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Your inside info on job seeking – sector by sector

by Yvette Maurice

Thinking of changing job sectors or industries? There have been studies that indicate that most people will have between five and ten different careers in their lifetime. Retraining and entering another industry can be daunting but it needn’t be impossible.

Often, effective job seeking comes down to knowing what each particular job sector is looking for. Are the skills required in the health and wellness sector the same as those required to find work in the business world? Open Colleges has spoken to some of the experts in each industry to get the facts on what it takes to study, interview or gain employment in five of the main job divisions in Australia. Do you have what it takes? Get the inside info on these diverse sectors below:

The business, management and services sectors

Industries represented: administration, business, management, marketing, human resources, information technology, project management, training and assessing, tourism and hospitality.

Your inside information on this sector

There are more than two million trading businesses in Australia, including small businesses. This is a vast area of the Australian employment market and there are many opportunities for new entrants to the sector or for those who are re-entering after time away from work. Gaining employment in business, management and service roles could be a wise move as there are often pathways to promotion or opportunities for further advancement or study. What skills, traits and attributes do you need to succeed in this area of industry?

1 minute with Paula Irvine,

Head of Faculty, Business, Management and Services, Open Colleges

The inside info on job seeking

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the business, management and services sector?

You will need to be flexible, willing to try new things and keen to learn. It also helps to be proactive.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

You can be exposed to many different organisations, ways of doing business and career paths. Business is an all-encompassing profession, so you can make it what you want – this allows you try many things.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the business, management and services sector is:

Make sure your resume shows the depth and breadth of your study and experience. This is the age of the generalist! It’s important that you aim to point out how many ‘strings’ you have to your bow.

What the sector says

Michelle Furtado, business coach and corporate leader at littleaussiecheerleader.com

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the business sector?

Determination, willingness and passion.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

It is constantly changing and there are new challenges every day. If you love what you do, not only does your professional growth sky rocket but you can experience amazing personal growth.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the business sector is:

Be clear about exactly what you want from your career as this will guide your choices. If you’re not sure, experiment!

Pathways to the business, management and services sector

Dual qualification: Certificate IV in Marketing BSB41307 and Certificate IV in Small Business Management BSB40407

This combined marketing and small business management course is designed for potential or current small business owners, managers, marketers and sales professionals. This course allows you to gain marketing insights as well as business competencies. It’s a course that would suit those who have some industry experience that they would like to formalise, to ensure the success of their future business endeavours.

The community service sector

Industries represented: aged care, childcare, community services, counselling, disability, education support, youth work.

Your inside information on this sector

This is one of the fastest growing sectors of employment in Australia. For example, health and social care workers now account for 11.6 per cent of the country’s jobs. Statistics are also positive for those who want to work in childcare and education support. Australia’s second most common occupation is now community and personal service, which includes those who work in health and welfare support, carers and aides, and several other professions. This group represents 9.7 per cent of Australia’s labour force. What skills will you need?

1 minute with Pam Newell,

Head of Faculty, Community Services, Open Colleges

Pam Newell

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the community service sector?

You should be genuinely caring and interested in people. You should also be organised and curious and keen to discover new things.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

It is one area of work which can be life changing for the people that you work with. The sector is evolving constantly as society changes. This leads to new government policy. It is often flexible, and many people enjoy the community-engagement aspect.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the community service sector is:

Doing a course in the community service sector is the ultimate way to make a contribution to people’s lives. It is one of the most important sectors, as our services usually touch most families in some way.

What the sector says

Patrea O’Donoghue, Queensland-based psychologist from positivepsychologystrategies.com.au

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the community service sector?

You need to be personable, patient and authentic.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because: It is so rewarding to help and see others make the changes they desire.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the community service sector is:

I would advise that applicants need to be clear about their reasons for wanting to be in the community service sector. Focusing on others is the key.

Pathways to the community service sector

CHC30408 Certificate III in Disability

Working in disability can be a rewarding career for people who care about others. One in five people in Australia has a disability and as the population ages, this is set to increase. The disability sector is a fulfilling and interesting place for individuals who care about the rights and independence of others, and who are looking for a potentially flexible and secure career. This course is entry-level, so would suit those who are aiming to gain workplace experience.

Creative industry

Industries represented: journalism, graphic design, interior design, fashion design, photography, web design.

Your inside information on this sector

The creative industry sector has emerged as one of Australia’s strongest job-sector performers, with employment growing by a steady 2.8 per cent a year for the last five years. This is 40 per cent faster than the economy as a whole (based on the latest census data). However, the creative industry sector can be amongst the most competitive to get into. Mentorship, having industry contacts, and flawless, contemporary skills can all help. How does your current portfolio look?

1 minute with Andrew Barnum,

Head of Faculty, Creative Industry, Open Colleges

Andrew Barnum

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in a creative industry?

You need to be a curious energetic explorer and an adaptable flexible learner.
Finally, you need to be a crafty thinker/maker/problem-solver!

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

No two days are the same. You are always in a state of finding a new opportunity to make new things with people and working on the projects that you’ve uncovered through your passionate hunting, then finding even more new work and challenges through networking, pitching, winning and losing. You are always driven to being involved with industry through a burning desire to keep learning and producing with like-minded colleagues, clients and mentors. Working in creative industry is not just a living, it’s a life!

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in a creative industry is:

Be prepared to jump in, learn, adapt and contribute to the creative conversation, no matter your discipline, level of knowledge, skills or attributes. Be ready to put your hand up to join in, collaborating and learning how to be a valuable member of the creative industry community.

What the sector says

Anne Miles, managing director and executive producer at internationalcreativeservices.com.au 

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in a creative industry?

You need to have a ‘can-do attitude’! – Nothing should be too hard or too weird! You also need to have humility because you’ll be asked to do things you think you’re ‘better than’- but you don’t get to use your skills until you’re proven in the business. Lastly, you need to use lateral thinking: never stop finding solutions to problems. There is no such thing as ‘no’!

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

There are ever-evolving challenges to help clients stay ahead. Continual change and problem solving keeps the energy in the day.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in a creative industry is:

Networking and making connections. Realise that most jobs are not advertised, or often, someone will create one around your skills. Keep making creative for your folio, because art for the sake of it won’t cut it in business. Take on real briefs and work under direction, even for free, to get the skills and be known.

Pathways to the creative industry sector

LMT41007 Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design & Technology

This course has been custom-designed for students seeking to break into the fashion industry. You will learn all the necessary dressmaking and patternmaking skills, allowing you to take your current fashion goals to the next level. If you’ve always wanted to design fashion, now is the time. This course can be done completely online while you keep up with your current work, study or family commitments.

The health and wellness sector

Industries represented: allied health, animal and pet care, beauty, dental assisting, fitness, health services assistance, natural therapies.

Your inside information on this sector

Healthcare is now one of Australia’s biggest industries of employment, according to the latest census. Fitness professionals are also in demand, due to the country’s growing obesity epidemic. The natural therapies and beauty industries are also growing in popularity, as these professions often provide flexibility and the option to work around other commitments. What skills, attributes and personality traits should you have to be successful in this vast and varied area?

1 minute with Karin Rule,

Head of Faculty, Health and Wellness, Open Colleges

Karin Rule

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the health and wellness sector?

You should ideally have compassion, patience, communication skills and be good at team work.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

The remuneration is sound, there are usually flexible working hours and significant career opportunities. There is also the opportunity to improve the quality of communities and lives of individuals.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the health and wellness sector is:

Make sure you have the right education and qualifications. Perseverance and patience always help as do enthusiasm and motivation.

What the sector says

Kate Toholka, holistic health and life coach and occupational therapist from summersaltlife.com.au

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the health and wellness sector?

You should be resilient, committed and empathetic.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

It’s constantly evolving with new and refined practices that aim to improve people’s lives.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the health and wellness sector is:

Gain as much real-life experience as you can by taking on volunteering opportunities in your chosen field.

Pathways to the health and wellness sector

SIS40210 Certificate IV in Fitness

This certificate has been developed as a nationally recognised qualification from the SIS10 Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package. It covers fitness planning and programming, legal matters, client screening and motivation, program delivery and business planning. The certificate also includes a work placement so that online students can gain the real-life skill development they need to hit the ground running in their fitness career.

The finance and accounting sectors

Industries represented: finance and accounting, bookkeeping.

Your inside information on this sector

According to a new survey, the employment market is very positive for accounting and finance professionals. Salaries have been rising as organisations compete for the best performers. Some 53 per cent of employees were awarded salary increases, with more than 17.5 per cent receiving increases greater than 10 per cent, according to the Accounting and Finance Salary and Employment Insights 2012 report. It surveyed 1281 employers and 928 employees in Australia and New Zealand. According to the study, the skills shortage is escalating competition for the most sought-after professionals. Do you have what it takes to succeed?

1 minute with Melinda Arko,

Head of Faculty, Finance and Accounting, Open Colleges

Melinda Arko

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the finance and accounting sector?

You should be analytical, have critical thinking skills, and be good at effective communication.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

The financial services industry is a profitable, secure and wide-ranging industry providing a variety of job roles across different sectors. It enables you to assist people and organisations with financial analysis such as budgeting, payroll and preparing financial statements. It is a rewarding sector to work in with endless career opportunities.

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the finance and accounting sector is:

I advise that you should complete some form of formal qualification because it is a highly competitive sector. Be persistent and have a genuine passion for both working with figures and people.

What the sector says

Craig Du Rieu, managing director of Lawson Elliott Recruitment, an accounting and finance specialist recruiter

What are the three main personality characteristics required to work in the finance and accounting sector?

You should be analytical, intelligent and have good attention to detail.

This is an exciting sector to work in, because:

The accounting and finance sector is extremely diverse (accountants do more than just tax!), employment opportunities are always strong and you can progress your career to very strategic roles such as CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and even CEO (Chief Executive Officer).

My main piece of advice for jobseekers in the finance and accounting sector is:

Have a well written CV, focus on longevity in roles (employers don’t like job-hoppers), take a medium to long term focus. Don’t just concentrate on the short term dollars.

Pathways to the finance and accounting sector

FNS30311 Certificate III in Accounts Administration

Designed to suit online learners, this course offers exceptional flexibility. Start anytime, study online from home and progress at your own pace. A nationally recognised qualification, you’ll learn a range of valuable skills required by clerical and administrative workers in finance departments and businesses. Spreadsheets, payroll work, MYOB and BAS services are covered as well as training in fundamental office procedures. This is an entry-level course, suitable for most potential accounting enthusiasts.

Ready to explore a new job sector?

Why don’t you start with some research? If you feel that you need to up-skill or get some more credentials on your resume, there are over 100 courses available online with Open Colleges. From general interest, to certificates and diplomas, many of these courses provide pathways to further study, including university degrees, or they can kick-start your job seeking process.

Studying a course can be a great way to make connections with industry and to hone the skills you currently have. Search over 100 cutting-edge courses here.

1 Response

  1. Thanks a lot for posting this information.

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