Career Hints and Tips

Key Transferable Skills Report – A New Career Counselling Service

    Posted in Aptitude Testing, Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning, Employment Counselling, Job Search, Key Transferable Skills    |    No Comments

Key Transferable Skills Report - Blu Ripples

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCING OUR KEY TRANSFERABLE SKILLS REPORT

As part of the Resume Writing Process, I frequently ask clients to identify their Key Transferable Skills and their perceived areas of expertise.

Regardless of the clients’ career life stage, I frequently find that they stumble at this point.

The principal reason for this pertains to objectivity; and whilst we may undertake a role for a particular period of time there is little time for reflections or as clients so frequently state “Katherine, I just get on and do the job; I don’t think of my role in these terms”.

And there in lies a major issue when it comes to the job search and interview process.  That is, regardless of your title and the number of years you have been in the work force it is imperative to know who you are, what you bring to the table and your development requirements in order to effectively pursue and achieve your career goals.

Whilst, I have previously created Key Transferable Skills Reports for Spouses of Defence Force personnel; and I have helped thousands of individuals identify their transferable skills through my Career Consulting – Resume Writing Services (since 2003); one has identified a niche area and is excited to launch our Key Transferable Skills Report which is accessible to all individuals of legal working age and above whom have held at least one position.

To find out more – click on Key Transferable Skills Report

 

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

    Posted in Academic Planning, Aptitude Testing, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Hints and Tips, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Personality Profiling (Testing), 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 Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA), Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning, Employment Counselling, Job Search, Key Transferable Skills, Labour Market Analysis, Psychometric Profiling (Testing), Resume Writing Services    |    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 Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Education, Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning, Employment Counselling, Job Search    |    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 – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development Report, Career Hints and Tips, Career Interest Testing, Career Planning, Employment Counselling, Job Search, Labour Market Analysis, Outplacement 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

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Education, Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning    |    No Comments
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.


Resume Writing Services – The Low Down

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Hints and Tips, Resume Writing Services    |    No Comments
resume writing services

Resume Writing Services – The Low Down 5 Hints and Tips for Sourcing a Professional Resume Writer

 

In the early 2000’s when I first started my then HR Consultancy specialising in Employment Documentation (Resume, Selection Criteria and Cover Letter), Personality Profiling and HR Consultancy Services for individuals and small businesses the internet was in it’s infancy and I remember Google contacting me at the time trying hard to sell advertising on this new platform for approximately 20c per click; at the time there was not even 1 full Google page of Resume Writers listed in the Sydney region.

Fast forward 15+ years and Google advertising has significantly increased from these emerging market pricing structures and as for the volume of Resume Writers advertising on Google well now there are frequently 10+ pages of advertises for one suburb or region let alone nationally or globally; not to mention other online platforms and traditional advertising sources.  The Resume Writing Services market has boomed over this period; but with this boom comes consumer confusion in relation to the quality of services, relevance, ethics and qualifications of professionals in the field.

Thus, the question becomes: –

How can the average consumer determine the value and merit of a Resume Writing Service? Read More


Career Counselling:- Ravenswood School for Girls

    Posted in Academic Planning, Career Counselling, Career Education, Career Hints and Tips, Career Planning, Employment Counselling    |    No Comments

Blu Ripples® was recently honoured to provide Career Guidance and Advice to members of Year 8 at Ravenswood School for Girls.

Armed with a series of in-depth questions including (but not limited to) educational and environmental influences, perspectives on HSC, subject and university selection; these young ladies demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and a maturity beyond their years.

Blu Ripples® wishes these young ladies the very best for their future; indeed one perceives that it will be very bright indeed.