Career counselling helps you to promote your financial future by making better career decisions. It does so by upskilling your approach to career management. With career counselling you recognise your skills as marketable and transferable strengths, and learn how to refine them. Within limits, it gives you the confidence to choose where and how to apply those skills.
The benefits of career counselling were confirmed by Australian researchers. They concluded it works best for clients when career advisers use techniques and skills in specific ways that meet the particular needs of each client. My career development method is a systems approach focused on how to use your capabilities to improve on the job performance, or pivot to a new career track. Enlarging how you understand your unique abilities can ease many of life’s stresses. It is a great way to get work life balance on your journey to reduce debt, grow your wealth and having the choice to retire early.
For career counselling in Perth, this systemic approach to career management is useful when:
- you want to improve your long-term career resilience, flexibility and agility
- the force of circumstances makes adapting to a sub-optimal job important,
- you need to transition to a more sustainable role.
A systems approach aims to confirm the situations that enable you to be at your best. Using the prism of skills, talents and an awareness of what you really want from your career, grows your ability to evaluate emerging career opportunities with confidence. My role is a catalyst assisting you to use of your gifts to advance your effectiveness across your entire life.
This is a personalised service, shaped to take into account your particular worldly experience, meet your unique needs, and name your strengths.
Benefits of career counselling
- Improve career and learning decisions
- Stay in the work-force and elevate your chances of obtaining ongoing full-time employment
- Better well-being
- Improved quality of life, including engagement with your community, interests and values
- Increased capacity to live your desired lifestyle
- Develop more career resilience and flexibility
Career development aims to boost proficiency in career management. The changing world of work is affecting working women more than men according to the World Economic Forum. Career counselling addresses the challenges women in mid-career have, by situating their life experience in a holistic framework, and by introducing skill and strengths assessments. This generates a guide to actions that expand three career management skills: work-life balance; life-long learning; and a positive self-concept. Career management is a crucial expertise supporting you in the quest for financial independence. One aim of my career counselling in Perth service is to advise on how to fulfil those goals with your own ingenuity. This is important for people committed to creating and maintaining the option of retiring early.
Shared career transitions in mid-career
Mid-career woman aged 30 or more have a range of career development needs stemming from life-stage transitions. Additionally, they often have to overcome age and gender barriers in their workplace and potential employers. Their professional career goals include: a desire for continuing employment, both for the stimulation it provides, and the financial demands of lifestyle and retirement. Research indicates career management skills of work-life balance; life-long learning; and a positive self-concept grounded in a keen understanding of their capacities and limitations, are among the key career development needs of women across the span of their career.
Women in Mid-career are likely to be in transition on several levels. Firstly, after establishing a career, around the age of 40 there is a transition to the maintenance career stage and mindset. A characteristic of this transition is to question whether to continue growing in the current career, or whether to re-orientate. The need to change careers often arises if there is a desire to reclaim aspects of the self that the prioritisation of other aspects of life has over-ridden, including “suppressed talents, interests and values.”
Once through that transition the next is the ‘Establishment’ stage. It usually continues into the mid-60’s. The primary career management task for individuals in Establishment is to preserve their professional self-concept. That task is often aided by consciously “re-finding their self” when you are in the mid-career mindset.
The extra career transitions facing women
Other transitions women usually have to navigate in their 30’s and 40’s are returning to education or employment after a break. Generally it is still only women who have to seek full-time work as their child-rearing responsibilities ease. Women also have fewer ongoing roles and face having to seek a new employment contract or project more often than professional men. For many women in their 40’s an important factor in successfully dealing with these transitions is having a strong positive self-concept. Researchers have concluded a strong, positive self-esteem is particularly important when employment for women in mid-career finishes for reasons other than the natural end of a contract. Those reasons include changes like “relocation, family circumstances …and unexpected circumstances” that can often disrupt a women’s career path.
Research shows the work-life balance career management skill is also critical for women with children early in their careers. Then by mid-career further needs have to be accommodated within the expanding matrix of their responsibilities in seemingly every sphere of their life. In the mid-career transition women often experience an emerging desire to start “…including themselves and personal time in the equation” of their work-life balance requirements. Accommodating those needs within the demands already placed upon them; from the extra pressure in the workplace on account of their gender; and the burden of domestic and child-rearing responsibilities, is clearly a challenge. Additionally, by mid-career women are often experiencing an increased demand to provide elder-care. The complexity of their lives and the magnitude of the challenge should not become a reason to diminish the significance of the new needs. The prioritisation of resource allocation to work out how to accommodate those needs during the crucial mid-career stage can be an investment that pays significant dividends later in life.
New transitions as the economy changes
New transitions mid-career professionals need to take into account in career development are driven by the transformations taking place in the world of work. The way work has evolved in Australia and other nations increasingly puts the responsibility for all elements of a person’s career on the individual rather than their employer. Now success with your career goals often comes from horizontal growth, rather than the linear progress through seniority or upward mobility in an organisational hierarchy. Careers are becoming multi-directional, and more commonly involve many organisations and roles.
In today’s world of work more and more “people experience a shortened version of the maintenance” career stage, in line with the flattening structures in many organisations and the replacement of full-time core professionals with gig based human resourcing. In this environment people need to understand how their skills are transferable; and how to capitalise on, extend and increasingly re-orient their strengths, knowledge and skillsets. This often means the skill of lifelong learning to support career goals becomes a vital career development need.
In summary, Mikes Career Counselling Perth service takes an ecological approach to focus on three career management skills identified as top level priorities for professionals in the mid-stage of their career path. These are:
- 1) Build and maintain a positive self-concept by clearly identifying strengths and skills;
- 2) Participate in life-long learning supportive of career goals; and,
- 3) Maintain balanced life and work roles.
Why career advice can assist mid-career women
My interest in assisting women in mid-career has developed through several experiences. Not the least of which were the circumstances of my life and a very early engagement with Simone de Beauvoir’s work. Long observation of, and academic confirmation of the structural disadvantages many women face in life and the workforce. Also witnessing the obstacles women in mid-career have long had to put up with to retain ongoing and meaningful work. Mature workers of either gender face difficulties obtaining employment after they reach 45. Women however, have an even greater challenge than men obtaining interesting work later in life, due to the greater complexity of their career path. Career management at mid-career has several aims, one of which is to do what can be done to secure the financial circumstances of women before age has a further impact on their income earning capability.
Professional women already have a lower participation rate in the workforce; they are more likely to be employed in a part-time capacity; and their mean income is significantly lower than men’s. Furthermore, in the medium term the world of work is changing in ways that are eliminating significantly more jobs currently held by women than are being replaced with newly emerging roles.
A World Economic Forum report predicts, of the jobs currently held by women, only one new job will be created for every six jobs lost due to the structural changes in the years leading to 2021. Women working in administrative, sales and customer service roles are most at risk. Even before these changes, many organisations encounter difficulties retaining mature women. They employ women at entry and junior levels and are unable to retain them later in their working lives.
Women too want to retain employment in the paid workforce. Being able to fund your desired lifestyle is chief among the benefits of ongoing employment. Another is having the capacity to self-fund your retirement. Employment is also desired by women because it provides meaning, intellectual stimulation and creativity. There is also the emotional damage of un and under-employment: “unemployment research has substantiated that those who were unemployed, defined as jobless and seeking work, experienced damaging effects to their psychological health.”
Career management services are often only accessed when someone becomes unemployed. Notably, publicly funded services rarely meet the needs of mid-career women who have attained a degree of career competence. Furthermore, research shows mid-career professionals rarely access the full-service career counselling provided by private career development professionals. At present there are few free career development resources available for mature professionals. The Australian Government’s Jobactive service provides basic job and interview coaching services for people working less than 15 hours a week. Currently there is one career development program available through MOOC’s. Although it too targets university students and recent graduates in the USA rather than Australian professional women.
If you think career counselling can benefit your career path please contact Mike through the contact page on this site or via Linkedin.
You can read more about Mike on the About page
If you are reviewing other career professionals in Perth please consider
- Carole Erkes and
they are both outstanding practitioners.
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