A new world!

Many of us are finding that the things that we thought we didn’t have time to do we can now do. However many of us may still be finding we aren’t actually doing those things we thought we would do one day as time wasn’t the issue it was motivation and priority!

This is true for me too – haven’t written in my blog for ages! We use time as an excuse but the reality is that something has to change before we will get on to do the many things that we would simply rather not do.

This is true for our career development too. Sadly many are experiencing job losses, reduction in hours and difficult work environments. Career professionals have been saying for many years that workers and businesses need to be flexible adaptable and changeable since the world of work is changing. I don’t think anyone really predicted this much change but change is constant and we should not be surprised.

The reality is that all the past career advice and support still stands true so let’s use this time to look at your career development, something we should be doing regularly anyway.

1. Don’t panic, be realistic – statistics tell us that about 80% of people don’t really like their current job. So maybe the current situation is a good opportunity to rethink your options. The workforce has been moving for some time to ‘career portfolio’ style where you may have 2 or more jobs at once to meet your lifestyle and financial needs. If you aren’t already doing this maybe this is something that you may need to consider. Maybe it is a good time to consider some online further education. Maybe a good time to rethink your work life balance and how you could make some beneficial changes to have a more satisfying life.

2. Skills audit – make a comprehensive list of all the skills that you have. You may not have used them in employment but they are skills nonetheless that can be applied to work environments. This link will help you identify these.

3. Interests audit – who am I! Make a list of all the activities and places where you feel comfortable. Go back to your childhood and think about things you loved to do. Identify any common threads eg talking, making people laugh, solving tricky problems

4. Get creative – think and read about all that is happening right now. Identify gaps and shortages in services and products eg tracking data, delivering products, cleaning, the caring professions, online services, agriculture. Let the entrepreneur in you run free and make a list!

4. Study your 3 lists to see some patterns and opportunities that may arise. Discuss (at a distance!) your lists with others who know you well. They may be able to add some ideas too which will help you clarify where you should be heading.

STAY POSITIVE! Change is constant, always was, always is. The successful people are those who can best embrace and adapt to change. Make that you!

I’m back

Apologies to those who have been reading my blog and not heard from me for a long time. I have made a huge career transition myself and have been busy with adapting to these changes. My experience may be useful to others especially if you are looking for a career change or semi retirement.

The change began for us when we took a long vacation on the Gold Coast, a holiday destination for many especially during the cold winter months. Having taken extended leave from my paid job and a hiatus from my private practice it was a great experience to rest and relax in a new location. This led to the idea of relocation. Quite a challenging idea considering we would be leaving our long time home and adult children and grandchildren behind. Many would say we were a little crazy and experiencing a late life crisis. So why would we even consider such an option? What implications were there for lifestyle? What opportunities for work? What were the opportunities for personal growth? What were the financial and personal risks?

I would be happy to share some of the problem solving process and the implications some 12 months later if anyone feels it may be useful for your own career, retirement or personal journey. Let me know what you think?

2018 – small changes to lead to big successes

Over the next few days much will be written about New Year resolutions and how to be a better you in 2018. Many people start the year with new ideals and new year resolutions that usually just end up in disappointments and another example to them of why ‘ I am no good!’.

I believe the new year is a great opportunity to make a fresh start but it has to be done very carefully not to actually put you back even further in your quest to lead a more satisfying life. The key is to think small so that you can make and achieve a small change that becomes the foundation of more smaller changes leading to ultimately a big change overall. Once you have made a small change and it becomes part of your normal routine flushed with this success you can add another change…….and so it goes!

Lets look at some examples. Many of us want to make changes in Health, Relationships and Career so lets look at these three.

  1. Health – forget taking out the new expensive Health Club membership that you will probably forget about the first week or two! Think about one thing that is really getting in the way of your health. Is it too many drinks after work? Is it the sugar fix you crave in the afternoon? Is it being unable to get of the couch? Once you have identified one thing make your plan to change that. Maybe it is to have some alcohol free days? Maybe you need to take some savory snacks with you to work or wherever  you are tempted by the cake shops? Maybe park the car further away so you have to walk that bit further to and from work to add that little bit of exercise to your day?
  2. Relationships – maybe it is with your kids or your partner that you feel things could be better. Once again try and focus on the root of the problem.
  • Is it that terrible drama about the messy bedroom that starts the arguments with the kids?
  • Is it a friend that keeps interfering with the relationship you have with your partner?
  • Is there an annoying habit that you or your partner has that seems to set things off?
  • Think logically about this and see where you can make a small change to minimise this issue. Maybe rearrange the kids bedroom with them so that it is easier for them to keep tidy, maybe just expect that one day a week it will be tidied up together , the rest of the time ignore it! Maybe a frank discussion with partner or friend to make a truce!

3. Career – this is the one where I am probably best qualified to give some ideas! Not happy at your current work? Don’t have a job or enough hours? Current work is poorly paid or not challenging or too stressful or you don’t like the other staff or don’t like the management or you think they don’t like you? There are many reasons why we can feel frustrated at work.

Often a change of attitude towards work can make a big difference and this can be a small change that can easily pick up speed. Think about your own attitude and see where you can change – what if you put in more effort? what if you didn’t take work home with you? what if you had a friendly but firm discussion with whoever is troubling you or in a position to change the work and/or the work environment? what if you smiled more? what if you got to work a little earlier each day so you could start in a good frame of mind? I am sure you can think of other small changes that might improve the day to day.

But then maybe a bigger change is necessary  – like a different job, a promotion, a total career change so what are the small changes you can make to build towards that big change? Start putting together all your previous experience and skills into a draft resume, even if you may need professional resume help later by thinking through what you have done and putting information together you can save a lot of time and money later. Start talking to people in other jobs – what do they do, what do they like or not like about that job? Research the many careers website – www.myfuture.edu.au Consider some vocational testing to see what your top abilities are and how they may be best used. Go to Career Expos and talk to trainers, educators and other employment agencies. Locate a career professional and arrange an appointment.

All these small actions can not only lead you on to more and more changes they will give you a feeling of success as you achieve some practical changes. You are taking charge of your journey through life not letting it take you!

May you make some small but amazing changes in 2018 that will really impact on your future and lead to amazing big changes!!

Enid Stein

Careers Practitioner

I don’t like my job!

How many times has someone said that to you or how often have you said that yourself? The usual reaction or response is to try and find another job however a more realistic option and satisfying option may simply be to change your attitude, change your viewpoint to your current job.

The reality is we cannot change a lot of things that happen around us but we CAN change the way we respond to them. Think about how this may apply to your work situation.

Common situations that cause unhappiness at work and how to change them!

  1. The boss ( or other colleagues) are difficult – they don’t like me! they expect me to do everything! they are never satisfied with what I do!

TACTICS – first thing to acknowledge is that this is actually not personal even though it can feel like it. It will only become personal if you react emotionally. Be open and honest with the person causing you grief and explain that you are wanting to do better and how could they help you do this. This will often diffuse the situation and open more effective lines of communication.

2.  Hours of work  – The hours are too long, start too early, work too late!

TACTICS – analyse the reason behind the hours. Is it that you must be at work these hours? Is it because there is too much work to do in the allocated time? Are you work practices efficient? First thing is to make sure you are being as efficient as possible. Maybe consider doing a time management course – look at things like use of emails, time spent with customers/other staff/ coffee breaks. Keep a record of time spent on different tasks and see where the time is going. Sometimes with greater efficiency you can negotiate your work hours accordingly.

3. Travel stress – does it take you too long to get to and from work?

TACTICS – look at all the travel options. Could you car pool? take public transport? adjust start and finish times to avoid peak travel times? Consider negotiating some work from home options sometimes.

4. Nature of work – too challenging? too boring?

TACTICS – what are the options in your workplace to change or adapt your role to make is more or less challenging? Consider enrolling in a course that will develop your skills and knowledge to help you in your current job or prepare you for the next step. Talk to your supervisor about your concerns and goals!

It is good to talk to a friend, a colleague or a career counsellor to help you work through your options. Life is too short to be in a job your hate!

New beginnings

Today is the beginning of my new website. This site gives me the opportunity to provide some insights into the journey we call ‘career’.  Today career means many things but I like to think of it as the journey we take to add meaning and structure to our life. I read Nick Krygios’ article this morning about beginning to enjoy tennis now he has a reason and a goal for doing it that does not simply revolve around making money and playing tennis. Think about your own career or what you do daily. Does it give your life structure and meaning or is it simply a way to pay the bills? Is that enough for you or do you want to strive for a more meaningful option?