Monthly Archives: January 2016

7 steps to creating a career Mind Map

Article by Belinda Fuller

7 Steps to Creating a Mind Map to Explore Your CareerIf there are areas of your career you’d like to improve, including the changes you need to make to achieve more success or happiness, a Mind Map could be just the tool to help you brainstorm and discover your career purpose.

Invented by Tony Buzan as a learning and memory tool while he was struggling to take effective notes as a student, a Mind Map is a diagram used to organise all kinds of information in a more visual and memorable way. Usually, Mind Maps are created around one single topic. An image is drawn in the centre of a blank piece of paper then ideas are added around it with key ideas linked directly to the central subject, and other ideas branching out from these.

A key factor to creating a successful Mind Map is the use of colour, images and curved lines to link ideas, which encourages brainstorming and makes it easier for our brains to remember. Since the human brain finds it easier to remember images rather than words, and it thinks in multiple directions simultaneously – a Mind Map can provide a more effective problem-solving and memory tool than written notes or lists.

There are several Apps and websites available to help you create your Mind Map, or you can simply grab a piece of A4 paper and some coloured pencils and do it the old fashioned way!

7 Steps:

Step 1: Start in the centre of a blank page turned sideways. Using the paper in landscape will give your brain the freedom it needs to spread out in all directions.

Step 2: Your central idea is your career – so start with this using an image or picture to represent it. This helps you to use your imagination because an image is more interesting to the brain than words.

Step 3: Draw your main branches connected to the central image and connect your second and third level branches to the first and second levels. Your brain works by association and likes linking things together in an orderly way. Connecting the branches will help you more easily visualise your primary areas of interest and come up with ideas that relate to them.

Step 4: Make your connecting lines curved rather than straight since curved lines are more
interesting to your brain. Use a combination of colours, images, and words – which again makes it more interesting to your brain and encourages creative thinking.

Step 5: Use one key word for your main branches and then start to brainstorm all the areas you need to consider – creating this wide array of ideas helps you gain a clearer picture of where you’d like to go and how you’re going to get there.

Step 6: Use images throughout your Mind Map because it is said that every image is worth a thousand words. That means if you have only 10 images in your Mind Map, it’s the equivalent of 10,000 words of notes!

Step 7: Once you have your mind map, use it as the basis to create an execution strategy or road map if you like that will help you achieve your career dreams.

A Mind Map is a creative outlet and should be approached with an open and uninhibited mind – try not to place any limits on yourself as to the number of thoughts, ideas and connections you make.

Ideas for sub-topics include your current job, your dream job, reasons why you want your dream job, key strengths, weaknesses or areas for improvement, core values – especially things that you won’t compromise, interests, lifestyle goals, possible or required training/education, limitations or barriers, areas where you want to work, areas where you don’t want to work, companies that interest you, and role models.

Would you like assistance from a Career Counsellor or Career Advisor to help you map out your career goals to ensure success? If so, please see our Career Coaching Services.

Hot Careers for 2016

Article by Belinda Fuller

Hot Careers for 2016With latest data indicating a slight increase in new job ads and steady growth throughout 2015, Australia’s job market is looking more positive than it did this time last year. SEEK data indicates increasing business confidence and hiring intentions which has had a direct impact on rising job advertisements on the site. But what areas are in highest demand?

SEEK’s outlook is supported by Manpower Employment’s most recent Outlook Survey, with 15 percent of local employers surveyed looking to increase headcount in 2016. Although this report does indicate some caution amongst Australian employers’ hiring intentions with many choosing to hedge risk by employing contractors or temporary staff.

SEEK also reported slightly less competition with fewer people applying for each advertised role, which is great news if you’re looking to review your career in 2016. With new job ads on the SEEK site achieving an annual increase of 7.8%, growth is the result of continued strength across a wide range of industries, including Healthcare & Medical, Trades & Services, Government & Defence, Education & Training, Design & Architecture, Retail & Consumer Products, and Information & Communication Technology. While market analysts have varying opinions on the state of Australia’s labour market and the future trends we can expect, SEEK has outlined the five ‘hot jobs’ for 2016. Here they are:

1: Front End Programmers – with growth of 50% over last year, this job is in high demand in Australia as we retain our position as one of the world’s top 10 e-commerce markets. SEEK expects the demand for Front End Programmers to continue in 2016 as the e-commerce industry goes from strength to strength. The demand for people with skills and experience in this field is rapidly outstripping supply, making it a favourable employment market for programmers with the right skill set.

2: Carpenters – with growth of 40% over last year, skilled carpenters are in high demand as the construction industry and real-estate market both continue to grow.

3: Site Managers – with growth of 35% over last year. Despite the steady decline for these positions in the mining and resources industry, demand for Site Managers as a whole has been buoyed by the strength of the property sector.

4: Forklift Drivers – with growth of 33% over last year – this role is also riding the e-commerce wave, as distribution centres rely on them to fulfil growing domestic and international online shopping trends.

5: Account Managers – with growth of 14% over last year – sophisticated sales professionals are in demand, as there will always be a role for people that can demonstrate commercial acumen and articulate the true value and return on investment of the solutions they are selling to acquire and nurture clients. More broadly, Account Managers act as a good forward business indicator to confidence, and with Australian Business Confidence edging up in recent months, growth for these roles are expected to continue.

While the roles listed above are SEEK’s expected job hotspots for 2016, the recent trend in job advertisements also indicates several industries with encouraging growth. These include:

  • Farming, Animals & Conservation – up 34%
  • Design & Architecture – up 32%
  • Call Centre & Customer Service – up 22%
  • CEO & General Management – up 20%
  • Community Services & Development – up 19%
  • Education & Training – up 17%

Would you like assistance from a team of Career Counsellors and Career Advisors to help you choose a career that’s right for you? If so, please see our Career Advice and Career Counselling Services.

12 professional behaviour tips

Article by Belinda Fuller

12 Professional Behaviour TipsProfessional behaviour is a form of etiquette in the workplace that is linked primarily to respectful and courteous conduct. Many organisations will have a formal code of professional conduct in place, but many do not. Believe it or not, professionalism and ethical behaviour can benefit your career and improve your chances of future success.

Being conscious of how you treat co-workers and clients, and ensuring a positive workplace attitude can help you to improve your productivity and effectiveness in the workplace. In general, professional behaviour comes down to ethics and dedication. Although possessing the necessary skills to do your job effectively is essential, having an understanding of what constitutes professional behaviour will help you develop your own high standard of work habits that could contribute to future career success.

Here are our 12 tips:

1.  Honesty: always act openly. Never share confidential, privileged or client information unnecessarily, and don’t tolerate or justify dishonest conduct by others. Report any conflicts of interest immediately.

2.  Respect: maintain a respectful attitude to others at all times, even during stressful times. Don’t lash out at colleagues or disrespect anyone (senior or otherwise). Always use appropriate language (verbally and in writing) and don’t swear. Apologise for errors or misunderstandings, and keep your personal opinions of others private.

3.  Meetings: arrive on time and be prepared by reviewing the agenda or meeting notes in advance. Make contributions to discussions where appropriate, and don’t take over when someone else is trying to talk. Respect the meeting convenor or chair, follow the appropriate format, and ask considerate questions.

4.  Communication: speak clearly and in language others can easily understand, act courteously and use good manners when engaging with others. Follow any company guidelines regarding content, read information provided before asking questions, listen to others when they are talking or explaining, and don’t engage in office gossip. Be careful of language and tone in written communications, and don’t copy in others unnecessarily when emailing (but don’t intentionally exclude others either).

5.  Time Management: don’t be late to work, instead arrive a few minutes early to settle, get your coffee and greet co-workers. Follow lunch and break schedules by leaving and returning on time. At the beginning of every day, review your schedule so you know what time you have to be where, and what workload you have on that day.

6.  Integrity: act ethically and do the ‘right’ thing at all times, always report suspicious people in the office, misconduct, or other violations of company policy. Remain impartial keeping any personal bias and intolerances out of the workplace.

7.  Safety: understand the company safety policy and report any maintenance or other hazards immediately.

8.  Corporate Goals: have an understanding of your company’s missions, goals and objectives and the role that you play in achieving those.

9.  Dress: dress in clean, appropriate clothing. Follow any dress code standards or guidelines and if there aren’t any, avoid clothing that is revealing, provocative, or includes offensive language or pictures.

10.  Accountability: take responsibility for your work and actions, do what needs to be done, and don’t leave it for others. Be honest if things go wrong, or you don’t finish something on time, then work out an effective resolution to move forward. Seek help early if you need it.

11.  Teamwork: you often need to work with people that you may not necessarily like. Set aside differences to work well with others since teamwork sometimes even outweighs performance – with people who work well with others often advancing based on that aspect.

12.  Commitment: dedication and a positive action to your role and the organisation can carry you a long way. Plus, dedication from employees is often contagious with others being inspired to go the extra effort themselves.

Essentially, being professional is about giving your best at all times. Think about how your behaviour will be perceived by others and make sure to understand and follow company codes of conduct where they exist.

Would you like assistance from a Career Guidance Coach with any aspect of your professional career? If so, please see our Career Counselling Services.