Career Counselling Port Stephens

Career Counselling – CoronaVirus – Impact on Careers – How to Manage and Grow Your Career During the Pandemic

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Career Counselling During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

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%.

Thus, the question is not will I get the virus but when I get the virus what will I do.

At the 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 personnel and 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 – 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 here and fast forward to 7 min 30 into the commencement of the program.


Career Events and Expos: – Blu Ripples Career and Resume Reviews – Free 15 Minute Session

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Career and Resume Review - Nov 2019

Book your Free 15 Minute Career or Resume Review Session today!

When was the last time you had a Career or Resume Reviewed?

Was it a few years ago now or maybe never?

Well it is time to take advantage of Blu Ripples Free 15 Minute Career or Resume Health Check Services on Saturday, 1st November 2019 at our office in Medowie, Port Stephens.

What is a Career or Resume Review?

Blu Ripples Career and Resume Review Services, also frequently called a Career or Resume Health Check Services, is a free 15-minute career session, for all job-seekers of working age, to access expert career guidance and advice to help you identify your strengths and development requirements with respect to your career pathway or job search strategies (i.e. Resume).

How can a Career and/or Resume Review Help Me?

As outlined above, the Career and Resume Review Check is designed to assess and identify your strengths and to provide you with verbal feedback to assist you in attaining your career or job search goals.

In the past, as a nationally registered Career Development Specialist, I have provided Career and Resume Health Check Services to attendees at Re-Invent Your Career Expo in Sydney, as part of the CDAA contingent.

Frequently at the Expo’s attendees will seek guidance or feedback back on one or more issues for example: –

  • Why is my Resume – CV not working?
  • Why is the Job Search process taking so long?
  • What are my career options based on my current education, roles or skills?
  • What training do I need to do in order to achieve my career objectives?
  • I did not finish Year 12, can I still go to university?
  • I have started but not finished a couple of courses – why is this so hard for me?
  • Do you think I am been overpaid or underpaid in my current position?
  • I have been with my current employer for a long time and know I want a change but am not sure what to do
  • I don’t know where to start- I have no clue what I want to do

What do I need to bring to the Career or Resume Review Session

  • Yourself if you are an adult
  • An parent or legal guardian if you are under 18 years of age
  • An open mind, a willingness to talk and listen
  • A copy of Resume in paper format – for a Resume Check
  • A question or two that you wish to ask
  • Any other relevant and meaningful information that you may need; and
  • Some writing paper if you wish to take notes whilst I speak

So take advantage of this

OBLIGATION FREE 15 MINUTE CAREER OR RESUME REVIEW SESSION

Simply call me on 1300 300 557 or (02) 4982 9781 to schedule your session for Saturday, 1st November 2019 between 10am and 2pm.

 

Remember:- Career and Resume Review Sessions are 1 on 1, unless you are under 18 years of age (require a parent to be present); and are on a first come first served basis so do not delay in scheduling your appointment; I look forward to meeting you on 1st November 2019.

 


CAREER PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL COMMUNITY MEMBERS

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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!

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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


Finding the Right Career Path for You

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Career Path

Career Counselling – Finding the Right Career Path for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Career Counselling – Coping with Employment Termination and Redundancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Career Planning for Carers

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Career Planning for Carers

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

 

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

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

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

1st Key Point – Your Mindset

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

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

2nd Key Point – Objectively Review Your Background

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

3rd Key Point – Analysing Skills – Competencies

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

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

4th Key Point – Investigating Career Pathways and Options

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

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

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

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

5th Key Point – Education, Training and Finance

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

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

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

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

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


Career Counselling: – Careers – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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How to pull it altogether and make a success of your career

Career Counselling: – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – How to pull it altogether and make a success of your career

Unless I have had the opportunity of meeting you in person or communicating with you via online discussion  I do not know your individual story or where you are in your individual career life cycle however if your career story is anything like mine you have had some good, bad and down right ugly times in your life and career.  There is no judgement, just a hypothesis based on ones’ personal experiences and those of clients one has helped over the years.

So often we get caught up in the shoulds of life and our careers, which basically translates into us placing expectations on ourselves, that we lose sight of are the bare basics; simply put that life and our careers come down to two fundamental aspects – experiences and relationships.  Be it the relationship we have with ourselves and/or others or the experiences we crate or are presented to us in order to grow, develop and evolve as human beings.

Thus, when you look at the purpose of your career it really comes down to simply Read More