MODULE 6: Career transitions

MODULE 6: Career transitions


Today’s workplace … Transitioning from university to the workplace … Career pathways”
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Summaries

  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 1: Today's workplace > Today's workplace
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 1: Today's workplace > Insights into the workplace
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Transitioning from university to the workplace
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Graduate insights into transitioning into work
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Employer expectations: Graduate transitions
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 3: Career pathways > Career pathways
  • MODULE 6: Career transitions > 3: Career pathways > Stories of career journeys

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 1: Today’s workplace > Today’s workplace

  • REA Anyone over 65 will tell you the workplace for them was different to how it is now.
  • You’ve probably heard a story about someone starting out in an organisation when they were 15 – in the most junior role possible – and working their way up the ladder until retirement – spending their whole career with the same company.
  • The reality of today’s workplace is that it is fast-paced, global, constantly changing and job security is hard to achieve.
  • To keep up, you need to be agile, adaptable and prepared for rapid change.
  • Some of the skills and attributes that you’ve developed thus far, can be drawn upon as you encounter challenges in your job and on your career journey.
  • What can you expect in the workplace? One of the first challenges is simply finding work in today’s competitive labour market.
  • Even if you have secured a job, it may not be the role you expected to land after you graduated.
  • You may need to plan how to get where you want to go.
  • The impact on your career of contract work and the general fast pace of the workplace is that you may build a career on a portfolio of roles.
  • ANNA Gone are the days where you weren’t hired if you had had multiple short-term jobs.
  • So what you need to do is make the most out of every role you have and learn from your experiences so that you can take them with you to your next job.
  • If you find yourself in a situation where you have had multiple jobs in a short period of time, you need to think of your career journey holistically.
  • REA Another characteristic of the modern workplace is that it operates in a global economy.
  • You may well have the opportunity at some stage in your career to work abroad. Globalisation means that international events and changes to the global economy may have an impact on the way your organisation operates.
  • Generally, organisations reflect the cultural diversity of our communities and employers value a diverse staff who bring a range of perspectives to their organisations.
  • To help give you a better understanding of what we are talking about, let’s hear from two employers on their perspectives on the workplace.
  • SHARON Since- I think the workplace has changed for graduates over the years.
  • We have up to four or five generations in one workplace, sometimes even in one team.
  • BRANT I think in the current reality we have in the workplace for new graduates it’s a lot different than it was several years ago.
  • You have to be demonstrating you add value to an organisation because there’s lots of companies who are losing staff and having issues with budgets and when people who are not adding value to the organisation are spotted then that’s going to make it more difficult for you to stay with the company.
  • ANNA So you can see that while the workplace can be challenging, you will be in a better position to cope with the challenges if you can draw from the personal attributes that you developed through your university experiences that helped you secure your first job.
  • Just as you needed resilience to cope with challenging experiences while you were studying, you’ll also need it to cope with some of the realities that the employers talked about.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 1: Today’s workplace > Insights into the workplace

  • EMILY I think the reality of the workplace for me-going from being a student nurse to a nurse, it is quite a leap.
  • I think the main thing that you don’t necessarily know and no one can really teach you is that the degree of responsibility is a lot higher.
  • I think that it’s very important in the workplace to make sure that when you need help, you ask for help.
  • CRAIG I think both in Australia and abroad there’s huge amounts of changes in terms of the way in which the engagements are happening.
  • Very rarely do people to get employment agreements particularly when they’re coming from abroad or on overseas secondments, all those sorts of things.
  • I think when you’re first walking into that sort of environment, and you don’t really know what the norm is, what the practices, it can be really be difficult to know whether you’ve got an employer who is doing the right things by you, or whether you’ve got an employer who’s essentially trying to take advantage of you in some way.
  • I think it’s just about being aware of what-from a contractual stand point what your rights and responsibilities are, and sort of being across that.
  • You can find people out there who can do the same job maybe at a worse level, maybe at a better level, but there are people out there who are willing to do the same job as you.
  • LUCY I think my reality in the workplace is probably a bit different to what a lot of grads experienced.
  • I think it’s really circumstantial to whether you go into a large company or a small company.
  • My reality of work at my current role is quite small and flat structured.
  • It’s really interesting to see the work styles, and how they differ, say, in France to the US or to the UK and to Australia, of course, as well.
  • I think the reality was definitely different to what I expected in my degree.
  • I think I’ve- would have thought it would be much more structured and give much more progression as you would when you’re learning in the course.
  • Really, you kind of get thrown in deep end a bit I think.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Transitioning from university to the workplace

  • ANNA Congratulations, you’ve landed your first graduate job! So many exciting things ahead – this is the start of your career! New colleagues, a new workplace, the chance to actually apply all the things you’ve learned at university in the real world! And you’ll be earning money! Smooth sailing, right? Transitioning to the workforce from university is a really exciting time but it can also be quite challenging and, like any major change, there will be things you’ll need to get used to.
  • One of the key things you will be drawing on is resilience as you deal with whatever comes your way in those early months.
  • You may not face the challenges that we’ve listed, or you may face different ones, but the thing to remember is that while employers DO expect you to ‘hit the ground running’, they still understand that you are a new graduate and that it will take some time for you to learn the ropes.
  • Here’s Emily, a graduate nurse, talking about her experiences: EMILY Working full time shift work is very different to your experience in prac.
  • There are experiences that I’ve had where I felt maybe pressured as a first year nurse that I’m not quite up to scratch in the sense that I’m not as speedy as the other nurses, or I’m not necessarily as experienced in certain things as other nurses who are more skilled than me might be.
  • You are expected to not do things as quickly or as well or as capably as other nurses, so really just about asking for help and taking the time, I think, is something that I’ve really tried to learn from.
  • CLAIRE When students arrive, they are normally sitting close to someone who has got the time to mentor them and to coach them all day long.
  • We put people and we pair them up so they can be asking questions the whole time.
  • If you’re asking that question, the same question for the third time, we’ve got to wonder why they didn’t remember it the first time they were told.
  • I do expect people to remember what they’re told, and then to build on that knowledge as things go forward.
  • Within their working week, they have certain amount of time when they are expected to use their initiative to go and find out the things that they need to learn.
  • They’ve got to be disciplined, and use their initiative, and make good use of that time.
  • From our own experiences, we know that these challenges arise each time you change jobs, even within the same organisation.
  • There may be some challenges ahead as you begin your first professional job but the important thing to remember is that it is a learning experience and being aware of the potential challenges is the first step.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Graduate insights into transitioning into work

  • CHARISSA Transitioning from uni to the workplace wasn’t the easiest thing.
  • I would say the first thing is that you get to sleep a lot less when you’re actually working and have a full-time job.
  • Really sticking to a routine of five days a week is very different from uni, where you might have classes just twice a week.
  • The reality of the workplace is that you really have to manage your time well and get used to this new schedule that you have and be really disciplined to not show up for work late.
  • Another thing I would say in terms of transitioning from uni to the workplace is that being very conscious of the way you dress.
  • Make sure your skirts are always to your knee, at least, and your tops in a super low cut and things like that for ladies.
  • That’s a really important thing I found in the transition as well.
  • CRAIG I think for me the transition from university to work was most about learning about how business worked, and how the mechanics of the workplace work, and how working with different people and different stakeholders are all about.
  • The real thing that determined the success of that sort of transition was essentially how well I could adapt to the workplace itself, going in and meeting with clients, understanding those that the way in which business is done above and beyond the mechanics of doing the business.
  • I would really recommend to any student to participate to as many placement, or do as many internships as possible, because it makes their transition much smoother, I would say.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 2: Transitioning from university to the workplace > Employer expectations: Graduate transitions

  • Now, it’s our part to train the people, to train them with our systems, how to behave on the client side and whatever.
  • We find that people sometimes come in with expectations that are not realistic.
  • It’s important for them just to really be willing to learn and just to have the attitude I think, just to be a good team member and just fit in with our culture.
  • Really just basically a commitment to wanting to be there.
  • We’ve seen people who aren’t really having a strong desire to be present and be there.
  • At the moment we really just want people who are willing to learn and can be taught, and we can do the rest.
  • There are particular hurdles where people fall down.
  • We’re used to actually prompting people before they trip over the hurdle, that this point is coming.
  • I’m quite sure people will be partying hard, and that kind of goes with the territory.
  • The people who know will be here at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.
  • The young people who have come into the workforce are probably going to be reminded, “You can party hard, but you are at your desk first thing in the morning because we can’t run a business where people aren’t at their desks.” That is one very big step from being a student then suddenly being in the workplace.
  • Actually, I expect people here to think a little bit creatively, and to use some common sense to go and find things that need to be done.
  • If it’s not obvious, perhaps what needs to be done right here, right now, ask for work to be done and really help to contribute to just to keep the wheels in motion.
  • CRAIG When we take on new graduates within our company, for us it’s really about the way in which they apply themselves through the work and to their own learning process and self-development along the way.
  • There are lots of people who put in lots of effort, but it’s in the wrong areas.
  • What we really look for is we want that-particularly in our company, the culture of work-life balance is really important to us.
  • Someone who comes in and promises that they are going to work really hard and they’ll work weekends and work nights actually is a turn off for an organisation like us, because we’re going to see that as a cultural clash with what it is we’re trying to create.
  • A lot of the stereotypical, what people think they need to say in an interview, or do when they get in the workplace won’t necessarily always hold true.
  • Whether that’s from our learning and development team, in HR team, or whether that’s from someone else within your department that can train you up in a few areas and really make your stay here with us and your time with Harrods a little bit more enjoyable as well.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 3: Career pathways > Career pathways

  • ANNA Did you know that, according to Graduate Careers Australia, 64% of law graduates don’t actually work as lawyers? And graduates with a generalist degree work in a whole range of different jobs – you can basically find these people anywhere! No matter what you choose to study, there are are so many different options available to you.
  • Even doctors can end up as hosts of their own TV talk shows! We’ve all heard of someone who has spent years studying for a job in a particular field only to find six months into that job that it’s not for them and they change direction altogether.
  • REA I am a classic example of this, I studied to be a school teacher but I left in my first year of working to start a different education role at a university.
  • If you are studying for a professional degree such as law, medicine, accounting, architecture, or teaching, you are probably aiming to work in a role in that field; so, lawyer, doctor, accountant, architect or teacher.
  • The number one reason is job market fluctuations and oversupply of graduates in certain professions.
  • ANNA You may feel quite a lot of pressure to find a fantastic job in your field as soon as you have graduated.
  • It’s important to remember that it can take time to find even your first job, let alone a fantastic one! As the old saying goes, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince.
  • I could only get a temporary contract as a teacher and I was seeking better job security.
  • Prior to studying to be a teacher, I had worked in higher education so when I left teaching, it seemed natural to me to look to higher education for the next stage of my career journey.
  • So in my case, a passion for education has determined my career journey.
  • ANNA I studied Mandarin Chinese and Japanese at University in New Zealand, because I loved languages and really had no idea what I was going to do as a career once I finished.
  • There may be times in your career when you work in a job not related to your degree, or even not working at all, and these ‘career breaks’ can be for a number of reasons, such as travel, further study, family, or the general fluctuations of the labour market.
  • Generally, you need to look broadly in your career journey and be flexible and adaptable to go wherever it takes you, even if you hadn’t planned on things going that way.
  • Ultimately, you to determine how you define success in your career journey.
  • You need to work out what your goals are and be prepared to be flexible and to create new goals as your career develops.
  • Think outside the box when it comes to your career journey.
  • You can have a rewarding career that might look quite different from your classmates or what you had in mind when you first enrolled in your degree.
  • Can you even imagine where you may end up in your career? That’s the exciting part! You never know where it is going to take you.

MODULE 6: Career transitions > 3: Career pathways > Stories of career journeys

  • CHARLIE I think what I’ve learned since commencing my first job is that our careers are much more malleable than we realise.
  • I think we feel like we’re beginning a set trajectory when we’re 22, and that is very rarely the case.
  • I dramatically changed my career direction in my early 30s. If you told my 21-year-old self that, I wouldn’t have believed it, but what I’ve learned is that it can take a long time to develop your passion and your true calling, if you want to call it that, and you have to be patient and let that happen.
  • I think the way that I’ve been able to transition from studying Arts, Law to Design is essentially understanding what appeals to me and being honest to what doesn’t appeal to me, regardless of the amount of work that I’ve put into something.
  • There were very weak signals to begin with, and I just had to learn to trust those signals and then to invest in the skills to be able to deliver.
  • I think in some ways I’m much more ready for that career than I would have been if I had studied originally, so I don’t have any regrets in that sense.
  • LUCY I think what I’ve learned since commencing my first job is that, and this probably applies for any industry, is that what you learn in your degree isn’t the be-all and end-all of what you’re going to do in the workplace.
  • My first job, even though I was primarily doing PR, it was also a marketing agency, so I had to learn marketing skills as well.
  • My next job was during film production in Vietnam, so then I had to apply the film skills I learned at university.

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