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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getting back into the workforce can be tricky; often there are issues in and around self-confidence, worth, relevancy, outdated education, training and experiences not to mention finances.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


Career Counselling: HELP ME PLEASE – I have no idea what I want to do!

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Career Planning - Help Me Please I Have No Idea What I Want To Do

Career Planning – Help Me Please I Have No Idea What I Want To Do

Before we start can you please go grab a piece of A4 paper or writing pad, a pen and highlighter.

Now draw a line down the middle of the page and write on the top left hand side “Enjoyment” and on the right hand side “Dislike”.

Moving forward, I want you think about every hobby that you have ever tried, had an interest in or tried and disliked since childhood (let’s start from 6 years of age inclusive) and write the corresponding hobby in the Enjoyment or Dislike column.  It is important that you do not stop, think and analyse every entry just let it flow.

Upon undertaking this exercise, you may find you repeat yourself a few times – this is OK don’t pay too much attention to this yet.

So now you have completed both the Enjoyment and Dislike columns I want you to leave the list alone and go and have a 10-15 minute coffee break and come back to it.

Welcome back, now I want you to take 10 minutes or so to review and analyse the lists.

  • What are the common themes that seem to be repeating themselves?
  • Can you group the common themes together for example Sports, Animals, Collections, Home-making, Art etc.

You may wish to use your highlighter to highlight the areas that keep repeating themselves.

So what did you find? What are your top 3 groups?

Your top 3 key groups (both Enjoyment and Dislike) are strong indicators of your personal preference.

Finally, upon review and analysis of your top 3 key groups can you identify any key sub-themes for example.  If you loved playing sports common themes may include: –

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Team Work
  • Social Interaction
  • Commitment & Discipline
  • Communication Skills

So how does this apply to my Career?  Think about it – do you really want to sit in an office all day by yourself with minimal contact with clients or colleagues or would you prefer a job that saw you out and about for example a sales representative, outdoor motivational trainer, personal trainer, trades professional etc.

Finally, remember to analyse your disinterest side also as the common themes here will give you a clear picture of what you do not like and subsequently what to stay away from.  This is particularly helpful if you are going to review job advertisements, job guides and descriptions as it allows you to analyse what percentage of the role incorporates these areas of disinterest and allows you to question yourself for example can you really cope with this area as a part of the position or is this area a non-negotiable aspect for you?  Only you can answer this.  Remember to be truthful with yourself for you are only fooling yourself if you are not.