Career Counselling

Career Counselling and Planning – What is going on in our universities? The need to understand self

    Posted in Academic Planning, Aptitude Testing, Career Counselling, Career Counselling for University Students, Career Counselling Regional and Rural Australia, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Hints and Tips, Career Interest Testing, Career Options and Pathways, Career Planning, Career Planning Hints and Tips, Learning Style Preferences, MBTI Testing, Personality Profiling, Personality Testing, Skills Shortages, Tertiary Study, University Planning, Vocational Assessments    |    No Comments

Career Counselling and Planning - Blu Ripples Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

    Posted in Career Counselling, Career Counselling for Self Employment, Career Counselling Newcastle, Career Counselling Port Stephens, Career Counselling Regional and Rural Australia, Career Counselling Regional Australia, Career Counselling Rural Australia, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Development Hints and Tips, Career Hints and Tips, Career Options and Pathways, Career Planning, Career Planning Hints and Tips, Career Planning Regional and Rural Communities, Career SWOT Analysis, Defence Career Counselling and Employment Assistance Services, Defence Career Services, Employment Counselling, Employment Counsellor, Employment Markets, Employment Opportunities, Job Market, Job Search, Job Search Process, Job Search Strategies, Key Transferable Skills, Labour Market Analysis, Labour Market Statistics, PEAP Program, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services, Self Employment    |    No Comments
Career Planning and Development Regional and Rural Community Members

Do you live in a regional or rural area in Australia and feel stuck in your career? That there is limited or no employment opportunities? Discover how to identify and capture employment opportunities in your area.

CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Career Guidance and Advice, for Regional and Rural Community Members

As a Career Development Specialist and Counsellor whom lives and works in Port Stephens, a regional area on the NSW North Coast, one has facilitated numerous regional and rural clients since 2012 to identify and explore career options and pathways and as such understands the challenges and opportunities that come from living in areas outside of major CBD locations.

Whilst it is true that the volume of opportunities is not the same as a major CBD location such as Sydney; it does not mean that opportunities do not exist.  It simply means that regional and rural community members need to dig a little deeper, explore labour market statistics in more detail, identify and respond to opportunities and possibly make a few more compromises in relation to their desired outcome(s) for example embracing portfolio careers (having several part time or casual positions) rather than traditional full time 9 to 5 positions.

Career Planning and Development – Where to Start?

Like their major city counterparts regional and rural community members need to: –

  • Establish baselines
  • Expand and challenge their mindset
  • Think outside the square
  • Determine their career interests, employment needs and wants
  • Determine the needs, current and future employment opportunities of the local and/or surrounding communities
  • Ask themselves a variety of career and employment related questions such as: –
  • Are my career and/or academic objectives realistic?
  • Will my actual or intended academic pathway provide a return on investment?
  • Do I really want to work in this position – industry? Why?
  • Am I willing to relocate (intrastate, interstate or overseas) to achieve my career goal?
  • What are my alternative career options and pathways?
  • What are the top employment industries and employers in my area?
  • Am I willing to work for myself or would I prefer to be employed by someone?
  • Do I have the skills, knowledge, qualifications and experiences to start my own business or work as an independent contractor?
  • What are the niche employment markets in my area and how can I capitalise on these? That is ask yourself – what products, services, industries are over or under represented in your area and how can you market yourself to capture appropriate opportunities
  • Is it best to market myself as a generalist or a specialist my chosen field?

Where are the employment – job opportunities?

Just like each individual, each regional and rural area across Australia has its strengths, areas of growth and opportunities for community members.

In the 7+ years one has lived in Port Stephens NSW with ones’ husband; over this timeframe we have noticed a lot of change and growth in our suburb and surrounding area; in fact, we have seen the area progress with: –

  • New Shopping Centre Complexes
  • New residential and commercial building lot releases; subsequent construction of establishments
  • Expansion of the nearby RAAF base
  • Procurement of land for aged care and educational facilities
  • Commencement of construction of a local sporting complex
  • A Customs facility been built and utilised at Newcastle Airport and over the Christmas period (18/19) saw the trial of direct flights to New Zealand from Newcastle NSW – the facilities are there now – so what does this mean for the longer term? Is this a possible new international airport base in NSW ( even if it only services Pacific and Asia)– if so just imagine the jobs this will create for the area not only in Tourism and Transport but in other supporting and/or complementary industries

All of this within a 10 or so minute drive of our home; thus, when reading the above information – what does this tell you about this particular region?

From ones’ perspective, when analysing these changes in terms of employment industries the obvious industry that is booming in the area at the moment is Construction; which just so happens to be a top 3 industry across Australia and within Port Stephens (based on latest labour market statistic information).

Occupations that fall within the construction industry include Electrician, Painter, Tiler, Project Manager, Construction – Site Manager, Labourer, Excavator Operator, Fencer, Surveyor, Plumber, Building Estimator, Building Inspector, Pest Inspector, Carpenter and Joiner.

However, just like any other industry there is a myriad of occupations and industries that complement and/or support the Construction industry both during the planning and construction phase and post construction (in terms of providing products and services to residents and the border community) for example: –

  • Administration, Secretarial and Bookkeeping Services
  • Architects and Landscape Architects
  • Engineers and Draftspersons
  • Medical and Allied Health Professionals e.g. Doctors, Psychologists, Counsellors, Social Workers, Mental Health Professionals, Rehabilitation Therapists
  • Retails Managers and Shop Assistants
  • Personal Services e.g. Handyman and Cleaners
  • Tourism e.g. Accommodation for workers whom live out-side the region
  • Business Services – Human Resource Managers, Accountants, Marketing Professional, Information Technology professionals, safety specialists
  • Education – Teachers, Childcare Workers, Librarians, Career Guidance Advisors, Teachers’ Aides, Lollypop (Traffic Control) professionals.

Sometimes we become so stuck in our particular mindset of I want to be this, I want to earn so much per week, I don’t want to work in that location and/or even that we are above a particular position or industry that we fail to see the opportunities right in front of us.

As one highlighted through the above summary, opportunities do exist in regional and rural areas; it may be that we just need to take a step back and clearly look at our marketplace (what is happening in our region) in greater detail – to do a little more digging (research) and analysis to find out what the opportunities are in order to ascertain where you fit – be it marketing yourself and your unique skill base as an employee or independent worker to capture the market or better yet the niche in the market.

Digging a Little Deeper

As previously discussed, opportunities do exist in rural and regional areas however a little more digging maybe required to find out where you fit in the grand scheme of things.

One way to start, digging a little deeper, is to research your regions labour – employment market statistics; there is a wealth of free and paid information on the internet.

In fact, in researching data for this article, one found (online) a letter dated 10th March 2017 from Port Stephens Council to Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee – Parliament House Canberra; supporting the relocation of government bodies to regional areas.

In the aforementioned correspondence the author (Mr. Wayne Wallis) stated that “the Hunter Region has been experiencing economic restructuring with a shift away from traditional goods-producing sectors like mining and manufacturing to high value added knowledge based service sectors”.

Ones’ interpretation of this commentary is that councils in the Hunter region are strategizing and actioning change management plans to shift the employment market, of their respective areas, to a high quality knowledge base sectors such as Information Technology, Accounting, Counselling, Business Management, Medical and Allied Health, Education and Training and moving away from sectors such as Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity and Gas.

Thus, whilst the current labour market in this region maybe goods-producing at present; those considering their career options and pathways would be wise to take this commentary on board and plan for the future rather making decisions based on todays’ (current) needs.

Remember it takes time to study and gain experience and when you have completed any training it is important that the jobs are available in your region, a region close by or that you can develop online services to target the wider community in order to support yourself in your preferred residential location – community.

In closing, as one has clearly articulated throughout this article; each regional and rural area in Australia is different.  However, if you are prepared to do some research and analysis, observe the current services and industries in your area, identify the shortfalls and develop a service or product to meet these needs as an independent worker; or conversely if you can tailor your training and employment documentation (Resume-CV) to the needs of employers through the clear representation of your key transferable skills, knowledge and experiences you will be in front of the competition.

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 – Employment Contracts – All That Glitters Is Not Gold!

    Posted in Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning, Employment Contracts, Employment Opportunities, Employment Q&A, Job Search, Job Search Process, Mentoring - Career, Negotiating Employment Contracts, Recruitment and Selection, Self Employment    |    No Comments

Employment Contracts and Service Agreement – Should you proceed or reject the offer… read more below

EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICE AGREEMENT OPPORTUNITIES – To Proceed or Reject an Offer

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


Career Counselling – Understanding Labour Markets in the Job Search Process

    Posted in Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Development Report, Career Planning, Employment Cover Letters, Job Market, Job Search, Job Search Process, Labour Market Analysis, Labour Market Statistics, Negotiating Employment Contracts, Resume Writing Services, Selection Criteria Writing Services    |    No Comments
Blu Ripples can help you understand and apply Labour Market Statistics in Your Job Search Process

Helping you understand and apply Labour Market Statistics in Your Job Search Process

 

Labour Market Statistical Analysis, once the domain of Human Resource departments and recruitment organisations for the purpose of identifying, exploring and capturing talent, to structure remuneration (pay) and benefit frameworks to obtain and retain talent; to identify current and emerging labour market trends to navigate an organisation forward in an ever-changing workforce. Labour Market knowledge and the application of same was and still is an imperative functionality of the recruitment, selection and talent management process.

Thus, it is imperative that individuals particularly job seekers understand the fundamentals of labour markets in order to effectively identify and capture opportunities and negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment.

Whilst many may be aware of the current national unemployment rate, 5.4% (June 2018), and that currently more jobs are been created thus consistently decreasing the unemployment rate over a period of time. That is usually where the average individuals’ knowledge stops with respect to labour market knowledge.

However, did you know that it is possible for the average individual to source and review a wealth of labour market statistics at the click of a mouse for example it is easy for you to:- Read More


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 Career Coaching, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Counselling, Consulting and Development, Career Planning, Counselling Accreditations, Certifications, Clearances and Affiliations, 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


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