Look before your leap – have you packed your parachute?

Parachuting preparation

I watched with interest the ABC’s 7.30 Report on Monday 10 January. “A generation of Australians wondering if they’ll ever have a full-time job”. (You can find out more, or watch the story online.)

One statement really got me thinking:

“Young people are leaving schools and universities to a world where the chances of finding full time work is at its lowest since the world plunged into recession in the global financial crisis of 2008.”

They’re competing with each other, with previous graduates and with continuing workers. Those who have the best preparation, skills, resources, networks and knowledge should have the best chance of success. But, it’s like being part of an elite team – everybody has the skills, resources and knowledge! It’s whether you are ready when the time comes.

A lot of my recent work has been in the tertiary sector, so I had a quick look at some of the recent data for university student enrollments and course completions.

  • In Australia there were more than 328,000 applicants for undergraduate courses commencing in 2016. Around two thirds of these keen students were offered a place in a course. So, there are around 200,000 students entering university each year.
  • Around 15% of students will drop out before graduating, leaving 170,000 graduates with shiny new degrees competing in the job market.
  • In fact, in 2015, there were 324,836 course completions in Australia – from diplomas through to higher research degrees. There are a lot of people with qualifications competing in the job market!

What does this really mean for the school leaver, university student or new graduate? 

What can you actually do to give yourself the best chance of success with your hard earned qualification?

Plan your pathway and be ready!

Put yourself in the strongest possible position to get employment in your chosen career area. Be aware of the options available and be open to opportunities that arise.

  1. As much as possible, align your work experience to build your network and your skill set.
  2. Take opportunities to do voluntary activities that gain you experience.
  3. Consider related jobs that will give you hands on experience in the area you want to work in.
  4. Obtain evidence – reports, attendance sheets and certificates of completion, or referees to reinforce your know how.
  5. Write it all down, keep records and make sure it is all up to date.

So, start developing an action plan, and get yourself ready. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, so don’t enter the job market without a sound plan.

If you need help to ‘pack your parachute’, contact us.


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Mind the Gap

Transition – what are we talking about?

Leaving home to attend University, TAFE or start a new job is a time of transition for any young person. Transition is stepping from the station platform onto the train – you don’t want to slip between the gap! You want to be sure you are stepping onto the right train, and you need to make sure you have everything you need for your journey.

Making a smooth transition requires planning, courage and support. It’s one of life’s major challenges, and can be unsettling if unprepared for the adventure that awaits.

Defined, Transition is: “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”. We transition throughout our lives – from year to year, one home to another, from school to work, or work to retirement.

Being prepared for this period of change is critical. Transition is emerging as a key concern of post-compulsory school education, whether moving from high school to a job, GAP year, TAFE program, apprenticeship, or university study.

My experience of the transition out of home, way back in the 1990s, is vastly different to the transition experienced by today’s young adults:

  1. ‘Transition’ as a concept didn’t really exist. It was called ‘leaving home’ and was generally accepted as something you did when you finished school. Now, “transition” is a whole area of academic research. There are specialists in Transition Pedagogy across the world, and transition concepts span years – not just the first few days out of home. These specialists provide frameworks for transition and develop programs to support all involved.
  2. The internet had no impact in our social lives. Few people had mobile phones, and we wrote letters or postcards to connect with friends and family. We weren’t as up to date with what was happening back home, and it was harder to keep in touch with friends and family. In most cases, you had to make new friends and connections, because you just couldn’t keep in touch in the same way as we can now. These days, FOMO (fear of missing out – tip for digital immigrants) is a major issue. There’s intense competition as to who is living the most awesome new life in their new environment, with snapchat, facebook or Instagram posts sharing ups and downs instantly with new and old friends.
  3. My parents and I had similar moving out experiences. Our experiences in our new environments were in person, by phone or through the post. Uni in the 60s and 70s wasn’t that much different to the 80s and 90s. Today, it’s unlikely that most parents have much experience in common with what their kids will go through. For today’s students, the reading and information processing expectations are huge (email, website, online forms and timetables) and the communication styles are completely different (facebook chat, webinars and skype). It can be just as confusing for parents as it is for the young person. Both generations are starting a journey.

My experiences working in higher education and secondary education mean I know about the huge differences between high school and university or TAFE. My own recent experiences as a student mean I understand the expectations for study for current students. My contacts, across Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland and America, provide me with insight and perspective relevant to many different settings.

If you want to make a smooth transition, the first step is to understand what you know and what you don’t know. One you’ve got that clear, you can work on what you need to know.

I can help you navigate the system, understand the language, and prepare for the next part of life’s adventure! Contact me to find out more.

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laptop and pen and paper on desk

Launching Mayten Consulting has been an exciting process, well outside my comfort zone. Starting my own business seemed a huge challenge, but here I am! There was lots of inquiry, idea generation and introspection along the way.
The seed for this venture was planted in my previous roles, but was nurtured by a network of experienced mentors – my fellow Rotarians from The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak. As business owners, leaders, and supporters, they’ve provided advice and assistance in growing this idea and giving me confidence to break out on my own. Rotary has provided the best professional development I could have ever hoped for, with local, national and global opportunities on offer.

I’ve had the privilege of access to high quality education, and have been supported by my family and friends. I know they’ve shared their ideas, concerns and hopes with me, and I trust I can put these to good use. From Mum and Dad through to my Brothers, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins, they’ve provided feedback, advice, and encouragement. This ‘free’ consultation service is one all small business owners should use!

Building my business concept has also connected me with many local professionals. I’ve found prompt, efficient and reliable experts to help build my brand and develop Mayten Consulting’s identity and services. Thanks to:

Cass for graphic design – Cassandra Dray 

Mitch and his IT team at Colton Computer Technologies 

Mitch for website expertise – Next Level Digital

Robert’s photo shoot – Robert Bruce Photography 

Brad Evans from YBM for financial and accounting advice.

I’ve also made many contacts within Orange Young Professionals and had the opportunity to attend their networking and professional development events.

My advice, if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business:

  1. Talk about it to your friends and family.
  2. Build a network of mentors, advisers, and supporters.
  3. Use the resources available online to help navigate the regulations and requirements, and double check the details!
  4. Be thorough in assessing your skills and entrepreneurial spirit. Be confident and competent in what you do.

It’s been challenging and rewarding so far, and hopefully it continues in the same vein.

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