Mass job opportunities in Victoria

Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended and Australia as a whole is way behind the developed world in its covid vaccinations regime. It seems we’ll be on this rollercoaster for a while and the Victorian Government is staffing up as a response with mass recruitment exercise.

There’s a call out for 100 Authorised Officers, with a short-term contract until the end of July 2021. A short-term role may not sound like a compelling proposition to many people. However, these contracts are often extended and talented staff may quickly find other opportunities based on their performance in these roles. If you are currently unemployed, underemployed, or have been struggling to get some experience under your belt, this is a fantastic opportunity.

Authorised Officers (AO) are quite unique roles, with powers most other public servants don’t have. They support voluntary compliance and enforcement of legislation in a variety of government departments. These positions “will undertake the crucial task of monitoring and maintaining COVID-19 restrictions. You will help ensure business owners and individuals comply with the requirements of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.”

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#vicgovjobs #covidresponse #melbournelockdown

Mapping your motivations helps with career decisions

There are a seemingly endless number of personality and career tests out there. Often an absolutely overwhelming number to choose from. This in itself can be rather debilitating, especially when you feel under pressure to work through career issues and the fear of making the wrong choice already weighs heavily. It clouds your ability to make career decisions rather than enhancing them.

I have tried a few paid tools and assessment tests and have also found some quite useful free ones (check them out in this post). Most of these are quite similar. They focus mostly on your interests, then try to predict potential careers that interest you.

The challenge is, you can become overwhelmed with recommendations of a huge number of job titles and begin to get stuck focusing on the matching instrument itself, rather than seeing it as a starting point for exploration to support decision making.

There are two instruments that I recommend. The first is Morrisby Profile. Typically used with high school students, unlike most online tools, the long-form version provides a high degree of insight into capabilities and aptitudes, not just providing generic job matches based on interest. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable, it does counter the “you can do anything you stick your mind to” narrative because it does give a viable indication as to academic performance and the results can be challenging for some people. This tool itself is also useful for adults, however, the use in high schools provides a really great way to provide younger people with some practical starting points to acquire some self-knowledge and for career decisions.

The second instrument is Motiva (Motiva Individual 2). In my career transition, I tried a lot of tools, this is the one I found the most useful to support the decisions I was about to make.
This helped me unpack my different motivations, as well as the usual interests. It confirmed some things I already knew and added new information that helped refine tasks that I used in creating an action plan. What I found particularly unique in the process was comparing things that motivated me, to the job I was in and my level of satisfaction in that role. I knew that I was not happy where I was, though getting clarity about why and really pinpointing it was difficult. This gave me the insight I needed to manage some decisions.

The other really valuable piece of the puzzle that helped me, was to understand the type of environments that would suit me. In my working life, I’ve tried lots of different things. From working with children in foster care to the hyper-competitive world of advertising, taking small insights from each along the way.

Some clearly didn’t align with my values, particularly advertising. I was entirely the wrong fit, yet I persisted because I didn’t want to give up or be seen as a quiter. I was miserable in those environments and focused on trying to change and adapt myself. I’d invested so much time to find a way into an industry I thought would be a fun place for a creative thinker and didn’t want that investment to be wasted. It took a while before I admitted that my attention could have been better directed at determining more suitable places to contribute and design steps to move in that direction.

Overall, the Motiva tool helped place some rigour around my experiences and examine what I could learn from them, it provided a jumping off point to accelerate collating all the different elements to know my self better in a work sense. This is the reason it is now my go-to career tool to use with clients, where required.

Check out these two Career packages that include access to Motiva. Feel free to call me on 0418 678 611 to ask any questions or talk about my approach to career counselling. Thanks for reading – Mark

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Open-source career tools

Access to resources gives people a headstart in life and career. Without wanting to spark a debate around fairness, equity and social justice on this post, the gap between those who know how to access the help they need, and those who don’t, won’t or can’t is growing and it’s incredibly damaging in terms of economic development and productivity, and critically, health and wellbeing.

Thankfully, if you have the resource of time, and a little motivation, I have found some free tools that you can use to help build some of the self-awareness that is useful to help you build actions and directions useful in your career or work. These are all tools I used before changing careers.

Your Career Australian Federal Government Resource
This landing page displays a few useful resources to help you gather some career ideas or inspiration. What I think is particularly useful here is having several separate resources in one place. There are quizzes that will help you at various stages in your career decision journey. It could be a little overwhelming at first, so take a breath and give yourself time to explore the different tabs and navigate your way around the site.

Holland codes (RIASEC) on Opensource Psychometrics
This is probably the most common (and pervasive) assessment tool around. It forms the base of a lot of rebranded tools, both in paper and online.
“The Holland Occupational Themes is a theory of personality that focuses on career and vocational choice. It groups people on the basis of their suitability for six different categories of occupations. The six types yield the RIASEC acronym, by which the theory is also commonly known. The theory was developed by John L. Holland over the course of his career, starting in the 1950s. The typology has come to dominate the field of career counseling and has been incorporated into most of the popular assessments used in the field.”

My Future
This resource was designed with Australian high school students in mind, but please, if you’re an adult, don’t let that put you off. This is a very powerful free tool, better than most paid offerings on the market. It’s a resource I used around 18-24 months before deciding to undertake post-graduate study to become a career counsellor and I found it incredibly useful to explore the reality of different options.

Take some time to explore the site. Set up a profile and navigate through the questions. These seemed similar to the usual interest profiling type questions. The really useful part is having a profile to work with that you can keep coming back to.
From there you can launch into exploring different industries and start to build your own ideas as you learn.

You can retake the questions again to test the validity. The first time I jumped in and did it was a particularly difficult time at work, so I retook a few weeks late to compare the results (there were just slight changes, though I personally found it really interesting).

My Next Move – oNet Interests Profiler
Based on the Holland codes, however, this also links to other free career exploration resources. Great for sparking ideas and exploring connected industries.

5-Minute Career Action Plan
This is a nifty self-guided document published in the UK. Honestly, this will take you longer than 5 minutes, as it should. Treat it as a live document, you may not be able to answer all the questions, use them as prompts to guide your discovery.

Your local library!
Depending on where you live, local libraries often provide access to a huge array of underutilised resources. Particularly a growing range of digital resources like Linkedin Learning (perfect for testing interest in learning about subject areas before committing to formal study) and eBooks. They can often be good places to find out about local services, you may even discover local career support is available, waiting to help, but doesn’t have a marketing budget and struggle to promote themselves to people.
PS – I love libraries 🙂

Being happy at work is still a relatively new idea

If you have made it to the end of the week and feeling a bit crud, please take some consolation in knowing that you are not alone.

We get a front-row seat to view the lives of a teeny-tiny group of people on this planet who have it all, and, at the same time are being constantly bombarded by industries providing all types of promises that we can and should have that life too…now!
It becomes really easy to forget, the very idea that work will make us happy is a very new idea in human history.

Image: Career Crisis prompt cards

That doesn’t mean you should give up, water down your goals, or choose not to continue searching.
But this Friday afternoon, allow yourself a bit of love, knowing that the world we find ourselves in isn’t as easy to navigate as the influencer or self-help book author tells us.

Keep learning, thinking, testing, reflecting and adjusting, to build a way forward based on your own requirements and at your own pace, without judgment and benchmarks set by industries who need you unhappy to be profitable.

#careercrisis #selcare #careerideas #designingyourlife #DYL #careerexpectations #creativecareercounselling #careercounsellormelbourne

Resources I used to get unstuck: 1 – learning about why I was stuck

Mastery, autonomy and purpose – the ‘Holy Trinity’ of worklife

Years ago, long before bcoming a career counsellor, I found myself in a career blackhole that I struggled to understand (beyond the obvious feelings of ‘stuckness’) or plan a way out of. It was pretty horrible and I’ll talk about it more in other posts in the future.

I couldn’t afford the rates coaches were asking, and to be honest, they didn’t want me as a client either. So, my best option was to begin to hunt for self directed resources.

I stumbled across this video via some TED talks and I found it incredibly useful. I really did light a little spark in my brain numbed a bit by my work situation and I followed that little spark for several years…actually, I’m still following a thread of ideas that were sparked by this video.

I hope you find it helpful as well.

If you are interested in this type of thinking or have and interest in careers, ideas or art, please signup to my newsletter. They’re semi-regular, hopefully around monthly(ish) and you can unsubscribe anytime. Thanks in advance – Mark

#careers #thecreativecareercounsellor #southmelbournecareercounselling #careercounselling

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Scholarships for future teachers

I’ve been reflecting a lot on how difficult it is for people to juggle the cost of living with study. Long gone are the days when you could leave home and share a cheap old rambling house with friends for a few dollars a week and one or two nights of ‘hospo’ work covered you financially, leaving plenty of time for actual study and building a sense of self.
Now, all those cheap rentals are renovated into multi-million dollar homes, and students who support themselves practically work full time, leaving them at a massive disadvantage compared to their counterparts who receive parental/family financial support and have the luxury to focus on their study.

If you are studying towards becoming a teacher, please take some time to consider this scholarship:

Our Future Teacher Scholarship helps student teachers in need kickstart their careers with a helping hand to ease the
financial pressures of juggling prac, study and work.

Future Teachers Scholarships

The scholarships are provided by the Teachers Mutual Bank and look as though opportunities are provided regularly (I saw the link shared on Facebook and am not associated with them or sponsored to promote them in any way).
This is the link to the scholarships page.

While on the topic of study scholarships, most Australian universities list their own internal scholarships. In addition, here are two reputable places to hunt for scholarships:
-Australian Government’s Study Assist scholarships page
The Good Universities Guide scholarship finder

Launching the Creative Career Counsellor

What problems do you want to solve?

I have had lots of jobs, and a few careers. Most have been a very awkward unnatural fit and sometime downright traumatic, wedging myself into roles that were never going to suit me long term. Some I was miserable in, living in a constant state of unhealthy anxiety.

Much of my adult life has been spent trying to catchup after being a failed student. However, I never gave up, I kept working and trying to test out little ideas as I went to try to work out what else I could do. As I fought to catchup, I definitely had some wins.

I set up programs to help foster children, ran a small business delivering youth art workshops and painted murals (preceding the popularity of “street art”), paid my way through University as an adult and worked in the highly competitive advertising industry.

I’ve transitioned through several other career phases since leaving advertising, working with businesses on compliance and regulation issues, government grant programs and as a Salesforce trainer.

Throughout this time I kept searching for opportunities to try new careers out.
I eventually came across this question “What problems do you want to solve?”. I can’t quite remember where I read it, but it stuck in my mind and became the question I decided to answer.

Now, after further study, I use my experience to inform ways to identify and manage careers. The problem I want to contribute towards solving is career mismatch and career mismanagement which has become a source of real unhappiness in contemporary society.

To begin working towards solving that problem I have started the Creative Career Counsellor. I am here to help young people searching for areas of focus and adults who are transitioning, like I did, from jobs done to survive, to work or a career with a focus and a future. I utilise a creative, strengths based approach to help activate your career ideas.

Based in Melbourne, I provided access to low cost career counselling on the weekends (online options available). I have a love of all things careers, ideas and art and run a shop where you can find things to help inspire and support career thinking, products to help celebrate ideas and creative thinking and sell my own artwork and will be stocking some art products and supplies.

To get help you get started, check out A Job to Love. This book helped me immensely and has been a book I’ve repeatedly bought for friends working through a career crisis.

More information and products soon, please subscribe for updates

old dogs…

…with new tricks.

hope to have this blog back up and running with something new and interesting soon

We are all mortal until…

“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine”

I had the pleasure of painting some mural in a new winery operated by young gun maker, Chris Catlow. 

There’s more to come in 2018, until then, cheers!


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