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After Year 12

I’m a parent of Year 12 student in Central Victoria. He’s doing VCE and what a time it’s been these past 18 months having to do many months of school from home. Now, it’s crunch time. Not only does my son (and the rest of Victoria’s Year 12s) have exams coming up, they need to submit their VTAC preferences by 30 September, if they’re looking to apply to a tertiary education course.

I’m a mum and a career coach, and I’ve only just tuned in to this piece of information! Whoops.

When I mentioned this to my son I could see that choosing uni courses seemed like hard work. His vibe was, ‘How am I supposed to know what I want to do next year or into the future?’ and, ‘How can I focus on that when I’m barely focusing on my school work?’

My son was overwhelmed.

I suggested we make a time to sit down together and nut some of this out. And keep the session to 30 minutes.

When my son was in Year 10 his Dad took him to a couple of university open days and they found a computer science course my son wanted to study. He’s since worked towards that goal with his subject choices. But, something has shifted and he doesn’t want to do that now. I hear the reasons. He doesn’t want to sit in an office chair on a computer all day (kind of what he does now). 🤔 He now wants to weld. Ok.

We explored career pathways for welders and how to register for an Apprenticeship and courses for a Certificate III in Engineering. Knowing how to apply but not having to commit right now, we agreed to sit with this idea and explore it more after exams.

Let’s go back to the computer science degree. We looked at what universities offer this course through the VTAC site, myfuture.edu.au and directly on university websites. We identified three courses and then my son was spent. Meeting adjourned.

Phew!

What can parents and carers do to support their kids in their future career choices?

Right now there are more unknowns than usual, whilst navigating a global pandemic. I see my son wondering ‘what will it be like?’ about a a particular type of job in the future, and imagining it won’t be so great and talking himself out of this career path. I see this A LOT when I coach people of any age. It’s a bit of self-sabotage.

Hang in there parents. Here’s my tips:

  • Find that balance of supporting, but not pushing. Gently guiding them.
  • Ask them to imagine what the people might be like who they work with. What type of boss will they have. What work will they being doing? What hours? A job isn’t always about turning up to an office/desk and head down. There is the office culture. Many of us will be working remotely and the culture will be across the meetings and work that is done.  Help your child paint a picture of what they would like to see in their world of work.
  • If they get their uni application (preferences) in by the due date, they won’t have to think about it again until AFTER exam time. There’s also a late option with a fee if you miss 30 Sept.
  • Often they’re still figuring it out when they’re at university, and changing courses after first semester is often an option.
  • Gap years are now becoming more popular in Australia. They can enquire about deferring their course once accepted and perhaps get some work + life experience.
  • Entering uni as a mature age student (21 years of age) can also be considered.

Your VCE student doesn’t HAVE to know what they want to do right now, but having a fair idea will help get the preferences in and not have to worry too much.

Handy Link: YouTube video | VTAC guide to applying for year 12 students and parents (2022)

Photo by Moren Hsu on Unsplash

What’s Gen up to?

A client emailed me this week asking, ‘Are you still career coaching?’

YES!!! I am. 🙂 She pointed out that my last post was written in 2019 about the business awards. Well, here I am with what’s been happening in my world since December 2019.

🌸 I had an office built (thought I’d start with the big news!)

🌸 My chickens went broody three times and I now have six lovely chooks (2 roosters!!!)

🌸 I worked with many clients in Melbourne over Zoom who had been affected by redundancy. What I found was that…1) It took longer for them to find their ideal role…2) They valued my support more than ever on helping keep them feeling motivated and positive in the times of lockdown…3) My clients all got jobs that were in their field and rewarding.

🌸 I started a radio show with my friend Ange who is a counsellor. The show is about mental health and wellbeing, called Mind Ya Head and airs each Wednesday at 9am on 94.9 mainFM in Castlemaine.

🌸 I’ve been continuing my volunteer role as Secretary with Business Mount Alexander. Currently working on re-engaging the business community since last year. Have some great networking events coming up.

🌸 On the creative side, I continue to play the guitar, am part of a ukelele group called the Ukettes, plus I’ve joined a gospel choir. Such joyful things to nourish my soul.

🌸 I’m drawn to learning more about mindfulness and have signed up again for Mindful in May, plus I’m studying an online course through FutureLearn/Monash Uni called ‘Maintaining a Mindful Life’.

How are you doing? If you’d like to have a confidential chat about your career goals, you can reach me via gen@thegoodlifecareers.com.au. Go well! 🙏

Celebrating success

Last night I attended the Mount Alexander Business Awards 2019 at the Castlemaine Town Hall. This event is put on by Mount Alexander Shire Council and held bi-annually. My business was a finalist this year in the Microbusiness category.

I was excited to attend this celebratory dinner and catch up with friends. There was such a buzz in the room – a sense of unity and pride in our business successes. Whilst I didn’t scoop up the trophy for my category, I had prepared a speech just in case. I’m sharing it with my readers because I feel like a winner anyway…

FINALIST-1200x630

Firstly, I’d like to thank my boyfriend Dean for his encouragement in my business and his support tonight.

Thanks to Mount Alexander Shire Council, Eva and Marg for coordinating this wonderful event and to the volunteer judges. Thanks to the sponsor Workspace for the micro-business category – it’s these partnerships that help make the awards a success.

For me these awards are a great opportunity to not only reflect on my business operations, it’s growth and my professional learnings BUT to CELEBRATE tonight with other business folk in our shire.

Well done to the nominees and the finalists. I was thrilled to hear that Tesha from Mother Lover and Jacinta from Jac the Hitcher were alongside me as finalists. I’ve been following both these women’s business stories both on social media and meeting them at local events run by Ladies Who Launch.

I launched The Good Life Careers seven years ago after quitting my corporate job in Melbourne and moving to Harcourt. I consulted to HR firms, supporting people on career transition programs whilst I built up my work coaching job seekers and career changers here in Central Victoria.

The best investment I made when I started my business was work with a marketing coach. Marion helped form my vision & mission statements, consumer profile and a marketing strategy. This gave me clarity in my message and brand which then led to my logo, website and social media platforms. With these foundations I had confidence to move forward with my business.

Running your own small business is not dissimilar to looking for a new job or embracing career change. When people invest in my services they develop a strengthened and targeted approach to finding work.

I help my clients by providing a framework for them:

  • To reflect on their skills, achievements and strengths so they have clarity about their value offering
  • Give them the tools to research companies so they align themselves to organisations with similar values.
  • Coach them in communicating a clear message – both in job applications and through talking to their networks.

The rewarding part of my work is when I hear the news that my client has landed an interview or better still…been offered the job.

Through my coaching I see people move forward with greater confidence towards their goals AND this is what drives me to continue doing what I do.

Thank you… and enjoy the night!

AWARDS Gen & Dean

What value does face to face networking bring?

Goodlife_Careers-6035

This topic has been top of mind for me this week. I saw a sponsored Facebook post pop up in my feed saying, “Grow your business without having to network”. The ad was selling an online sales strategy – a model that often saturates our social media feeds and inboxes (if lured to their freebies in exchange for our email address). Whilst I have been looking at boosting my coaching business’s online strategy, and can see this model’s potential for success, I am mindful of getting the right level of authenticity when promoting my services, especially in the online world.

So, what does this have to do with networking?

I have always actively put myself ‘out there’ to meet others. In person. This has been a successful marketing tool for my business. I enjoy the organic nature of this approach and feel there is strength in building meaningful professional relationships. My business offers coaching to people to help manage their career and job search with proactive networking techniques and I find that most people are initially resistant to networking because it seems ‘salesy’. It doesn’t have to be and here’s why:

  • Start with coffee conversations. Who can you catch up with that you haven’t seen for a while?
  • Know your story. What’s going on for you in business, work or life? Share what’s working well and don’t be afraid to talk briefly about a specific challenge if you think it’s appropriate. They might have the answer you need.
  • Understand you values and motivators. This is pretty important as these are the things that drive you. Is there a particular cause or project you truly care about or hold close to your heart? This answer’s the question about WHY we do things.
  • Know your offering. How do you make a difference in business, work or life? What is your particular area of expertise and how does it transform or help others?

Knowing yourself well leads to understanding and promoting your personal and professional brand. When this is clear you can give an essence of ‘you’ both in person and across social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram (these are my top three). These online tools encourage and help people to engage which can lead to connecting directly via messaging and/or being directed to your website to find out more.

Now, back to the coffee conversations…

  • Be curious about the person you’re meeting with. Whether it’s a colleague, friend, school parent, potential client treat the conversation with friendly professionalism and ask – what’s news with you? Actively listen to their story and if you have a tip, advice, can refer them or simply a sounding board, then you are being generous with your time and energy.
  • Follow up with a short appreciative email or text if you think it’s appropriate and share any info you said you’d follow up on.
  • Connect on social media if you haven’t already (using the right tool for the audience – I often suggest LinkedIn as it’s the most professional).

Networking doesn’t just happen over coffee or social media though. It happens all the time. Here’s some ways that I connect (that have led to successful business referrals):

  • Cohoots coworking meeting roomCoworking space
  • Contracting
  • Train / commute
  • Short course / conference
  • Committees
  • Business association
  • Volunteering / community involvement
  • Friends and family
  • Hairdresser (think about it – they chat with lots of people every day!)

To summarise, know your value, your offering, your area of expertise and tell your story far and wide. And be yourself. No one needs the pressure of someone directly selling something. It’s much easier to be genuine in your conversations and people will be interested to find out more. By following up with an email or social media connection keeps the conversation going and if they want to engage further they know where to find you. You never know when the people you meet and the discussions you have will lead to a job opportunity or a business referral so think about the message you give.

I’ve written step by step tips to strengthen your networking skills HERE.

I’ve also included information to Simon’s Sinek’s ‘Start with Why‘ as I think it’s a good way to remind us of our purpose.

Get in touch with Genevieve for a coaching session on networking skills or how to optimise your LinkedIn.

Top image by photographer Lucy Foster of LuLu Snap
Smaller image taken by Gen

 

Position yourself for career success

Goodlife Careers-5652_SAMPLEIs it time for a career change? Are you feeling stuck in your current job and want to explore regional employment opportunities?

Come along to this three hour workshop to map out a career plan, with practical steps you can start straight away plus a job search strategy that will set you on track to reaching your career goals.  Continue reading “Position yourself for career success”

Smarten up your LinkedIn profile in one hour

by Genevieve WardLinkedIn

Whether I’m coaching job seekers, career changers or people wanting to start a business, they often struggle with LinkedIn. This is because they don’t see the value, are concerned about their privacy or find it’s time consuming for little return.  Continue reading “Smarten up your LinkedIn profile in one hour”

Calm your nerves at interview

I’ve started doing live Facebook videos called Career Chat over Coffee and this week the topic was about how to combat nerves when going for interview.

Interview Photo

This morning I’m going to chat with you about interviewing and how to:

  • Reduce the nerves
  • Have a good idea about what to say
  • How to answer tricky questions

If you’re walking out of the interview meeting wishing you had said things or done things differently, here’s some ways you can avoid these feelings of regret.  Continue reading “Calm your nerves at interview”

Target your next job prospect through your contacts

Career Coffee Networking

In a coaching session last week my client, Zara* was sharing her ideas in setting up a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation.  As she was speaking I noticed myself pondering who I might know that could help her. I made a couple of suggestions then stopped and asked, ‘What is it that you need most help with?’ She replied, ‘I need to speak with someone who has already set up a successful NFP.’ Done. I knew just the person and sent an e-introduction. They are now on their way to meeting up and Zara is shouting my friend lunch.  Continue reading “Target your next job prospect through your contacts”

Start your new job on the right foot

by Genevieve Ward

New Job First Day

I work with job seekers on a set three month Career Program which keeps my clients focussed, on track, motivated and equipped with the skills to find their ideal role sooner rather than later. I’ve been asked, ‘What if I find a job before our program ends – say two months into the program?’ To which I reply, ‘Not only is that a fantastic outcome, but our career coaching doesn’t stop when you get a job!’ Here’s some food for thought about integrating into your new role and future proofing your career with continued growth and development.  Continue reading “Start your new job on the right foot”

Feeling supported through change

Sunflower TRI recently said to my partner, “Oh I’ve picked up some work on a factory closure that starts next week”. He replied, “What a shame for the workers!” He’s absolutely right. He went straight to the heart of the situation – the emotions the staff members will experience when facing the prospect of finding a new job.

As a Career Coach, my role is to soften the blow for the people affected by organisational restructures by guiding workers to think about what’s next, get their resume updated, build their interview skills and their confidence throughout the redundancy process.  Continue reading “Feeling supported through change”