Category Archives: Careers

CDAA Workshop: Expand your Career Assessment Toolkit

career assessment toolkit

Event Details

Name: NSW Event: Expand your Career Assessment Toolkit (24 Sept)
Venue: UTS City Campus, Cnr Quay St & Ultimo Rd Haymarket.
Date: 24/09/2016
Time: 8:30 AM To: 12:30 PM
Sign-up Before: 23/09/2016 12:00 PM
Contact Details
Name: Leonie Stanfield
Phone: 0412 595 991
Email: leonie.stanfield@grouptraining.com.au
Price
Member: $70.00
Corporate: $90.00
Non-member: $120.00
CPD Hours / Competencies
CPD Hours: 4

Expand your Career Assessment Toolkit

Utilizing career assessment tools effectively can benefit your clients and your practice. In this interactive ½ day workshop we will explore the use of Harrison Assessments, Career Compass and Career Voyage (from JIIG-CAL), and a range of simple no cost tools and strategies that can be used to assist clients anywhere and anytime.

Susan Rochester will take us through the background to the Harrison Career Navigator and give participants the experience of using the reports. Attendees will have the opportunity to complete the Harrison questionnaire prior to the workshop and receive their own results at no extra cost.

The Harrison assessment provides a comprehensive picture of your client by taking into account their career interests, task and work environment preferences, engagement factors, interpersonal skills, attitudes, values and motivations, as well as personality. The resulting reports give you a strong foundation for building rapport and giving targeted, effective advice based on their individual strengths.

Brian Horan will lead us through an overview of Career Compass (from JIIG-CAL) for students 11-14 years; a fun, easy and intelligent way to explore suitable career pathways, make realistic plans and discover jobs of greatest interest. Career Voyage (from JIIG-CAL) is an internationally recognised, high quality career planning system designed for career seekers of all ages (15+) administered by career practitioners. Career Voyage takes career seekers to the next stage in their career journey and generates Occupational Interest Profiles, 20 Job Suggestions ranked in order of suitability, detailed Job information, Qualification Requirements, etc.

Airlie Bell will share some simple, no-cost tools and strategies that careers practitioners can use to assist clients when proprietary tools and resources are unavailable due to cost or context.

Presenter Biographies

Susan Rochester, through her company Balance at Work, has been a Harrison Assessments Solutions Partner since 2008 and is an accredited expert and trainer in the use of the Harrison Career Navigator reports. Susan combines her in-depth knowledge of Harrison Assessments with over 18 years’ consulting and coaching experience to provide practical advice for your specific career consulting and business needs.

Brian Horan has worked as a Careers Advisor in an independent NSW High School (HS) for seventeen years and has also worked with unemployed youth. Brian operates his own Career Consultancy and is also currently working in the tertiary education sector. Brian prefers to use Career Voyage to assist Years 10 to 12 students and uses Career Voyage with his private practice clients. Brian is a certified Career Voyage Trainer and the NSW Representative for JIIG-CAL Australia.

Airlie Bell is based in Armidale NSW, and in the course of her work across the region has acquired a portfolio of careers tools that have proved effective and accessible to students and clients of all ages, and across a wide range of circumstances. Airlie has a private careers practice, teaches post-graduate career development at university, and contracts to government and corporate clients for professional development and outplacement counselling. Her aim is to educate and empower clients with the skills and knowledge to successfully manage their own lifelong career transitions. She has a long standing interest in developing career literacy across the community.

NAGCAS launches 2 new awards

Rising Star Award is a new initiative of the NAGCAS Community, sponsored by Balance at Work, that recognises the work of individuals and teams who are contributing towards new projects in the early stages of development.

Two categories are available in the Rising Star Awards (please see below for entry details):

  • Rising Star Individual
  • Rising Start Project

UPDATE: And the winners are…

We were impressed by the variety and standard of the entries for the inaugural awards and would like to congratulate all those involved. Here are the winners of the first Rising Star and Rising Start Awards:

Rising Star (Individual) Award: Grant Verhoeven, Massey University, New Zealand

Grant is pictured here with finalists Michelle Moss from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia and Jennifer Burke from the University of Southern Queensland. Absent – Diane McLaren, University of Western Australia. Photo credit – Khadraa Mustafa, University of Adelaide.

Rising Start (Project) Award: Joint winners were La Trobe University, Victoria (Project Coordinator, Michael Healy) and from Australian Catholic University (Project Coordinator, Tina Li).

Other finalists in this category were Flinders University (Coordinator, Verity Kingsmill) and RMIT (Coordinator, Piera Ibrahim).

The team from La Trobe are pictured below (L to R): Kelly McDermott, Michael Healy, Dr Michael Emmerling. Absent: Dr Dilhani Premaratna

Entry details

Entries have closed and these details are provided here for your information only…

Entry will be via Nomination and will include a description of the individual or project in accordance with the submission requirements below. Video entries covering the requirements below will also be considered in place of a written submission with a maximum length of 6-minutes. All nominations (written or video) will be showcased on the NAGCAS website.

Rising Star Individual Criteria

A nominated Rising Star Individual is a careers staff member who has been associated with NAGCAS for three years or less.

They are contributing towards new initiatives in the early stages of development with the initiative commencing after 1 January 2016.

Please note that Rising Star (Individual) Nominees will not need to make a presentation.

Rising Star Individual Submission Requirements

  • Images: Individual and Institution Logo
  • Individual details: Name, role
  • Date the individual started in their Careers related role
  • 500 words describing the individual and their contribution to the team
  • 500 words outlining their achievements to date
  • Nomination/Submission Contact: Name, email, institution, role
  • The individual nominated must be a current financial NAGCAS Individual member
  • The nomination form needs to be submitted by a current financial NAGCAS Individual member

Rising Start Project Criteria

A Rising Start Project is a new initiative of a careers team that has the potential to contribute to our sector across any of the following categories: Careers, Employability, Volunteering, Placements & Internships, Leadership, Exchange, Mobility or similar.

Projects can be a sole venture or involve working with another team in your institution or with an external partner.

As these initiatives are new, they do not need to be finished or polished, but must have commenced after 1 January 2016.

Rising Start Project Submission Requirements

  • Images: Project and Institution Logo
  • Project coordinator details: Name(s), role(s)
  • Date the project started
  • 500 words describing project
  • 500 words outlining the project outcomes to date
  • Nomination/Submission Contact: Name, email, institution, role
  • The nomination form needs to be submitted by a current financial NAGCAS Individual member

For questions regarding Rising Star Awards please contact: Catherine Klimeš – (08) 830 27853 UniSA, Adelaide, SA

We look forward to encouraging our Rising Stars to progress to Best Practice entries in the future.

 

Managing complainers on your team

 

Complainers. Whingers. How are you managing this type of employee in your organisation?

Characteristics:

  • Non-stop complaining about the company, the working environment, colleagues and customers
  • Does not see problems as opportunities to improve a situation.
  • Complains about things but walks away when called to take up the challenge to change things for better

Traits to look out for:

  • Low willingness to take up challenges.
  • Has very strong ideas of how things “ought to be”.
  • Low or moderate technical competencies to perform the job.
  • Has a weak desire to improve oneself by taking the necessary actions to learn new skills and adopt a mindset shift to address issues constructively.

Negative impacts:

  • Does not act on constructive feedback
  • May tire out managers through the recurring need to reinforce the same messages time and time again
  • Might not hold personal accountability and fail to deliver results within their area of responsibility.

While this personality type may already be walking around your organisation – and causing stress on the company’s time and resources – it’s important for organisations to take measures to avoid future costly mistakes. And this is where a strategic approach to HR comes in. An operational HR manager focuses on processes and compliance, but a strategic HR manager looks at the bigger picture in the organisation and focuses on the best strategies to curb toxic behaviours within the organisation.

What’s more, interviewing as well as other traditional hiring techniques may not be adequate to weed out complainers. Using the Harrison Assessment can help you avoid hiring these types and help you manage the complainer who is already working for your company.

This post originally appeared on the Harrison Assessments blog. For more posts like this, click here

To find out how you can use Harrison Assessments to find the right people for your business contact us here

5 steps to crafting a business

If you have started a business, chances are part of what got you started and keeps you going is the joy of creating something new — something the world wouldn’t have without your inspiration and hard work.

It’s not only the traditionally titled ‘creatives’ who create, and starting a successful business has much in common with more artistic pursuits. The critical, practical, steps you need to follow are the same, whether you’re building something handmade or crafting a business.

1. Inspiration

You know what you want to create, and the clearer you are about your finished product or business, the easier it will be to proceed.

On the other hand, a creative mind is an open mind, so it’s important always to be aware of information that will impact your project or business. By doing so, you may find a better way to achieve your desired goal.

Tip: Give yourself space and time to dream and to capture new ideas.

2. Design

Once your vision is clear, map out how you’ll achieve it.

In business, this is your strategic plan. The more detailed the plan, the easier it will be to follow – for you and others — and to know what comes next.

Tip: Translate what’s in your head into a format that makes it easy to check progress and share with others.

3. Tools

Now that you have your design mapped out, what skills, materials and tools do you need to bring it to life?

In the excitement of starting a new project, it can be easy to discount the importance of this step. It can be tempting to dive right in and get started, only to find out later that you’ve missed something essential to the project’s successful completion.

Avoid this frustration by identifying any gaps before you begin.

Tip: Find what’s missing and do what you can to be prepared before you start so your project (or business) can run smoothly.

4. Implement – and adapt

Nothing gets created until you take action to implement your plan. Without this step, you are just daydreaming. Time for imagination and reflection is vital, but constantly putting off starting something until you find the perfect way to create something can stop you from doing anything.

Tip: Make a start! If it turns out your plan isn’t working, change course. In the process, you’ve just learnt one method that won’t work to achieve your desired outcome.

5. Celebrate

Whether you’ve created a piece of furniture, a work of art, or achieved a business goal, it’s a wonderful feeling to sit back and admire your handiwork. Most business people don’t do this enough. All too often, we move quickly on to the next project and forget this step completely.

Tip: You made it! Enjoy the moment and appreciate what you’ve done. And remember to thank all those who helped you with your wonderful creation.

Starting and running a business is one of the most creative activities you can engage in. By applying the same simple steps you would follow in your leisure time to create a handmade piece, make a special dish, or build a garage or a garden, you can also create structure, process and discipline in your business.

This article was originally published on MYOB’s blog, The Pulse. For more business news and tips, visit www.myob.com/blog.

What’s your story? #11: Paula Ford

What's your story?

As the next installment in this popular series, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to the latest addition to our team, Paula Ford. Our clients will get to meet Paula as she starts to work on a variety of consulting projects at Balance at Work. Here’s what she told us about her career to date:

Paula Ford

What’s your current position and what do you do?

I am just starting work with Balance at Work and am very excited with this new chapter in my life.  I will be working closely with Susan to deliver a range of HR projects.  In addition, I also work part-time with a small and very committed Organisation Development Team.  In this position, I work mainly on developing, delivering and measuring a range of HR/OD projects to enhance organisational performance.

What other activities are you involved in?

I have two daughters so along with work their hectic timetable keeps me fairly busy.  Over the last few years I have been involved in managing their sporting teams and volunteering at their preschool/school.  I love to get out and mountain bike ride with girlfriends when I can and living in the Blue Mountains is ideal as we have so many great rides.

Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at school.  I started my working life in finance in a large private sector organisation but then decided that I really wanted to work closely with employees.  From there I did a secondment in HR and loved it.  I went back to study and moved into the HR field.  The more experience I got the more I realised that the psychology side of HR was what really interested me. Since then I have focused more in this area and completed further studies in management psychology.

What was your first job?

When I was 13 I was horse mad like most girls my age.  My parents were not horsey and thought this was just a phase I was going through.  They decided that if I wanted a horse I would have to save for it and work to help pay to keep it.  I think they thought this would put me off the idea.  Well dad got me a job of washing 50 cars at the local car yard.  I washed cars every Saturday morning for 2 years with frozen fingers in winter until I got a job at Kmart.  I think this was a valuable experience that contributed to my work ethic.  The horse wasn’t such a phase I kept him for about 8 years.

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career/life?

Having children has been the most significant change in my life.  It made me reprioritise and become a more balanced person.  It has made me realise that not everything has to be 100% perfect or you’d never get anything done.  You just have to have the courage to admit that we are all human and be willing to learn and grown from experiences.

Who do you admire? Who has inspired you?

Dr Maya Angelou a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker and civil rights activist.  An amazing African American woman born in 1928 who faced many closed doors in her life and not only survived but thrived with passion and compassion. I think one of her most powerful quotes is “I’ve learnt that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how they made you feel”.

If there were no limitations, what would be in the future for you?

I’d spend a year or two with my family travelling, living and volunteering overseas.  Whilst my husband and I have travelled I would like to share my girls’ experience of not only seeing the world but being a part of other communities and contributing to those less fortunate than ours.

Finally, what would you tell your younger self about work and careers?

Have the courage to try different things and take on opportunities.  If they seem daunting, know that you will never fail as success is not about achieving the highest level of performance or getting things right but it is about the experiences along the way that will help you grow as a person.

What’s your story? #10: Trevor Lloyd

What's your story?

Our latest career path story is from Trevor Lloyd who was recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to the community. This achievement is simply the latest in a long list, as you’ll appreciate when you read his story.

No time to read this now? Download it!

Trevor LloydWhat’s your current position and what do you do?

I am the Managing Director of a small property valuation company based in Blaxland, NSW. Lloyds Property Valuations employs eight people, four of whom are property valuers, the remainder being office and support staff. Our work is primarily mortgage work for bank lending purpose in both the residential and commercial sectors. In addition, we carry out family law work, compensation, investor analysis, court representation and much more.

As a leader of a team of very professional people, it is my job to ensure harmony within the team, provide professional back up where required, facilitate ongoing valuer training and ensure that clients are receiving the service they require.

We look on our employees as being members of a family.  There is no length to which we will not go to ensure that staff are being cared for. This includes generous family leave provisions, flexible working hours and conditions, and even pay in advance if necessary. Such provisions come back to the business with loyalty, honesty and output.

What other activities you are involved in?

For the past 22 years, I have been heavily involved with the Rotary Club of the Blue Mountains. I have also been involved with the Red Cross where I served for 4 years as the Blue Mountains Coordinator for Tele Cross, which is a daily in-touch telephone call to people living alone.

I was the inaugural President of the Glenbrook Toastmasters Club which trains people in public speaking. We also helped train students at local high schools to develop strong speaking skills.

Finally my involvement with the local Chamber of Commerce has enabled me to see clearly the challenges and obstacles that are faced by small businesses.

Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?

Most certainly not. I was keen to be a green keeper so that I could feed my fetish for the look and the smell of a freshly mown lawn. I still have the fetish but my lawn at home is smaller than I had envisaged and now I have a gardener who mows the lawn for me.

What was your first job?

I started work in 1968 at the Munitions Filling Factory at St Marys, NSW as an apprentice carpenter. It was ironic because, in my last year of school in Year 10, I had told my woodworking teacher that I no longer had an interest in woodwork and wanted to skip to a more useful subject to get m through the School Certificate.  I got through the School Certificate but only just. I ended up completing my apprenticeship with the PMG as a Trainee Technical Officer (Building).

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career?

On 18th January 1977, I was in the front carriage of my regular train on my way to work.  I had just completed my Building Certificate Course in 1976 but had to go back in early February to sit a post exam in quantity survey, which I had just failed to pass. I was such a lazy student.

At 8.10 am, the diesel engine left the rails and hit the stanchion of the Bold Street Bridge at Granville and bent it at almost 90⁰. As a result, it cut through my carriage leaving only a platform on wheels and killing ten people, including one lady who died in my arms. I still wonder how I survived.

At that point I realised that life had a purpose and that I should work harder to achieve the goals that I had and, with my first child on the way, to be in a better position to provide for my family.

This is not the best way to have a life changing experience. Ultimately 83 people died and 210 people were injured at Granville.

I completed the Associate Diploma of Business (Valuation) with flying colours back in 1990 and never looked back.

Who has inspired you?

There are many people in all of our lives who say something that may change your life or may be a role model we admire.

My father once said to me “if you aim for the stars, you’ll reach the clouds”. I remember I was never happy with the clouds.

One of my fellow commuters, when I told him that I was about to embark on a four-year Valuation Course – and would be 40 by the time I completed it! – simply said “What age will you be in four years if you don’t do the course?”

An old sage tradesman who was close to retirement when I started work once said to me “You will spend more time at work and see more of your workmates than you will spend at home with your family, so make the best of it and enjoy the ride”.

Lastly, my mother-in-law who grew up in the Jewish sector of Amsterdam during the Second World War said “Look what I have become in spite of my past and because of it”.

What would you tell your younger self about life and careers?

Turn your labours into challenges. When you are stuck at school and can’t understand, instead of heading for the no-hopers, turn to someone who did understand and ask them for help.

Always support and encourage those around you who appear to be square pegs. They usually become the successful ones in our society because they concentrate on what is important, which sets them up for long-term success and not short term gratification.

Everyone is capable of being a millionaire. It just requires goal setting, focus and work and it is within all of us.

Do you know someone whose career story should reach a wider audience?  Please drop us a line to let us know!

Please don’t say “I’m only a ….”

new employees

In many conversations I’ve heard people – often women – describe themselves in this way. Every time, I cringe because of all this phrase implies. Even if that’s not what you meant it to mean.

No time to read this now? Download it!

When you say, for example, ‘I’m just a receptionist’, notice what you are saying to the world – and yourself. It sounds like you believe:

  1. The work of a receptionist is not very important;
  2. You think you could/should be doing a more important job; and
  3. This is not the job you would choose to do if you had a choice.

Whichever way you look at it these are negative messages if you believe them. What if you had some other beliefs instead. Beliefs like these:

  • All work is important;
  • You do have a choice – perhaps not in the short term, but definitely in the long term; and
  • How you feel about your job is affected by how you talk about it to others. You don’t need to do that to yourself!

Everyone has a handful of jobs they are ‘born to do’. If you are lucky enough to have found what that is for you and you’re in that job, no matter how lowly you perceive it to be, please don’t talk it down.

On the other hand, if you really do hate your job and wish you weren’t doing it, you can express that without denigrating the role in general or the industry you work in.

Some industries have trouble attracting younger people. Part of the reason is that people already working in those industries just don’t promote what they do in a positive way – even when they do love their jobs!

No wonder young people, if they do happen to find their way into these jobs, often have no idea of what they’re getting into. They have probably never met anyone with experience in the role who has told them what it’s really like – both good and bad.

Next time someone asks you ‘What do you do?’ please remove the ‘only’ or the ‘just’ from your answer, even if you feel your work is insignificant.

By speaking about your job as if it’s important – because every job is! – you’ll feel better about it. You might even be the catalyst to someone else finding the career of their dreams because you didn’t talk it down.

What do you think?

What’s your story? #9: Santa Claus

What's your story?

We have a very special guest for our December career story – Santa Claus!

Santa Claus

What’s your current position and what do you do?

My position has different titles in different parts of the world, but I am effectively the CEO of a global gift manufacturing and distribution business. This job involves a huge variety of tasks including

  • Reading lots of mail
  • Checking who’s been naughty and nice
  • Overseeing the manufacturing and packaging operations
  • Managing a huge workforce who work long hours in freezing conditions
  • Coordinating the other Santas who help out in my place leading up to Christmas
  • Liaising with retail outlets and hospitality establishments worldwide
  • Delivering toys personally using a unique form of transport
  • Training and caring for a team of reindeer

In addition to these tasks, I am often called upon for guest appearances on television, in movies, on billboards and magazine covers, in parades and advertisements. I also occasionally find time to visit Christmas parties and hospitals.

What other activities are you involved in?

With the demands of my role, I have to pay close attention to my health and fitness. It’s rather tricky to maintain my rotund shape while still ensuring I can fit in the sleigh and down chimneys. Fortunately, the hard work before December 24 keeps me healthy while the generous amounts of milk, cookies, beer and fruitcake I consume on my rounds keep me ‘in shape’.

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career?

After the early years, when I was less well-known in English-speaking countries, the portraits of me by American cartoonist Thomas Nast in the second half of the 19th century were a significant turning point. My appearance as ‘Jolly Old Santa Claus’ in his drawings, like the one above, led to my greater popularity and the success I enjoy today.

Who has inspired you?

In the 3rd century, a monk – who eventually became St Nicholas – started the tradition of giving in secret. Here’s the story of how it started, from whychristmas.com:

“There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor, he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn’t get married.One night, Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas.”

I am proud to be able to carry on his tradition!

Finally, what would you tell your younger self about work and careers?

You never know how long a job will last! I’ve been very lucky because anyone who brings joy and delight to the face of a child will always be in demand. If you are willing to give without the expectation of receiving anything in return, who can tell what sort of career may be ahead of you?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers!

What’s your story? #8: Susan Toole

What's your story?

Susan TooleWhat’s your current position and what do you do?

Admin / Bookkeeper for Balance at Work Pty Ltd and Corptraining. HR Coordinator for Thorndale Foundation Limited.

For my admin / bookkeeping roles, I try and balance the numbers and provide ‘behind the scenes’ support for two small businesses. I started with Susan at Balance at Work almost six years ago. The role has allowed me to venture back into the workforce on a part-time basis, whilst my children were still young. Susan introduced me to Nikki Heald at Corptraining three years later, where I do very similar work. Both these employers allow me the flexibility to juggle their needs along with the needs of three young children and a husband, which is most important to me!

While I continue to work for Susan and Nikki, I started with the Thorndale Foundation just over six months ago in quite a different position as their HR Coordinator.  Thorndale provides support services to (primarily) adults with disabilities in the forms of residential housing, day programs and our Australian Disability Enterprise which gives them the opportunity for employment. There is a lot of paperwork involved, and an understanding of budgets/accounting has served me well so far!

I’m very fortunate that I really like the people I work for so going to work is never a chore!

What other activities are you involved in?

Currently, I am Treasurer (previously registrar) for St Finbar’s Netball Club, Glenbrook and I also volunteer for Combined Districts Kart Club – as Lap Scorer/Timing Official, Event Assistant and Canteen Helper.

Previously I have also been the Secretary, Treasurer and President of our local preschool when my children attended. It was while I was President that the preschool’s Director resigned and it was the committee’s responsibility to find a replacement.  After managing the process to the interview stage, I asked Susan to join our interview panel as our HR expert. During the project, she recognised my capabilities and not long afterwards, asked me to assist her at Balance at Work.

My volunteer work with the go-kart club also led to my employment at Thorndale. As some of my volunteering had been in an administrative capacity, I was able to demonstrate my potential as an HR Coordinator to the President of the go-kart club, who is also the CEO of Thorndale.  For me, it’s definitely been a case of “who you know” as a flow-on effect of volunteering.

Is that what you expected to be doing when you were at school?

To be honest, I never really knew what career I wanted when I was at school. I never felt a passion for anything that would drive me down a certain career path.  I was good at Maths and English so felt that I could take those skills with me anywhere, primarily in an office environment.  After I completed Year 12 in NSW, I moved with my parents to Queensland where they enrolled me in a Business College to give me more practical skills for an office, such as touch typing and shorthand.

I did start a Bachelor of Commerce as a mature-age student in Qld, but personal circumstances required me to relocated back to NSW so I didn’t finish that degree. Interestingly enough, my majors were in Human Resources and Industrial Relations which are so relevant to my position at Thorndale.

What was your first job?

My first paid job was on a Saturday morning at a local petrol station from the age of 14. I had the 7.00am to 12.00pm shift which then allowed me to head off to the netball courts for a game at 1pm. Whilst I occasionally filled up someone’s car with petrol and checked their oil, I was mainly behind the register. After my shift, I had to balance my cash register totals before I could leave. If I was out of balance, it meant a longer time there to re-check my figures so if I wasn’t spot on, I was late for the game!

My first full-time position was as a Junior Secretary in Brisbane for an Insurance Broker. It took me two trains and a car trip (and a fair chunk of my pay!) to get to work, but I had a truly lovely boss who I enjoyed working for so it was worth it until I could move closer to work.

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career/life?

No doubt having children! My husband and I made the decision that I would be a ‘stay at home Mum’ to raise our children, which I was quite happy with for about ten years.  However, once they grew out of the baby stage and developed some independence, I knew I wanted to return to the workforce on a part-time basis and develop some of my own independence.

Who do you admire? Who has inspired you?

Like a previous career story, I also admire Richard Branson.  His quote “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of the employees, they will take care of the clients” is something so many employers still need to learn.

My friends and family also know I am a Disney freak, so my other choice would be Walt Disney.  My favourite Disney quotes are very simple:  “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” and “Keep moving forward”.

If there were no limitations, what would be in the future for you?

If money was not an obstacle and my husband agreed, I would love to have my own animal shelter for both cats and dogs (or any animal that had been mistreated or was at risk).  We have our own little menagerie at home – one dog, three cats, two chickens and a budgie – who all bring a sense of peace and happiness to our household.  They are all well looked after and very spoilt. I would love to bring a sense of that to other less fortunate animals.

What’s your story? #7: Chris Bulmer

What's your story?

The latest addition to our series of career path stories features Chris Bulmer, National General Manager, Learning and Development, for ISS Facility Services.

As a  definite ‘people’ person, Chris’ career has progressed from farmhand to school teacher to where he is now, changing the working lives of his many and diverse peers. He’s not quite the famous rock musician he wanted to be as a teenager – but he’s still a ‘star’!

Do you know someone whose career story should reach a wider audience?  Please drop us a line to let us know!

Chris Bulmer

What’s your current position and what do you do?

I am National General Manager Learning and Development for ISS Facility Services.

The role is fairly new to the business and has been created to build a comprehensive Learning and Development platform for all team members to access in our organization. In two years we have created a learning structure that ensures that our people have access to training and development that supports their career path growth from Line level all the way through to senior leadership.

Its seems to be working well as our Employee Engagement scores relating to L&D have increased year on year since we started and for the past two years consecutively we have won the prestigious Customer Service Institute of Australia Training Excellence Awards!

What other activities are you involved in?

I have two great boys and spend a lot of my spare time on Mountain Bikes and riding the Gold Coast waves. My wife and I enjoy nice wines and we make sure that we all get away twice a year on overseas trips. Just back from Miami and New York City. I am a keen guitar player and enjoy playing music with friends when the opportunity arises.

Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?

No !!!!  I wanted to be a famous rock musician! I played in many bands before settling into life as a school teacher and ultimately the world of People and Culture.

What was your first job?

Farm hand on Dad’s farm. Free labour!! Musician was my first paying job and then teacher.

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career/life?

Meeting my wife Karen. I was messing around a lot and had no specific purpose apart from exploring the world and getting as much human experience as I could. When Karen and I got together I got focussed on career, owning a home and having a family. I still explore the world a lot as I am constantly travelling…. And take the family with me when I can.

Who do you admire? Who has inspired you?

My Father. He inspired me to have a go and work hard. He provided opportunities for me that he never had. Education was important to Dad as he had to leave school early to run his Dad’s farm. Thanks to him I got to go to Melbourne Uni and get a couple of Degrees. That made him very proud.

If there were no limitations, what would be in the future for you?

To successfully climb Mount Everest.

Finally, what would you tell your younger self about work and careers?

Never waste a minute of your life doing stuff that you don’t want to do or is boring. Pursue your Passion and never give up until you have nailed your goals and dreams. Don’t take yourself too seriously, have fun and always be good to your people!!

Are you on the career cycle of doom?

This is a phenomenon I’ve observed recently. Perhaps it applies to you.

If you are good at your job and work hard, you will, hopefully, be recognised and promoted. Then, at some point, your career comes to a grinding halt even though you’re more technically competent and working harder than ever before. Unfortunately, it’s a familiar pattern for many young professionals.

What are the outcomes of this mindset?

1. You take on more and more work to prove that you can handle it

Alternative: Take on more and more responsibility but make sure you have others around you sharing the load.

2. You neglect the obvious

Alternative: Take the time to really listen and observe what’s happening around you, so you’re across what’s really going on.

3. You lose the connection

Alternative: Learn about your team and take an interest in them as people. If they know you care about them, they’ll be more inclined to help you when you need it.

How do you get off the ‘cycle of doom’?

If you keep going this way, there is no way out.

As you work longer hours to get more done, all your energy is focussed on doing the operational and there’s none left for being strategic. On top of that, there’s no time or space allowed for reflection and growth.

With no time to reflect, you’ll stay stuck in your hard-working comfort zone.

That doesn’t sound (or feel) like a comfort zone, but it is! You are doing more of what you know instead of risking doing something different.

Are you ready to take a risk and try a different way? Your career trajectory can and will change – so do it before you burn out!

If you really want to escape the ‘cycle of doom’, we’re here to help. Give us a call!

What’s your story? #6: Chris Barton

What's your story?

Chris BartonWhat’s your current position and what do you do?

CEO of StartHere Pty Ltd, incorporating Rewardshere.com.au, PricePal.com.au and soon to be released folo.world.  We are a shopping technology business that allows consumers to receive a cash discount when they shop online and for companies and charities to use our white labelled solution as a fundraising and loyalty tool.

What other activities are you involved in?

I love spending the little spare time I have today with my kids and am involved in their sports activities such as Tae Kwon Do and Athletics and also playing sport myself, my latest interest is distance walking and trekking.

I also like to assist Not for Profits with business and marketing assistance as a way of giving back.

Is this what you expected to be doing when you were at school?               

I had no ideas what I wanted to do when I was at school, although I did go to Uni and get a teaching degree. I am not a believer in having clear career paths as I believe it boxes people in.  I think that most successful and happy contributors in our workforce understand what skills, strengths and weaknesses they have and find ways to make use of those skills by filling needs. I am more a believer in individuals building their ongoing skills and then understanding how to best market these to employers or through starting your own business.

What was your first job?

I stacked shelves at Franklins supermarkets!

Can you tell us about a significant turning point in your career/life?

The biggest turning point I had in my career/life was the day that I stopped working for money and started following my Purpose. I strongly believe if you follow your purpose and are successful at what you do other rewards like the money will follow.

Who do you admire? Who has inspired you?

I admire my parents, as they created the foundations and moral compass that I base my life on. I am inspired by my wife every day and particularly by those in our society who aren’t afraid to carve out their own path.

If there were no limitations, what would be in the future for you?

I am a strong believer that we all should live every day as if we have no limitations and I attempt to follow this consistently. Most limitations are self-imposed and can be easily removed. As soon as we remove these barriers from our thinking anything is possible. I think we should all get up every day with the belief that nothing can stop us achieving what we set after.

Finally, what would you tell your younger self about work and careers?

Understand your purpose, follow your own path, don’t replicate others and most of all have fun.

 

"The last couple of years at batyr has seen incredible growth and the Balance at Work team has supported us along the way. They have helped us improve leadership skills across the team by helping us source and manage mentors, and even engaging as mentors themselves. As a young and fresh CEO Susan has also supported me personally with genuine feedback and fearless advice to achieve great things. "
By Sam Refshauge, CEO, batyr
"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
By Jessica Hill, Head of People and Culture, Choice
"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
By Chris Bulmer, National GM Learning and Development, ISS Australia
"We use Harrison Assessments with our clients to support their recruitment processes. We especially value the comprehensive customisable features that allow us to ensure the best possible fit within a company, team and position. Balance at Work is always one phone call away. We appreciate their valuable input and their coaching solutions have also given great support to our clients."
By Benoit Ribe, HR Solutions Manager, Polyglot Group
"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead, employee and team development sessions."
By Shaun Stanfield, Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet

SUBSCRIBE