CAREER COUNSELLING DURING THE PANDEMIC – Blu Ripples Survey
Blu Ripples is interested in hearing from individuals aged 15 years + (both in Australia and overseas) in relation to their experiences of the pandemic and the impact the pandemic has had on their career.
In our short 10 questions question survey we ask a range of questions to understanding your individual circumstances and ascertain how we can potentially help you moving forward.
If you have a few minutes to spare we would greatly appreciate it if you would complete the following survey – simply click on the link below:-
Earlier this week a career counselling client whom currently works in the real estate industry asked me “Katherine, should I bother applying for jobs now or should I wait until the Coronavirus settles down”?
My answer in short was YES and NO; let me explain: –
Applying for Jobs – A Career Counsellors Perspective
From my perspective, it really depends on the industries and occupations that you are applying.
For example if you are wanting to enter the Travel and Hospitality Industry for example now is not a good time to apply for positions when the industry is making thousands of individuals redundant.
If, however you are seeking employment in industries that are not directly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) then yes keep applying for positions.
Boom and Bust Industries – A quick overview
My rationale in relation to the above, is that whilst many industries are taking a hard hit with massive job losses and redundancies (the latest been Virgin Airlines) there are other industries, sectors and occupations that are experiencing mega growth and cannot keep up with the demand for example lets look at the big Supermarket chains e.g. Woolworths and Coles whom are struggling to re-stock the shelves and whom are also putting out a call to arms for administration officers and logistics coordinators etc. as they have more positions than they can fill – from what I have heard they just want people who want to work – is that you?
Other sectors that are experiencing a boom because of the COVID-19 are Medical, Transport and Logistics, Nursing, Pharmaceuticals, Video Conferencing and Telecommunications; and what about Community Services, Counselling, Welfare and Social Services; whilst we have not heard much about these industries at the moment it is my prediction that as more and more individuals and families are placed into lockdown it is an unfortunate side-effect that more and more of the general population will struggle to cope and as a result it is highly probable that domestic and family violence will increase and thus the potential for more children to be taken out of their homes and placed into care e.g. Foster Care.
By the way let’s not forget about the associated sectors, industries and occupations that support and/or supply these sectors and industries for example the medical field are in short supply of N95 masks at the moment; there in itself is a wide range of sectors, industries and occupations that will experience a boom from manufacturing (hiring individuals to make and ship the masks), to the wholesaler who buys and supplies to the retailer whom them onsells to the medical industry; to import and export trade, transport and logistics to get the masks from the wharfs and drop off locations around Australia to the hospitals and medical facilities around the nation, to the administrators in the offices who are ordering the supplies…. the list could go on and on….
Thus, my point is as one industry crashes and burns (for the short term or maybe longer term) there will be other industries that come in and take their place in terms of growth and employment opportunities. The question is how badly do you want to work, will you only take a job that is/was similar or comparable to your old one or will you take a job in a different industry or sector at a similar pay level or maybe less that is not ideal role but at the end of the day pays and puts food on the table.
Labour Market and Economic Concerns if you do not take employment opportunities when they present themselves
My concern as an individual and career counsellor is the demand that is going to be placed on the welfare system now and the long term impact of this on the economy once we recover; we have had a horrific time of late with bushfires, floods and now the Corona Virus (COVID-19) what is this going to do to our insurance (another industry that is likely to boom as a result of claims been made) from commercial and house insurance claims to income protection insurance payouts.
Now is the time to seize the day and keep on top of your career to the best of your ability; to seize the opportunities when they come in so you don’t struggle as an individual or provider for your family but also to grasp these opportunities so that we as a community and proud nation do not suffer to consequences of a recession or depression as a result of this period of time.
OK, You made me think – I want to apply for jobs but I don’t know where to start?
You know what, that is OK, that is what career counselling professionals like I am here for to help you figure out your career pathway, career options, key transferable skills, professional attributes and strengths; to empower you and help you write employment documentation so that you feel confident in your skills, capabilities and experiences and the application of same moving forward whatever that likes like.
So give me a call and let’s have a chat about how to get you from been stuck to a place of positive movement forward; remember baby steps – one at a time will get you to where you want to be a lot faster than not taking any steps at all while you wait to see what happens.
Career Counselling: – I had a client yesterday tell me that their boss sent them to Melbourne for a work trip and when they got back even though they had not been around people with the coronavirus and displayed no signs and symptoms that the boss insisted (mandated) that they go into lock down for two weeks and work from home; a difficult task when you are in the real estate business.
In outside world, I am hearing on the news that industries such as musicians, airlines, conference centres etc are all been restricted in some way due to conditions placed on public events and not gathering in groups of 500 or more; the economic impact is that this potentially will have a devastating impact on our economy and take some time to recover.
On the positive side, the crazy panic buying that everyone is engaged in at the moment is seeing Coles employ another 5000 casual employees nationwide to cope with the demands; so whilst some industries are clearly struggling others are growing in terms of labour requirements at the moment so much so that they are not coping with the demands just look at what is happening in Woolworths, doctors surgeries etc the lines are so long and supplies are in short supply (both material and labour).
So what we have here from a very clinical point of view is the Labour Market expanding and contracting, shifting and changing, to adapt to a new (hopefully temporary) world where it is said that the vast majority of the world’s population will contract the virus on some scale over the coming months from what I read an estimated 80%.
question is not will I get the virus but when I get the virus what will I do.
moment the self-isolation period is for 2 weeks in which time you are not to
leave your house and potentially infect others, so if you are sick please
adhere to this, but in the meantime from a career point of few what can you do
to manage your career.
CAREER PLANNING STRATEGIES TO EXECUTE OVER SELF ISOLATION PERIOD
First and foremost if you are employed on a full time, part time or casual basis explore options where you can minimise going into work for example what remote working strategies are available to you? Have a sensible and realistic conversation with your employer about working from home, the guidelines, expectations and boundaries around this.
When you are required to self-isolate use this time review your career – for example
Ask yourself – Are you hitting your career goals? If no – why not?
Pinpoint your happiness and satisfaction scale – Are you happy in your present job – if yes great – what can you do to take the next action step in your career or if no what are you unhappy about – are you feeling frustrated, lost confused etc?
Has it been a little while since you update your Resume or CV, LinkedIn, Seek profile now is the time to do this either yourself or through someone like me that offers telephone and online consultations (as well normally face to face consults –as long as you are not infected or come into contact with others who potentially or who have recently travelled overseas)
If you are not sure about what it is that you want to do in your career, or maybe you have been in a career for a while and want to try something new – now is the time to explore either through Career Planning Services with someone like me or explore career options and labour market statistics online and find out what is available
As I tell many clients, think about what your values, motives, needs and wants are in terms of employment opportunities and environments and create your own Selection Criteria so when you are reviewing job advertisements on line and wondering is this for me you have something to refer back to – a tick box of sorts, to help you define if this is the right opportunity to pursue or not at this present point in time – will it help you achieve your long term career objectives.
Develop an Academic Planning Strategy – identify where you are in your career and what qualifications or continual professional development courses you need to undertake in order to reach that next opportunity and confidently apply for it.
Review TAFE and University programs offered on line and on campus, what are the educational requirements you need to undertake a course i.e. ATAR’s, recognised prior learnings, are these courses accredited by industry bodies, will the course help you gain industry recognition upon completion.
If you are a partner of a Defence personneland have recently moved to a new location check out the PEAP program and see what services you can access, telephone someone like me and ask for a quote, put that quote in and get the ball rolling in terms of the approval process and moving forward with Career Counselling and Employment Assistance Services
In short whilst the Corona Virus will have an impact on the labour market and the economy in general it does not have to be all doom and gloom every – focus on the positive what you can achieve during this down time, make use of it attend a Career Counselling session – create a career plan – grow, develop and evolve as an individual and professional during this time and then when things start to recover you will be in a better position to capture new and exciting opportunities as you have capitalised on the down time rather than squandering it.
Make a solid choice to use this time wisely to plan your career and make your future goals a reality by doing your research now.
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.
Authors Notation: As a result of writing and publishing this article one was invited by ABC Radio (Hobart) to participate in an interview on Career Change with the renowned Louise Saunders on 18th May 2020 at 7.10pm; to listen to the program segement click hereand fast forward to 7 min 30 into the commencement of the program.
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!
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.
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.
Career Development is a large umbrella or net that draws together a myriad of Career Services occupations and brands them together in one category with the purposes of facilitating and empowering a client in the exploration, development and management of their career over the course of their career life cycle.
WHAT OCCUPATIONS FALL UNDER CAREER DEVELOPMENT ?
There are a multitude of Career Service occupations that fall under the Career Development banner including: –
Career Development Expert
Career Development Practitioner
Career Guidance Officer
Career Management Consultant
Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor
Work Experience Co-ordinator
As illustrated above, there are many occupations that fall under the umbrella of Career Development; which in ones’ opinion can potentially cause clients a great deal of stress trying to determine who is the appropriate service provider for me.