Career transition in Victoria to improve employment opportunities
Photos and footage of Centrelink queues in March this year will be hard to forget – especially for the thousands of Australians compelled to apply for government financial support. Australians saw the unemployment rate soar to 7.5% in July, before easing back to 6.8% in August. Following Victoria’s additional lockdown measures, forecasts suggest around 400 000 jobs could be lost in Victoria every year for the next five years, with around one fifth of those jobs projected to be lost in Melbourne. It is not surprising to learn that accommodation and food services, as well as arts and recreation services, have been the hardest hit industries in Victoria.
Despite these sobering statistics, official figures indicate there have been around 100 000 jobs created between July and August 2020. The key questions for those who find themselves without work will be how to find these newly created jobs and how to adapt current skills to new industries or jobs.
Key career transition points for Victorians
While losing your job can make you feel isolated from your former colleagues, or even friends and family who don’t understand your predicament, you aren’t alone. Many businesses utilise the services of professional outplacement provider specialising in career transition services. Engaging such a service can assist in identifying a person’s key skills and experience, focus on upskilling (where necessary) and provide practical advice and support such as tailoring a resume or cover letter to more clearly reflect an applicant’s skill level or experience.
If you haven’t received services for outplacement or career transition in Melbourne and need to work on your resume and job applications yourself, here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Transferable skills – these are the skills you have gained in paid employment (or unpaid roles) that are essential across many industries. Consider specific training or development you have undertaken and how it could relate to another role or industry. Think: communication skills, time management, project management experience, leadership skills or the ability to remain calm under pressure.
- Digital capability – it’s not hard to understand why employers value technologically savvy applicants. If you haven’t gained digital capability through your workplace, think outside the square – have you connected with family and friends in an online space? Has your gym or fitness centre used an online platform for classes? Recognise your learning outside the workplace and list it in your skill set on your application.
- Upskilling – it is important to admit when your current skill set needs expansion. To successfully transition between careers you may need a short refresher course, or even something more substantial.
When you need more – there are resources to help
It doesn’t matter if you have come from a brief casual employment role or a 20-year term as an executive, taking on some short-term study could be the perfect solution to bridging the gap between your current knowledge and experience, and the skills you’ll need to gain work in a changing workforce. And there are plenty of free support services and government initiatives that can help to improve your employability.
The Victorian Government has added two free priority courses to the existing Free TAFE course list to reduce financial burden on Victorian residents. Many of these are Certificate or Diploma courses delivered by reputable universities and could be your pathway to further study in a new career direction.
The Australian Government runs the JobOutlook website dedicated to helping you match your skills to a new job. There is also the Job Jumpstart website, which is full of resources to support you in your job search. And don’t forget that job search sites such as SEEK and CareerOne also have career advice pages to point you in the right direction.
Even outside of a pandemic, it is not an easy thing to change jobs. However, maintaining a flexible mindset will enable you to connect the dots between your current skill set and future employment, and will allow you to successfully career transition in Melbourne or Victoria.