Choosing the Right Career


Exciting

Wouldn’t it be great to be in a career that you love, doing exciting things and feeling like you made the right choice every day? It can be stressful to make that decision, or even start thinking about it. Most young school leavers feel pushed to make a choice so early, and feel they will be trapped in what they choose forever. But that is not the case, most people change careers two or three times in their lifetime. So making a change when you’ve realised you don’t like a career, or like something else better, doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

Purposeful

For many millennials, the predominant factor is finding work that is purposeful. You know, that thing that makes you get up in the morning, the passion for accomplishment. There are a few steps you can take to narrow down the surprising amount of choice in front of you.

  1. Find what you’re passionate about? What do you find yourself thinking about or doing in your spare time? Maybe you actually really like maths class, or you enjoy writing songs or poems.
  2. What are you actually good at? Be realistic about it, but also realise that most things get better with practice. Keep at it!
  3. Do one of those career quizzes, it could tell you something you don’t know; such as this: http://joboutlook.gov.au/CareerQuiz.aspx
  4. Try an internship or ask for advice from someone in the field. Internships can be excellent ways of finding out the reality of the job and if you do really enjoy it.
  5. If all else fails, take some time to figure it out. Taking a gap year and working a temporary retail position can give you the time to see what you are passionate and interested in. Maybe you’ll even enjoy the retail work and aim for a managerial job?

Career

If you find an interest in a not-so-mainstream career path, make sure to plan how to get there. Being an artist or musician or poet (stereotypical alternative pathways) can still work out better for you than a corporate/retail position. You may even make it into a business.

If you want to start a career but aren’t ready for university, we offer short courses in business, accounting and management.

For those of you who want to be leaders; are good at maths; or want to make their passion into a business.

Here’s our course catalogue: https://lindencollege.edu.au/faculty-schools/course-catalogue/

Your Key to Understanding Successful Study


Successful Study

There are three essential steps to developing good skills:

  1. Self-awareness – insight into yourself (and other’s opinions about your abilities can impact your capacity to achieve them)
  2. Strategy – developing good habits and applying the best approach
  3. Personalised approach: adapt your strategies to suit your strengths, interests and circumstances

Take some time to think about and reflect on these, maybe write down some points to remember about how you study effectively.

Intelligence

Have confidence in your own intelligence. Without this confidence, you will doubt yourself and that’s not productive for study. What does intelligence mean to you? What is intelligence? Here are some examples of common thoughts about intelligence:

  • Intelligence is an underlying, general cleverness which is fixed by genetics;
  • Intelligence has many kinds (linguistic, musical, kinaesthetic, logical, etc.);
  • Intelligence can be developed;
  • Intelligence depends on your life opportunities;
  • Intelligence may be interpreted differently in different people;
  • Intelligence if about applying what you know easily to new contexts;
  • Intelligence is a question of how much you know;
  • Intelligence is easy to measure;
  • Intelligence is about applying effective strategies that can be learnt; and
  • Intelligence is a question of habit and practice.

Do you feel a truth in one or more of these responses? Now you are more self-aware about your predispositions about intelligence, that’s step 1. We can move on to learning.

Successful Learning

Successful learning is a process. It can be unconscious or conscious, use varying senses, different levels of attention, be fast or slow. Conditions for successful learning include: new experiences, foundations, rehearsal/practice, processing new information and understanding on a new level.

Optimal learning happens in many different environments and conditions, including: working out which time, place, space, or routine works for you is really beneficial. A place that you learn best might be a classroom with bright lights and others, or at home where it’s quiet and you can focus. Knowing your optimal learning conditions allows you to replicate the conditions in different places. If you truly enjoy what you are learning, the environment might not even matter. Build your habit and routine of learning; keeping notes and due dates organised is a general help to most students.

There are many different ways to describe the different learning styles. Knowing your learning style may help you understand your optimal learning conditions. If you have a visual or kinetic learning style, you may need to adapt the way you receive the knowledge.

Personalisation

Personalising your learning by combining all of the above will improve your self-awareness of your learning process or style. Personalising your learning environment and conditions will take some experimenting. If you prefer to study with a group, you will need to set up or find a study buddy or group. If you are an auditory learner and lectures and recordings really work for you, you will need to plan your learning and revision around these. Keep in mind not to narrow the range of conditions too much. You may want to try and use various skills to learn.

Happy studying!

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

Developing Your Study Skills for Success


Managing yourself for study – Developing your student skills

Following on from the first post, ‘Success as a Student’, this post is about the study skills you will use and how to develop them. Since it’s been a while, here’s a reminder of the last topic, I’ve copied the skills needed to be a successful student. Skills valuable to the student:

  • self-motivated
  • self-discipline
  • organised
  • goal-orientated
  • perseverance
  • routine
  • perspective
  • problem solving
  • and stress management

Basic Research Skills

This is the ability to find information, speed reading, using multiple sources, making notes of important information, organisation skills, as well as using numerical data. Basically, these are all skills required when completing homework or assignments. This will come naturally to some, but others need time and practice to build these skills. One helpful tip I can give, is to use keywords when looking for information, and speed reading.

Thinking Skills

Now, this one really does rely on you. It’s about decision makings, such as which piece of information to use; memory skills; critical thinking; creative problem-solving, and understanding. Memory skills are quite obviously important, and there are many strategies available to aid your memory recall. Critical thinking skills will be essential in all studies. It requires you to evaluate the quality of sources, interpretation of information and building a strong line of reasoning. Your understanding of the content and the task at hand is instrumental in using these skills, so you will need to be engaged in the material and discussions to practice these skills.

Written and Other Communication Skills

This is about how you write, getting your ideas across in a clear and precise manner. This brings in organisation and planning, the style and format, the audience, referencing, specialist terminology, academic integrity and using subject appropriate conventions. This is also where having organised notes from research will be beneficial.

People Skills

Studying with others requires you to take an active part, make a constructive contribution in classes, give feedback, work collaboratively, and support your fellow students. This doesn’t have to be a big thing, and if you don’t know what to do to help in a group setting – ask another group member.

Task Management Skills

Task management is like a combination of self-discipline, time management and the above skills, in one. As a student you will have to produce set items, like essays, reports, and presentations, etc. You will find that there is criteria to meet, formats that you need to follow, and potentially – specific resources that you are require to use. Therefore, having good task management skills means you have to be organised, goal orientated, motivated, develop self-management and stress management skills.

It takes time to build these skills, if you haven’t already, however, in the studying environment you will find these come quickly from observation of fellow students.

 

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

Success as a student


Managing yourself for study – Success as a student.

We all desire success when commencing a new study. This blog is the first in a series that will provide more insight into getting the best out of your study.

What is expected of you?

In vocational and higher education, there is more freedom of when and what time you learn – however, this also means you need to have more determination, persistence and self-discipline. That last one especially. You need to be independent – which includes looking for your own answers instead of asking the course facilitator or lecturer. Be self-motivated, organised, goal-orientated, and open to group work. You need to figure out how you learn best, and how you study best. This could be at a particular time of day, in a certain space, with or without music, etc etc. It’s also helpful to make goals and keep track of due dates. I find this works best for me with a monthly calendar and a whiteboard to write the weeks priorities. You are expected to manage your own time and life, which often requires a bit of organisation.

How vocational and higher education differs from previous levels?

The teaching methods are different, with you partly being responsible for your own learning. The work is harder, more complex, and takes more time – which makes time management is essential. Lecturers/tutors will encourage debate and self-research, but ultimately, it requires you to be open to new learning opportunities, and take some initiative with your own education. You will find that a lot of the material and content requires you to be tech literate.

How to make the best of the experience?

Studying in vocational and higher education, it may feel like you have more time, more choice, but you also have more control, more responsibility, and less guidance.

To make the best of the experience, you will need to learn some new skills (some mentioned in the “what is expected of you” section). Self-discipline and time management are the most critical student skills. Building your self-discipline, i.e. the thing that makes you sit down and finish the reading or assessment instead of bludging or going out, will enable you to stay on top of work and meet deadlines. None of which can happen if you aren’t organised, and don’t manage your time well. The best thing to do is to write out all the due dates, and plan some time in the weeks before to get the work done. Once you get the hang of it, you will find student life less stressful – and you may even have a better study-life balance.

How to build resilience as a student to maximise success:

Resilience helps you manage when study and life gets stressful and tough. Starting a vocational or higher education course can feel like a lot of change, but have confidence in yourself. When you are challenged, it is resilience that makes you push back. Key skills that aid resilience are; motivation, perseverance, routine, perspective, problem solving and stress management.

Other things to consider are:

  • What success looks like for you?
    • what makes you feel successful
    • realistic goals
  • What are your anxieties and resources?
    • stresses, pressure
    • family, friends, college or university student services, experience
  • Student relationships that are beneficial for both parties
    • study buddies
    • going to class together

 

Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.

4 Tips To Improve Your Mid-Year Performance Review


Mid-year performance review – What’s on your career horizon?

We all feel a bit of fear coming up to the mid-year performance review, but one of the best things you can do for yourself and your workplace is be prepared. A performance review should be a productive, genuine two-way conversation that is part of a wider work practice of mentoring and staff development, and associated business development. You should feel a little nervous; but by keeping track of your accomplishments and taking note of where you need to or want to improve, you can bring something worthwhile to the table.

Things to think about:

  • Reflect & report on your achievements: 
    • reflect on and honestly assess what you have produced – keep track of you highs and lows, and moments where you received feedback from others, and other outstanding… or not so moments.
  • Focus on what’s next:
    • Think about what you want to achieve – and what you need to make it happen.
    • Do you need to upskill? Set goals, objectives and targets that are realistic and achievable.
  • Don’t take it personally:
    • Critique from your manager should be expected. Constructive criticism is important for you to know where and when to improve yourself and your work.
    • When confronted with a legitimate critique, take a solution focused approach and identify how you plan to correct it moving forward.
  • If you feel you’re due for a promotion or pay rise:
    • You’ll need to have gone above and beyond what was expected of you in your role.
    • State your case, but be prepared to manage your expectations against the business needs.
    • Develop a list of all accomplishments over the year, and be as detailed as possible in expressing targets met and new skills acquired.
    • Demonstrate your commitment to ongoing learning, leadership, coaching or mentoring and further development.
    • Possibly, consider other benefits you might like to receive instead, as a reward for your great efforts. E.g. external training, flexible working arrangements, parking, health insurance or even a gym membership.

This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, keeping a diary throughout the year can save time and stress. A few dot points or prompts can keep your mid-year performance review smooth and fear-free.
We hope these tips can help you get the best from your review!

Staying Healthy While Studying


Studying is hard, and it takes a lot of brain power. So to keep you fueled the healthy way, we’ve put together some tips for you.

8 Tips to keep you healthy:

  • Obviously I’m going to say eat your fruit and vegetables. Not only do these delicious foods supply us with nutrients and vitamins, but also are much healthier than the chips I bet you ate sometime this week
  • Don’t forget the carbohydrates! Try to keep it minimally processed (e.g. brown rice, instead of white). Plants are grown to be the perfect package.
  • If in need, baked beans are a poor/time poor student’s best friend.
  • Snacks (YES!) Snacks are what students are all about. Keep it light with some nuts, blueberries, or watermelon to keep you hydrated and fueled (yes, frozen is fine). Bananas are also great for a rushing-to-class snack.
  • Cook in bulk, if it’s easiest. You can make enough rice and curry to last a week without too much fuss.
  • Drink water regularly! Being dehydrated slows you down, both mentally and physically.
  • Exercise – going for a walk around the block (or further) lets you take a break from study and keeps your muscles and lymphatic system pumping.
  • Take breaks. Extended periods of sitting and reading can be just as harmful to you and not studying can be to your grades. Get up and do a quick tidy up, or cook a meal while you listen to music, grab a coffee, or if you dare – watch a YouTube video.