Tony Beaumont’s story is not rags to riches but rather riches to (cleaning) rags.
As a high-flying corporate executive he had all the trappings of success including a $200,000 salary, shares in oil giant BP, a company car and 45 staff under him but he gave it all away to scrub floors.
He now owns Jim’s Cleaning Bayview in Sydney’s northern suburbs and says despite taking a ‘financial hit’ he is much happier.
Tony Beaumont was a high-flying corporate executive with oil giant BP but he found the job had taken over his life in a way he didn’t like
The BP role required him to spend time in Melbourne each month away from his family, leaving behind his wife and two young children in Sydney.
‘My peers were all career-focused, and I had no desire to go to Melbourne ongoing – the corporate culture, drinking until midnight, couldn’t speak to my wife and kids,’ Mr Beaumont told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Beaumont was getting 150 emails a day and was expected to be ‘on’ 24/7.
‘I thought “bugger it”. I had to make a change,’ he said.
As a teenager he cleaned McDonald’s restaurants and thought he might try getting behind a mop again.
‘I wanted to be my own boss,’ Mr Beaumont said.
Mr Beaumont has swapped his corporate suit for casual cleaning attire as the owner of Jim’s Cleaning Bayview in Sydney’s northern suburbs
‘I didn’t want to manage others anymore. I had had 10 direct and thirty-five indirect people reporting to me. I didn’t want any staff that I had to worry about.’
It seems he has found his niche.
‘I love cleaning as I love to see the happy faces of my clients when they come back to their property and find it perfectly cleaned, freshened up and smelling great!’ he writes on his business website about him.
Mr Beaumont admits he has taken a ‘financial hit’ but says money isn’t everything.
‘I would much rather have a happy family life and watch my kids grow up,’ Mr Beaumont said.
The so-called ‘great resignation’ has been seen many Aussies take advantage of worker shortages to decide on a career change.
Mr Beaumont says the job swap was important to him to spend more time with his young family
With the unemployment rate at four per cent, which is the lowest it has been since 1974, many workers have taken the chance to quit jobs they weren’t happy with.
Nearly 10 per cent of the workforce, 1.3 million people, swapped jobs in the year up until February 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This was the highest rate of job change in over a decade.
The professional, scientific and technical services areas were particularly notable for an increase in job mobility.
Nearly 40 per cent of managers who left their jobs went into another field, while in sales it was more than 50 per cent of job hoppers who tried something new.
CommSec chief economist Craig James said earlier this year that low unemployment was gave people the opportunity to leave unsatisfactory roles.
‘The great job market shuffle is underway,’ he said.
‘For the first time there are more people that say they are unemployed because they left their lost job rather than those that lost jobs through redundancy, business failure or poor performance.’
Mr Beaumont said even though taking over a cleaning franchise meant he took a ‘financial hit’ it was worth it
Job availability and mobility may change with rising interest rates expected to slow the economy and borders open once more to let in foreign workers.
With higher unemployment and reduced consumer spending, people may be less willing to leave jobs or take chances on setting up their own businesses.
For Mr Beaumont, however, he says he would make the swap again ‘without a shadow of a doubt’.