Defining Career Moment: “I have a life outside of work”

The Cambridge dictionary describes a career-defining moment or action as “one that is very important in making someone successful in their job, or in deciding how they will be remembered.” At Mantech, we have talked about such moments a lot recently, and have decided to share some of ours to give you an insight into who the team are, and how they came to be where they are now.  Here, our Team Manager Richard Center talks about the importance of work/ life balance and what it took to secure his job at Mantech 16 years ago.

It was the year 2000. I was hearing catchphrases like Y2K and dot.com boom. I knew nothing about either as I had spent the previous number of years living abroad and doing a lot of self-indulgent travelling and “experience gathering”. Arriving back in Sydney, newly married and without any money, I found myself in the final stages of an interview for a recruitment position at Mantech. The final hurdle before a much needed pay packet, I felt, was to impress the Mantech founder, Cameron Gillies. Apart from having been a coffee sales rep, I had nothing in the way of relevant experience. (I found out later that coffee is the elixir of the recruitment process so I probably had more relevant experience than I thought). Anyway, I bumbled through the interview with Cameron and distinctly remember looking into his steely gaze feeling I had blown it. I felt I had to show him some backbone, some fighting spirit or something to have a chance. What did I come up with? “I only work 9-5. I have a life outside of work. If you need someone to work longer than that, don’t offer me the role.”

Well it worked. I got the job at Mantech. For the last sixteen years I have held true to those working hours and have encouraged all Mantech employees to work smart and not hard. I truly believe that people who are fulfilled outside of work are far more motivated and effective.


Do you have a career moment you’d like to share for a chance to win a $150 David Jones gift card?  Like the Mantech Careers Facebook page, then tell us about your experience in the comments of the ‘Jerry Maguire’ post.  Entires close 7pm AEDST Tuesday December 6th 2016.


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Richard Center

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