A couple of months ago, one was exploring Master programs offered at a variety of Australian universities. During this process, one spoke with Read More
In your career and your life it is a wise person that remembers – “All That Glitters Is Not Gold”.
Sometimes we get so lost in the glitter that we forget about the practicalities and fail to dig a little deeper and read between the lines of an employment contract or service agreement (if you are self-employed and contracting your services out to another organisation).
Thus, it is important to ask yourself and ponder a few basic questions (for example but not limited to): – Read More
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: –
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
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
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: –
As a general rule of thumb, the average national gross income for a
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:-
6. What advice can you give to new graduates in relation to starting their career as a Registered Counsellor?
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: –
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: –
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:-
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: –
12. Who are some of the key employers in Australia?
Key Employers include: –
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: –
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: –
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.