Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | January 13, 2017 | Update, Weekly Update

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It’s hot outside – and we’ve got the latest hot jobs in the Hunter Region right here.  Click here to bask in your weekly update…

HV unemployed

The Hunter Valley Tourist Centre in New South Wales is normally a hub for wine tasting and getting directions, but is now offering career routes for the region’s unemployed youth thanks to an innovative employment program.

The Cessnock Council-run program at the visitor centre provides on-the-spot training and courses, such as the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), to young people searching for employment.

It was established after the region was discovered to have one the highest levels of youth unemployment in the state. In 2015 more than one in five young people aged 20 to 24 were without work in the region.

Economic manager for Cessnock Council, Jane Holdsworth, said the visitor centre was the perfect location for training on the job.

“We have the ability with retail, with the visitor services, we have a wine centre and we have a cafe here, so it’s ideal to have all the kids to come in here and to learn all sorts of things,” she said.

She is now calling for the program to be rolled out nationally, saying it has had a 100 per cent success rate in its infancy.

‘We all found jobs within a week’

One participant in the $100,000 youth employment program, Kirra Moore, 20, said without the training she would still be desperately job hunting.

“I was in the course with four other people and we’ve actually all found jobs a week out of finishing,” she told the ABC’s 7.30 program.

It is programs like these that have helped the unemployment rate fall by more than 10 per cent in the region.

But in the NSW region of Shoalhaven, where youth unemployment sits at 21 per cent, young people are crying out for whatever help they can get.

Brendon Reed is 21 and jobless, and wishes opportunities like those in Cessnock were extended across the state.

Youth employment at historic low

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, employment rates of people aged 20 to 24 are at an historic low at 39 per cent in 2016, down from 54 per cent before the global financial crisis.

The figures, averaged out over 2016, show the hardest places to get work are all in Queensland, including outback Queensland which has a 29 per cent youth unemployment rate, Cairns (28 per cent), and Wide Bay (24 per cent).

Federal Labor spokesman for employment, Brendan O’Connor, said the Government needed to be doing more to help school leavers and university graduates be fully equipped for working life.

“It is critical the Government focusses on providing opportunities for young people and the only way to do that is grow the economy to instil business confidence to make sure [business owners] are employing [young people].”

In April the Turnbull Government will launch its internship program that will offer four to 12 weeks in unpaid work for jobseekers, but Mr O’Connor said he was concerned the program could be rife for exploitation.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-10/visitor-centre-providing-direction-for-unemployed-youths/8172778


This article highlights how the simple act of recognising the performance of your colleagues can become part of a positive workplace culture.

An Easy Way To Make Your Workplace Happier In 2017: Recognize Your Colleagues More For Their Work

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, save more money and live life to the fullest. But this year, consider adopting one that will cost little time or effort and will make you and your co-workers happier: pledge to recognize your colleagues more often for their work. Human resources consulting firm O.C. Tanner recently released data on the state of employee recognition, and FORBES spoke with its vice president of marketing, Gary Beckstrand, about how to give recognition effectively.

Late last year O.C. Tanner surveyed nearly 3,500 employees of large companies and found that 29% hadn’t given recognition to a co-worker over the past month. Among non-managers, the figure was 36%.

Another recent study found that more than 50% of Americans want more recognition from supervisors, and 43% want more recognition from colleagues. And research shows recognition is a great motivator. Among the factors that drive employees to produce great work, recognition was the biggest lever, according to a O.C. Tanner-commissioned report.

Tips For Recognizing Your Colleagues

Given the need for more recognition, how can you deliver it effectively? O.C. Tanner vice president Gary Beckstrand shared best practices for making your messages sink in.

“Be timely,” he says. Recognize good work as quickly as possible. It makes your comments more relevant and powerful, and it increases the likelihood that you’ll complete the important task.

“Recognition is most meaningful when delivered publicly among co-workers,” adds Beckstrand. Go to an employee’s desk and recognize her among her peers. If some employees prefer to receive feedback in private, certainly grant their request, but for others, socializing the feedback boosts their reputation. It also broadcasts a culture of recognition.

Beckstrand’s third tip is to be specific. Acknowledge the action the employee took and the results. Explain how it benefited the company and connected to a larger business objective. These details will add depth to your message and make it stick.

Best Practices For Managers And HR Professionals

Executives and HR professionals should design recognition programs that everyone—not just managers—can participate in. “Provide little or no-cost opportunities to say thank you, like e-cards,” says Beckstrand. In O.C. Tanner’s survey, among people who often give recognition, more than 90% said their team had a formal recognition program that was easy to use and well-publicized by their organization. Social media-style recognition websites can be effective.

But don’t let tech tools dominate your recognition strategy. “Social media can drive recognition awareness quickly. But sometimes that limits the meaningfulness of the recognition,” says Beckstrand. Giving face-to-face feedback is critical and should be done often. Weekly team meetings are great opportunities to recognize an employee in front of her colleagues.

HR and senior managers should train junior managers and employees on how to give recognition, and shouldn’t position recognition as another HR to-do. Explain why it’s valuable—for instance, it can help an employee reach his goals by making his team more productive. And keep managers accountable. Check in and ask them who they recognized this week.

Lastly, don’t let HR be the only department pulling the company toward more recognition. “You need representation from all levels of the organization to come together, participate, provide input and help design the program,” says Beckstrand. Ask leaders to model the ideal behavior.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/easy-way-make-workplace-happier-2017-recognize-colleagues-work/ Source: Jeff Kauflin, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2017/01/04/an-easy-way-to-make-your-workplace-happier-in-2017-recognize-your-colleagues-more-for-their-work/#2578b14620dd

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | January 6, 2017 | Update, Weekly Update

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Welcome to our first jobs update for 2017!  We wish you lots of success in your career this year.  Whether you’re actively looking, just keeping an eye out for something special or keeping your friends and family up to date, we have all the latest jobs right here!


While the hospitality and retail industry are experiencing their busiest period of the year, for some it is a chance to consolidate plans for the year ahead.

The Hunter Business Chamber is a significant voice in this region, as we advocate across many issues for small and large businesses. It is exciting to see urban renewal forging ahead in the city, but equally we continue to experience growth across the entire region. Appropriate infrastructure is important to support this growth and skilled labour is an essential part of this.

While the Hunter has experienced a steady climb in the number of apprentices starting this year, it is not true across the rest of the state. Generally speaking, apprenticeship rates are in decline and the system is in need of reform. This is outlined in the NSW Business Chamber’s “Thinking Business” report, Laying the Foundations for Apprenticeship Reform.

While some increase in apprentices has been seen, employers report a lack of job readiness and adaptability on the part of workers starting out in their trade. Findings in the June 2016 quarter National Centre for Vocational Education Research report show employers are increasingly turning to other sources of labour.

One of the issues is a misguided perception by young people, parents and, often, careers advisors, that an apprenticeship isn’t a desirable career pathway. This is interesting when figures show 85.5 per cent of apprentices have full-time jobs six months after completing their training, compared to only 68 per cent of recent university graduates. Conversations with our young people need to acknowledge there are many pathways a career can take. Skilled trades are crucial to our economy and will continue to offer great prospects across a wide range of industries.

The NSW Business Chamber proposes a new apprenticeship model involving a year of general industry training before moving to a specialisation, much like the model for undergraduate degrees. Other recommendations include improved vocational training by schools, a national industry led careers advice service, targeted incentive payments and job ready initiatives.

Changing the face of apprenticeship systems and working more closely with stakeholders will improve participation and retention rates and provide greater involvement by industry, delivering a valuable job ready workforce for the future.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4379321/skilled-labour-vital-for-future/


In case you just woke up from a very long nap and missed it, 2017 is officially here! Everyone you know is making New Year’s resolutions to work out more often, eat less fried foods, and find a job that pays them one billion dollars a year to do the exact thing they want to do.

You probably roll your eyes every time you read a status along these lines, and when you do, I have a feeling it makes you think that making these resolutions is an exercise in futility. I’m as much of a skeptic as the next person, but there are a few things I know you can achieve by the end of the year.

1. You Can Stop Thinking About Networking and Just Do It

How many times have you bumped into someone you knew and said, “Hey, this was great. Let’s set up some more time to talk about what I want to do with the rest of my life,” only to see three months go by before you even think about following up?

I’m not here to give you a hard time for ghosting anyone you intended to connect with. But at the same time, this is an ideal time to be more intentional about staying in touch with your network.

If you meet with someone and feel the urge to say that you’ll reach out to set up some time, stop yourself and just schedule the meeting in that moment. If you can’t commit to doing this, don’t feel guilty about not throwing out the “Let’s catch up” line to close a conversation.

Nobody will hold it against you for not offering to meet whenever you run into each other, I promise.

2. You Can Look For New Career Development Opportunities

I get it—sometimes it feels like there are so many options out there to “boost your career” that it’s impossible to narrow them down and make any progress. But, as daunting as it might seem, the truth is that simply looking at your options is a great way to kick-start some serious career growth.

You can sit down and create a list of all the options out there—courses, books, career coaches. And you can just pick one and follow through.

Whether that requires you to create calendar events for yourself (with annoying reminders) to keep at it, leave Post-it notes around your place, or have a friend text you every week checking in—get started by surrounding yourself with as much encouragement as you need to make this one thing happen.

Sure, you might find hundreds of classes and thousands of books that aren’t relevant to what you want to accomplish this year. But when you find the one thing that inspires you to dig a little deeper, you’ll be amazed by how motivated you’ll be to keep going.

3. You Can Take a Hard Look at How You Feel About Your Current Job

You might like your job right now. In fact, if you’re lucky, you might really like it. But there will come a time when you like it a little bit less, and a little bit less, and a little bit less—until one day you wake up and want to quit.

Avoid that feeling of “How the heck did I get here?” by setting regular checkpoints for yourself throughout the year (and creating actual events on your calendar that’ll pop and and remind you).

On each of these days, ask yourself the following questions

  1. Was I happy to come into the office this week?
  2. Have I done anything recently that I’m proud of?
  3. Does my current path still fit my long-term goals?

As long as you can keep answering yes, keep on cruising. But the first time you have to pause and think for a second, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with yourself on what you want your next step to be (whether that’s addressing a problem or starting to make small moves).

If you want to set some lofty goals for your career this year, I’m not going to stop you. But there’s nothing wrong with going easy on yourself and setting a few achievable resolutions.

Remember: If you run into any roadblocks along the way, try not to let it get you too down for too long. The beauty of these options is that they’re ongoing and it’s hard to fall behind.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-things-i-know-you-can-accomplish-this-year?ref=carousel-slide-1

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | December 22, 2016 | Weekly Update

Here is your last Weekly Jobs Update for 2016!  The team at Jobs In The Hunter wish you a very Happy Christmas and Joyous New Year!


Newcastle is a city experiencing a time of momentous redevelopment and growth and is considered the heartbeat of the Hunter. As Australia’s seventh largest city, Newcastle boasts an enviable lifestyle renowned for its stunning beaches, rich maritime history, vibrant arts culture, eclectic bars and acclaimed restaurants.

This positive growth has shifted the city from its prior disposition as an industrial hub to one of the top 10 cities in the world, according to Lonely Planet in 2011. It is also ranked the sixth most visited place in Australia, attracting more than 9.6 million visitors per year.

Newcastle has recently been the beneficiary of a surge in investment activity, largely stimulated by the $6.55 billion State Government investment mandate which has brought to light the new light rail system on Hunter Street, the new transport interchange at Wickham, construction of the Newcastle City University Campus and more.

Colliers International Director Residential Project Marketing Dane Crawford said that sales to Sydney metropolitan based investors have swelled to 20% of total market transactions, up from 5% in 2011.

As Sydney-siders continue their pursuit for stronger yields outside of the Sydney metro area, this has resulted in significant compression of yields in Newcastle. Symptomatically, price growth has now outstripped Sydney’s annual house price growth of 10.2% by 1.3%, currently sitting at 11.5%.

Why Newcastle?

Located on the eastern coastline of Australia, Newcastle presents a combination of city, metropolitan and regional living opportunities. It features golden beaches, world famous surfing, major shopping centres, boutique markets and world-class golf courses.

“Inspired by lifestyle and driven by opportunity, Newcastle is now entering a rising market. Acquiring the 2017 V8 Supercars has raised the domestic and international profile of Newcastle and has been the city’s biggest opportunity to invest in world-class infrastructure and drive an increase in visitation,” Crawford said.

There has also been government input with the NSW Government’s Urban Renewal Strategy for Newcastle in place, which according to the Property Council has raised confidence within the property market resulting in an influx of investors. Cutting-edge developers are now highly aware of Newcastle’s capability, and thanks to the government’s involvement in development it means the private sector is able to take more investment risk.


Redevelopment And Growth Make Newcastle Ripe For Sydney Investors




Newcastle is a city experiencing a time of momentous redevelopment and growth and is considered the heartbeat of the Hunter. As Australia’s seventh largest city, Newcastle boasts an enviable lifestyle renowned for its stunning beaches, rich maritime history, vibrant arts culture, eclectic bars and acclaimed restaurants.

This positive growth has shifted the city from its prior disposition as an industrial hub to one of the top 10 cities in the world, according to Lonely Planet in 2011. It is also ranked the sixth most visited place in Australia, attracting more than 9.6 million visitors per year.

Newcastle has recently been the beneficiary of a surge in investment activity, largely stimulated by the $6.55 billion State Government investment mandate which has brought to light the new light rail system on Hunter Street, the new transport interchange at Wickham, construction of the Newcastle City University Campus and more.

Colliers International Director Residential Project Marketing Dane Crawford said that sales to Sydney metropolitan based investors have swelled to 20% of total market transactions, up from 5% in 2011.

Newcastle, Australia at night

As Sydney-siders continue their pursuit for stronger yields outside of the Sydney metro area, this has resulted in significant compression of yields in Newcastle. Symptomatically, price growth has now outstripped Sydney’s annual house price growth of 10.2% by 1.3%, currently sitting at 11.5%.

Why Newcastle?

Located on the eastern coastline of Australia, Newcastle presents a combination of city, metropolitan and regional living opportunities. It features golden beaches, world famous surfing, major shopping centres, boutique markets and world-class golf courses.

“Inspired by lifestyle and driven by opportunity, Newcastle is now entering a rising market. Acquiring the 2017 V8 Supercars has raised the domestic and international profile of Newcastle and has been the city’s biggest opportunity to invest in world-class infrastructure and drive an increase in visitation,” Crawford said.

There has also been government input with the NSW Government’s Urban Renewal Strategy for Newcastle in place, which according to the Property Council has raised confidence within the property market resulting in an influx of investors. Cutting-edge developers are now highly aware of Newcastle’s capability, and thanks to the government’s involvement in development it means the private sector is able to take more investment risk.

NSW Government's Urban Renewal Strategy for Newcastle

“The Council says the State Government’s Urban Renewal Strategy has sparked high levels of investment interest in the CBD, both in commercial and residential property,” Crawford said.


Meanwhile, Newcastle’s city centre is developing its own character and identity that reflects the needs and aspirations for ‘Novocastrians’ and Sydney investors alike. The architectural rescue of heritage buildings, such as the Herald Building in the East End, preserves Newcastle’s industrial heritage, simultaneously entrapping the city’s need for innovative architectural design.

Contained within a high quality urban environment which is designed for future improvement, Newcastle is built upon vibrant and emerging businesses that thrive on innovation and creativity to generate a new sustainable community. Increased amounts of people working in the private sector means amplified disposable income thus Newcastle’s economy has long-term capability to thrive.

“Investors are attracted to the convenience of inner city residency and the lifestyle opportunities it affords them in a commodified bundle,” Crawford said.

“The upward shift in price points over the last five years has placed Newcastle directly on investors’ map as a viable alternative to Sydney life.

“Despite the mining subsidence, the city of Newcastle remains beneficiary of noteworthy capital projects investment.”

Crawford went on to say that Newcastle offers authentic employment and lifestyle opportunities for Sydney-siders that are priced out of the market and as a result are rapidly penetrating the property market.

“Despite the mining subsidence, the city of Newcastle remains beneficiary of noteworthy capital projects investment.”

Crawford went on to say that Newcastle offers authentic employment and lifestyle opportunities for Sydney-siders that are priced out of the market and as a result are rapidly penetrating the property market.



A school student from Newcastle, New South Wales, has been awarded a scholarship to study and perform the works of Shakespeare alongside some of Australia’s leading actors.

Joel Okumu, a 17-year-old student at Newcastle’s St Francis Xavier’s College, was one of three students from around Australia awarded the scholarship by the Bell Shakespeare theatre company.

The company said the scholarship aimed to give aspiring actors from regional Australia an opportunity to learn from leading Shakespearean actors in order to help them develop their careers.

From Uganda to Newcastle

Joel arrived in Australia from his native Uganda in 2004.

He said his passion for acting and Shakespeare was born from a love of the English language.

“I’m a weird kid, so I can be weird and I can act in a way where nobody will say it’s rude to ‘do this’ or ‘do that’,” he said of his love of acting.

“I get to express myself [and] I’ve always been a big fan of English and how English is written and spoken.”

Learning from leading actors

As one of the scholarship winners, Joel will travel to Sydney for a week in January 2017, where he will take part in a masterclass, backstage tour, and watch rehearsals at the theatre company.

He will also be mentored by Bell Shakespeare’s founding artistic director John Bell.

“[I'm hoping to take away] new skills, crazy new skills,” Joel said.

“If I can learn how to do some crazy acting ability skill that Bell can teach me, I’ll love it. It will be awesome.”

Joel said he hoped to one-day act in major productions, but was aware of the competitive nature of the theatre industry.

“I’m hoping it can take me to a lot of places — maybe a scene, maybe a show, maybe a movie … It’ll take a lot of hard work to get to that,” he said.

“It is very competitive but also, when there’s a lot of competition, there’s a lot of bad people.

“All you have to do is get yourself in a certain area where there’s a lot of bad people … [and] you can actually outshine the bad people.”

Joel said he was resigned to having to leave Newcastle for acting opportunities in the future.

“Newcastle is still a developing city, so I’ll probably have to move around Australia, or maybe even go overseas to another country,” he said.

“[We need to] promote acting more. Anyone can open up a school in acting, and the competition in Newcastle is not that much.

“You can do a lot with acting — even a lot of academies are opening up, and that’s the only way to promote acting.

“I know a lot of kids want to become actors, singers… They’ll be inspired.

“You appreciate the fact that they came from this city, and that’s how you do it.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/bell-shakespeare-theatre-company-awards-scholarship/8104276


Have you ever set out a clear career plan with specific goals for yourself?

When I first started out in consulting, my plan was simple: Get a big raise. Get a promotion. Start getting bonuses. Then break six-figures. Finally score an even bigger promotion (with a really nice title).

Years later I had all of the above, and yet—I was miserable. It took me a while to figure out that my career milestones weren’t making me happy, and moreover, I had spent years chasing the wrong goals.


I’d love for that to not happen to you.

So let’s break it down, shall we?

1. Standard Milestone: Get Promoted Early

Have you ever started at an entry-level or mid-level position at a company, met a few people higher in the ranks, and then thought to yourself: “Wow, I’d love to have their jobs?”

At my first few big corporate jobs, I was obsessed with getting promoted. I felt like it was a small stretch to go from where I was to the next rung on the ladder, and that getting promoted would make me happy. I’d get paid more, I’d get recognition for my work, and I’d be a bigger fish in a smaller pond.

Who doesn’t want that?

Except—it didn’t make me happy. Stretched over a year, the raise didn’t make a significant impact in my daily life, and the work I was doing didn’t really change.

What I Wish I’d Focused on Instead

Figuring out what kind of work would help me begin to tap into my potential as a person (and even lead to some real happiness!). That first promotion is a rush, but instead of focusing just on that, I could’ve read more books, attended interesting events, developed a few more skills, and spent that time learning and growing my network inside and outside of my company so I’d have plenty of options at my fingertips, and mentors to help me grow.

2. Standard Milestone: Getting That Fancy Office

Have you ever had office envy? I 100% did in my first big corporate gig. Everyone had their own office, but I was stuck in an inside windowless cell, while my more senior co-workers had lovely views and beautiful desks.

lusted after their offices.

I spent an embarrassing amount of time thinking about and campaigning to get one. I thought it would give me recognition, I thought I’d feel better about my job, and I thought my work day would be nicer. The office would save me!

I knew I needed to get promoted first, but I also knew that if I campaigned hard, I could sway my boss on which of the empty and lovely offices would be mine.

After less than a year, I finally got my fancy office—complete with a view of the river. I thought it would immediately confer recognition and gravitas to my career—I’d be taken seriously. I have a window!

But, it of course, did none of those things. And even more surprisingly—I was so lonely.

What I Wish I’d Focused on Instead

I was so caught up in the prestige of a fancy office, I lost sight of two milestones that are hugely important: working with people who motivate you and loving your workspace

When I changed jobs down the road, I ended up in a desk in the middle of 30 other people—and I loved it. The people around me motivated me to do better, entertained me when I needed a break, and made coming to work fun.

And I even liked my desk-in-the-middle-of-the room. Sure, it wasn’t fancy wood and didn’t have a view of the river, but it was way more comfortable and I felt good working there.

Both these things lead me to be a better leader and better version of myself—which is a way better milestone than the fake prestige of a fancy office. So think about that: Are you working with people who motivate and support you? And are you working in a space that allows you to feel comfortable and good at what you do?

3. Standard Milestone: Making a Certain Amount of Money per Year

After I changed jobs and got promoted a couple of times my new obsession became to break six figures in income before I hit age 30.

I felt like that salary would be an external recognition of how good I was at my job, that I was on the right path in my career, and that I was worth something. Obviously, they were paying me, right?

Yeah—are you seeing the theme here?

Chasing the money was a distraction from the fact that I didn’t really love my chosen career, and I couldn’t imagine doing it for the rest of my life. But, I kept telling myself that I needed a fancy lifestyle, and the money was an important piece of maintaining my makeup addiction (and therefore my happiness).

I feel into the trap of thinking that money is happiness, which we all know is so not the case. Not only is money not equal to happiness, but my focus on it also kept me stuck, because it made it easy to justify staying stuck in the wrong career.

What I Wish I’d Focused on Instead

I wish I had worried less about spending the money that I had (and making a certain figure) and more about the question: “Is this career fueling the life that I want?”

Sure, having some money is good! But if all you focus on is the money, it doesn’t lead to happiness. For me, the hard truth was that I was buying a lot of things I didn’t need because I wasn’t getting my happiness through work.

Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things. I’m a fan of shoes, and vacations, and being comfortable. But not if it comes 100% at the expense of myself and my career.

When I started my coaching practice I cut back on everything that was unnecessary, like vacations and trips to Nordstroms. And you know what was weird? I didn’t miss those things at all.

Why? Because the work kept me happy, and it allowed me flexibility, creativity, autonomy and freedom. Basically, it fueled the lifestyle I wanted, and that made all the difference.

To sum up: I think a better career milestone that a certain amount of money is asking yourself: “Do I love my life?” And then focus on the kind of work that helps you love all parts of your life.

4. Standard Milestone: Getting a High-Level Title Like Director or VP

I thought that I’d be happier if I had a really fancy title. Other people would instantly respect me, I’d obviously have achieved a certain level of success, yada yada. You’ve read this far, you know the drill!

But when I got the tapped to be made Director of my Business Unit, my internal monologue was just the sound of someone screaming.

Did I take the job? Of course! I thought I’d be crazy not to. Also, my business card would be even more stately!

But, after getting the title and shoving 400 new business cards into a corner, I found my soul died a little bit more each day. I had even more on my to-do list that I didn’t love. And, I felt like I was doing work I wasn’t even great at anymore—and that was pretty soul crushing.

Here’s the thing: A title is great, but not if it means you lose a piece of yourself or what you actually like to do.

What I Wish I’d Focused on Instead

One of the cool things about getting more experienced and recognized is the chance to increase your level of impact on the world.

Instead of chasing the title and being focused on a few words on a business card, think about: “What’s the next step to serve more people?” or “How can I make a bigger impact?” Or “What am I doing right now that helps the world in some way—big or small?”

Now I have one of the biggest titles around—that of CEO. But I honestly don’t even think about it, because what matters to me are the emails I get every week from someone in my community telling me how I helped them change their career (and change their lives!).

And that beats a fancy business card any day!

A lot of us look for career milestones that carry external recognition, like promotions or titles. But, if you aren’t happy on the inside, no title is going to solve that problem. Instead, try and map your milestones to things that bring you actual happiness, like doing work you love, working with people who support you, having a workspace or place that makes you feel good, having an impact (no matter how big or small), and really reaching your potential as a human being.

You are a pretty awesome person with tons to offer—now get out there and do it!

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-career-milestones-you-think-will-make-you-happy-and-what-actually-will?ref=the-muse-editors-picks-2

Weekly Jobs Update

Posted by | December 15, 2016 | Update, Weekly Update

newcastle from above

We’ve got all the latest jobs latest jobs in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region right here on Jobs In The Hunter.  Click here to view and apply!


KEOLIS Downer has been awarded a 10-year contract to operate Newcastle’s public transport system, including the new light rail.

The tender also includes Newcastle buses, ferries and interchanges.

The decision was announced in Newcastle on Monday morning by Premier Mike Baird and Transport Minister Andrew Constance, after Mr Constance addressed a gathering of Newcastle buses drivers at the Hamilton bus depot.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4349836/keolis-downer-awarded-contract-to-run-newcastle-public-transport-gallery/?cs=305


The Supercar season will wrap up season 2017 with a picturesque tussle around the streets of Newcastle, north of Sydney, next November, with the first official circuit proposal released today.

NSW Premier Mike Baird joined Supercars CEO James Warburton and drivers Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert and James Courtney to preview the new 11-turn track, which will see Supercars touch 270km/h through the narrow streets of the coastal city and along the foreshore of one of its most iconic beaches, Nobbys Beach.

A five-year deal was inked between Newcastle City Council and Supercars in July, with the first event to be held 24-26 November next year.

It replaces the street race around the Olympic Park precinct at Homebush, which wound up in December after seven years. Designed by former Supercars champion Mark Skaife, Homebush was widely regarded as an entertaining racing circuit for drivers. However, patronage for the season-ending round fell markedly in the last couple of years.

The new 2.4km Newcastle circuit will use established roads for the most part, though a connecting link will need to be built through the reserve at the northern end of Nobbys Beach, linking the exit road of Nobbys Beach Reserve to Wharf Road to complete the lap.

Temporary pit facilities will likely be built along Wharf Road.

A unique feature of the track is the step elevation change around Shortland Esplanade on the run into turn six.

While Coates Hire has already signed on as a naming rights sponsor, Destination NSW and Newcastle Council will also be contributing to the cost of the event, estimated in the first year to be around $75 million. The Newcastle event is just a precursor of things to come.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the local council and Supercars are undertaking “comprehensive community engagement” to liaise with local residents.

“Supercars has adjusted the design of the circuit to minimise disruption while still capturing everything that is spectacular about Newcastle including its famous coastline,” she said.

“We know locals are excited about Supercars coming to Newcastle and we want to ensure this event is an outstanding success.”

Public forums are set down for December 13 and 14 at Newcastle’s Crowne Plaza.

Initially, the series wanted to run a race in the nearby coastal town of Gosford, but the local council scotched the idea due to concerns about costs and access for residents.

The Newcastle event is just a precursor of things to come, according to Mr Warburton, who has confirmed the series is in talks with the Victorian government about a street race in a major regional town.

Several street races in Asia are also being considered for 2018.

The Supercars series has had mixed success with street circuits. The Clipsal 500 in Adelaide and the Gold Coast race are two of the series’ most successful events, while the semi-permanent circuit in Townsville also draws a good crowd.

A street race in Canberra, however, lasted just three years from 2000-2002, while a race in Hamilton, New Zealand, ran for five years between 2008 and 2012.

Source: http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/supercars-reveals-newcastle-street-track-plans-48467


I felt nervous when I left for maternity leave. Yes, mainly about bringing a child into the world; but if I’m being honest, I wondered about my job too. What if my team realized I was replaceable while I was gone?

While they didn’t have any major revelations about my role, I did. I felt—for certain—that I wanted to keep my job. Maybe you’re nodding along, because you care about your work, too. But after you returned you realized that your workload just wasn’t sustainable, and your ideal situation would be transitioning from a full-time to part-time role.

No sugarcoating it: It’s a big ask. It means that others on your team will have to pick up the additional work (or a new hire may even be in order). There will be factors that are out of your hands ranging from company policy to team structure, budget, and resources. And, yes once you’ve mentioned your current load isn’t working for you, you can’t just pretend that conversation never happened if the answer is no.

But that’s also not to say it’s impossible. Maybe new people are joining your team, junior members are being promoted, or an intern is coming on full-time. As with anything else, the only way to know is to ask.

If you’ve weighed all that out and are ready to explore the idea (especially if you’ve decided you need a part-time role regardless), here’s how to go about it:

How to Prep

To begin, think about ways your role could be compartmentalized and then divided. List out tasks that naturally go together, as well as those that you feel someone else could do equally well, as well as any group initiatives where you’re an extra warm body. No, you don’t want to approach your boss with a project-by-project list of what you’d like to keep and ditch; but this exercise can help you think creatively about how you’d split your role into two.

For example, my current title includes “writer/editor,” so it seems pretty intuitive that I’d pitch splitting those two words up, so my manager would need to find someone with experience as a writer or editor, as opposed to both, which requires more skills.

Of course, other titles aren’t so obvious. In a previous job, I was a program manager tasked with recruiting and interviewing graduating students, referring them to partner organizations, and coordinating with volunteers during their fellowship years. Since I left, this job’s been split across the team, so one person is the point of contact for volunteers across programs ranging from fellowship to mid-career, and another reaches out to all applicants.

Ideally, you’ll come up with a large chunk of your role that you can foresee someone else (internally or externally) doing equally as well. The other half, the half you’re pitching to keep, should be what you excel at.

Think about your specialized skills and what your boss has praised at past performance reviews. This is the foundation for your argument: that you’ll add so much value to the work you’re retaining that keeping you on and changing the team composition will be better than simply replacing you.

What to Say

It sounds like this:

Thanks so much for making the time to talk to me about my workload. As always, it’s my goal to do the best job possible.

To be candid, I don’t feel that I have the capacity to keep working at this level. I care about this work deeply, so rather than running myself into the ground and risk having something drop, I wanted to speak to you proactively about a possible solution.

The best situation for me at this time would be to bump down from a full to a part-time role. (If applicable: I recall [some other creative work arrangement] or I know we’re looking to hire a new team member and—) I’ve thought through how my role can be split up.

I could retain [part of role]. I [have developed strong relationships/possess certain skills, have x amount of experience] that makes me particularly valuable in this capacity. At the same time, I know l I could train [someone else/ current team member/ a new hire] to take on the other half of role. I could see this benefiting the composition of our team by [value add].

I know this ask involves broader considerations and am prepared to discuss changes to salary, benefits, and title. If it’s not possible at this time, I’d love to discuss any opportunities to cut back even slightly in the meantime, discuss flex or remote work arrangements, or get a better sense of if or when this might be an option

It’s true this isn’t an easy talk to have with your boss. But if you’ve come to the decision you absolutely need to change your role, it’s probably easier than sticking it out and driving yourself crazy, or cutting your losses and jumping straight into a job search.

So, go into it well-prepared and with a positive, collaborative mindset: You just could get the ball rolling toward the exact role you’re looking for.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/tricky-conversation-template-how-to-tell-your-boss-you-want-to-work-parttime?ref=recently-published-1

Weekly Jobs Update!

Posted by | December 10, 2016 | Update, Weekly Update


Here it is – your weekly jobs update for the Hunter Region!  Keep up to date with all the latest vacancies right here and good luck with those applications!


Struggling with an unpopular CEO? This is what you should do

By Bianca Healey, hrmonline.com.au

An unpopular CEO who has lost the support of staff can adversely affect morale and company culture – even turning it toxic. But what can be done if they refuse to budge?
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been delivered a harsh critique by the Australian voters, according to a Fairfax Ipsos poll released over the weekend. The poll shows Turnbull’s personal popularity in free fall, declining 8 per cent since June and a remarkable 53 percentage points over the past year. According to the poll, an equal number of voters now either approve or disapprove of the way PM Turnbull is doing his job, which means that his net approval rating rounds out at zero.

A leader, even when effective, might well fall victim to wavering popularity due to behaviours that often come with the territory: indecisiveness, bullying, siloing or hoarding of information or even disengagement. The result? Failures in leadership can drag a CEO’s approval score to nil.

It’s a situation that Tim Baker, director and leadership consultant at WINNERS-at-WORK, consistently sees in his day-to-day work. In his experience, CEOs – because they have so much to do in a day – are susceptible to losing touch with their teams.

But how to turn the tide on an unpopular CEO? As an HR professional, Baker suggests it’s in your best interest to take the problem to the source before the situation turns toxic. Baker recalls one occasion where he was brought in as a leadership consultant for an 18 person executive team at an organisation. While there, he “got a very good sense” that the CEO had lost the confidence of the organisation.

“Throughout the interview process with each member of the management team, a thread of commonality appeared as it quickly became apparent that the CEO was out of touch with his team,” says Baker. While he felt an obligation to let this unpopular CEO know what was going on, Baker’s aware that not all HR professionals are able to take such a direct approach out of concern for personal relationships, as well as their own jobs.

Baker explained to the CEO that there was a general consensus that his management team didn’t feel like they were in the loop when it came to decision-making.

“I said ‘what you need to do is have a frank, one-on-one conversation with each of your team members to get a sense of what their particular concerns are.’ He took my recommendation on board, promising that he would book meetings with his management team after the Christmas break.

“I said to him, ‘With respect, you can’t afford to wait that long because morale is that low’,” says Baker.

As a direct result of the unopular CEO having regular individual meetings with his team members, morale immediately improved, says Baker. “What we saw is that it was a culture change exercise as much as it was about morale.”

However, HR might not always be faced with a CEO as open to criticism. If a CEO is resistant to change, or an HR professional doesn’t have direct access to the CEO, Baker recommends a more indirect approach.

“If HR doesn’t have the clout, or relationship with the CEO, it could be a case for speaking to a senior manager who does have that one-on-one relationship with them,” he suggests.

Another option is to take a non-confrontational approach, such as 360-degree feedback where every member of a team gives advice across the board, or to put together a survey with specific questions that probe into the impact that the CEO’s actions have on the organisation as a whole.

“That way (much like an external consultant), the HR manager can reflect feedback given across the board rather than deliver it as though it’s coming straight from one person.”

What HR can do to turn the tide on unpopular CEO practices:

  1. Have courage: Communicate openly and honestly. Give an unvarnished appraisal of the CEO’s blind spots, or speak directly with a senior manager who can have a one-on-one with them.
  2. Give tangible solutions for methods to improve: This can include monthly one-on-one meetings with key staff built into their schedule. Offer evidence-based examples of improved morale and production at other organisations.
  3. If you can’t take a direct approach, engage in an indirect method: You might try 360-degree feedback to reflect the gaps in the CEO’s management directly back to them. This offers them the opportunity for self-reflection that’s not connected to one individual and allows them to make positive changes without feeling personally targeted for a particular failure of management.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/managing-performance-top/


There’s been a lot of tough stuff going on lately, and it can be frustrating to feel like you’re unable to make a difference from behind your computer screen. Your days are packed, right? Between a hectic commute, back-to-back meetings, and doing your actual job, the work week leaves little room for good deeds—especially if you don’t work for a nonprofit or other organization that’s primarily about making the world a better place.

But if you’re looking for a way to give back, things aren’t hopeless, no matter how busy you are. Whether you can spare a few minutes or a full hour, we’ve found a few small ways anyone can make a big impact.

1. Contribute With the Classics

Itching to donate to a cause, but can’t do it on your own? Try an old standby: Plan a bake sale, book drive, clothing drop, or similar event in your office. Clear your idea with the higher-ups, and once that’s done, game on! The effort can be big or small, depending on what you’re comfortable pulling together, and you’ll likely be able to wrangle a couple volunteers with an email about the charity and the event.

For an event like a bake sale or silent auction, call local businesses for donations (like that bakery with the cupcakes your co-workers are always talking about!). If you’re leaning toward a donation drive (which can be easier to pull together), give colleagues a few weeks’ notice to clean out their closets, and collect things over the course of a week so people can drop off when it’s convenient. In either case, for max participation, do your best to avoid disrupting the workday, and hold the event at lunch or on a Friday afternoon.

Sure, organizing a company-wide event can feel intimidating, but most of the time, all it takes is a couple hours and a folding table to bring people together. Throwing a humble office charity function is a simple way to have fun, support your community, and form connections with your co-workers, all for a bigger cause.

2. Give a Small Part of Your Income (or Spending)

If you’d rather give your money than your time, there are a few things you can do.

Start by seeing if your company has a corporate giving program. This is great for a couple of reasons: First, you can often have your donation removed directly from your paycheck, which means you’ll never see (and therefore miss) the money. For example, insurance giant Aflac has its Duckprints program, which has donated over $110 million to the fight against children’s cancer since it started in 1995—and sees its largest chunk of donations come straight from the commission checks of its agents. As an added benefit for social media savvy Samaritans, for every tweet, YouTube view, or Facebook mention an employee makes using the hashtag #Duckprints, Aflac will donate an additional $2, up to $1.5 million, to childhood cancer research. (That’s another great part of getting involved with corporate giving—companies often match employee donations, making your giving power even greater.)

Another way to get the charitable money flowing at work? When shopping on Amazon—either on the company’s behalf or just for yourself—do so through AmazonSmile. Eligible purchases will result in .5% of the bill being donated to a charity of your choice. Get your colleagues on board, or see if you can if you can get the whole org to sign up for maximum impact. There’s even a Chrome extension that will automatically redirect any Amazon page to its Smile equivalent.

3. Elevate Your Lunch Hour

Of course, volunteering is always an option, but many people feel like they don’t have the time. So why not eat a quick lunch at your desk from time to time so you can use your lunch break for a little good? Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or once every once in a while, whatever time you can give is great.

It may seem like an hour is not enough time, but there’s actually plenty you can do, such as:

  • Donate blood.
  • Drive someone from a local shelter to a job interview.
  • Join a street squad to spread awareness about a cause.
  • Deliver a meal to someone in need.
  • Visit a senior citizen who might need a friend.

It can take some digging to find something that fits your schedule, but many organizations will work with you to figure it out. VolunteerMatch is a great resource for finding opportunities—and even states whether organizations have a set schedule or are more flexible.

If you’d rather donate your skills rather than give any old time, look for ways to do pro bono work. VolunteerMatch also gives the option to search for virtual volunteer opportunities where you’ll help out with anything from marketing to coding. You could also reach out to organizations you care about, giving them info about your skills and offering to help where they need.

Finally, see if your company supports volunteer activities so you can take employer-approved time to give back. Aflac, for example, works with employees to volunteer for organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Other companies give a certain number of “volunteer days,” similar to vacation days, so make sure you’re using them if your company offers them (or look for this perk when searching for your next gig).

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-little-ways-you-can-do-good-at-work-no-matter-what-your-job-is

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The GPT Group and NSW’s transformative arm UrbanGrowth have sold a premium 1.66-hectare four-city block residential site in Newcastle north of Sydney to hotel owner and developer Iris Group for $39 million, a move that will kickstart a wave of residential development in the former steelworks centre.

A master plan has already been approved for the mega site, bordered by Hunter, Newcomen, King and Perkins streets to yield 47,800sq m of residential or more than 500 apartments, 4900sq m of retail and 2700sq m of commercial space for the Newcastle CBD.

The site is only 200 metres from Newcastle Beach and has 25 commercial and retail use buildings with a gross floor area of about 23,500sq m. They contain 81 tenancies, of which 25 are vacant, returning net annual income of $1.15 million.

The new project will be rolled out in seven stages with each stage requiring a separate development approval.

“Rarely is an opportunity of this magnitude offered to the market,” Savills’ Stuart Cox said. “A master plan-approved site with mixed use development potential in such an historic location and one with enormous forecast growth as Australia’s pre-eminent regional city.”

Demand for the apartments would come from investors who would invest in smaller units for the growing student population in Newcastle, downgraders and Sydney buyers who had been put off by expensive prices, Mr Cox said.

The NSW government’s $500 million commitment to revitalise Newcastle was also attractive.

Iris Group plans to create a “vertical village” at the site. The group, mainly known for its pub holdings, was starting to veer into development to harness the residential upside at the prime sites it owned, Mr Cox said.

Mr Cox executed the transaction with Neil Cooke and Ben Azar.

Source: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/gpt-and-urbangrowth-sell-newcastle-mega-site-to-iris-group-for-39m-20161124-gswr8i


NEWCASTLE businessman Michael Slater has won the NSW Business Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year award at a ceremony in Sydney on Friday night.

Mr Slater, the chairman of Newcastle Permanent and Regional Development Australia’s Hunter chapter, was recognised for his long-standing service to the business community.

The businessman scooped the same award at the Hunter Business Chamber awards in August.

“He was recognised for his leadership and his long-standing support to the Hunter business community,” Hunter Business Chamber director Alan Taggart said.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4318043/slater-comes-out-on-top-in-sydney/?cs=305


The pursuit of meaning is in our blood. Imbued in that pursuit is both joy and suffering. I suppose it’s the Yin and Yang of life; for every good thing there’s an opposite. Despite the possibility that the opposite, insignificance, will reveal itself, the search remains one of life’s deepest joys.

That joy, however, isn’t limited to your personal life. Meaning is an essential element in your professional world, too. Many of the research papers I read for my book, The Optimistic Workplace: Creating an Environment That Energizes Everyone, revealed how prevalent the need for meaningful work was among employees. Consider this finding from DeVry University: 71% of Millennials placed it as the top factor for defining career success.

Millennials aren’t the only people interested in greater meaning in work and in life. They’re merely voicing a human need that, until recently, hasn’t been a big part of the conversation in our workplaces. Whether you’re a founder, manager, or individual contributor, you can find greater meaning at work in ways that go beyond the obvious. What follows are seven tips to significantly magnify it in your personal and professional life.

1. Abandon the Pursuit of Work-Life Balance

The problem with balance is the assumption that you must give up something to achieve equilibrium. Why should you have to give up something personally or professionally to have a life with meaning?

Instead, switch your mindset to view the two worlds as integrated. How? Wharton school professor Stewart Friedman says you should look to develop the skills to be real (legacy, values, ideal self), be whole (service, supportive networks), and be innovative (focus on results, challenge the status quo). These skills help you uncover significance in your life.

2. Define Your Personal Values

It’s been said, “If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything.” What you stand for are the values you hold to be true and the beliefs that guide you through life’s challenges.

In her new book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David calls this “walking your why: identifying and acting on the values that are truly your own, not those imposed on you by others, not what you think you should care about, but what you genuinely care about.”

3. Uncover Your Significant Strengths

Strengths aren’t just what you’re good at, but what lights you up. The marriage of what you’re good at with what lights you up leads the way to peak performance. The more you can use your strengths in your work, the greater meaning you’ll derive from it.

4. Make Friends at Work

You don’t have to have friends at work, but those that do are more likely to feel a sense of belonging. In forthcoming research from Great Places to Work, people who care about others create a collegial environment, and that helps drive higher revenue growth. One of the benefits to you is the development of meaningful relationships.

5. Understand Your Emotions

Psychologist Susan David explained to me that we experience emotions as reality. David advocates to “feel the emotion” rather than push it away. Some tips she recommends to help you understand your emotions include:

  • Pay attention to patterned responses. Recognize what triggers the emotion.
  • Sit with emotions. Below the emotion are things that we value; emotions are data, not directions.
  • Hold the emotion for what it is: “I notice that I’m feeling undermined. I notice that I’m having the thought that I’m a fraud.” “I notice…” is a prefix statement and gives a little distance between the emotion and what it means.

By understanding your emotions, you help yourself be more genuine with others, magnifying the chance for greater meaning in your relationships.

6. Be a Quitter

It’s hard for meaning to reveal itself to you when you’re overwhelmed. Over-commitment is a way to distract yourself from doing your best work. Evaluate what’s keeping you from greatness, and quit doing the things or associating with the people that limit your potential.

7. Choose Courage Over Comfort

Returning to Susan David’s book, we find this wise, encouraging insight: “Choose courage over comfort by vitally engaging with new opportunities to learn and grow, rather than passively resigning yourself to your circumstances.” Meaning is dynamic. You grow more aware of it when you break patterns of behavior or try new things.

Meaning doesn’t need to apply only to your personal pursuits. It can also be nurtured in your professional life. It helps you live a whole life that satisfies and energizes. At work, that energy can be channeled to accomplish significant outcomes.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-different-ways-you-can-find-more-meaning-in-your-life

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A non-profit cafe in Newcastle is expanding its services after high demand from people with a disability wanting to learn hospitality skills.

Chars Cafe at Broadmeadow in New South Wales is run by disability service provider Response Services.

The operation sees people with a disability volunteer in a variety of roles in the café.

“It’s developing some hospitality skills for the guys to go out and get other jobs,” Alisha Waters, Response Services co-ordinator and quality support officer, said.

“We do have some service users who are here just for the experience with no employment goals, and they learn customer service skills, food skills, barista skills and feel like they’re part of the community and making a contribution.

“There’s some of the guys that have said that they don’t want to learn [how to make] coffee, so we just do what they want to do.

“A couple of the guys just like serving the customers, so they will just stay on the till and clean the tables.

“But we try to give them a range of experiences — even cleaning the toilets, that’s part of the work and we do have to do jobs that we don’t like sometimes.”

Expansion into other parts of the Hunter

Ms Waters said the National Disability Insurance Scheme had helped enable growth into other areas of the Hunter, including Mayfield and Lake Macquarie.

“It’s enabled us to open [the] Toronto [cafe] and we do also run two school canteens,” she said.

“It gave us the opportunity to open up a second canteen within a primary school. Now we’re starting to look towards more catering and more ventures, because more service users have been able to access the facilities.”

Ms Waters said once customers were in the door, they “soon figured it out”, but the cafe did not advertise that it was a disability service.

“We would like people to come and experience it themselves and realise that the disabilities these guys have isn’t any sort of hindrance. They are able to do everyday jobs and be part of the community,” she said.

But Ms Waters said keeping the cafe viable did have its challenges.

“[We have] just the same challenges that every cafe has in gaining customers, keeping customers, maintaining that reputation,” she said.

“Having customers come with a little bit of patience and realise that we are a learning enterprise and our guys might be a little bit slower, the food might take a little bit longer, there might be a spill down the side of the coffee because someone’s got a few balance issues.”

Workers keen to develop their skills

Luke Ward’s role at the cafe is mainly in the kitchen as a dish washer.

“I love work … it’s really good. I go home happy because I have work, and I go home and see my mum,” he said.

Mark Jones’s role is to interact with the cafe’s patrons.

“I work with customers, I work hard. It’s my job — serving coffees, making coffees … I’m a nice man,” he said.

“[It taught me] a lot of different things with our nationality, Macedonian.

“It’s a good first job if you’re looking at working in the food industry, or [to] help you get your speed up.

“I hope to eventually be a full-time chef … I’ll just see how far I go.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-15/newcastle-cafe-serving-up-hospitality-experience/8026236


If you feel there is just not enough time in the day, this article will make you think about your schedule and work/life balance differently.  How will this impact your productivity?

Too many of us fall into the ’24-hour trap,’ and it guarantees we’ll never get anything done

By: Shana Lebowitz, Business Insider

Laura Vanderkam calls it the “24-hour trap.”

It’s this idea that work/life balance has to happen every day — that every 24 hours has to be neatly divided between your professional responsibilities and everything else you care about. And it’s a “trap” because it’s virtually impossible for so many people to achieve, especially parents who hold jobs outside the home.

A better option, Vanderkam says, is to think in terms of 168 hours, or full weeks. Even if you can’t fit in a full eight hours of work, two meals with your kids, and a date with your partner every single day, you can probably make time for everyone over the course of seven days.

Vanderkam is the author of multiple books on productivity and time-management, including, most recently, “I Know How She Does It.” In the book, she writes that most people think of the week as Monday through midday Thursday. If they can’t fit all their personal and professional priorities into that time period, they’re either a terrible employee, or a terrible parent, or a dysfunctional human being.

Vanderkam urges readers to embrace Friday through Sunday as usable time, too. For one thing, you might want to do some work on the weekends, so that you can leave the office at a reasonable hour during the week. Or, it could simply mean seeing the hours you spend with your kids on Saturdays and Sundays as an investment in your family, instead of discounting them.

“Any given 24 hours might not be balanced, but the 168-hour week can be,” Vanderkam writes.

For the book, Vanderkam had dozens of high-earning women keep time logs, and analysed them for trends and surprises. Some women whose logs she analysed deliberately worked long days part of the week, and shorter days the rest of the week, so that they could be with their families.

Perhaps the most important takeaway is that you can still be a good parent, or a good member of an organisation, even if your days don’t look “balanced” in the traditional sense. So don’t necessarily assume you can’t pursue a career in consulting, for example, because it requires some travel and you have kids at home.

With a little creativity, you can probably make it happen.

Source: http://www.versatileresourcing.com/getting-things-done/

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FOUR years ago Tricia Hogbin and her husband Michael Lloyd were house hunting in Singleton and Broke. The couple were living in Waratah, but Michael’s work was going to take them and their young daughter Olivia up the Hunter Valley.

 But in the back of her mind, Hogbin had a different vision for home.

Hogbin has a PhD in conservation biology and spent more than a decade on the coal face of managing threatened species. “I felt a little bit like I  was shuffling the deck chairs and wasting my time,” she explains. “To me the work was worthwhile and interesting. But it was not addressing the main cause. We are still clearing the habitat because we are consuming too much.”

Hogbin took her lifestyle changes seriously. She gained a  profile with herLittle eco footprints blog and Instagram tag, and as a Newcastle Herald columnist, writing every Monday without fail about ways to live a sustainable lifestyle. She covered subjects like growing your own garlic, creating your own “white space” to relax and recharge, the value of ladybugs, the joy of making the perfect porridge with your own oats, and making roadkill kangaroo tail stew.

So Tricia and Michael’s hunt for a home in the Hunter Valley took a detour.

“I saw this ad on a real estate site,” she says from the enclosed verandah of the family’s tiny home 20 minutes from Singleton, with views to the north of Wollemi National Park. “I said this is not what we want. I always wanted to live on the land, but never thought it would happen. It wasn’t practical. I hadn’t thought too deeply about it. It always seemed out of reach.

“But we saw this place. I stepped over the fence and I said to Michael, ‘give it a chance’. And we both fell in love with it instantly.”

The nine-acre block had no water, no electricity and no home. But it held the hopes of a dream.

After living in a shed on the property, and eventually in the principal’s cottage of the nearby village schoolhouse, the family now lives in its recently completed “container” home on the acreage.

“The whole geist of what we have been doing here, and why we been taking it slowly, is we want to minimise risk,” Hogbin says. “We are choosing resilience over risk. I want us to be here for as long as we can be and I don’t want us to go into debt. I don’t  want to have to be forced into work while living out here.”

The family renovated and sold their Newcastle property, a two-bedroom cottage they had extended and modernised with a solar hot water system.

They purchased a second-hand container “home” through Gumtree from a company on the Central Coast. It included a roof, and posts and came with lining. Total cost: $13,000 for a six-metre by 2.4-metre dwelling.

They added a verandah, now enclosed, installed a reverse air-conditioner and hot water heater, which both run for minimal time because the small home holds in temperatures.

Their electricity bill is less than $1000 for a year. And they installed a waste water system and hooked up electricity.

Hogbin estimated the cost for project at $100,000 (not including the land).

“If you didn’t look at the infrastructure cost, we would have built this cottage for $40,000,” she says.

“I love living here,” she says. ”Living in a tiny home is enjoyable. You can’t escape each other. We spend a lot of time talking. When we do the dishes, in five minutes, we talk. I can clean the floor in two minutes. I can clean the windows in 10 minutes.”

Often, Olivia rides her horse to school down the road with mum walking beside them.

The chickens have a comfortable pen and the garden is growing bigger all the time. Winter crops included broccoli, beetroot, parsley, celery, kale, broadbeans, cabbage, garlic and silver beet. The young cumquat and mandarin trees are starting to take hold.

Of course, there are inconveniences. Olivia’s bed comes out onto the floor by night and is stored on a shelf by day. Temperatures inside reached 47 degrees in the summer before the air-conditioner was installed. The internet reception is not good, but that’s due to mountain shadows.

“There is a fine line between living in a shipping container or living in a tiny home wisely,” Hogbin says. “I feel very comfortable. I don’t really care what people think so that makes it a little bit easier.”

Hogbin was self-driven from a young age to get a good education and establish a career. And always in a hurry – she talked fast, she walked fast, she would drink two litres of Coke a day when she was studying.

Like so many people, her job was a major part of her identity. But she’s been able to shed that mental baggage.

“For me, it has taken a long time,” she explains. “My daughter is nine now. When she was born, and this is going way back, but I am slow learner. I’ve had lots of health scares along the way. I nearly gave birth to her three months early because I was working so hard and I was so ambitious.

“I was trying to get everything done before she was born and I was out in the field with my colleagues trying to keep up. Thankfully, I was on bedrest for a couple of months and kept her.”

Two years ago her back gave way when she was away on a horseriding trip at Coffs Harbour. She was due to start a new job in Sydney, which she would have been commuting too.

“The message to myself was: you do genuinely need to slow down,” she says.

“You may not feel stress, but our bodies are stressed by the amount of work we do, how much we are rushing around, by not taking time out.

“For me, it’s been about realising I genuinely need to slow down.

“Anxiety is such a huge problem these days. If you look at society as a whole, because people are too busy, they are working to pay off their big houses. Eventually it just comes back. If you don’t deal with the problem, you are taking years off your life.”

Hogbin’s road to a more satisfying existence has had a couple of other major influences. Only two days after she injured her back, Jason Chan, known as the “wandering monk”, showed up at her property and stayed  for the three months. “I was forced to slow down, and serve breakfast to a monk every day for three months,” she says. “I’m not Buddhist, but I had time to reflect.”

Hogbin also stopped blogging and writing for publications, instead channelling her thoughts into a personal journal.

“I wanted to find the voice, for me, for myself, so I don’t have to think about the audience so much,” she says. “My writing has been more real and honest.”

She was motivated to take action by a book, The Miracle Morning, by self-empowerment leader Hal Elrod, which expands on the premise that how you start your day largely determines the quality of your day, your work and your life. Hogbin took on a “whole heap of things that can improve our quality of life” including meditation and positive affirmation.

Her journey is far from over; the family has plans to build a small house on the property, with a glass wall on the north-facing side. It will come when they can afford it, and the container home will become a guesthouse for visitors.

“Having a mortgage hanging over your head is one of the main reasons people aren’t living the way they want to,” she says. “You cant take risks because you are trapped by this mortgage. Without a mortgage you are free to make decisions based on what you want to do rather what you have to do.”

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4282635/build-small-to-live-large/?cs=305


We have been hearing a lot lately from leaders in politics, education and the business sector about the innovation boom and the need to expand our knowledge jobs. This is a positive shift. Our economy needs to diversify if we are to compete globally now, and into the future.

What is missing from this conversation, however, is recognition that skilled trades remain the superstructure on which the rest of our economy relies. We don’t often talk about the importance of skilled trades, but  these skills are the backbone of our economy.

Thanks to a record infrastructure pipeline, construction-related trades are booming and employers are crying out for skilled workers in these areas.  Emerging sectors, like advanced manufacturing, are also marrying traditional trade activities with higher level, technology-related skills. The problem is that our apprenticeship system is broken and the flow of young, job-ready, skilled workers is a drip when we need a flood.

In the March 2016 quarter, the total number of Australians undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship declined 10.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2015.  Increasingly, young people, their parents and, often, their advisers at school, do not see an apprenticeship as a desirable career pathway.

On the other hand, employers complain about a lack of job readiness and adaptability on the part of workers who are starting out in their trade.  As a result, rather than take on apprentices, employers are increasingly resorting to skilled migration and other band-aid solutions. We need to solve this mismatch between what young people want from their careers and the skills employers are looking for by fixing our apprenticeship system.

The good news is that our political decision makers are finally taking note. In the meantime, the business community is proposing some real change. In our recent submission to the current NSW government review, the NSW Business Chamber called for reforms to the way that apprenticeships and traineeships are delivered in this state.

We need both tiers of government to work together on a public awareness campaign that turns the attention of parents, educators and young people to the outstanding opportunities that an apprenticeship can offer.  As outlined in the 2015 Australian Jobs Report, 85.5 per cent of apprentices are in full-time employment six months after completing their training, in comparison with only 68 per cent of bachelor-degree graduates achieving the same outcome. Secondly, we need to look at the success of specialist vocational colleges in countries such as Germany and Britain, and, examples such as Western Sydney TAFE at Nirimba, which allows students studying their HSC to undertake vocational studies – or even a higher education course – in a single location.  This model must be expanded.

The modern trades need workers who are adaptable, with skills that can be used across a wide range of tasks, some which might not be specific to a single trade qualification.  Flexibility also needs to be applied to the way in which we develop apprenticeship pathways.  Currently, the only channel for an employer to ask for a new apprenticeship is through an agonisingly long and bureaucratic process via a government-appointed advisory body. Wouldn’t it be easier if employers could apply directly to the Department of Industry to create apprenticeship pathways?

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4291633/time-to-trade-up-why-we-need-flood-of-apprentices/?cs=305


Why would I quit my good job?

Even if we’re not happy, many of us stop short of leaving because of that question. If you have good benefits, decent pay, and a reasonable boss, you feel ungrateful for wanting to go (even if you dread the work itself). You know many people would kill for the positive things you just listed off.

If you’re torn between whether you should leave, or try to make it work, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Did I Daydream About Being Somewhere Else Today?

Do you spend a good amount of your workday reading random articles or thinking about vacations you have no intention of going on? I get it—it’s fun to fantasize—but at a certain point, it’s a red flag that your job isn’t engaging enough.

Follow-up Question: Am I Just Easily Distracted?

In many situations, these sorts of distractions come down to your ability to focus, not how well your job suits you. If this is the case, you’re better off making a concerted effort to improve your focus and develop productivity skills than looking for a new role. A great place to start is reading Brian Tracy’s famous book, Eat That Frog.

On the other hand, if you typically have laser-focus and realize you’ve recently stopped caring, it may be time to move on.

2. What Would it Take for My Job to Make Me Happy?

Make a list of the things that would need to change for your job to be really fulfilling for you. Maybe your workload is massive, or maybe your team is structured in a way that causes friction. If your unhappiness is stemming from something circumstantial, talk to your boss and see if you can change things for the better.

Follow-up Question: Are These Changes About Me (and Not My Job)?

Often times, when I ask my clients to do this exercise, they wind up with a list of things they’d need to change in themselves for their job to make them happy.

What this signals to me is that they aren’t unhappy with the work. Rather, they feel they’re holding themselves back in some way. Building new skills can be a way to boost your confidence and open your self up to new opportunities—both in current and future roles.

Online courses provide tons of training and advice. Along with that, I’d recommend reading books in your area of focus, as well. Once you’ve changed up what you have to offer, it’ll be easier to assess whether it’s you (or where you are) that isn’t quite working.

3. Am I Worried About Money?

Fear’s a powerful motivator—and understandably so. It’s disconcerting not to know where your next paycheck is coming from. However, if all your job does is help you pay your bills, I encourage you to see if there are other opportunities you’d find more compelling (without bankrupting yourself).

Follow-up Question: Am I Unhappy Because I’m Financially Vulnerable?

I’ve repeatedly noticed that when people are stressed about money, they become more risk-averse in general. Their anxiety about losing their job actually drives them to underperform. This drop in performance makes them more anxious, and as result, they begin to hate their job.

If this describes you, then the next step for you is to buckle down and get brutal about your finances. How can you right now budget a life that leaves you a financial safety net and takes the pressure off?

This will help you either way, because if you secure yourself financially and you’re still unhappy, you’ll know it’s time to go.

The last question you should ask yourself is: “Am I afraid of what people will say?” This is a fundamental fear that holds people back. Many of us are terrified of what people will say when we quit a “good job”—especially if it’s for something less profitable or uncertain. They might think you’re ungrateful, insane, over-confident—who knows, maybe all of the above!

Forget them. Would it be really be worth staying in a job you don’t like—each and every day—just to have other people be impressed with you? Those people could think you were a hero, but you’d still be unhappy. Make this choice about you and your personal happiness, and you’ll come to the right decision.

Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-quitting-your-perfectly-good-job?ref=carousel-slide-0


If you’re searching for your ideal job, consider this quote:

“Somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer.”  (Louise Hay)

So, spruce up your Resume, showcase your skills and connect to some great local opportunities in our weekly jobs update, right here!


CHARITIES from across NSW will share in almost $800,000 thanks to the latest round of grants awarded by the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation on Thursday.

Nineteen charities, including The Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Port Stephens SES, Riding For The Disabled and Sailability NSW, will share in $778,000 of grants to help them provide programs, services and resources to support people in need.

Among the programs funded, $106,000 will go towards developing an online portal for children with hearing loss who live in remote regional communities through the The Shepherd Centre.

Foundation chairman Michael Slater said they were proud to have provided more than $15 million to enable almost 400 initiatives for charities since the foundation was established in 2003.

Source: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4285755/foundation-is-sharing-the-love/?cs=305