Tag Archives: happiness at work

7 ways you know you’re doing a great job

Article by Belinda Fuller

7 ways you know you're doing a great job

Job satisfaction is often linked to how appreciated you feel at work. Sometimes you might not receive the praise you crave and if you’re unhappy at work, it can be difficult to perform. Not every manager is great with praise and some just don’t have the time or inclination to understand how important occasional compliments are. But there are other, subtler ways to tell you’re doing a great job.

There are many times throughout your career when you need to assess your performance. For example, when you’re due for a performance review, when you’re feeling unmotivated, or when you’ve received some unfavourable feedback. If you’re faced with any of these situations, try to assess your performance honestly. If you can, go back to your job description, performance plan, or KPIs to formally assess how you’re going against those goals. Some ways to prove you’re doing a great job, even though you might not actually hear it, include thinking about the following areas:

  1. The value you add: Ask yourself where you might have added value and assess how this helped your manager, department, or the overall company. Try to keep track of any accolades received from colleagues, clients and others; and remember all the things you’ve done to improve processes or ways to get things done.
  2. Your measurable success: Many roles can be easily tracked in terms of performance – sales made against budget or marketing metrics such as responses, likes or clicks. But for other roles that aren’t metrics driven and easy to measure, think about your actions and how they meet or exceed expectations. Did you follow instructions, procedures or rules? Did you deliver an outcome when you said you would? Did you receive some positive feedback from a client or colleague?
  3. Being the go-to person: If you are constantly being asked questions about a variety of areas of the business, there’s a good chance you have become the company ‘go-to person’. Learning about the company and how things work and sharing that knowledge with your colleagues is an excellent trait for any employee and a good indication that you’re doing a great job.
  4. You’re reliable: If you get asked to help out on projects, or assist with last minute tasks, you can be relied upon to get the job done. An employee who turns up on time, listens, does what’s expected of them, is trustworthy, and shows respect is a productive and valuable employee.
  5. You’re asked for your opinion: Being given the opportunity to attend meetings to listen and offer your view on different areas is another indicator that you’re doing a great job and your efforts are appreciated.
  6. You’re proactive: Some people wait to be told what to do, and others take their own initiative to get things done. Managers notice self-motivated, proactive team members so if you offer to help out on tasks that you notice need to be done, but might not be in your direct area of responsibility – you’re probably doing a great job!
  7. You solve problems: Being a problem solver is important, so if you’re faced with a challenge and you tell your boss about the issue while also offering suggestions on how you think it should be fixed, they’ll appreciate your efforts. It makes their life easier and proves to them that you’re invested in the company’s success just as much as they are.

It is important to understand that some managers aren’t great at giving feedback. If you find yourself in this situation, often simply asking for feedback is a good approach. Otherwise, you could find a mentor – either within the company or outside. Mentors can offer advice and they’ve usually faced some of the same challenges you might be experiencing. They’ll help you strategise ways to deal with issues and support you on your path to success.

If you would like help with any aspect of your career, please see our range of Career Counselling Services.

14 tips for professional behaviour

Article by Belinda Fuller

14 tips for professional behaviourIt doesn’t matter if you work for a large or small organisation, or if you’re a manager or not, there are always expectations in terms of workplace behaviour. While most people can easily define what unprofessional behaviour is – knowing how to behave is a more positive way of looking at it. So what constitutes professional behaviour?

Professional behaviour is a form of etiquette in the workplace which is linked primarily to respectful and courteous conduct. Believe it or not, professional behaviour can benefit your career and improve your chances of future success. Many organisations have specific codes of conduct in place, but some don’t. In general, it comes down to ethics, integrity, dedication, and being conscious of how you treat co-workers.

TIP # 1: Know your organisation’s mission, values and code of professional conduct so that you’re clear on the expected workplace attire, priorities, behaviours and outcomes.

TIP # 2: Be observant of other people’s behaviour – take note of how they speak and act towards you and others, and in different work settings. Notice how their behaviour comes across in terms of the response it gets. Decide what you’d like to do differently or similarly.

TIP # 3: Be respectful of fellow employees, colleagues and clients, regardless of their rank or status – everyone is important. This includes using good manners, being mindful of personal space and refraining from referencing non-work-related or other inappropriate topics. Use appropriate language, apologise for errors or misunderstandings, and keep your personal opinions of others private.

TIP # 4: Manage your emotions and language, especially during stressful times. Learn to recognise and control frustration, overwhelm, tiredness and other emotional states and never take out those emotions on people in the workplace.

TIP # 5: Manage your time well and know what workload you have to achieve each day. Don’t be late to work or take longer than usual breaks, ensure you meet deadlines, turn up for meetings prepared and on time, and respect other people’s time.

TIP # 6: Act honestly and openly so people can trust you and your word, and always give credit where it’s due. Don’t share confidential, privileged or client information unnecessarily, and never tolerate or justify dishonest conduct by others.

TIP # 7: Maintain accountability for your work and actions – manage expectations by under-promising and over-delivering. Be honest if things go wrong and take ownership of your mistakes – see them as an opportunity to learn and grow, and avoid blame, excuses and denial. Seek help if you need it and work out an effective resolution to move forward.

TIP # 8: Be supportive of your team and colleagues – help where and when you can, even if it’s simply to listen, and be willing to share your skills and knowledge. Thank others when they have done a good job or helped you in some way.

TIP # 9: Understand your company’s preferred way of communicating, follow any company guidelines, and learn the ‘unwritten’ rules that vary from company to company. Read information provided before asking questions, listen to others when they explain concepts, don’t engage in office gossip, speak clearly and in language others can easily understand, and be polite. Be careful of language and tone in written communications, don’t copy in others unnecessarily when emailing (but don’t intentionally exclude others either).

TIP # 10: Audit and manage your social media profile to ensure it is appropriate for public viewing, or make it private. Leverage social media to improve your ‘online footprint’ and enhance your prospects through improved social responsibility. Take out photos or comments that may be offensive or suggestive to others. Think about what is going to make you stand out and focus your content on positive hobbies, interests, volunteer work or charities you support.

TIP # 11: Set aside any differences in order to work well with others. You may need to work with people that you don’t necessarily like, however those who work well with others can often advance on that aspect alone, with teamwork sometimes even outweighing performance.

TIP # 12: Stay focused on work tasks when you’re at work and manage your personal matters so they don’t impact your work.

TIP # 13: Ask for feedback so you can find out what you could have done differently or better. That way you will continue to develop your skills and capabilities while demonstrating your desire for growth.

TIP # 14: Stay committed, dedicated, positive and consistent – it goes a long way to ensuring success and is often contagious with others being inspired to put in a little extra effort themselves.

Essentially, professional behaviour comes down to giving your best at all times while treating others with respect. 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 with any aspect of your professional career? If so, please see our Career Counselling Services.

Improve your health at work in just five minutes

Article by Belinda Fuller

Impove your mood at work in just 5 minutesResearch conducted over many years consistently indicates that sitting for long periods is bad for both our mental and physical health. But for many of us stuck at a desk all day – it can be difficult not to sit. The standing desk trend took off a few years ago, however recent research suggests that walking around for as little as five minutes each hour can improve mood, prevent lethargy, increase focus, and even dull hunger pangs.

Common medical opinion dictates that long uninterrupted bouts of sitting is unhealthy. Studies consistently show that when we sit motionless, blood flow to the legs reduces and our risk of heart attack, diabetes, depression and obesity is increased. However recent research conducted in the USA indicates that getting up and walking around for just five minutes every hour can have significant health benefits. For many people who don’t have the option of a standing desk or the luxury of working out in the middle of the day, you can probably manage to fit in five minutes of movement for every hour that you’re sitting.

The research study, published in November in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, found that frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before or after work. The study was conducted on a relatively small group of people with researchers initially inviting the sedentary office workers to a university clinic to complete a range of health tests and questionnaires. Heart rates and stress hormones were measured with participants asked to rate their energy, mood and appetite on a numerical scale. Concentration and decision making ability was also measured using a specially designed computerised game.

Participants then visited the clinic on three separate occasions to simulate a six-hour workday. On the first day they sat for the whole time working with no interruptions, except bathroom breaks. On the second, they walked moderately for 30 minutes at the start of their day, and then sat for the five and a half hours with no interruptions, except bathroom breaks. And on the third visit, participants sat for six hours, but began each hour with five minutes of moderate walking on a treadmill.

At the start and end of each session, researchers checked stress hormones and heart rate, with participants asked to rate mood, energy, fatigue and appetite several times during each day, and the computerised testing of concentration and decision making was repeated at the end of each session.

After analysing the data, researchers consistently found that both the morning walking and the five-minute sessions increased participants’ energy, but only the hourly walking had workers reporting greater happiness, less fatigue and less food cravings than on the other days. Their feelings of vigour tended to increase throughout the day with the hourly walking, whereas they had often plateaued by early afternoon after walking only once in the morning.

The good news is that the detrimental effects of sitting all day can be minimised by adding just five minutes of walking for every hour of sitting. Introducing these short bouts of activity during the workday of sedentary office workers seems like a simple approach to improving health and well-being with very little effort or time constraints. So why not jump on board – make it your goal to get moving more consistently at work. You can schedule in just five minutes walking every hour by combining it with your bathroom break, trip to the water cooler or coffee machine.

Katie Roberts Career Consulting provides a range of career advice services including career coaching, resume writing, LinkedIn profile writing, interview training, job search coaching, Myers-Briggs personality profiling, and outplacement services.

Alternative Pathways to Achieving Your Dream Career

Article by Belinda Fuller

Alternative Pathways to Achieving Your Dream CareerIf you’re someone who’s always known what you want to be when you grow up – think yourself lucky! Not many people have a childhood passion that leads them directly to their dream career. For most people, figuring out what to do can be a confusing and frustrating process. There are endless options and countless considerations. However, these days the path to that dream career isn’t necessarily straightforward.

Figuring out what to do for the rest of our lives can be daunting. It can be especially so for new school leavers focused on their final year and thinking about what to do when they leave. The options are endless – but what should you consider? Should you choose a practical job that provides stability, a good career path and great pay prospects? Or should you follow your passions and choose a career based on something you love?

Following your passions can mean amazing success, but can also come at a cost – it usually involves some level of risk, overcoming fears and judgement by others (often parents), and maybe planning for some kind of fall-back position. As an alternative, many people are happy to indulge their passions on a part-time or ‘leisure only’ basis, while working in a steadier job that earns them their living. This can be just as hard a path to take – with the ‘safe’ option often leading to unhappiness or discontent down the track. If you’re still trying to figure out your dream career, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What activities do I enjoy?
  2. What are my interests?
  3. What am I good at, what are my strengths?
  4. What do I value the most – creativity or stability?
  5. How do I define success – happy, rich, working hard, etc.?

Then brainstorm related jobs. Now could be a great time to enlist the help of a career consultant who can provide an independent perspective in achieving your dream career potential. Career consultants often use formal assessment tools to better understand where your interests, values and personality traits lie in order to identify the careers, industries and work environments that best suit you. Once you have a list of potential careers, do some research to find out more – what qualifications are required, how competitive is the job market, what shape is the industry in, what salary could you earn, what is the potential progression, is it stable, what are the normal work hours, where are roles located and will you need to travel etc.

So what’s next? If you need to go to university but didn’t achieve the required ATAR, alternate pathways are becoming more popular – allowing you to work while studying, take time off after you leave school before starting university, or even combine local and overseas study. Most qualifications can also be pursued at any time throughout your life with just about any course available via part-time, full-time, online, distance or on campus options, or in varying combinations of them all. The three most common alternative pathways to university study are:

  1. Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) – this test assesses students’ knowledge in various areas considered to be important in tertiary study. Unlike Year 12 qualifications, STAT questions are not purely academic, so if you’re keen on a specific course but didn’t do well in Year 12, you could still have a good chance at gaining entry.
  1. Registered Training Organisations (RTO) – including TAFE and other private RTOs which provide different levels of flexibility and/or course content.
  1. Indigenous Australian Uni-Entry Programs – offered by many Australian universities, and designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who missed out on their university course by only a few ATAR scores. Each university has their own set of requirements and unique programs (with differing names) for eligibility so make contact directly to enquire.

In addition to achieving your dream career through study, you may just need experience that you simply don’t have without actually getting the job! We have several suggestions to get around this situation including:

  • Volunteering: or completing an internship (paid or unpaid) could be especially important if your career area is very competitive. Even if you have to work for free, dedicating this time can pay off – many companies employ interns that show promise at the end of their term, but even if you don’t receive a job offer, you will gain some experience that you can add to your resume.
  • Networking: with people you’d like to work for, and at local community, or relevant industry events. You may not land your dream job because of your networking, but it could help you get an interview or introduction that you may not have otherwise.
  • Identifying transferrable skills and achievements: it can be a challenge when you don’t have the ‘listed experience required’ but here’s where you need to think creatively. Identify your transferrable skills and demonstrate why they matter. Show the employer how valuable you are by listing previous achievements. Read our other article this month on How to Identify Your Most Important Employability Factors for tips.
  • Showcasing your work: if it’s a creative field you’re trying to break into, a portfolio is a particularly good idea. But it can also apply to other sectors as well. For example, as a writer – start a blog or write some sample articles or content. As a graphic designer – create some designs to show potential employers. As a service provider – volunteer your services for free for family or friends and document the process and outcomes to build your portfolio.

There are many ways to achieve your dream career which don’t necessarily follow the traditional path. It’s important to be open and flexible when selecting your path to success. Don’t be afraid of change or taking an alternative route to achieve the success you desire.

Would you like assistance finding your ideal career so you can enjoy every day? Our Career Counsellors and Career Advisors can provide you with Career Guidance and Career Coaching Services to help you find your dream career.

5 Steps to Creating a Portfolio Career

Article by Belinda Fuller

5 Steps to Creating a Portfolio CareerMore than just a bunch of part-time jobs, portfolio careers are becoming more and more common as people seek to improve their work-life balance and increase overall career and job satisfaction. Many people are finding that juggling two, three or even four jobs can be much more fulfilling and rewarding than holding down one traditional full-time role.

Amongst my group of friends and acquaintances, I’ve noticed the rise in people building their career doing a variety of jobs for a range of different clients or companies. While a portfolio career is similar to freelancing, it’s not quite the same. Whereas freelance work revolves around doing the same, or a similar thing for different clients on an ongoing basis, a portfolio career usually involves a mix of longer term part-time roles that might include some freelance or contract work. It can suit many different types of people, for example, those looking for opportunities post-redundancy, people wanting to become self-employed but with some stability from one or two part-time roles, people looking to pursue something creative that may not pay well initially, people transitioning into retirement, or those looking to start an entirely new career.

It can also suit different industries, for example, you could be a Human Resources Manager with a part-time job working for a small business, a casual teaching or lecturing role at University or TAFE, and a writer for an industry publication.

Some of the benefits of having a portfolio career include:

  • Flexibility – to utilise your unique skills and develop different areas of interest. It might also provide opportunities to explore new avenues far easier than if you are holding down a full time job, as well as being able to pursue self-employment opportunities without the risk of going it alone completely.
  • Independence – to create your own career on your terms, managing your time with family needs or other personal interests.
  • Freedom – to pursue your passions and choose to work doing what you want to do, rather than what the job requires.
  • Variety – and less monotony in your day to day work.
  • Opportunity – in tight job markets, the availability of full-time jobs might fall in certain sectors, with some companies embracing part-time or contract roles as a viable solution. A multitude of part-time jobs might provide the answer.

So how can you create a portfolio career?

STEP # 1: learn about the pros and cons by talking to others or doing some research. While a portfolio career can sound inviting with all that variety and flexibility, for many people, it may just create more stress as a result of having to manage different roles, time involvements, and income sources.

STEP # 2: understand your financial situation and work out how much money you need to feel secure. Try to give yourself a financial buffer for times when income drops. Remember that part-time workers’ hours can often change with little notice, and if you’re freelancing or consulting you need to be constantly identifying new projects and income sources.

STEP # 3: identify your unique skills and attributes. Ask yourself what you have to offer, how will you deliver it, and who will want it – but more importantly who will pay for it and will you be happy doing it?

STEP # 4: once you’ve embarked on your new career, manage your time effectively to ensure you’re not working harder – just smarter. Juggling multiple jobs can be tricky if you’re not organised, so create efficient systems and rules around time spent on each vocation.

STEP # 5: learn some sales and networking strategies, especially if part of your income needs to come from consulting or freelance opportunities. If you don’t have permanent part-time roles, don’t underestimate the time you need to spend on business development activities which are usually ‘non-earning’.

Most people have different sides to them and a portfolio career could be just the approach you need to ensure you gain more fulfilment and satisfaction from your career, while addressing other areas such as freedom, flexibility and independence.

Are you interested in pursuing a portfolio career? Not sure where to start or what skills you need to develop? Our Career Counsellors and Career Advisors can help! Please see our Career Coaching and Career Guidance Services for more information.


4 Ways to Use Assertiveness to Benefit Your Career

Article by Belinda Fuller

4 Ways to Use Assertiveness to Benefit Your CareerAssertiveness is an essential skill if you want to advance your career. It’s not about being aggressive or getting what you want at the expense of other people’s feelings – but rather a way of politely standing up for yourself, asking for what you want, saying no to unreasonable requests, and achieving ‘win-win’ outcomes.

Assertiveness in an individual can be defined as someone who is not afraid to say what they believe, or ask for what they want. It’s about acting with confidence, authority and assurance – even when you might not feel it. Assertiveness is usually about getting people to do what you want or agree with your thoughts – but without making them feel like they have been bullied into doing so. It isn’t about being pushy, demanding or aggressive. So how can it help your career?

1.  Learning to say no: there are often times at work when you really should say no. Unreasonable requests from colleagues and superiors can drive you crazy and prevent you from achieving the best with whatever it is you should be focusing on. Being assertive allows you to set limits for yourself without being seen as the bully. Learning to say ‘no’ to unreasonable requests whether your plate is full or it just isn’t a good fit for your focus or skillset is a very important talent for anyone at any level. Understand that you will never be able to please everyone, and be OK with that. Know your limits and what will cause you to feel taken advantage of. If you feel guilty saying no (which you shouldn’t), try suggesting a viable alternative as a way of relieving that feeling.

2.  Getting people to do what you want: let’s call this persuasion because being persuasive is another way to win in your career. This is about convincing people, in a nice way that they need to do something. It’s about being able to negotiate an outcome you want but again without being a bully. You can do this by demonstrating the ‘win-win’ – i.e. what’s in it for the other person if they do it. You should plan out what you’re going to say first, so your ideas come across clearly and confidently. Get to the point quickly and don’t include unnecessary information. Practicing what you’re going to say out loud can help because an idea that sounds great in your head may not sound as compelling when spoken out loud. A big part in successfully convincing other people to do something for you is listening – let the other person talk so you can acknowledge what they’re thinking and address any concerns they may have.

3.  Increasing your salary: if you’re waiting to get noticed for a pay rise, you might wait forever. Taking control of your salary and negotiating what you’re worth is an important part of your career progression but we understand that many people do lack confidence when it comes to money. One of the best ways to ask for a pay rise is to put your initial request in writing and then meet with your boss to discuss. By putting together a written proposal you’ll be forced to think hard about your achievements and the reasons why your request for a pay rise is valid. This thought process alone will provide you with more confidence to discuss it. But you must ask – it’s rare that anyone will just hand it to you.

4.  Getting a new job: assertiveness is a very important factor in determining how well you perform at an interview. It will help you to come across as a confident candidate who will be proactive and results-focused. You can demonstrate your assertiveness by maintaining direct eye contact (without staring); talking clearly and firmly with confidence, and maintaining a relaxed and open posture. Avoid devaluing your contributions by using negative or ambiguous language. Try not to use words like ‘only’, ‘just’ or ‘maybe’. Refer to pre-written notes or your Resume without reading from any documents and make sure to ask some well thought out questions to demonstrate your interest in the role and company while showing that you’ve done some research. Be confident in your responses without being smug.

Assertiveness is an essential asset for any successful employee. It’s worth taking some time to develop this skill to help you get ahead in your career, but remember it can take time. Use online resources, read books or enlist the help of an expert.

Would you like career coaching and guidance to help you advance your career? If so see, please see our Career Counselling Services.

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.

4 Tips to Decide if a Sea/Tree Change is Right for You

Article by Belinda Fuller

4 Tips to Determine if a Sea/Tree Change is Right for YouWhile these types of changes used to mostly apply to retirees selling up and moving to a coastal or rural area to retire, these days more people are choosing to escape the big city rat race by changing their lifestyles to achieve less stress and better work life balance. But this kind of major life change isn’t for everyone, so how do you work out if it’s right for you?

Over the Christmas break, up and down the coast of Australia, people will be gazing into the windows of real estate agencies, checking out property prices in their sleepy holiday destination. I know because I’ve done it before and stood next to others doing the same! We were having such a wonderful time in a coastal area on the northern NSW coast, and wondered how we could make it work as a place to live full time. We did do some research and seriously considered the move, but once those holiday endorphins wore off and we came back to reality, we never actually followed through for several different reasons. But many people will take up the chance to cash in on big city property prices and downsize their lives to achieve a better work life balance.

Achieving a successful sea/tree change is about defining exactly what is important to you in terms of lifestyle, then changing things to achieve more time, less stress, more fulfilment and/or a better work life balance. Thanks to technology, the options for people to achieve this dream while still earning a decent living are endless – it’s just a case of deciding what you can do and where.

Demographers estimate that of the 350,000 Australians per year that talk about making a sea/tree change, 20% will make it happen. Of those who do make it happen – 20% have major regrets and give it all away. In contrast, 80% are glad they made the change and wish they’d done it sooner – so how can you work out if this kind of change is right for you and avoid becoming one of the 20% with major regrets? Here’s some tips to get you started:

Tip # 1: Gain clarity about what it is you really want – ask yourself why you are making the move? What’s the main thing(s) you’d like to achieve or change about your current lifestyle – you could refer to our article this month on How to Create a Life by Design to help you gain this clarity. The biggest cause of failure results from people not being clear about what they really want or having unrealistic expectations about what the move will mean.

Tip # 2: Think about your lifestyle – how are you going to earn a living, how much do you need to comfortably do the things you want to do – and what will make you happy and fulfilled? Another major cause of failure is poor financial planning and under-estimating how much your new lifestyle is going to cost.

Tip # 3: Think long and hard about location – do you want to move to a coastal community to live by the beach? Would you prefer to escape to the country on a farm, in a small country town, or even a larger regional centre? Research and planning is essential when making such a major change, especially if you have children. Are there schools and facilities close by? If not, are you prepared for the travel that you/they will endure to achieve the kind of education you’d like them to have? What will you do for work? Are there the right opportunities close by or will you have to travel?

Tip # 4: Are you prepared emotionally? Not only will this be a major change to your day to day lifestyle, you will probably be moving away from friends and family. You need to overcome any fears you may have of the unknown and maintain a flexible approach in order to fit into your new community. You will have to make an effort to get to know people and small communities are often very different to larger cities.

This type of change is always going to be scary, with many decisions to make along the way. Fear, excitement, confusion, anticipation, uncertainty, eagerness, trepidation, hope – you’ll feel all the emotions as you go through the process. Just remember how rewarding a sea/tree change is for many people – it might be the perfect way to finally create the happiness you crave.

Life is too short to be unhappy – is this something you’ve been wanting to do? If so, you should explore your options and do your research. If you decide to go ahead, but you’re worried about your career opportunities, getting career advice from our Career Counsellors can help! Please see our Career Guidance Services for more information.