What could your career include?

Career-CoachAre you one of the many people who confuse the term ‘career’ with an occupation or job?

Your career is the variety of experiences that you have undertaken throughout your life – the continuous process of learning and development that includes both paid and unpaid experiences.

Rapid changes in information and communication technologies, increasing globalisation and greater competition all affect careers. With jobs always changing, you now need to keep learning throughout your life and to take charge of your own future. You have an active role to play in building your career.

You’ll need to:

  • take responsibility for your own direction and growth
  • know who you are and what your goals are
  • train yourself to learn new sets of skills
  • learn to see and understand the patterns in the working world and future work trends.

Building your career

As you gain more experience in the world of work and undertake a variety of life experiences, you are building your career. Here are ten influences that you should consider as you build your career.  They will all look impressive on your CV!

1. Work experience and volunteer work

Work experience and volunteer work are good opportunities to develop skills and networks and to decide what you would like to do. Work experience gives you time at a workplace to learn about an occupation or industry, as you observe others or complete tasks.

2. Community involvement

Community involvement gives you opportunities to network and gain valuable skills, knowledge and experience. Your community is made up of lots of different groups of people, such as school councils and communities, youth organisations and volunteer groups.

3. Employment

Draw upon your employment history as evidence to a potential employer that you’re the person for the job.

4. Life roles

All your different roles in life involve developing or enhancing skills that you can transfer from one relationship or association to another. Many of these skills can become useful in paid work, even if we learn them through a friendship, or through involvement in community work.

5. Enterprise activities

An enterprise is an activity or project that produces services or products. A business enterprise runs to make a profit and a social enterprise provides services to individuals and/or groups in the community.

6. Cultural activities

Culture is what gives groups of people a collective identity. It involves customs, beliefs and values, ways of behaving, and the objects and artefacts people make. Many aspects of your life, including your career, can be enriched if you take part in cultural activities.

7. Training

Training activities upgrade your skills, develop your knowledge and maintain your levels of competency. Training can be formal, resulting in a qualification upon completion or it can be non-formal, adding to your general skill base without giving you a qualification.

8. Education

Education is part of your lifelong learning process. Your career will probably involve a combination of formal and informal education. Formal education refers to programs provided by the three sectors of the Australian education and training system: schools, vocational education and training and higher education. Non-formal education refers to all other deliberate forms of learning. It can play a vital role in your career. It allows you to demonstrate commitment to, and interest in, a particular subject, and it keeps you up to date on the latest concepts and practices in your career field.

9. Interests

Understanding the common features of your different interests can help you choose an occupation or a course of study. Having a wide range of interests will add another dimension to your resume and employers like to see that you have enjoyed real life experiences in different settings and circumstances.

10. Sport and leisure activities

Being involved in sport and leisure activities can give you a wide range of skills, experiences and abilities that are highly valued in the workplace. Make sure you let potential employers know about them.

These are just ten examples of influences that affect your career. If you’re in the early stages of career development, buckle up and enjoy the journey as each day will be an enjoyable ride.