Career Counsellor

Career Counselling and Development – Co-Design Workshop – Sydney, Nov 2019

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Career Counselling- Co-Design Workshop - Sydney 2019

Co-Design National Skills Commission Workshop – Sydney 2019

As many of you may recall in the Federal Budget this year (2019) the government announced that it will be launching a National Skills Commission as part of a federally funded skills package.

As a Professional Member of the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) I was extended an invitation to participate in the Sydney Co-Design workshop for the Commission and Skills package.

Over a two day period industry professional shared their perceptions and experiences with the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business with regards to our expectations and the objectives of the National Career Institute, National Skills Commission and Skills Organisation through a variety of brainstorming activities.

In addition to the above, we also gained insight into key vocational employment growth sectors over next 5 years, with Aged and Disability Carers, Child Care and Waiters leading the way at 69.2%, 27.6% and 21.8% projected growth rates over the next 5 years; with the other top 7 ranging from 10.5% to 18.8% growth. This knowledge will be invaluable facilitating clients in exploring Vocational Education Pathways over the short to medium term.

The Co-Design workshop also provided a golden opportunity for me, as a qualified Career Development Specialist whom lives and works in a regional area, to share information in relation to the specific challenges and needs not only for industry but regional community areas and members.

Indeed it will be interesting in due course to hear the findings and recommendations from the national workshops and how we as participating professionals and individuals contributed to the shaping and molding of the National Careers Institute, National Skills Commission and Skills Organisation.

Blu Ripples is proud to not only provide career guidance, insight and perspective to our clients but also to industry and government initiatives; an aspect one seeks to continuously apply moving forward.

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 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!

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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


Career Counselling – Understanding Labour Markets in the Job Search Process

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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


Counselling Careers – Employment Opportunities and Trends

    Posted in Academic Planning, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Education, Career Planning, Job Search, Labour Market Analysis    |    Comments Off on Counselling Careers – Employment Opportunities and Trends
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.


Career and Workplace Counselling – What Does Not Constitute Workplace Bullying and Harassment – A Judges Findings

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Learn what does not constitute Workplace Bullying and Harrassment... A judges determination

Learn what does not constitute Workplace Bullying and Harassment… A judges determination

 

This morning one came across an interesting article (Man who claimed boss dubbed ‘Mr Stinky’ would ‘lift his bum and fart’ on him loses $1.8 million case) by Frank Chung of the Sun.com.au who reported on the outcome of a claimant who bought forward a case for Psychiatric and Physical Illness and Bullying against his former employer.

As a Counsellor and Career Development Specialist one frequently speaks with clients about bullying in the workplace, that is to help clients define the term, to listen in order to facilitate the client in expressing, processing and healing their experience(s).

In this case a claimant Mr. David Hinsgt, presented a case for psychiatric and physical injuries as a result of been bullied in the workplace.  That is, he alleged his former supervisor, Mr. Greg Short, regularly farted in a confined space near him; which Mr. Hingst found highly offensive.

The article goes on to state the claimant regularly received phone calls for 5 to 6 weeks prior to his termination about his performance, in which he was verbally abused; and in other incidents was aggressively questioned about his sexual preferences.

The judge, Justice Zammitt found that the claimant was an unreliable and unsatisfactory witness.  That if the claimant had not lost his job or been abused over the telephone then this would not be a big issue.  Thus, the article states that because of Mr. Hingst feelings regarding his termination, that he acted in an extreme and unreasonable way – seeking revenge and as such found no depressive or stress related condition as a result.

So, my question to you is do you think Justice Zammit got it right with respect to his ruling?  And what impact do you think the judge’s findings will have on future bullying and harassment cases if a precedent has been set where offensive and inappropriate behaviour is seen as “typical banter or mucking about” in the workforce.

From ones’ perspective, one perceives that if Mr. Hingst sought qualified legal representation, gathered and presented strong evidentiary support as proof of statement of claim in a logical and systematic fashion that it is possible that the outcome would have been different.

Ones concern as a lay person though, is that Justice Zammit’s ruling has now set a precedent for inappropriate, offensive or abusive behaviour in the workplace and that if one was to experience such behaviour in the workplace one would not have a recourse to address the incident(s) or impact on ones physical, psychological or emotional self – legally speaking.

Hmm interesting food for thought.

Author: Katherine J Foster – Career Development Specialist and Counsellor – 14th May 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 – 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.