Career counselling for novel writers helps you to promote your financial future and provide the space to maintain your writing through improved career decisions. It does so by developing your skills and understanding of career management. With career counselling you recognise those skills that are 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 in support of your writing career.
The benefits of career counselling has been 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 writing and publishing, and perhaps selling novels as an independent author.
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 day job important,
- you need to transition to a more sustainable day job.
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 day job opportunities with confidence. My role is a catalyst assisting you to better 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 so you can better balance your day job and your writing life. The changing world of work is affecting working women more than men according to the World Economic Forum. The changes affecting women often apply to novel writers who have prioritised writing during their twenties and thirties, slowing the career momentum in their day job. Career counselling addresses the challenges writers 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 meaning they draw from a writing life.
Shared career transitions in mid-career
Mid-career writers 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. The 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 writers across the span of their career.
Writers 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 day job, or whether to re-orientate. The need to change day jobs 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. This can be a challenge for writers who struggle with standard evaluations of their progress in day jobs, and have begun to doubt the meaning of the works they have written. The task of preserving your self-concept in these circumstances is often aided by consciously re-finding your self when you are in the mid-career mindset.
The extra career transitions facing writers
Sometimes writers have to navigate additional transitions in their 30’s and 40’s, such as returning to education or employment after a break. Writers with a history of part-time and contract work also have fewer opportunities for ongoing roles and face having to seek a new employment contract or project more often than professionals without a writing career. For many writers in their 40’s an important factor in successfully dealing with these transitions is having a strong positive self-concept that can be projected into their day job. A strong, positive self-esteem is particularly important when employment for writers 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 writer’s career path.
By mid-career further needs have to be accommodated within the expanding matrix of a writer’s responsibilities in seemingly every sphere of their life. In the mid-career transition, writers often experience an emerging desire to include more of their self 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 writing life is clearly a challenge. Many of the novelists we know from the literature section are known to us because they were able to develop an academic career in creative writing. Which is a day job that can provide substantial time for writing and a stable income. Additionally, by mid-career writers as the lesser earning partner 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 writers need to take into account in career development are also being 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.Unfortunately for writers this often means having to devote more creative energy more often, to working out where the next day job will be. 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 people who write novels 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 writers
Mature workers of either gender face difficulties obtaining employment after they reach 45. Writers (like many professional women) have an even greater challenge 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 novel writers before age has a further impact on their income earning capability.
Many writers 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 average. Furthermore, in the medium term the world of work is changing in ways that are eliminating significantly more of the sort of jobs many writers currently seek (administrative, sales and customer service roles) are being replaced with newly emerging roles. Unfortunately, a World Economic Forum report predicts, of these jobs, only one new job will be created for every six jobs lost due to the structural changes in the years leading to 2021.
Writers often want to retain employment in the paid workforce. Being able to fund a writing lifestyle is chief among the benefits of ongoing employment. Another is having the capacity to self-fund your retirement. Employment is also desired by writers because it provides complementary meaning, intellectual stimulation and creativity to their writing career. There is also the emotional damage of un and under-employment in the mainstream workforce when writers suffer self-doubt about the quality or the output of their novel writing. At times like that the research shows those who are unemployed or under-employed experience damaging effects to their psychological health.
If you think career counselling can benefit your writing life and 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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