Career Counselling

Mental Health In Career Development – Guidance for Career Development Practitioners

    Posted in Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Mental Health    |    No Comments
Let's Talk Mental Health In Career Development - Raising Career Development Practitioner Awareness

Let’s Talk Mental Health In Career Development – Raising Career Development Practitioner Awareness

In early 2017, one proposed as a then sitting member of the CDAA NSW Committee a webinar entitled Mental Health in Career Development.

Drawing on ones’ experiences and qualifications as a nationally registered Counsellor, as well as conducting extensive research with individuals with diagnosed mental health conditions in ones’ local region, together with research from various journals and articles one developed a comprehensive and meaningful webinar outlining: –

  • Mental Health in the Career Development Industry – A need to understand the fundamentals
  • What is a Mental Health Disorder or Illness
  • Top 3 Mental health Conditions in Australia including definitions, statistics, risk factors, signs and symptoms
  • Role of Stress
  • Our role as Career Development Practitioners – Best Practice
  • Impact of Mental Health Conditions on an individuals’ career – what to look out for
  • Tips and strategies from individuals with Mental Health Conditions
  • Mental Health Signs and symptoms forms for adults and minors
  • Resources and Referral Information

As a Career Development Practitioner, it is not our job to diagnose a client with a mental health condition, that is the role of the clients’ doctor, specialists and/or mental health practitioners.  However, as Career Development Practitioners we do have a duty of care to all clients to ensure that no additional harm is done to our clients whilst they are utilising our services; and to ensure that we act ethically with respect to the administration of psychometric instrumentation.

Thus, it is ones’ opinion that it is important for all individuals in the Career Development industry to understand the fundamentals of Mental Health in order to effectively facilitate our clients, identify signs and symptoms of Mental Health Conditions, to know when and how to refer clients to ensure due diligence is carried out and that career strategies engaged are effective, meaningful and ethical in accordance with the needs of the client, industry guidelines and regulations.

In fact, one would go so far as to state that tertiary providers should incorporate fundamental Mental Health modules into their Career Development courses to ensure that all graduating practitioners have a basic understanding prior to entering the workforce or commencing their own private practice.

Well Katherine, that’s a very interesting perspective but it doesn’t affect me or my organisation!

Well, one is here to challenge you and to say Think Again!

The Medical Journal of Australia (Aug 09), Mindframes and the Black Dog Institute identifies the Top 3 Mental Health Conditions in Australia to be:- Read More


Counselling Careers – Employment Opportunities and Trends

    Posted in Accreditations, Certifications, Clearances, Affiliations and Development, Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Planning, Counselling Education and Development, Job Search, Labour Market Analysis, Mentoring - Career, Personal Counselling, Professional Counselling    |    No Comments
Considering a Career in Counselling, find out about employment trends, remuneration (pay) rates and where the jobs are in Australia.

Considering a Career in Counselling? Find out about Counselling employment trends, remuneration (pay) rates and where the jobs are in Australia.

Earlier this year, one was approached by the Australia Counselling Association (ACA) to produce a range of employment related data for new and existing Counsellors focusing on Counselling trends and employment opportunities.

At the time one spent over 40 hours researching and compiling national employment trend and labour market statistics to produce responses to 15 questions and of ones own accord designed and presented a PowerPoint presentation to complement the QnA. The three slides in this PowerPoint presentation are outlined below for your reference:-

  • Employment Opportunities by AQF Level
  • Remuneration Scales by AQF Level
  • Where are the Jobs?
Counsellling Employment Opportunities by AQF Level

Employment Opportunities by AQF Level – Find out what direct and alternative employment, job, opportunities are available with your Australian qualification – Copyright – Blu Ripples Career Counselling and Consulting Services 2018

 

Counselling Remuneration Scales by AQF Level

Remuneration Scales by AQF Level – How much can I make in Counselling industry – find out from Diploma through to Doctorate level qualifications – Copyright – Blu Ripples Career Counselling and Consulting Services 2018

Where are the Jobs - Counselling Careers

Where are the Jobs – A quick reference guide to finding Counselling roles in the Australian Labour Market; Copyright – Blu Ripples Career Counselling and Consulting Services 2018

Together with responses to 15 written questions which would form the basis of a webinar-video interview where one was interviewed by the ACA Liaison Officer.

Whilst the above video interview and documentation was produced and received positive feedback from the ACA Liaison Officer one was recently told, that the ACA would not be using this research and data as they were now focusing on individuals seeking to establish private practice.

Given the vast amount of time, research and work that went into this project one perceives this to be a waste not to share this information with individuals seeking to explore a Career in Counselling and/or for new and existing Counsellors whom seek to establish their professional baselines and identify potential employment and growth opportunities within the counselling industry.

Employment and Labour Market Analysis

Upon reviewing the above you will note the first slide – Employment Opportunities by AQF Level highlights a range of direct and indirect pathways for individuals with either: –

  • Diploma
  • Bachelor
  • Post Graduate
  • Masters; or
  • Doctorate

level qualification.

Whilst ideally most graduates would like to work in the industry as an employee or private practitioner there are no guarantees that this will occur and thus one has included examples of occupations (jobs) with a direct or alternate pathway based on academic learnings and key transferable skills.  For example, a common alternate pathway for counselling and psychology graduate is Human Resources as there are a number of roles that you can apply your skills to including Organisational Development, Learning and Development, Recruitment and Selection just to name a few.  Thus, if you are struggling to find a “Counselling” position utilise this slide and think outside the square a little and consider alternatives.

Finally, with respect to this slide and the Remuneration Scales by AQF Level for those of you who are unsure as to the definition of AQF it refers to the Australian Qualification Framework.  The AQF commences at Level 1 – Certificate 1 and advances systematically to a Level 10 – Doctorate qualification.

For additional information pertaining to AQF Levels please click here

Counselling Questions and Answers – Exploring Counselling as a Profession

For those who would be interested to read the 15 questions one responded to with respect to the ACA’s questions pertaining to employment trends.  Please click on the link below: –

Exploring Counselling as a Profession

Please note additional information was provided in a 30-minute video when the ACA Industry Liaison Officer interviewed Katherine earlier this year, however permission for the ACA to utilise this video has now been withdrawn by the author.

In closing, if you are: –

  • Considering a career in Counselling
  • A new or experienced Counsellor seeking career development guidance; and/or
  • Seeking a specialist Career Counselling or development referral for your client or employee
  • Are seeking employment opportunities, trend and remuneration information in an alternative industry or occupation; and/or
  • Would like a copy of the aforementioned PowerPoint slides e-mailed to you

please do not hesitate to contact the Katherine on 1300 300 557 or alternatively via info@bluripples.com.au

About the Author: – Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Exploring Counselling as a Profession

    Posted in Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Job Search, Mentoring - Career, Personal Counselling, Personality Profiling, Professional Counselling    |    No Comments
Considering Counselling as a profession - want to know more read these 15 Questions and Answers for industry insight, hints and tips from a professional counsellor and career development specailist

Considering Counselling as a profession – want to know more read these 15 Questions and Answers for industry insight, hints and tips from a professional counsellor and career development specialist.

As outlined in ones post “Counselling Careers – Employment Opportunities and Trends of even date, one was approached by the ACA (Australian Counselling Association) earlier this year to draw on ones specialist Career Development skills, qualifications and experience (15 years) and 9 years generalist Counselling experience for a video interview and supporting magazine article.

Supporting this interview and intended magazine article were the responses to 15 questions posed by the ACA, to which one responded by utilising conversational English to ensure ones message met the needs of a diverse target base.

The ACA has recently decided it does not want to use this valuable information; However one perceives this is highly valuable information for those considering a career in Counselling, recent graduates and seasoned professional whom may be seeking career guidance and development strategies.

Thus please find below 15 Questions and Answers to help you explore Counselling as a profession.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  1. Are there jobs out there for Registered Counsellors? Is there competition?

YES, there are jobs out there for Registered Counsellors; however, what you need to determine is how flexible you are in relation to the positions that you will undertake in terms of title, location, responsibilities and remuneration structure.

To help you scope out positions available to you at various educational levels, one has compiled a PowerPoint Presentation to highlight same.  Keeping in mind that Diploma and Degree level qualifications are seen as the foundation of your knowledge and will provide you with an entry level position to build your skills, knowledge and experience whereas that Post Graduate, Masters’ and PHD level qualifications are viewed as your area of specialisation, building upon your existing acumen and skills set after a period of experience in the real world.

The second part of this question pertains to competition and Yes just like any other area of your life there is always competition.  Competition is something that you will never escape so you need to be comfortable with the term, identify your unique selling points, understand at a core level who you are, what you want and do not want, establish a career development plan with realistic goals and small steps to achieve your goals and consistently work on your craft through continued education for the rest of your career.

2.  Does ACA Membership assist with securing employment, and how so?

Yes, your ACA Membership can assist you with securing employment in a number of ways.
3 Key ways include: –

Accessing the ACA’s Career Centre (link on the website’s home page) which provides a national job search engine for all registered members.  Simply add in your preferred job location, specialisations and work type preferences hit search jobs and all relevant positions matching your criterion will pop up.

ACA Memberships plays a key role in securing employment; that is many advertised position will list as part of their essential or desirable criterion an affiliation requirement.  Thus, when a prospective employer is culling applications they are searching for a candidate that meets a minimum 75% of their criterion and will conduct a skills matrix to compare and contrast candidates.

ACA Networking – Your ACA membership provides you with the opportunity to network with industry contemporaries  though chapter meetings, events or professional networking sites such as LinkedIn which facilitates in securing employment opportunities in the hidden job market which equates to 80-85% of all positions.

3.  What is the employment outlook for Counselling in Australia?

The  Australian Government identifies that the Counselling industry over the last 5 years has experienced very strong growth which is predicted to continue over the next 5 years (until May 2020).

It is important to realise that all employment sectors have periods of growth, decline and regeneration however what you need to look at in detail is the employment cycle over a period of time to determine if the industry is viable, where the jobs are, average remuneration structures etc.

Looking back on historical data it is noted that in 2007 there were 18,000 workers in the industry, in 2010 it peaked at 26,000 with a significant decline in 2011 to 13,200.  Since 2011, the industry has consistently grown each year and in 2017 the figures reached 23,500 workers.

Thus, taking into account the natural peaks and troughs over the past 10 year one notes that the employment outlook is growing; which means that opportunities are been created through individuals leaving the industry as well as new positions been generated within the existing organisations.

4.  How often are Counsellors earning per week, on average?

There are a number of factors that determine a remuneration structure including but not limited to: –

  • Location (national vs global, intrastate vs interstate, region vs region)
  • Qualification level
  • Employment status preference i.e. F/T, P/T, Casual
  • Skills and experience
  • Labour market demands
  • Role
  • Employment Sector

As a general rule of thumb, the average national gross income for a

  • Diploma qualified Counsellor the average is $928.84 (48K pa)
  • Degree qualified Counsellor is $1,330.00 per week (69K pa)
  • Post Graduate or higher qualifications remuneration structures generally commerce at around $90-$95K+ excluding salary packaging components dependent on your specialisation, experiences, skills set, sector you are entering, your influencing and negotiation skills set at point of remuneration negotiation within the recruitment and selection process.

5. What do these figures in earnings and employment outlook tell us about the industry of counselling?

Analysing the above data and labour market information in general the key notations are:-

  • Counselling is a growth industry and will continue grow over the next 5 years
  • There is a direct correlation between your AFQ level and your remuneration structure – for each AFQ level you obtain your salary will on average increase by $21K pa
  • Employment opportunities are strongest on the Eastern seaboard with NSW been the strongest employer
  • P/T work is common although more than half of the workforce is engaged on a f/t basis – thus there is a need to develop a Portfolio Career
  • Average hours worked per week is 37.1 and average age of a Counsellor is 46 years
  • 8:10 Counsellors are females

6. What advice can you give to new graduates in relation to starting their career as a Registered Counsellor?

  • Find and regularly engage with an experienced and supportive supervisor, external to your workplace
  • Commit yourself to life-long learning – stay current and relevant
  • Volunteer for work, industry events and to be apart of industry committees – networking, develop you’re a strong brand
  • Network, Network, Network via chapter meetings, industry events, register and use LinkedIn; connect with like minded individuals and groups – learn and share a information and resources via networks
  • Know who you are – your strengths, skills, personality type, career interest; conduct a SWOT analysis on yourself on a regular basis; identify, establish and monitor your career objectives set realistic action steps and keep going
  • Be the driver of your career, take responsibility and navigate your path. Listen to the opinion and feedback of others but at the end of the day listen to your own internal guidance with respect to your specialisation and education, what works and does not work for you. Remember this is YOUR CAREER not someone else’s you need to be happy in what you do regardless of what other people think, say or do.
  • When you become stuck in your career and can not see a way forward or become confused as to your next step look at the facts and patterns of your previous role(s) – what did you learn, what did you enjoy, what do you not want to do again. Then act based on this data; review and revamp your career plan and action steps
  • Realise that it is not uncommon for therapists to experience triggers; develop and regularly use a self-care plan and speak with your supervisor when you are triggered
  • Make use of all ACA resources, products and services such as Career Centre, Chapter Meetings and Journals
  • Put your hand up for new opportunities, even if you are anxious – nervous, you will not grow as a Counsellor if you do not take calculated risks and remember it is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all – at the very least you will learn more about yourself and will be able to identify if this is an achievement that you can add to your CV or if it is something you would rather avoid in the future
  • Be realistic in your career expectations and think outside the square that is: –
  • Don’t just look for “Counselling jobs” (titles), use the Employment Opportunities AQF Level PowerPoint presentation to start to identify complementary job titles such as Case Manager, Art Therapist, HR Consultant, Juvenille Justice Officer
  • The first 5 to 10 years of Counselling is a steep learning curve as you develop and refine your skills, knowledge and experience; keep in mind this period of time is about establishing foundations and stepping stones, it is not your entire career, accept this learning stage and the opportunities that come your way – focus on what you have learnt (achievements), areas you need to develop or refine to move forward rather than pay, tiles etc that will come in time.
  • Remember Rome was not built in a day have realistic career objectives and time-frames; and if you are experiencing difficulties talk to a qualified Career Counsellor or Development Practitioner – ACA may have members such as myself that are qualified Career Counsellors whom they can refer you to or go to the CDAA website and find a practitioner in your local area

7. How can Registered Counsellors maximise their employment opportunities?

To maximise your employment opportunities, you first must understand and accept that Australia is part of the global labour market and as such employment opportunities and competition will derive from global sources.

Thus, in order to maximise your employment opportunities it would be highly advisable to: –

  • Commit to life-long learning – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
  • Adopt a flexible working structure expectation – long gone are regular 9-5 hours
  • Develop and utilise change management strategies to help you navigate a ever changing global economy and workforce
  • Focus on developing innovative, systems, programs and services that will make you standout from the global crowd
  • Develop and maintain strong professional networks nationally and globally
  • Remember to be careful how you climb the corporate ladder – you never know when you will need to call on your contacts
  • Develop a professional LinkedIn site and activate the Job Link function; remember 90%+ of recruiters use LinkedIn to source candidates with the vast majority utilising LinkedIn as their sole or primary source.
  • As author Susan Jeffers once said – Feel the fear and do it anyway – step outside your comfort zone challenge and push yourself forward – no one else is as invested in your career as you are.
  • If you meet 75% of the employment criterion apply for the job; your job should provide you with room to grow and develop as a professional.
  • Remember when applying for jobs that the top 3 or 4 criterion are the most important criterion’s – this is they are likely to be the non-negotiable area for the majority of employers; even if the job ad says essential and desirable criteria.

8. What can Registered Counsellors do to be best informed about any updates in Counselling employment?

To stay abreast of employment opportunities in the counselling industry one recommends that you: –

  • Find an industry mentor and regularly meet i.e. once a fortnight or month; a mentor is different to a supervisor
  • Access and digest a variety of media from news programs to industry journals and articles; even pursuing complementary industry journals and articles both nationally and globally
  • Regularly utilise ACA services
  • Follow industry leaders and seasoned professionals on social media, better yet join online forums and discussions to share and access resources and information
  • Access salary survey information through a variety of public and private sector sources such as but not limited to recruitment companies, educational providers, job search engines, specialist public and private sector providers such as Department of Jobs and Small Business.
  • Source and maintain a professional relationship with a recruitment consultant specialising in the Counselling field or complementary fields i.e. Health, Community and Social Welfare Recruitment agencies or think of the big names such as Hudson or Ethical Jobs.

9.  Is it normal to be rejected on job applications?

Yes, it is normal to be rejected on job applications; keep in mind that for every job advertisement that is placed it is probable that there is over 200 applicants; so first and foremost you need to be realistic and apply the law of averages i.e. is it statistically probable that you will receive a telephone call or a request to attend an interview for every application you submit and of course the answer is no.

Some common reasons why your application may be rejected include:-

  • The content, layout and presentation of your documentation
  • Failure to address the employer criterion adequately or not at all
  • Employer preferences and biases
  • Over or under qualified
  • Your Resume – CV contains superfluous, discriminatory or antiquated information
  • Large unexplained gaps in your Resume – CV
  • Large volume of casual or part-time work vs full time work; which in the eyes of a Recruiter or HR professional displays an unstable work history = increased risk; there are tips and tricks to address this so if you find yourself in this position speak with a qualified Career Counsellor or Development practitioner

If after a period of 2-3 months of serious committed job searching you are still not obtaining the results you seek it would be beneficial to consider engaging the services of a Career Counsellor or Consultant to help you address your concerns, revamp your employment documentation or provide innovative career strategies to help you achieve your goals.

10. What are average rates of pay for counsellors?

Answered in question 4

11. Where are most Registered Counsellors getting work?

Whilst this will vary from state to state, on educational level and experience, based on research one has identified that Registered Counsellors secure employment opportunities within a variety of public and private sector organisations including but not limited to: –

  • Aboriginal Community Organisations
  • Alcohol and Drug Centres
  • Charities i.e. Mission Australia, Salvation Army and Red Cross
  • Community Health Centres
  • Community Services
  • Death Care Industry
  • Department of Corrective Services
  • Family and Community Services
  • Financial Counselling Network
  • Forensics (Coroners Courts, Forensic Mental Health)
  • Government – State
  • Health Care i.e. Pallative Care and Rehabilitation
  • HR and Recruitment Consultancy (large providers i.e. Hudson, Hays etc)
  • Insurers
  • Judicial Industry
  • Local Health Districts
  • Medical Condition Support Services i.e. Epilepsy Foundation, MS Australia
  • Mental Health and Prevention Services i.e. Life Line and Suicide Call Back Service
  • Mental Health Services
  • NDIS providers
  • Neighbourhood Centres
  • Not for Profit Organisations such as Epilepsy Foundation and MS Australia
  • Outreach Service
  • Public and Private Sector Practices
  • Religious – Faith Based institutions
  • Research Foundations
  • Residential Care Facilities
  • Retirement Villages
  • Secondary and Tertiary Education Providers
  • Women’s Resource Centres

12. Who are some of the key employers in Australia?

Key Employers include: –

  • Anglicare
  • Beyond Blue
  • Carers Australia
  • Catholic Care and Anglicare
  • Courts i.e. Family and Coroners Court
  • Disabilities Services Australia
  • Disability Employment Services
  • Government Health Departments
  • Headspace
  • Hospitals
  • Insurance Companies – Return to Work
  • Life Without Barriers
  • Judicial Industry (Courts and Judicial Health)
  • Mission Australia
  • Red Cross
  • Relationships Australia
  • Salvation Army
  • Secondary and Tertiary Education Providers
  • Victim Support Services
  • Wesley Mission
  • WorkCover – now SIRA (NSW); Worksafe QLD, VIC & ACT; Return to Work SA, WorkCover WA, NT Worksafe
  • Benevolant Society

14. Which industries are more likely to hire counsellors?

According to an Australian government website dedicated to career planning and development the industries a Counsellor is likely to gain employment in are: –

  • Health Care and Social Assistance – 44.2%
  • Education and Training – 33.4%
  • Public Administration and Safety – 11.1%
  • Administration and Services – 4%
  • Other Industries – 7.3%

15. How can I “future-proof” my employment?

I do not perceive that anyone can truly “future proof” their employment/career; that is, in a global economy that is forever changing, developing and implementing new technologies that we currently have no comprehension or understanding of it is impossible to “future proof your employment/career for the next 10, 20, 30+ years.

Rather one perceives the focus should be on How Can You Optimise Your Career or Employment to at the very least stay relevant if not at the cutting edge of progress in the industry.

As the famous American guitarist and songwriter B.B. King once stated “Education is the one thing that no one can take from you”; and as I say Education is the key to securing the future that you want – think of it as an evolutionary process on your journey.

Thus, in order to optimise your career/employment the number 1 rule is to commit yourself to life- long learning whether that be moving through the ranks with respect to tertiary qualifications, undertaking a myriad of relevant and meaningful continual professional development courses, accreditations, certifications combined with your supervision and possible mentoring you will have set a solid path for optimising your future as you continue to stay relevant year in year out.

Other Key Rules include: –

  • Developing and maintaining professional and social networks, as previously discussed you never know when a contact will help you on your journey so ensure you treat everyone with respect and equality regardless of their position or status in the now.
  • Fundamentally knowing and understanding who you are, your career interest, personality type, strengths, areas of development and preferences; this will provide you with a solid platform to launch, manage or transform your career regardless of the global economy. Invest in a solid Career Development Report that will provide self-awareness, insights, growth, goal development and monitoring aspects. A great Career Development Report should not only provide you with guidance and ah ha moments in the now but also be a source of self-reference in the future.
  • Maintain your sanity through ongoing self-care and supervision on a regular basis; no excuses
  • Develop and regularly update your Resume-CV and/or LinkedIn Profile; ideally every 6 months or at the bare minimum every 12 months – for you do not know when and where inspiration or opportunity will present itself you need to be ready to take the bull by the horns and run with the opportunities presented to you.
  • Do your research in terms of your marketable value based on your skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience; check out remuneration surveys available through a variety of source – some organisations provide these for free others you may have to pay for i.e. government departments, recruitment agencies and specialist consultancy are a good place to start.
  • Finally, remember to be flexible in terms of position titles, expectations, work style preference gone are the days of regular 9 to 5 work; we are now in a global economy where contract work is prominent thus the move to a Portfolio Career is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Thus, it is imperative that you have a strong educational foundation, skills set and knowledge; a base that will allow you to take advantage of global as well as national opportunities as and when they present themselves to you.

About the Author: – Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Career Counselling – Finding the Right Career Path for You

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development Report, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Job Search, Mentoring - Career, Mid Life Career Challenges, Personality Profiling, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services, Vocational Assessments    |    No Comments
Career Path

Career Counselling – Finding the Right Career Path for You

Have you ever wondered what it is like to find the right career pathway for you, to find your passion?

Over the last couple of weeks I have had the privilege to work with two such individuals.

The first soul whom cam to see me, came to have a Career Development Report produced.  The individual soul in question came to me with some firm ideas about what they wanted to do but at the end of the psychometric assessment process had their interest piques in a totally new area; you could say their perspective or awareness was awakened.  So much so that the individual soul telephoned me a copy of time before the delivery of their report and told me that they had discovered a firm interest in Primary Education as a result of the psychometric profiling session and had subsequently taken action and applied to university to do a bridging course in preparation for study next year; and now was just waiting to have the report delivered to put the final pieces of the puzzle into place.

The second soul whom came to see me, had already transitioned into her passion (new career) a couple of years before hand and sought help to prepare her employment documentation for the next strategic career move.

Interestingly both souls were in their 40’s, the first in their early 40’s the second in their late forties.

At a time when most of us can become stuck nay bogged down in our career and life, because of life circumstances and/our mindset. These two individual souls broke the glass ceiling or pushed their way through the mud and reached new peaks, dispelling fears about starting over and/or not gaining employment because they were “too old” they simply established their goals and moved forward with confidence, determination and vigour.

So looking back at both of these souls what are the 3 qualities they displayed and how can we learn from them Read More


Career and Workplace Counselling – What Does Not Constitute Workplace Bullying and Harassment – A Judges Findings

    Posted in Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Mental Health, Outplacement Services, Professional Counselling, Workplace Counselling    |    No Comments
Learn what does not constitute Workplace Bullying and Harrassment... A judges determination

Learn what does not constitute Workplace Bullying and Harassment… A judges determination

 

This morning one came across an interesting article (Man who claimed boss dubbed ‘Mr Stinky’ would ‘lift his bum and fart’ on him loses $1.8 million case) by Frank Chung of the Sun.com.au who reported on the outcome of a claimant who bought forward a case for Psychiatric and Physical Illness and Bullying against his former employer.

As a Counsellor and Career Development Specialist one frequently speaks with clients about bullying in the workplace, that is to help clients define the term, to listen in order to facilitate the client in expressing, processing and healing their experience(s).

In this case a claimant Mr. David Hinsgt, presented a case for psychiatric and physical injuries as a result of been bullied in the workplace.  That is, he alleged his former supervisor, Mr. Greg Short, regularly farted in a confined space near him; which Mr. Hingst found highly offensive.

The article goes on to state the claimant regularly received phone calls for 5 to 6 weeks prior to his termination about his performance, in which he was verbally abused; and in other incidents was aggressively questioned about his sexual preferences.

The judge, Justice Zammitt found that the claimant was an unreliable and unsatisfactory witness.  That if the claimant had not lost his job or been abused over the telephone then this would not be a big issue.  Thus, the article states that because of Mr. Hingst feelings regarding his termination, that he acted in an extreme and unreasonable way – seeking revenge and as such found no depressive or stress related condition as a result.

So, my question to you is do you think Justice Zammit got it right with respect to his ruling?  And what impact do you think the judge’s findings will have on future bullying and harassment cases if a precedent has been set where offensive and inappropriate behaviour is seen as “typical banter or mucking about” in the workforce.

From ones’ perspective, one perceives that if Mr. Hingst sought qualified legal representation, gathered and presented strong evidentiary support as proof of statement of claim in a logical and systematic fashion that it is possible that the outcome would have been different.

Ones concern as a lay person though, is that Justice Zammit’s ruling has now set a precedent for inappropriate, offensive or abusive behaviour in the workplace and that if one was to experience such behaviour in the workplace one would not have a recourse to address the incident(s) or impact on ones physical, psychological or emotional self – legally speaking.

Hmm interesting food for thought.

Author: Katherine J Foster – Career Development Specialist and Counsellor – 14th May 2018

About Author: – Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Career Counselling – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

    Posted in Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development Report, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Mid Life Career Challenges, Outplacement Services, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services, Workplace Counselling    |    No Comments
Employment Termination and Redundancy - What will you do next? Blu Ripples can help you move forward with clarity, direction, purpose and confidence.

Employment Termination and Redundancy – What will you do next? Blu Ripples can help you move forward with clarity, direction, purpose and confidence.

According to an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) media release dated 19 April 2018, the national labour force participation rate is at an all time high of 65.7% which means that more individuals aged 15 to 64 years are working now more than ever before.

Whilst the above is good news for our economy there is also the flip side of employment and the world of work.  That is, the need to address underemployment, retrenchments and terminations and the associated impact of same.

In the most recent ABS – Labour Market Statistics Report (July 2014) it was noted that 2 million individuals ceased their job in the 12 months to Feb 2013.  Of those 2 million individuals, 19% or 381,000 were retrenched or made redundant.

Thus, over the course of your career life cycle it is inevitable that at some point in your career you will experience this transitional period.  In fact, many clients have reported that they have experienced this period 2, 3, 4 or more times over the course of their career.

Thus, whilst you may perceive redundancy and/or termination to be taboo, embarrassing, humiliating or a hush hush topic in fact Read More


Career Planning for Carers

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Career Planning for Carers

Career Planning for Carers – 5 Key Points Designed to Provide you with a platform to explore career options and pathways

 

Following up from my article – Mid Life  Career Challenges – Caring for Aging and Elderly parents with Chronic and Terminal Medical Conditions, I thought I would provide readers with some practical career planning hints, tips and strategies.

Whether you have been the primary or secondary support structure for your loved one for a short or extended period of time getting back into the workforce can be tricky; often there are issues in and around self-confidence, worth, relevancy, outdated education, training and experiences not to mention finances.

The following 5 Key Points are designed to provide you with food for thought and a platform to explore or launch career options and pathways when you decide the time is right to re-enter the workforce.

1st Key Point – Your Mindset

From my perspective the first thing that needs to be addressed is your mindset.  That is, if you tell yourself that  you are not worthy, valuable or that you are antiquated you will start to belief this and project it out consciously or subconsciously to the world.  Thus, the question I frequently ask my clients is if you have such a negative opinion of yourself why on earth would anyone disagree with you after all you know yourself better than anyone else.  So my 1st key point is to make sure that you have a positive mindset and project this out to the world – regardless of your circumstances, or at the very start working on a positive mindset.

NB: There are heaps of free resources on Youtube and the internet to get you started or visit your local library for books and media on same.

2nd Key Point – Objectively Review Your Background

As part of the career planning process it is important that you objectively review your personal, professional and educational background, regardless of how old information and experiences are there is valuable information and insights to be gathered from this process, which in turn will help you establish meaningful baselines, goals and potentially assist you in securing Recognised Prior Learnings (RPL’s) if you re seeking to undertake further studies.

3rd Key Point – Analysing Skills – Competencies

Whether you held down a full time, part time or casual job or committed yourself to the full time care of your loved one there are skills that you have developed and refined as a result of your experiences.  Off the top of my head, in relation to full time caring, skills that you have most likely developed include but are not limited to: –

  • Active Listening
  • Communication and Interpersonal
  • Counselling
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Motivation
  • Negotiation
  • Networking
  • People Management
  • Persuasion
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship Management
  • Scheduling
  • Time Management
  • Troubleshooting

4th Key Point – Investigating Career Pathways and Options

Utilising the information, you have gathered from point 2 and 3 it is now possible for you to utilise these findings to identify industries, career pathways and options that would benefit from your unique baselines and skills set.

Some example of industries and occupations that may benefit from the skills set outlined in Key Point 3 include but are not limited to: –

  • Administration
  • Aging and Disability
  • Community and Welfare Workers
  • Counselling and Psychology
  • Emergency Services i.e. Paramedics
  • Medical, Health and Allied Health
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social Work
  • Training and Development

Finally, with reference to this point, whilst you may not wish to undertake the role of a paid “Carer” role after you have cared for your loved one – remember there are opportunities to enter a wide range of industries and occupations as a result of your caring experiences and skills; it is just a matter of whether you want to use these skills moving forward or not.  Also, it is important to realise that as our population ages there will continue to be a strong need for health, medical, allied health, social and community services in our society and thus harnessing your skills and experiences now may provide you with a solid foundation from which you can launch and catapult a career – do not discount your experiences and skills that you have learnt as a result of your caring experiences.

5th Key Point – Education, Training and Finance

Education and Training requires a financial commitment and many individuals I speak to are concerned with the investment (time and money); however remember there are educational loan schemes available i.e. Fee Help that will enable you to commence and complete a qualification without paying for the course whilst studying; that is you will only start repaying the loan after you start making in excess of $55K pa.

Remember, that whilst Education and Training may be frightening for a number of reasons e.g. it has number of years since you last studied and you feel you may be out of touch, it provides a solid foundation from which new career pathways and opportunities will open for you so investigate this option and see if it is right for you before you dismiss it straight away but make sure that any study or training that you undertake provides you with a positive return on investment.

Go out confidently and explore what the world of study, training and work can offer you.

Author: Katherine J Foster – Career Development Specialist and Counsellor – 11th April 2018

About Author: – Katherine is the Founder of Blu Ripples a specialist Career Counselling and Consulting practice located in Port Stephens NSW.  Katherine is a nationally registered Career Development Specialist and Counsellor; is a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia, Member of the Australian Counselling Association of Australia and Australian Association for Psychological Type. Katherine has worked in private practice since 2003 and prior to that worked in the corporate sector for a period of 12 years predominantly in Human Resources and Administration.


Mid Life Career Challenges – Caring for Aging and Elderly Parents

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Planning, Mental Health, Mid Life Career Challenges, Workplace Counselling    |    No Comments
Career Counselling - Mid Life Career Challenges

Mid Life Career Challenges – Caring for Aging – Elderly Parents with a Chronic or Terminal Medical Condition(s). Exploring the impact this time can have on your career

Much has been written about mid-life crisis and mid-life career transitions.  However, there is one key area that is rarely mentioned that has the potential to impact your career during this phase of your career life cycle. Read More