There’s no agreed definition of these terms and they often get used interchangeably… but in practice they can look a bit different, often depending on someone’s experience and training. Career professionals can come from varied backgrounds – often from Human Resources and Recruitment, Psychology or Counselling, Teaching, Social Work or Employment Services – and all of these areas look different.
I encourage you to think about the type of help you’re looking for, and then look for career practitioners with the training and approach that match your needs and expectations.
For example, if you want direct, practical advice on resume trends or interview preparation, you might choose someone with expertise in Human Resources or Recruitment. If, on the other hand, you’re seeking personal support as you work through a challenging situation or transition, you might prefer to work with a professional, practicing Psychologist, or a trained Counsellor.
A great resource for researching different career professionals (including their areas of expertise and their background and training) is the Career Development of Australia’s ‘Find a Practitioner’ page: https://www.cdaa.org.au/find-a-practitioner.
No – and I’d encourage you to be very wary of any Career Practitioner who’s willing to do that, for several reasons:
- Every brain on this planet is wired differently; we develop unique neural ‘maps’ through the interplay of our genes and our individual experiences, as we try to make sense of our worlds. As a result, what resonates for me is inevitably different to what will work for you.
- I cannot ‘know’ what’s right for you – and nor can anyone else. Instead, I help you to better understand yourself and then make informed decisions, with up-to-date knowledge of different careers and opportunities, and suggested, practical action steps.
- The career landscape is changing and you’re increasingly unlikely to make a career decision just once in your lifetime. To be successful into the future – to adapt to changing labour market conditions, new technology, and shifting job roles – you need to step into the driver’s seat, and drive your own choices and development. Good career assistance is about empowering you – giving you the insight, understanding, support and tools to manage your career into the future.
If you’re looking to find a job, I can help you to clarify and articulate your value proposition, work on your positioning and diversify your job search strategy – so that you’re effectively communicating what you can offer in a way that helps you to stand out in the market. I can also help you to identify networking opportunities and to hone your pitch and approach – a key part of job search these days – but I cannot directly find you work.
This is more in line with the role of a Recruitment Agent or Consultant, so if you’re looking for help in finding work directly, I’d encourage you to reach out to Recruitment firms who work in your area (tip: LinkedIn’s a great tool to find recruiters with experience in your area). In working with a recruiter, remember that they are working on behalf of the organisation who is paying them to find them great candidates – they will not be working ‘for you’ directly – and the clearer you can be on what you’re looking for, and what makes you a great candidate for those roles, the more they’ll be able to help you.
Very few recruiters will provide you with advice on your career direction or progression… they’re generally far too busy trying to fill the roles they’re managing!
Overall, I take what’s called a “coaching” approach; that is, I help you to step back and figure out what’s right for you. I do that by creating a safe, supportive space where you can consider and clarify what’s important to you, explore your options – with me throwing in some fresh perspectives and possibly stretching your thinking in different directions – and then help you to set an action plan, where you can experiment and take manageable steps forwards.
On a practical level, I often swap hats during a session, depending on who I’m working with and what’s most helpful. For example, I’ll wear my ‘HR and Recruitment’ hat when I’m giving professional feedback and advice on resumes or interview skills. I’ll wear my “Career Coach” hat when I’m sharing relevant information about jobs, employment changes or labour market trends… and when self-doubt or fear’s holding someone back, I’ll introduce some strategies and tools from psychology.
Throughout, my focus is always on helping my clients to get clearer about themselves and what they need, and to give them the support they need to move towards the future they want.
There is currently no mandatory regulation of Career practitioners in Australia, nor any minimum standard for the industry… which in effect means: buyer beware. I have been a member of the CDAA (Career Development Association of Australia) since 2011, which means that:
- I’m accredited by the key industry body in this space, recognized at a professional level
- I’m current and up-to-date in the industry; to maintain accreditation, annual professional development hours are required
- I’m bound by a professional code of ethics and have professional indemnity insurance.
I offer face-to-face services from an office in inner city Brisbane (New Farm), as well as providing telephone or Skype sessions for those who can’t make it in, have a preference for this approach, or who are living inter-state or internationally.
My normal appointments run during office hours, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with some limited availability on Mondays and Fridays, by arrangement.
My normal appointment times sit around 9.00 am, 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm… but with notice, I can offer appointments starting from 8.00 am in the morning, to 5.00 pm in the afternoon. I don’t start sessions after this as the work I do is intensive in nature and over the years, I’ve realized that after a busy day at work, my clients don’t get full value from these later sessions.
I can, depending on your needs; everyone I work with is different, so I am flexible in how I work.
If you only need one session – for example, to polish your presentation skills ahead of an important job interview – that’s no problem, and if you’d like to bundle services together – say interview skills, followed by a mock interview session – then I offer a discount for that.
If you’d like to book multiple sessions, to work through career choice, change or development – or to work towards specific life goals – then I’d suggest we discuss your needs and we can plan this together. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll get back to you.
No. I originally studied Psychology planning to become a Clinical Psychologist, but after my Honours year and more experience, I realized it wasn’t for me. Whilst my Psychology background informs my work and I keep up to date in this area, I am not a registered, practicing Psychologist.
If you’re looking for assistance with any mental health issues, or you’re keen to work with a registered Psychologist, I encourage you to refer to your GP and / or to check the Australian Psychological Society’s register: https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist.
Unfortunately not; as above, this only applies to registered, practicing Psychologists.
Some of my clients have successfully claimed tax back on our services, and I can provide an invoice for this purpose, but this will depend very much on the advice of the Accountant you work with.
Every client I work with understandably values their privacy and every consultation I do is absolutely confidential, so I cannot refer anyone to previous clients. However, I do appreciate the importance of hearing about others’ experiences, so instead, I have a client testimonials page on my website (and yes, these are real testimonials from real people!).
Unfortunately, it simply isn’t possible to guarantee results from any career service, as I have no control over what anyone does with the information, insight or advice after a session (and we all work to different schedules, taking action or making changes when we’re ready to).
I appreciate that many people have spent many weeks or months (sometimes years!) reading up on career change, often doing different tests and questionnaires before reaching out to me. I did this, when I was going through my first big career transition and it gave me a lot of information… but no real actionable insights. I’m guessing this may sound familiar.
I like to start afresh with everyone I work with, using tools that I know are of value and which cover all the key points of career development (personality, values, motivators and interests) in a practical way. If you’ve done additional assessments, by all means send or bring along the results – I’m always open to any additional information.
I’ve listed the main services I offer, below, based on the majority of my clients’ needs. If you don’t see your situation described, please drop me a line and we can talk about your options…
- I’m exploring possible career directions and I currently have little or no work experience:
A Career Choice consultation will help you to assess your preferences, needs and interests, and then explore possible roles and pathways forwards – with an action plan to guide your next steps.
- I’m thinking about a new career, and I’ve been working for 2+ years:
A Career Change consultation will help you to audit your current skill-set, check in with your key preferences and motivators, and explore options where you can bridge into new roles or fields.
- I’m seeking progression or promotion within my current career:
A Career Development consultation lets you clarify your current skill-set and situation (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), and strategise action steps to position you for progression.
- I’m clear on my career goals and applying for specific jobs, but not getting anywhere:
Job Search coaching will help you to review your current goals, evaluate your marketing, industry presence and approach, and give you new strategies to optimize your reach in the market.
- I’ve got a job interview coming up and I’m feeling unprepared or rusty:
Interview skills coaching helps you to prepare effectively, practicing and polishing your performance, with tailored feedback on answers, body language and managing nerves.
- I’m getting through to interviews, but I’m not getting any offers:
Interview skills coaching will help you to understand what’s expected, where you’re hitting the mark and where you can polish your presentation, with tailored feedback and advice.
- I’m looking to partner with someone whilst I make a change or work towards a goal:
Change can be challenging, and working with a professional coach helps you to get clarity, take action, stay accountable and move past any obstacles and set-backs on your journey.
Before any session, it’s helpful to take some time to reflect on your situation now, what’s brought you here and what your goals are for the future. I’ve also suggested some specific questions to think over ahead of specific coaching consultations:
- What ideas do you have for your career direction at the moment?
- What advice or ideas do others have?
- What kinds of things do you tend to be good at?
- What strengths do others comment on?
- Where do people tend to seek out your help?
- How would others describe you to me?
- What school subjects do / did you enjoy most… and least?
- What does ‘fun’ look like to you?
- What does ‘stress’ look like?
- When you imagine yourself in the future, what does your day look like?
- What are your favourite things to do?
- Where do you get so engaged in doing something that you lose track of time?
- What have you enjoyed most about your current (and / or previous) work?
- What have you enjoyed the least?
- What strengths do you have… and which do you most enjoy using?
- What type of tasks, activities, settings or people give you the most energy?
- Which drain you?
- What kind of things motivate you, and gives you job satisfaction?
- Where do you get so engaged in doing something that you lose track of time?
- Where do you feel most alive?
- What are your goals for the future? (short, medium and longer-term)
- What’s worked well for you in developing your career so far?
- Where are you hitting obstacles, and what’s your sense of these?
- What strengths, skills and achievements are you aware of?
- What areas for development or learning / knowledge gaps?
- What feedback have you received from others? (strengths and areas for development)
- What’s your presence and profile within your field / industry at the moment?
- What job search methods have you tried so far?
- How did you secure any previous positions?
- What marketing materials do you have? (cover letter, resume, LinkedIn profile)
- How confident are you about each of these?
- What do you see as your value proposition, in terms of your skills, strengths and reputation?
- What achievements demonstrate these best?
- What would colleagues tell us about you? (strengths and areas for development)
- What’s your profile and presence in the industry now?
- Thinking back over any past interviews, what’s your experience been?
- What kinds of interviews have you had? (telephone, skype, group, informal, panel)
- What kinds of interview have you found most challenging?
- What areas of the interview were most challenging?
- Which questions were you asked – and which were you must unsure of?
- What feedback have you been given on your interviewing, or broader communication style?
- What do you tend to do when you’re nervous?
- What do you want people to know about you, in terms of your strengths, skills and qualities?
- Which areas of your life are working well for you right now?
- What achievements are you most proud of, in your personal and professional life?
- What are your main values, motivators or mantras?
- Which areas are you less satisfied with across your life?
- Are there any areas you’ve given up on, or any goals or dreams you’ve let fall by the wayside?
- What would you like things to look like, one year from now?
- What tends to stop you moving forwards, or get in your way?
- What tends to motivate you most?
Yes. Helping to support someone in choosing, changing or developing their career – or to clarify what’s most important to them in life, and assist them in achieving personally meaningful goals – is a lovely, thoughtful present and one I often get asked about.
We have high quality, professional printed cards which you can have sent to a friend or family member, with the option of either nominating a specific service / services, or specifying a set number of sessions and letting the recipient choose what’s most helpful, themselves. If this is something you’d like to know more about, please get in touch.
That’s absolutely fine – I encourage you to do some research on other career practitioners and services out there, as you need to feel comfortable with the person you’re going to be working with, and I may not be the best person for you.
To get a feel for my approach, I suggest you have a read through the website, maybe read some of my blog posts (as these are often focused on previous clients’ experiences, and give you an idea of my approach) and if you’re on LinkedIn, feel free to look up my profile. Finally, you can always contact me via the contact form and we set up a time to have a quick chat, from there.