ways. Growing up in Sydney in a family of five children, Monica always stood out, and followed the unbeaten track. In her own words…
“Doing things differently to everyone else is in my nature, so I grew up believing that I could just do what I wanted.”
Yes, this girls got gumption, but, no matter where life has taken her, Monica has always stayed true to her love of writing and interviewing. I love Monica’s answers to seemingly stock-standard questions, but it’s her current role/career path that is the star in this story.
Prepare to have your mind blown and your ideas on what can be achieved smashed.
Hey Monica, so happy to have you here. Let’s start at the very beginning, where you grow up?
I grew up in Sydney in a family of 5. I’m the eldest in the family with a younger brother and sister. I have always had very supportive parents who encouraged me to be my best and to look within when I didn’t know the answer. When I said, “I don’t know?”, they’d respond with “Well, if you knew what would the answer be?”. As a teenager that would frustrate the hell out of me! (Gah!).
Doing things differently to everyone else is in my nature, so I grew up believing that I could just do what I wanted. My dad was always great in the sense he always encouraged me to ‘just ask’. That’s why I believe I’ve been successful in landing interviews with many leading professionals over the years because I haven’t been afraid of asking – no matter who they are.
In terms of my upbringing influencing my career, well, while I was encouraged to do what I wanted, I was also advised to be practical. When it came to work, I was always searching for what I wanted to do with my piece of life. And to be honest, it took me some time. I didn’t know for a very long time and I’ve chopped and changed, but the one thing that has always been consistent for me has been my writing and interviewing. Our heart whispers the answer to us always, it just depends if we’re brave enough to listen and follow it.
What an incredible upbringing Monica. Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
Carlingford High School in Sydney. High school was fun in the later years. Starting high school was hard and scary – making new friends and finding your place in the school. I also was teased a bit in yr 7 and 8, so that wasn’t a very nice experience. I rebelled a little in yr 9 and then settled down from year 10 onward and actually enjoyed school. I enjoyed learning and developed a much better relationship with teachers in the later years.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
To be honest, no. I didn’t know what I wanted to do – well, I did but my parents didn’t think it was a good idea. Particularly my mum. I wanted to pursue acting as a career, she thought I needed a ‘back up plan’. So I did end up pursuing it for some time, high school didn’t really play much of a role in determining where I am today. They sure did make high school the be-all and end-all though. It’s not. You can create a marvelous life and career for yourself even if you don’t do that well in school.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
Gosh, I’m having to go a while back now. I did work experience at the clothing store, Supre once. Other than that I can’t really remember if I did anything else. It was okay, didn’t leave a huge imprint on my life.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
So back to the story about my mum not really wanting me to pursue acting. I didn’t know what I wanted to do leaving school (other than act) and so I really struggled with that. Mum suggested I go for an HR degree because I liked people and working with people. I was also asking, what career could I make a lot of money in and that was one. Word of advice – don’t do that.
Choose from your heart, choose the thing that makes you happy. Don’t do something for the money only. You’ll end up being unhappy. I didn’t get the grade I needed to get into uni straight away, so I ended up doing a HR diploma at TAFE. I actually had a lot of fun doing that. I enjoyed the friends I made and most of the content I enjoyed. After I finished the diploma I went to uni to study HR. I hated it. I was also battling a raging eating disorder during that time so it ate away (no pun intended) at any focus and inspiration for work, study and life. Because I still wanted to act, I started thinking about how I could start a business that would separate me from the other actors. One day the idea struck me while I was walking through the university grounds and I realised I wanted to start an online magazine (Mink; for talent in the emerging arts). And I did.
While at uni. I ran that for two years with a team in Sydney and Melbourne. And we did really well with it. It was back when online magazines weren’t popular, just emerging and not everyone had a blog. We were a few of the first online mags in the market. That’s also when I discovered my real talent as a writer and interviewer.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
Throughout Uni I was contracting in marketing and communications, which meant I worked short stints for various companies. I liked that. I liked the change of scenery and different projects. I also had some awful projects. I guess that’s where my communications, publishing and marketing experience started.
Once I graduated from Uni, I moved and lived in New York City for a year and a half. I started a new blog, Career Confessions and interviewed celebrities, thought leaders and professionals on how they got to where they are in their careers. That also became really popular.
I’ve had two full-time jobs in my life (in marketing and the other a publicist and social media manager for a speaker) – both were about 9 months – roles were made redundant. The full-time gig (working for someone else) hasn’t ever been my thing. A couple years ago, I was offered to be editor for an online magazine, Aspire. It was great. I had complete creative control and took it through a rebrand. On my first day, I told my boss I thought that this should be a print mag and he said okay. So we did 4 digital issues before we started working on the print version (which I ended up taking to print and into newsstands with no print mag experience).
I was shortly after offered the Managing editor role for another print mag the company owned. I loved both of those roles, but I ended up resigning due to some issues within the company. And from there, I just kept working for myself, copywriting and editing as a freelancer.
I’ve written a book that’s set to be published later this year on my journey through the eating disorder. I also use my acting/presenting training and run masterclasses and online programs that help people be better communicators, more confident and help them express their story and message into the world.
What an amazing journey Monica, thanks for diving into the details. So, what’s the hardest part of your current job?
In my experience, it has been navigating the changes in workload.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you?
It really depends on what projects I have going. However, every day always starts with exercise.
So at the moment, that is a walk and a jump in the ocean.
Then I tackle my day. The beauty of my work is it’s flexible, so I can go for a swim in the day or catch up for a coffee with a friend or see my baby nephew amongst my working day.
I just always ensure that what needs to be done gets done. I’m an organised person so I don’t have trouble ensuring that happens.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
Gosh, I’m sure they have changed over the years. People in my later years who have impacted me immensely have been Amir Zoghi (who I used to work for) and his sister Ghazaleh Lowe who runs Academy of Intuition. Their work has had a profound and life-changing impact on how I live my life today and how I see the world. Everyone else fell away after I met them.
Another life inspiration would be the ocean. I am an ocean and beach girl at heart. And being by the sea makes me a better human.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
Just start. Hone your craft. Don’t try to be like anyone out there. Just learn the basics and what you need to know.
Reach out to people who inspire you. Read their writing and books. Share their content. Learn as much as you can about them. Interview them. See if they’d be open to mentoring you – it may save you learning some costly lessons and doing things the hard way.
The beautiful thing about the digital age is that you have access to a computer and can start a blog in 5 minutes. You can write and even self-publish books all by yourself. Don’t wait around for someone to give you permission.
If you want to be a writer – just write. Get out there and have experiences that force you to reflect on yourself. Share your insights. Share with others what you’re learning. If you do this, you’re adding valuable content to the world while also doing what you love. Contribute something that makes you come alive so that the world comes alive as they read it.
List your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration in your profession?
To be honest, I don’t know I have any for my profession. I am inspired by nature; the ocean, my family and close friends. I love the Intuitive Horoscopes by Academy of Intuition.
- Favourite Websites: AlexandraFranzen.com
- Name an Instagram Account that you can’t go a day without checking: Dr. Rebecca Ray
- Favourite Podcast: Bulletproof Radio, Lewis Howes (YouTube version), The James Altucher Show
- Favourite Netflix Series: Currently, Please Like Me and Lucifer (can’t wait for season 3)
- Favourite all time book/s: The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle; The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz and I also really loved Dianne Von Furstenburg’s biography, The Woman I Wanted to Be.
- People: Writer/Author, Alexandra Franzen, Oprah, Nora Gedgaudas