How to choose a career that’s right for you

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Choose a Career That's Right for YouSome people have always known what they want to be when they grow up – how lucky are they? Especially if it all works out for them. For most of us though, it can take some time to work out what’s right in terms of a career. I’ve written before about being happy at work and Success vs Happiness. It’s many people’s lifelong pursuit. But what makes a career right for one person can be very different for another. Here is a list of initial dos and don’ts when thinking about what career might be right for you: 

Do: work out what is important to you – because this will be different for everyone. You might just want to be happy but that is often about looking at what you value most. Some people need to help others as part of their day to day role, others need to use their creativity, some prefer working alone, and others need to be part of a large team environment, or lead and direct people. Maybe flexible hours is your primary need, or are you driven to achieve a high paying or powerful job which you are prepared to work hard for. What’s most important is going to be different for everyone and for many people it can change several times depending on what stage of life they’re at.

Don’t: do what other people think you should do or get too hung up on what your friends or family are doing. Certainly be guided by those who care about you, but sometimes, these people who know us best have misguided views about what career would suit. I know that from first-hand experience!

Do: work out what you’re good at. It doesn’t have to be focused on ‘your passion or doing what you love’ – it’s more about working out what you enjoy doing or are good at and moulding a career around that. Think about using your strengths as a starting point. Maybe you want to work in events but you’re creative and not very detail oriented – an event management role may not be right for you, however, you could look at other areas such as event theming, design, production etc.

Don’t: cave to pressure from parents to follow in their footsteps or do something that they consider ‘safe’. Someone close to me wanted to study art after leaving school but was pressured by his parents to study law instead as a more stable career. He never enjoyed his work and it took him almost 20 years to go back to university and study art and design – he now has an extremely successful and thriving business that he is absolutely passionate about.

Do: research your career. Another friend of mine chose a degree later in life and found it really hard to actually get a job once she’d finished studying. The area was fairly new and experiencing some growth but was still quite niche – and it was a popular choice for school leavers. So while she was in her 40s wanting to get into this new area, there were rafts of younger graduates taking the few jobs that were available. In this instance youth was considered more favourable than life experience and that’s something she hadn’t ever considered.

Don’t: ignore your personality because these traits are ingrained in us to make us the unique person we are. It’s what makes one person better suited to a particular occupation or career than the next. Often taking a personality profile test can be a big help.

Do: consider location. Are you a city or rural person? These days, location is becoming less important, however some careers just aren’t viable in rural areas. Likewise, there aren’t many farmers in the Sydney CBD! If you really love where you live and aren’t open to relocating, make sure there are opportunities available in your chosen career.

Choosing a career no longer needs to be a lifetime commitment – you can always head down another path later. But always do your research up front – about yourself, your personality traits, your interests, and where the field you’re interested in is heading.

Would you like assistance choosing a career that’s right for you? If so please see our Career Guidance and Coaching Services.

How to Handle Difficult Colleagues

Article by Belinda Fuller

How.to.Handle.Difficult.ColleaguesMost of us have experienced that colleague who makes our life difficult. This can be the cause of much angst and it may be difficult to not let that concern spill over into your personal life. It’s a situation that may be difficult to not get down about, however with a few key strategies you might finally be able to do just that.

TIP # 1: Don’t Lose your Temper – this does two things, it puts you in control and limits potential for the situation to escalate out of control. This may be easier said than done – but remember you are not the difficult person here – maintain composure and try not to react negatively.

TIP # 2: Walk Away – if you feel upset, angry or emotional, take some time before responding. Deep breathes can help. Or you may feel the need to walk away – just say “I will have to come back to you on that” – then leave the situation entirely to give yourself some time to strategise your next step.

TIP # 3: Don’t Waste Time – sometimes it is best just to let go. Convincing someone who is intrinsically negative or arguing the point to someone with a closed mind often just isn’t worth the hassle. Unless it is something really important at stake, be diplomatic then distance yourself from the comment or decision if it will have an impact on you personally – after you’ve done that, simply let it go.

TIP # 4: Act Proactively – try to pre-empt situations or activities that will create friction and then work to minimise them wherever you can.

TIP # 5: Pick Your Battles – for those of you with children, you’ll be familiar with this one! Some things just aren’t worth arguing about – because there will be something bigger and more important to debate just around the corner. Confrontation is draining – save yourself some time and energy by picking the important points to pursue and make sure the ultimate outcome is worth the effort.

TIP # 6: Don’t Be Bullied – bullying in the workplace is unacceptable so never be afraid to report truly bad behaviour. Stand up for yourself by telling the person that their behaviour is unacceptable. Be specific about what they’ve done. Situations that need to be quickly addressed include any instance where you feel physically, mentally or socially threatened.

Understand that there are times in the workplace where your colleague may be under undue pressure and act in a way that isn’t normal. Ask yourself if you are being overly sensitive or perhaps you’ve misinterpreted their actions. But don’t hesitate if that’s not the case, don’t take the blame and don’t respond in an aggressive way that is going to inflame or escalate the situation. Use some of the strategies mentioned above or have a confidential discussion with a senior person or member of HR that you trust.

Would you like some help with your career? If so, we can offer a variety of services including career counselling, executive career coaching, resume and selection criteria writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, interview coaching, job search coaching, and MBTI personality profiling.

How to Tap the Hidden Job Market

Article by Belinda Fuller

How.to.Tap.the.Hidden.Job.MarketWe often get asked about the hidden job market by our clients. Everyone wants to know the ins and outs of where to find it, how to leverage it and what to actually do to find their dream job. The hidden job market can be defined as all those jobs that are never actually advertised in the traditional way (such as through an online job site, via the company’s own website, or in hard copy format like a newspaper ad).

The reality these days with social media, online networking and our generally ‘connected’ world, means that companies simply don’t need to advertise every role on offer. Many companies still outsource their recruitment to specialist recruitment firms, but these firms are also now using other less traditional strategies to source candidates.

So what can you do to find this market and how do you take advantage of it? You need to be known to somebody in order to be discovered as the ideal candidate for a specific role. There are a number of ideas here to get you started – in no particular order of importance:

1. Establish a LinkedIn Profile: recruiters regularly review LinkedIn Profiles and conduct searches to find previously unknown candidates – so make sure your profile is up to date and includes relevant information and keywords, as well as a current, professional photo. Include as much detail as you can across as many sections as possible. This ensures a comprehensive view of you, as well as additional opportunities to connect with others. Use LinkedIn to research recruitment consultants and HR managers from companies you’d like to target. Join relevant groups, follow companies you’d like to work for, and connect with others in your industry. It’s not only an important job search and networking tool, but an essential resource that enables you to further develop your brand and reputation.

2. Identify Relevant Recruitment Consultants: identify recruiters that specialise in your area of expertise. Develop a great resume and cover letter and target them with your information. Make sure you include detail about the kind of value you can add to an organisation – without a job to target it can be hard to know what to focus on so make your content punchy and relevant to the types of roles you are seeking.

3. Engage in Traditional Networking: don’t ignore traditional networking in favour of social and online networking. You should still maintain contact with industry experts and others in your area – think about who you know and who you could connect with, then let them know you are seeking new opportunities. Determine different ways you could connect with people in your industry in addition to LinkedIn and use them – phone calls, emails, Facebook, face to face catch ups, relevant professional associations and groups, seminars and industry events, as well as other online networking groups etc.

4. Identify Potential Referrers: many companies prefer to recruit through existing employee recommendations. Think about specific companies you’d like to work for then research and network with others in your industry who may work there. Ask friends and family to keep an eye out for you as well, so you’re top of mind when a potential opportunity arises.

A systematic and consistent approach to staying in touch with a broader network will maximise your chance of success. Remember, there are many aspects to securing your next opportunity and if you’re finding it tough – you are not alone.

If you would like assistance from a LinkedIn Profile Writer to develop your LinkedIn Profile and help provide access to the hidden job market, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

If you are an employer and would like to assist employees through redundancy to secure a new role, please see our Outplacement Services.

Bid Farewell to the 9 to 5 Grind

Article by Belinda Fuller

Bid.Farewell.to.the.9.to.5.GrindAlmost 20 years ago now as a young Marketing Manager, I was lucky enough to have a very forward thinking boss who recognised my new commute was going to be around three hours a day. He suggested I establish a home office to work from two days a week, since he thought I might eventually leave. It was a great strategy from his perspective because I stayed for several years and much of my commitment stemmed from that time spent at home. I was also more productive in my home office and he recognised the time away from the office helped me focus on the bigger picture and get things done that I may not have had time for otherwise. My boss was satisfied with the results I achieved and didn’t focus on how much time I spent behind my ‘traditional desk’.

While many companies today have embraced flexible work environments that include working from home, flexible hours of work, increased leave, time off for family commitments, part-time work, and job sharing, there are many more that haven’t.

Recent research however, is confirming that flexibility with work environment and hours, combined with allowing employees more autonomy to get on with their job achieves a happier, healthier, and more productive team in the long run.

But how can you go about achieving this if your organisation doesn’t have an existing policy? The Australian government has a site that provides tips on how you can get started. Click here for more information on negotiating flexible work arrangements with your employer. To summarise, you need to:

  1. Decide what might be appropriate – remember to consider your needs as well as your employers;
  2. Put together a proposal outlining your desired flexibility and how you will manage your workload. You could consider implementing some easy strategies first and working towards a trial period rather than an ‘all or nothing’ approach up front;
  3. Discuss the plan with your employer making sure to address some added benefits they might see as well as addressing your needs in changing your work arrangements;
  4. Remain open and flexible – your employer might not be 100% receptive in the beginning, especially if this flexibility hasn’t been available before. Be open to their ideas and listen to their concerns – that way you may be able to go away and come up with an alternative.

With flexibility in your work arrangements, there often comes added pressure – responsibility to complete your work on time and to a high standard without the constraints of having to work set hours in an established environment. Consider if your personality will really suit this approach before you go down this path. It can also be very rewarding though, with more time to do some of the things you enjoy or spend quality time with your family.

Would you like some help with your career? If so, we can offer a variety of services including career advice, executive career coaching, resume and selection criteria writing, LinkedIn Profile Writing, interview coaching, job search coaching, and MBTI personality profiling.

It’s All So Ovibuos! Resume Mistakes You Need to Fix

Article by Belinda Fuller

It’s All So Ovibuos! Resume Mistakes You Need to FixAs a team here at Katie Roberts Career Consulting, all of us consultants have been heavily involved in recruitment of some kind throughout our careers. Either as managers directly recruiting team members or as recruiters sourcing people on behalf of clients. Collectively, we’ve seen tens of thousands of resumes applying for diverse roles across almost every imaginable industry. 

As a Resume Writer, I’ve personally reviewed and advised on almost 1,000 Resumes in the past six years alone. Most of the Resumes I review aren’t great – after all, clients have come to us for assistance and advice because they recognise their current approach is not working. That said, we do see the same mistakes over and over again – mostly focused on typos, relevance, grammar, and formatting.

•  Let’s start with Typos – it seems obvious but typos are a recruiter’s number one complaint. Anecdotal evidence indicates up to 60% of resumes contain typos. This often happens to those people tweaking their resumes frequently to match the requirements of different roles. Going back over your content time and time again to fine tune it makes you open to errors that you may not pick up in the rush to submit your application. While we always recommend taking the extra time to tailor your content to suit the role, it is important to also proof read your document carefully. It might sound strange but reading your document out aloud can help – and printing it out and reading it from a hard copy rather than the screen can also help. Having someone else review your document is ideal, but make sure they are detail oriented good spellers!

•  Relevance – over time, some content may become less relevant to the roles you are applying for today, or perhaps the content is simply dated. It is a good idea when adding recent roles to reduce detail under older roles. Your Resume needs to convey the most important information about you and your past experience to get you in the door but without becoming too long. You should ensure the content fits a maximum of three or four pages and make every word count to convince the recruiter you deserve an interview. It is much harder to write less than more – short, sharp succinct content takes time and effort to achieve but will achieve better results for you in the end.

•  Grammar – another area where mistakes can appear over time when content is regularly reviewed. Grammatical errors occur when you start to speak in past and present tense and first and second person. This is particularly important to pay attention to because it can make your Resume extremely difficult for a recruiter to read. Try to stick to past tense when describing past experience and achievements; with present tense for current employment. There is no need to use I, we, or other first person references because your document is already about you – the recruiter knows this and repeating it unnecessarily will just clutter your document.

•  Formatting – unless you’re applying for a job as a designer or artist, your focus should be on creating clean, clear content in an attractive but simple format. Complex borders, columns and tables make Resumes look clunky and outdated and should be avoided. Use white space, bullet points and sub-headings to highlight and separate out sections.

The fact that so many Resumes contain errors means that if yours doesn’t you will stand out. Remember, your Resume is not meant to get you the job – that’s up to you during the interview. Make your content count by ensuring it’s short, sharp, relevant and error free for the best chance of success. 

Are you interested in some assistance from a Professional CV Writer to prepare a winning Resume for your next job application? If so, please see our Resume Writing Services.

Interview Questions You Need to Prepare For

Article by Belinda Fuller

Interview Questions You Need to Prepare ForEven for the most confident and fearless individuals, job interviews can be terrifying. In order to have the best chance of success, many candidates prepare answers to long lists of questions they perceive as being challenging to answer. One issue with this approach is that it can be difficult to predict exactly what line of questioning a recruiter will take and the process may leave you feeling more anxious with long lists of questions and answers that you’ve tried hard to memorise. Worse still, you could end up sounding false and/or over prepared in the interview.

A great way to prepare for an interview is to think about the following three key areas and then try to relate each question back to them:

What are the skills and experience required to excel in the role? By thinking about this question and relating your own expertise back to it, you can answer many questions fired at you. Identify all the technical or specialist skills, qualifications and experience you need as well as the ‘soft’ or generic skills required – areas such as communication, leadership, teamwork, flexibility, and initiative. Once you have prepared for this question you can more succinctly answer many standard questions without going off on a tangent. Questions such as tell me about yourself, why should we hire you, what can you offer us that other candidates can’t, and what challenges might you face in the role, all relate back to the skills and expertise you possess to ensure success in the role.

What is the company, industry and market going through? Finding out as much as you can about the company and its industry in general will help you demonstrate enthusiasm and interest. Having an understanding of the company’s market position, strategy, where it’s headed, current industry and economic influences etc. will help you to answer the obvious questions like what do you know about the company and why do you want to work here, but will also help with more difficult questions such as how your ambitions fit with the company’s, where you see the company heading/succeeding, what challenges you think the company or industry is facing, and why you think the role is a good fit for you.

What is the company culture? Whether or not you are a good cultural fit is a key area of focus for recruiters because many candidates are a perfect fit in terms of qualifications, background and experience, however their personality and/or work style will preclude them from succeeding. Every company has their own unique way of working – establishing this cultural fit with candidates is an important part of the overall recruitment process. As a candidate, it can be difficult to determine the detail behind a company’s culture, but it helps to talk to other employees (past and present) if you can. If you’re applying for a job through a recruitment company, talk to the recruiter before interviewing with the client – they should be able to help. If all else fails, you can research online. A specific site that might help is a site called Glassdoor where employees provide reviews of what it’s like to work for certain companies – of course the data is only as good as the people contributing and it is largely opinion based, so take it in the context it’s provided and don’t assume 100% accuracy. Once you have an understanding of the company’s culture you’ll be able to answer questions that focus on your work style, how you’d describe yourself, how your colleagues or superiors would describe you, and what makes you an ideal candidate for the role.

Of course, interviews are two-way and while the interviewer needs to determine if you are right for the company, you should also assess whether the company is right for you. Prepare questions focused on the same key areas – ask about training and development opportunities and how you could improve your skills and expertise, discuss recent company news or events, the department’s direction and how that fits with the company strategy, and ask why the incumbent is leaving the role OR for a newly created role, where has the work come from? Feeling confident and in control is all about preparation, so do as much as you can.

Do you struggle with nerves or knowing how to answer questions in interviews? If you would like assistance with preparing for a job interview, see our Interview Skills Training and Coaching Service.

How to Approach Your Manager for a Promotion or Pay Rise

Article by Belinda Fuller

How to Approach Your Manager for a Promotion or Pay RiseThis process is ideally an ongoing process right throughout your career. The strategy for achieving a new title or pay rise relies largely on you building a strong case to demonstrate why you deserve it. This case needs proof – which means you need a strategy. The best time to raise the conversation is during a formal one-on-one performance review or during your annual appraisal. However, if your company doesn’t hold regular reviews/appraisals, you should ask for an opportunity to present your case.

Here some simple steps to follow: 

Step 1 – Record Your Successes – continually strive for excellence and the achievement of goals in your role; then maintain an ongoing and up to date file of your work achievements. This should include formal performance evaluations, customer thank you or commendation letters and awards, but could also include details of other minor wins along the way. Casual comments from colleagues, superiors and customers could be included, as well as details of new systems or processes you implemented or initiated, and tangible successes and achievements such as productivity improvements, new customer wins, revenue and/or profit gains.

Step 2 – Develop Your Strategy – review your success file before developing a proposal or business case to present to your manager. Your proposal should detail your achievements and showcase skills like leadership, company knowledge, teamwork, and innovation. Research current market trends in terms of salary so you know what a fair reward for your efforts is. It’s also a good idea to practice what you’re actually going to say – write a brief script and always try to quantify your achievements where possible. Don’t be afraid to bring notes to your meeting so you can reference specifics without getting flustered.

Step 3 – Maintain a Professional Approach – have the information on hand in order to answer questions and delve into more detail if you’re asked. Try to relax and present a confident, businesslike approach (preparation will help here). Respond to your manager’s questions and comments in as much detail as necessary. Acknowledge positive feedback and try not to disagree with any negative feedback – instead use this as an opportunity to gain input into what you could have done better. After presenting your facts, ask for your pay rise or promotion outright. State what you feel you deserve based on your achievements and successes.

Step 4 – Accept the Outcome – with a positive attitude regardless of result. If your request is rejected, take the opportunity to ask for feedback on areas that are lacking and specifics on how you can prepare for a possible future pay rise or promotion.

The subjects of promotions and/or pay rises can be difficult for many people to broach, however preparation and a professional approach will ensure the best possible outcome. This shouldn’t be a one off or irregular event though – review your career status and progress against goals on a regular basis and ideally take some time to assess where you’re at and where you’d like to be every 12-18 months.

Would you like help developing a career strategy that puts you on the right trajectory for success? If so, please click here to view our Career Guidance and Coaching Services.

13 Mistakes to Avoid on LinkedIn

Article by Belinda Fuller

13.Mistakes.to.Avoid.on.LinkedInLinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network being used in ever increasing numbers by recruiters to source suitable candidates. With over 300 million worldwide members and 50 million across Asia Pacific, it is essential that your profile not only stands out, but that it follows the rules in terms of relevance. Your LinkedIn profile is often a recruiter’s first impression of you, but many people are still making lots of mistakes.

So what are the biggest mistakes we see?

  1. No Summary – you’ve listed your previous roles but haven’t provided a summary. This is a big mistake. The summary provides a great opportunity  to capture the reader’s attention and show them why you’re good at what you do. Don’t just repeat your Resume, create a short, sharp summary of you – start from scratch and mention the important points – the ones that matter most in helping you get to where you want to go.
  2. Not Including Enough Detail – a bare bones profile won’t cut it in today’s job market. List all your previous roles with detail about what you did. While there is no need to list every responsibility or task under each role, a brief description of the results you achieved is important. Also, LinkedIn provides sections for much more information than a Resume – take advantage of these and add information wherever applicable. Don’t forget to optimise your profile with keywords to make it easier for people to find you.
  3. Not Including a Photo – a professional profile photo will significantly improve your chances of being viewed. Since this is often the first impression people get of you, make it count. Spend the money on a professional photo if need be, but just make sure it’s a good clear shot of just you, your head and shoulders, preferably taken against a white or plain background and in professional attire.
  4. Talking in the Third Person – it’s your profile so own it. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a cover letter – you would usually open with a first person statement like “I wish to apply for this position because I have blah blah….”. Writing your LinkedIn profile in the third person is not a good idea since the reader is less likely to connect with you.
  5. Being Too Formal – it’s a professional networking tool, so your profile content should be professional, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy or formal. Inject some personality so the reader gets a feel for who you are as a person.
  6. Not Taking Advantage of the Headline – the content within the LinkedIn headline section defaults to your current or most recent role. BUT you can customise this to anything you like. We always recommend a customised headline – make it descriptive, use up all the characters and tell people what you’re capable of. Remember this headline (combined with your photo) provides the very first impression people have of you.
  7. Not Personalising Your Connection Messages – never just send out the standard ‘I’d like to add you……..’ message. Take the time to personalise your message to remind the person how you know them or let them know why you want to connect.
  8. Not Connecting With People – you may be amazed at just how many people you know on LinkedIn. Seek them out and connect with them and try not to wait until you need something. You should constantly build your network – adding and accepting connections from people you know professionally or personally.
  9. Not Using a Vanity URL – the automated personal URL created when you set up your profile usually includes a combination of your name with lots of letters and numbers at the end. Take advantage of the vanity URL and change it to the best version of your first and last name as possible.
  10. Using it as a Resume – your LinkedIn profile should be more personal, more intimate and less formal than your Resume. It also contains additional information that your Resume may not. It’s a great resource to apply for jobs posted through LinkedIn but should never replace your Resume. Most companies still want to review your Resume which is why your LinkedIn profile should provide slightly different content.
  11. Failing to Create a Brand – not thinking about who your target market is will diminish the value you achieve. Think about your ultimate goals for your LinkedIn profile, who you’re trying to reach or influence and what they are most interested in. How do you want to be perceived? Are you seeking employment or do you want to build connections to help your business grow?
  12. Not Using Keywords – the use of keywords right throughout your profile is essential if you want to be found by people who don’t already know your name. Think about the words and phrases that relate to you and your career and make sure you populate your profile with them – put them in your headline, summary, individual role summaries, skills and endorsements, projects – everywhere you can. Make sure your profile is optimised for people conducting searches and make those phrases count!
  13. Not Asking for Recommendations – recommendations are the modern day version of a written reference. Most of us have at least a few people in our professional world who will say good things about our work. However, you need to ask those people for a recommendation. Approach your contact with a goal in mind – so tell them what you’re after in terms of the skills or expertise you’d like them to highlight – be specific and most people will oblige. In my experience people don’t write recommendations without being asked, but if you ask the right person, they’re usually more than happy to do it.

LinkedIn is a valuable professional networking tool that has a raft of features and benefits that you need to be taking advantage of in order to achieve the best results.

Do you have trouble networking? Are you lacking a good quality LinkedIn profile to help you find and connect with like-minded industry experts or maximise your job search? If you would like a LinkedIn Profile Writer to help you create a professional, keyword optimised LinkedIn profile that highlights your strengths and achievements and sets you apart from your competitors, please see our LinkedIn Profile Writing service.

9 Useful Online Resources for Job Hunters

Article by Belinda Fuller

9 Useful Online Resources for Job HuntersJob hunting can be a daunting and demoralising experience. It’s a tough market in Australia at the moment and applying for jobs without hearing anything back can put a dent in even the most positive person’s confidence. There are a raft of online and digital resources out there to help, but how do you make sense of them all and what are they all used for? This article contains a list of recommended resources with a brief summary on what they’re useful for.

Our number one tip for job seekers is to do your research. Research the role you are seeking to achieve, gain an in depth understanding of the requirements of that role in terms of qualifications, skills and experience, and know the keywords used by employers. Without a keyword optimised application you may not achieve the success you deserve. Some of the many resources we use to help clients include:

1.  www.katieroberts.com.au/career-advice-blog – our own blog contains a raft of articles with diverse career advice, tips and tricks; as well as up to date job market news. It contains articles on diverse topics from searching for a job, to writing your application and preparing for interviews.

2.  www.myfuture.edu.au – a comprehensive national career information system that helps you identify different career options by analysing your skills, interests, values and aspirations. It is a great resource for people of all ages, at any stage in their career – from those just starting out to older people seeking new directions. It also provides detailed descriptions of different careers, comprehensive study and training options, advice for people re-entering the workforce after a break, and assistance for mature age workers and people with specific needs. NOTE: The government has announced that funding to this website will cease as of June, 2015.

3.  www.seek.com.au – in addition to listing open positions all around Australia, as well as many countries around the world, Seek provides separate sections on courses, volunteering opportunities and businesses for sale. You can quickly and easily set up job alerts to ensure you don’t miss any viable opportunities and you also have the option to establish a personal profile which can be viewed by potential employers who then make contact with you. I also recommend that clients use Seek as their personal online career database – it’s a great tool to help you clarify many aspects of your job search – use it to understand what roles are being advertised where, identify keywords and transferable skills, clarify required qualifications, pinpoint companies and industries that may currently be advertising, and access current salary information.

4.  www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au – this site contains a wealth of information on a range of occupations, as well as their education and training pathways. It contains information on around 1500 occupations which can be narrowed down to specialisations and alternative jobs using the search functionality. It also provides valuable tools to help young people explore different career options and make subject choices while still at school.

5.  www.careerone.com.au – this site lets you browse jobs in a variety of ways and offers a range of career advice, time saving and job hunting tips under the career advice section. It can be used in a similar way to Seek to better understand your different career options.

6.  www.google.com – using Google can often turn up many helpful links to industry specific information and relevant keywords. There are so many resources on training and career advice available at a national, state and local level. It’s worth spending some time researching to find out what’s available to you in your particular area.

7.  www.moocs.co – this is one of many sites offering Moocs (Massive Open Online Courses) – and not specific for Australian job searchers. A Mooc is a relatively new concept offering free online courses available to anyone. It’s a great concept if you don’t want to commit to a long term study or would like to ‘try before you buy’. Most courses are structured in a similar way to paid online courses in terms of the teaching and learning methods – where video, group chat, assignment and tests are all included – but they do not generally provide academic credit for use in other traditional courses, nor will you have much (if any) interaction with the lecturer. An Australian specific site that is also great in this area is the Hobsons Course Finder.

8.  www.business.gov.au  if you are considering setting up your own consultancy or business, this site provides all the information you need on starting and registering your business; taxation, financial and insurance information; general business planning advice; information on employing people; available grants and assistance; and a vast array of other useful facts.

9.  www.flyingsolo.com.au – another one for people considering starting their own business. This is an especially great forum for solo or micro businesses and provides loads of tips and advice on going it alone.

Are you searching for the right career but unsure which path to take? Are you struggling to make sense of all the career resources out there? Perhaps you are confused about which course to study?

If you would like a Career Coach to help you develop a comprehensive job search plan or career strategy, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services which can be provided over the phone or in person in locations across Australia.

Where to From Here?

Article by Belinda Fuller

Where to From HereEach year, the Department of Employment produces employment projections by industry, occupation and region for the next five years ahead. These projections look at Australia’s future labour market and are interesting for students leaving school this year and heading into the world of study, but also for anyone keen to maintain their skills and knowledge to move into different career areas should the need arise. What careers are likely to be in most demand by 2018 and where is demand shrinking?

While a crystal ball would help us predict the hot spots, projections based on detailed Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employment data from 2013 indicate strong growth in certain sectors. Of course unforseen economic, natural or other situations or disasters could occur between now and then which may result in these projections shifting slightly or significantly, however they give us a good place to start.

In summary, The Department of Employment projects employment to grow by 7.2% over five years to November 2018 with 16 of the 19 broad industries predicted to grow. However, of these 16 industries, many will experience only slight growth and declines in employment have been projected for Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. There are five top industries which are projected to provide more than two thirds of the anticipated employment growth.

So what are the industries to watch?

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance is projected to make the largest contribution with one quarter of the projected total employment growth (increasing by 229,400 or 16.3%);
  2. Education and Training is second (118,800 or 13.3%);
  3. Retail Trade is third (98,200 or 7.8%);
  4. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services is fourth (88,700); and
  5. Construction is fifth (83,500).

What’s driving the growth?

Many factors contribute to (and impact) this strong projected growth including (for Health Care and Social Assistance), the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population, and the increasing demand for childcare and home based care services.

For employment in Education and Training, projected growth will be driven by above average growth in the school aged population and continuing growth in part-time workers and non-teaching staff. Retail industry growth reflects recent increases in consumer confidence and the ongoing support of historically low interest rates.

So What Does it All Mean?

A tough or shrinking market doesn’t mean the end of your career or long term unemployment. It’s all about survival of the fittest. Whatever field you work in, it is essential that you understand how your industry is performing – both locally and globally. Then, it is always important to remain flexible and optimistic since industries, careers and jobs are changing constantly. The people who are successful embrace the changes we are experiencing and use any setbacks as a way to learn. Everyone can benefit from diversifying their skills and knowledge or learning about new areas.

We wrote a relevant article this time last year. Now might be a good time to go back and read this article about future proofing your career. Future-proofing your career means many things – primarily the need to constantly listen, learn and plan. It might include studying a different field, taking on part-time jobs or volunteering to learn new skills, going freelance or starting your own business.

Are you worried about long term career viability? If you would like a Career Coach to help you evaluate how to maximise your career opportunities for the future, please see our Career Counselling and Coaching Services.

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