Turning a setback into a step forward

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

When Kathie Argyros was made redundant after 27 years in the airline industry, most of her friends and family expected her to go into semi-retirement and perhaps pick up a couple of days work per week. Instead, she enrolled in a Diploma of Interior Design and bought a plane ticket to France!

In this podcast, Kathie explains to Elise Stevens how she turned a redundancy into an opportunity to run for her dream at the age of 50. After almost three decades of jumping between roles in customer service, human resources, training and insurance for a major airline, she’d never let go of her dream of owning her own business. The corporate world was unpredictable and challenging, but also mundane with few opportunities for creativity. With her redundancy payout giving her some financial stability, Kathie knew if she didn’t do it now, she never would.

Kathie proves ‘you’re never too old’ to chase your career dream. In her 50s, she’s more mature and more experienced, but certainly not old-fashioned or out-of-touch. “I didn’t want to live with regret,” she says. Certainly, that’s something we can all agree on.


Points raised in this podcast:

  • How to turn a setback into a step forward.
  • The importance of networking and never burning bridges.
  • Why you should always trust your intuition.
  • The value of starting from the bottom and why taking a job at a lower level isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
  • Why we can learn just as much from young recruits as they can learn from us.
  • Just because things have been done one way in the past doesn’t mean they will always be.


Kathie Argyros is a self-confessed Francophile with a passion for French interior design and travel. Her love of finding beautiful things in faraway places led her to follow her passion and change careers when others were ready to start planning their retirement.

At the age of 50, with more than two decades under her belt in corporate management roles with a major airline, Kathie grabbed the opportunity of redundancy and went into overdrive to realise her dream of owning her own French homewares store. French Cargo in Sydney’s south is a boutique store and interior styling service that prides itself on hand-selected, quality, elegant and timeless pieces with a French flavour.

One year after French Cargo opened its doors, it was selected as a Finalist in the St George Business Awards, and Kathie was selected as Business Person of the Year Finalist in the St George area.

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