Employment 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 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 Counselling: – Job Uncertainty in Australian Labour Market

    Posted in Career Consulting Services, Career Counselling, Career Development, Career Education, Career Planning, Employment Counselling    |    Comments Off on Career Counselling: – Job Uncertainty in Australian Labour Market

Job Uncertainty – Don’t focus on the negative

 

Over the past 9 months there has been a barrage of major and iconic Australian companies and institutions hitting the wall and closing their doors as the effects of the Australian and Global economies are felt across the nation.

Last night alone, the local news reported that the NSW state government will strip $1.7 billion from the Education sector over the next four (4) years – that equates to $67 million pa.

Coupled with the closure of iconic brands such as Darrell Lea and King Island employees are losing their jobs in record numbers.  Job security and the economy is not what is was and the impact of this radical correction in our national and global economies will be felt for some time to come.

So as an individual what can you do?  Read More