So, you’ve got a gap in your resume? Maybe you decided to travel, or go back to school, or maybe you looked after a sick relative, or you took time out to be a parent yourself. Whatever the reason, you’re probably feeling like your job hunt is going to be that much harder. Surely any recruiter looking at your resume is going to run a mile away.

Not necessarily.

Most employers nowadays recognize that it’s rare for anyone to stay with just one or two companies for their whole career. Plus, job security isn’t what it used to be (unfortunately).

As a recruiter, I’ve interviewed my fair share of candidates, and if there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s this. Think about how to present your gap. With a little foresight, you can turn a potentially tricky interview situation into a masterclass in personal branding.

1. So, You Lost Your Job
Some people find it embarrassing to talk about being laid off, but it’s unlikely to elicit anything but sympathy from your interviewer. It’s fairly commonplace these days. Just remember not to badmouth your past company or boss. Instead, focus your response on all the positive things you achieved while you were there.

Don’t Say
“That #!&$! company had it in for me from day one. I probably would’ve left anyway.”

Do Say
“Unfortunately, the company had to implement some budget cuts and, due to their ‘last-in, first-out’ policy, I was made redundant. However, I’m proud of what I achieved during my time there, something which can be reinforced by my previous manager, who’s one of my referees.”

2. So, You Quit Your Job and Traveled the World
The key with this one is to focus on how traveling contributed to your personal development, rather than how much fun you had schlepping around the world with nothing but a backpack and a smile. If you took on any paid or volunteer work during this time, concentrate your response on the additional personal and professional skills it’s given you.

Don’t Say
“Well let’s face it, partying in Thailand is a lot more fun than going to work. I’m pretty sure I had an awesome time, but I can’t actually remember most of it.”

Do Say
“I spent a number of years working at a company in a very demanding job, in which–as you’ll see from my references–I was very successful. But I’d reached a stage in my career where I wanted to focus on my personal growth. The time I spent traveling taught me a lot about how to get along with people of all ages and cultures. Now I feel more than ready to jump back into my career with renewed energy and focus and I feel this role is the ideal way to do that.”

3. So, You Went Back to School
This is perhaps the easiest one to explain. Particularly if what you did is relevant to your chosen career. Even if not, it’s easy to put positive spin on something that requires a certain level of intelligence and hard work.

Don’t say
“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, so I stayed in school rather than getting a job. I am still uncertain if this career path is right for me.”

Do Say
“I wanted to expand my career options by completing some training/getting a qualification in x. Now that I’ve achieved my educational goals, I’m looking forward to using my qualifications to benefit the company I work for. This role is the perfect way for me to do that because…”

4. So, You Took Time Off for Health Reasons
Brevity’s key here. The interviewer won’t expect (or want) you to go into painstaking detail about an attack of depression or a serious back operation. Prepare a straightforward explanation that you’re comfortable sharing. Mention how proud you are that you were able to overcome your health problems and then move the conversation swiftly into the present day by discussing the relevant skills you have to offer this company.

Don’t Say
“Whoa, yeah, things were pretty bad there for a while..”

Do Say
“I went through a tough time emotionally/physically due to… and I took some time out to concentrate on getting better, so I could get back to work as quickly as possible. I’m pleased that I overcame that challenge because it’s made me a stronger person but now I’m fully recovered and ready to focus on the next stage of my career.”

5. So, You Had to Take Care of Your Family
Remember, caring for the sick or elderly and raising a family are tough jobs that require a huge range of skills, which you now have in abundance. No interviewer should make you feel like your decision to prioritize family over career reflects badly on you.

If you had time to keep your skills and industry knowledge up to date, make sure you mention this. End the discussion by telling the interviewer that you’re excited to recommit yourself to your career. And remember, any company worth your time and effort should recognize what an all-round superhero you clearly are.

Don’t Say
“I live the closest to my mom so I drew the short straw in having to take care of her. I just couldn’t handle looking after her and holding down a job!”

Do Say
“After a lot of thought, I decided that my top priority was my child/elderly parent/sick spouse. However, I made sure to keep my professional skills up to date during that time. Now I’m in a position to refocus on my career and I’m looking forward to utilizing all the additional soft skills I’ve learnt.”

Lastly, remember that lying on your resume or in interview is a really bad idea. When you’re asked about a gap in your employment, take a deep breath and acknowledge the interviewer’s concern. Stay composed and don’t get defensive: it will reassure the interviewer that you’re confident and comfortable with your reasons so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be too.



I feel like I need more than just a traditional resume or cover letter in order to stand out to the tech companies I want to work for. What else can I do to separate myself from the competition that’s applying to these innovative companies?

Dear Desperate to Stand Out,

You really hit the nail on the head. Competition’s tough across the board and tech is leading the way.

Your first step to getting noticed is to get in the right mindset. What does that mean? Don’t think like a recruiter, but more like a marketer. Your product is your experience. Here’s how a marketer would sell it.

1. Focus on Presentation
Maybe you’re not a graphic designer, but that shouldn’t be stand in the way of creating an eye-catching resume. There are plenty of tools that make design easy for everyone—many even offer templates designed by experts.

And don’t just stop there. Think of all the other points of contact a recruiter could have with you—including your LinkedIn profile, other social media handles, a blog, an online portfolio, and so on. Make sure they are all polished and contribute to a cohesive personal brand.

2. Spread the Word
A solid resume or cover letter doesn’t accomplish anything if the right people don’t see it. One surefire way to stand out is to proactively put it in front of the right people and to make it easy for them to notice it.

For example, there’s a story of a candidate who used Snapchat geo filters to advertise his portfolio in front of creative directors at the agencies he wanted to work for. You may not want to go that far, but that core idea has some merit. Think of how you can make yourself discoverable.

Don’t be intimidated. This can be something as straightforward as finding an acquaintance who works at the company and asking for a referral, or even dropping a friendly note to the hiring manager on Twitter or LinkedIn.

3. Make it Personal
Anything that starts with the dreaded, “To Whom it May Concern” will find it’s way to the trash can in a hurry. But, it’s hard to ignore a message when it’s highly targeted and personalized.

Start by showing that you took the time to get to know both the hiring manager and the company. Stand out from the competition by finding unique themes, attributes, projects, values, or needs you have in common and then incorporating those into your application materials.

Proving that you’ve done your homework on the role and the company empowers you to present yourself as a seamless fit, while also demonstrating your high level of interest in that opportunity.

Getting the job you want with the company you want to work for can be challenging. But, the right mindset and approach will help you reach your goals faster.

This article is part of our Ask an Expert series—a column dedicated to helping you tackle your biggest career concerns.


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Fact: Working with other people is hard. Even when you like them.

And over the years, I’ve tried different strategies to improve relationships (or, at the very least, prevent myself from freaking out in people’s faces).

But then, last year, I started going to therapy to deal with a situation outside the office. And I was surprised to realise that a lot of the advice I was getting could be applied to the workplace, too.

In fact, by using these therapist-approved strategies, I’m able to deal with difficult work situations much better now. So, before you let co-workers drive you up another wall, here are three new things to try.

1. Validate the Person’s Feelings Before You Do Anything Else

You know that passive aggressive co-worker who drives you nuts? Dealing with their behaviour can be super annoying!

Now, most of us don’t need therapy to recognise that we don’t have any control over others’ moods or behavior. But, instead of getting irritated about it, my therapist taught me a trick that makes that reality way easier to accept. All I have to do is imagine why someone might be acting the way they are, identify how I would feel if I were in their position, and then validate that feeling.

For example, if a client asks me to turn a project in sooner than we’d initially agreed and then gets annoyed when I say no, I’ll first try to identify why they might be making this request. Maybe their boss is putting pressure on them. If that were me, I’d be feeling really stressed out. And, I’d be disappointed if my request for an accelerated deadline were turned down. So, I’ll tell my client, “I imagine that this is probably disappointing for you.”

I know it sounds a little hokey, but this works wonders. By trying to empathise (even if I think the person’s wrong) and then validating what they’re feeling, I’m able to shift my attitude from frustration to empathy.

And, the client feels heard, too. Nine times out of 10, they’ll calmly reply, “Yes, I do feel disappointed.” It’s like identifying the feeling takes the hot air out of the situation. I’m then able to reiterate that I can’t accommodate an earlier deadline without things escalating.
2. Say What You’re Actually Thinking—and Say it Clearly

When I used to find myself in an awkward situation, I’d usually scramble to make things less awkward as quickly as possible. This usually meant bending over backward to make the other person happy, with no regard for my needs or feelings.

Now, I use a simple formula that I learned in therapy to clearly and concisely make my point:

the change I’d like + why the current option isn’t working + why my preference is better

For example, I had a client who said she hated my proposal. I’m perfectly fine with constructive feedback, but telling me you hate something doesn’t help me at all. So I said, “I’d like us to communicate with each other more respectfully because telling me you hate something doesn’t feel constructive. I’d prefer if you provided me with specific feedback about what isn’t working for you because that’ll help me to to deliver the work product you’re looking for.”

She immediately apologised and we were able to get on the same page from there.

As I’ve become more comfortable telling people what does or doesn’t work for me, being more assertive has gotten less scary. Even better, it’s made my working relationships stronger and more honest.
3. Set Boundaries

I’m a recovering people pleaser with a serious compulsion to say “No problem!” without even thinking. This usually leads to me feeling stressed and resentful, which isn’t good for me (or fair to my co-workers).

Getting comfortable with setting boundaries has made a huge difference. When a client asks me to sit in on a last-minute meeting or my boss wants me to work late, I now pause and consider whether or not it’s something I am willing and able to take on. If it’s not, I simply say, “I’m sorry, but that doesn’t work for me.” If it makes, sense, I’ll offer up a reason or an alternative solution. But sometimes, no just means no.

I’ve learned that setting boundaries can also be a proactive exercise. I’ll often tell new clients up front that I don’t check emails over the weekend or that I need a full 24 hours to respond to new requests. Managing expectations and setting boundaries from the start helps me to avoid annoying or uncomfortable situations in the future.

In no way am I suggesting that you should start saying no to every request from your boss, or setting ridiculous boundaries with your co-workers. These relationships are two-way streets, and you’ll sometimes need to bend to accommodate others.

I also understand that not everyone can turn down their manager when she asks them to work late or to avoid email all weekend—everyone’s boundaries will be different. But, learning about these strategies has made it way easier for me to navigate difficult and uncomfortable situations, so I’m pretty sure that they’ll work for you, too.

Bluemercury ceo

Many of the most successful people have gotten job interviews down to a science.

They’re not in the habit of wasting time with dumb or irrelevant queries.

In fact, they often have one favourite go-to question they like to ask. This typically reveals everything they need to know about a job candidate.

Check out the questions 10 business leaders love to ask candidates:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

According to the biography ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,’ the Tesla and SpaceX CEO likes to ask candidates this riddle to test their intelligence.

There are multiple correct answers, and one is the North Pole.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

One of Zappos’ core values is to ‘create fun and a little weirdness,’ Tony Hsieh, CEO of the company, tells Business Insider.

To make sure he hires candidates with the right fit, Hsieh typically asks the question: ‘On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?’ He says the number isn’t too important, but it’s more about how people answer the question. Nonetheless, if ‘you’re a one, you probably are a little bit too straight-laced for the Zappos culture,’ he says. ‘If you’re a 10, you might be too psychotic for us.’

Another question Zappos usually asks candidates is: ‘On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you in life?’ Again, the number doesn’t matter too much, but if you’re a one, you don’t know why bad things happen to you (and probably blame others a lot). And if you’re a 10, you don’t understand why good things always seem to happen to you (and probably lack confidence).

Facebook HR chief Lori Goler

Business Insider previously spoke with Lori Goler, Facebook’s president of people operations, about how the social media giant recruits top talent. That’s what this question is all about — on a perfect day at work, what activities allowed you to ‘get in the zone’ and do great work.

She recommends that people interested in working for Facebook apply to roles that play to their strengths:

‘They should just apply,’ Goler told Business Insider. ‘We hire people every day who just apply to the website. We love meeting people that way. Jump right in.’

Paypal co-founder and Clarium Capital President Peter Thiel

PayPal cofounder, managing partner of the Founders Fund, and president of Clarium Capital Peter Thiel always looks to hire people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds, reports Business Insider’s Aaron Taube.

To do this, he always gives job candidates and the founders of companies seeking an investment this interview prompt: ‘Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.”

In a 2012 interview with Forbes, Thiel said the reason he loves this question is: ‘It sort of tests for originality of thinking, and to some extent, it tests for your courage in speaking up in a difficult interview context.’

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson explains in his new book ‘The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership,’ that he isn’t a fan of the traditional job interview, reports Business Insider’s Richard Feloni.

‘Obviously a good CV is important, but if you were going to hire by what they say about themselves on paper, you wouldn’t need to waste time on an interview,’ Branson writes. That’s why he likes to ask: What didn’t you get a chance to include on your résumé?

Dropbox founder Drew Houston

Drew Houston, the 33-year-old billionaire founder of Dropbox, tells Adam Bryant of The New York Times that he has five questions he always likes to ask job candidates:

1. Who is the best in the world at what you do?

2. Who are your influences?

3. What have you learned in the last year?

4. If you were able to sit yourself down 10 years ago, what advice would you give your younger self?

5. What are the most important lessons you’ve taken away?

As Business Insider previously reported, Houston explains that these questions help him discern if a candidate is passionate about constantly improving. ‘I’m drawn to people who really love their craft, and treat it like a craft, and are always trying to be better and are obsessed with what separates great from good,’ he tells Bryant.

Paramore founder and EVP Hannah Paramore

Hannah Paramore, president of Paramore, a Nashville-based interactive advertising agency, told the New York Times’ Adam Bryant that this is one of her favourite questions.

‘I’m looking for how deeply instilled their work ethic and independence are versus entitlement,’ she tells Business Insider. ‘If they worked part time in high school and college because they needed to, especially in jobs that were just hard work, that shows a huge level of personal responsibility. I love people who have to patch success together from a number of different angles.’

Charlotte Russe president and CEO Jenny Ming

Tell me about your failures.  A good answer to this question is important because it means that the candidate isn’t afraid of taking risks and will admit when things don’t work out, says Jenny Ming, president and CEO of clothing store Charlotte Russe and former chief executive of Old Navy.

‘It doesn’t even have to be business; it could be life lessons. I think it’s pretty telling. What did they do afterward?’ she says. ‘How did they overcome that? I always look for somebody who’s very comfortable admitting when something didn’t work out.’

People always like to tell you about their successes, she explains, but they don’t always want to tell you what didn’t work out so well for them.

Bluemercury CEO Marla Malcolm Beck

As Business Insider previously reported, luxury beauty retailer Bluemercury CEO Marla Malcolm Beck’s interviews tend to only take seven to 10 minutes.

She has on query she likes to ask in particular, she previously told Adam Bryant of The New York Times.

Her question for potential hires is: ‘What’s the biggest impact you had at your past organisation?’

‘It’s important that someone takes ownership of a project that they did, and you can tell based on how they talk about it whether they did it or whether it was just something that was going on at the organisation,’ she told Bryant.

Jigsaw head of research and development Yasmin Green

Yasmin Green, head of research and development at Jigsaw, Alphabet’s tech incubator formerly known as Google Ideas, wants to hire creative, independent thinkers, so she gets candidates to think on their feet by asking them how they’d manage an imaginary ice-cream stand.

‘I’m curious to see how people deal with ambiguity and whether they can have fun while thinking on their feet,’ she says.

Green says that to land a job at Google, you also need to ‘be prepared to challenge the premise of the question.’




Over the last month and a bit, I’ve been recruiting. In February, RN advertised for six digital producers. Two of them were on my team, and I received more than 260 applications.

“Digital producer” could mean a lot of things, but for us it meant journalists with multimedia skills — and virtually everyone who applied was between 18 and 30.

In the private sector you can grab the top half of your résumé pile and throw it in the bin on the basis that you don’t want to hire unlucky people, but at the ABC we’re required to pay careful attention to every applicant.

It took a long time, but it was worth it in the end, and gave me a real insight into the job market, the media and how young people present themselves.

Here are some observations that might help other recruiters, and some tips that might help you if you’re a Gen Y looking for a job.

There are no entry-level jobs anymore

Being a millennial sucks. (Please let the record show that I am also a millennial.)

Where professionals in our parents’ generation could finish university armed with nothing but an arts degree and walk into a job that would train them, “entry level” jobs now require years of experience.

Virtually every applicant I saw had developed their skills in multiple volunteer or unpaid roles, and while the jobs we advertised were probably best suited to people with a few years’ experience, this state of affairs is still visible in people’s employment history years down the line.

It’s an arms race: when an entire cohort gets experience this way, those who don’t will slip to the bottom of the pile.

Of course, this is totally unfair: not all young people can afford to work for free, so organisations fill up with more of the same rich, white people who can.

The problem seems particularly acute in the media, where cadetships and other opportunities for on-the-job training are dwindling along with the total number of positions.

Recruiters can hope to correct for this in interviews and the way they consider candidates — and we tried to do this — but it’s a structural problem that needs a structural solution.

One suggestion is to hire based on aptitude tests, rather than CVs or university results. Some companies are already doing this.

The headshot is back in vogue

Lots of applicants included a headshot with their resume. Maybe this is normal in TV or acting, but it seems strange for a digital role.

We get it, you’re hot. That’s not why we hire people.

There’s a point at which a CV becomes overdesigned

Thanks to online tools like Canva, it’s never been easier to dabble in graphic design.

A sizeable proportion of the résumés we saw had more formatting than humble old MS Word can provide. Bright colours, glyphs, textures and shapes abounded.

If you’re applying for a job, there’s no doubt that a well-arranged CV can make you stand out, but a loud or overdesigned one will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons.

How far is too far? A bright pink cover page may be too far. A patterned six-page presentation alternating between portrait and landscape orientation is probably too far. A pie chart of how you spend each day (you only sleep for three and a half hours?) is definitely too far.

Five stars, Margaret

Design inflation plays a role in another weird trend I picked up: heaps of the CVs I saw had a “skills” column, with the candidate’s abilities rated on a five or 10 star scale … by the candidate.

And we’re not just talking about proficiency in, say, editing software; people rate themselves for more nebulous concepts like “time management” and “intercultural communication”.

Of course, these self-assessments tend to be glowing: nobody gives themselves one star.

I get why you’d do this if you were applying for a job: it’s much more visually striking than a list of your skills. But it also makes it obvious when you’re taking creative licence in describing your abilities.

It’s unlikely that you’re a five-star audio producer, a five-star video editor and a five-star reporter. Are there even enough hours in a millennial’s lifetime to learn those skills to such a high level?

It’s much better to be upfront about where your true strengths lie, and at least you’ll get five stars for honesty.

Nobody knows how to write a good cover letter

When I’m looking at applications, I look at the cover letter first. I want the candidate to introduce themselves and explain why they’d be good for the job.

But 90 per cent of the cover letters I saw were just CVs in prose form.

This was:

  1. Boring for me.
  2. Pointless for the applicants; their CVs were also attached.
  3. A bit disturbing; I thought my applicants were professional communicators.

When you’re job hunting, you need to write an original cover letter for every job you apply for — changing the subject line ain’t going to cut it. A cover letter is your opportunity to stand out, so here’s a simple guide to writing a good one.

Introduce yourself. Outline your understanding of the role and the organisation. Make a pitch for your vision of the role and why you would be great at it — this should reference your experience, but it shouldn’t be a laundry list.

Show some personality. Avoid typos. And for God’s sake, keep it to a page.

Millennials are so impressive

Constant technological disruption means it’s a tough time to be in the early stages of your career, but so many young people responded with incredible flexibility and a willingness to learn new skills.

I might have just spent 800 words whinging, but at the end of the day we had so many great people apply for our jobs that it was difficult to choose a shortlist, let alone successful candidates.

As an employer, that’s a great problem to have. As a millennial, not so much.


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A Central Coast lawyer, mortgage broker, coach and child psychologist have come together to create an integrated women’s empowerment workshop to support women going through divorce or separation.

The founder of 134 Matchsticks, NLP practitioner and emotional coach Kim Tiong said there are currently so many disjointed services for people going through separation or divorce that it is time that a comprehensive solution was offered to help make this difficult time less overwhelming and painful.

“Add to this the reality that there is no ‘road map’ for people going through a separation or divorce, something to say ‘These are the things to consider’,” said Ms Tiong.

Brazel Moore family lawyer Ruth Single added that while many women going through separation want to keep their family home, they have not considered their financial situation and whether they can afford to do so.

“Many of my female clients may not have managed their own finances before and are lost as to where to start”, said Ms Single.

Bridgecoast Finance mortgage broker Marie O’Brien knows this only too well, having seen two close female relatives struggle after their divorces, one coming out of her divorce with the family home and nothing else.

“She thought she would have some cash left after the settlement, but this just wasn’t the case. With three children it was a real struggle, which is why I am so passionate about empowering women to manage their own financial situation”, said Ms O’Brien.

When there are children involved, the situation is even more complex.

Child psychologist Alexandra Sydenham said that while parents want what is best for their children, they often underestimate the long-lasting impact their actions and words can have on their children when going through a divorce or separation.

“While it is easy to get caught up in the emotion, any tension, fighting, bad-mouthing each other or saying negative things to children about the other parent all have lasting negative impacts which parents need to be aware of”, said Ms Sydenham.

“Women can also be so used to putting everyone else’s needs first, that they tend to neglect themselves,” said Ms Tiong.

“Constant emotional overwhelm, the questioning of our social identity and questioning our own self-worth not only impacts ourselves, but also our children and our ability to cope during this challenging time,” said Ms Tiong.

“In many instances appointments with solicitors can often become very expensive counselling sessions and add thousands of dollars to an already expensive process,” she said.

With three of the four women having been through a divorce or separation themselves, they are passionate about helping other women through this difficult time.

Ms Tiong said she was already putting together a similar program for women going through or contemplating separation which is why she contacted Ms Single, who then suggested the idea of free joint seminar for women going through this challenging time.

“I thought separating couples needed to know that there are these services available to help them during this time,” said Ms Single.

“I know many people need help dealing with the emotional pain which is where Kim came in, and then because Kim was already putting together a similar program she suggested including something on finances, and then Marie suggested having a session for children and it just went from there”, she said.

Ms Single also added that although this seminar focuses on women, men also need assistance post separation and that there are plans to run a similar seminar open to men later in the year.

The Women’s Empowerment Seminar will provide a brief overview of the following considerations when going through a divorce or separation:

  • Legal considerations
  • Financial considerations
  • Ways to deal with emotional pain
  • Things to consider when there are children involved and the best ways to help them cope

The first free Women’s Empowerment Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 May 2015 at 7pm to 9:30pm at The Erina Centre at Erina Fair. It is free to attend however places are strictly limited. Bookings can be made through

For further details contact Kim on 0409 005 615


There are mixed messages in the November unemployment figures.

Seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Statistics show a total of 40,800 part-time jobs and 1,800 full-time jobs were added to the economy but the national unemployment rate has gone to a 12-year high at 6.3 per cent.

The Central Coast of NSW sits just above the national average at 6.7 per cent.’s David Smeeth said the figures showed that many of the full-time positions had gone to those already in work.

“This shows there is still the chance for the people with the right skills and experience to get ahead,” he said.

“This is positive news, but worrying aspects are the number of part-time jobs, pointing to a growing level of underemployment, and youth unemployment continues to creep higher.

“Underemployment is often a ‘make-do’ job and not the career and development of specialised skills that is typically available in full-time work.

“Employability is always a combination of skills and experience, and part-time work provides limited levels of both.”

Mr Smeeth said youth unemployment was a structural problem that needed policies and attention at the three levels of government in co-operation with suitable industries.

“There is often comment that people should be prepared to move to get work, but the success of and its focus on jobs on the Central Coast shows that people want to work where they are committed for lifestyle, family and social reasons,” he said.

The JobsOnThe website was created to enable people to find work and advancement in their local area, where they have the local knowledge and infrastructure to support them through the transition, he said. aims to be a one-stop employment and skills marketplace for the Central Coast, whether it’s looking for a new or better job or being in the market to hire new talent and experience through its sister-site,

The website can be viewed at and businesses that want to find out more can contact David on 0419 168 177 or by email on

Safety Response

Safety training and management is like insurance – when you need it, there is no substitute for it.
Safe Response is a safety training and management company with agents and trainers on the Central Coast, in the Hunter and throughout Australia providing risk audits, emergency management procedure documents, pre- and post incident planning, certificates and approvals and business recovery services.
It is the latest company to enter a strategic partnership with and because of shared business values.
Just as the jobs websites are building to become a one-stop site for all things to do with jobs and hiring, Safe Response aims to be a complete package to help with workplace safety and incident management.
Safe Response Pty Ltd Director Jesse McNeilly said there were almost 128,000 work-related accidents in 2010-2011, resulting in 220 deaths and a cost of more than $60 billion or almost 5 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
It is impossible for even moderately large companies to have the expertise and experience to train for and manage every potential crisis, and that is where a specialist company is indispensible.
“Our strict benchmark means we have decades of fire, paramedic, policing and military experience, which makes us highly sought-after,” Mr McNeilly said.’s Partnerships Director David Smeeth says there are many intersections where businesses cross paths in modern commerce, and there are many more intersections at which any business can reasonably position itself.
“That’s why careful selection must be made of businesses with which you are linked.
“We are delighted Safe Response has become a partner because workplace safety and employee welfare are important for attracting the best candidates for any job vacancy and for retaining the necessary skills and experience in any business’s workforce,” Mr Smeeth said.
JobsOnTheCoast provides specific services to business wanting to recruit, whether it is through a variety of ‘self-service’ products or requiring a more involved and consultative approach.


There is much in common between a prestige motor dealer and an on-line jobs website.

And it’s these qualities in common that has prompted Worthington Prestige, on the corner of the Central Coast Highway and Kangoo Road at Kariong, to become a business partner with

“We realise that many people who go to a jobs website are not just looking for a job but for a position to improve themselves,” said General; Sales Manager at Worthington Prestige Joel Rees.

“Cars are like jobs – they say a lot about who we are and what we aspire to be,” he said.
Mr Rees said the decision was based on sound business statistics, too.

“ has high volume web traffic and we like to be in front of as many people as we can be.”

The dealer’s presence on the site will be a mix of institutional or signature advertising together with some product display.

The dealership has BMW and Mini brands as well as motorcycles and used cars. It has a service department for these brands and for other makes.

Dealer principals Brad and Vanessa Worthington are the second generation of the family to be in the dealership, following on from Brad’s parents, Kevin and Helen, who had their first dealership on Parramatta Road in Sydney.

The Gosford showroom has been on its site for 12 years.’s Partnerships Director David Smeeth said jobs and cars were two marketplaces that were once dominated by newspapers but they had now moved to the internet.

“It makes sense for these two popular interests to be together because they account for enormous amount of web traffic,” he said.

Just as motor dealer’s seek to build long-term relationships with their clients, strives to be the one-stop jobs website for the Central Coast, whether it’s looking for a new or better job or in the market to hire new talent and experience.

JobsOnTheCoast provides specific services to business wanting to recruit, whether it be through a variety of ‘self-service’ products or requiring a more involved and consultative approach.

“Yes, we are trying to be all things to all people when it comes to jobs – finding them, filling them and displaying them.”

The website can be viewed at and businesses that want to find out more can contact David on 0419 168 177 or by email on

Click here to view the Central Coast Weekly Update 4th August 2014

Tim O’Brien (Founder of has released the first in a new series of personal weekly video updates relating to the Central Coast employment market.

Distributed every Monday, we hope these updates will be of interest and benefit to local businesses and job seekers.  To view this week’s 90 second video on our new YouTube channel, simply click the following link …

Central Coast Weekly Update – 4th August 2014

The introduction of a Work for the Dole scheme could be a leg-up into paid work that many long-term unemployed people need, says JobsOnTheCoast Founder Tim O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien started the website three years ago and it has since expanded to the Hunter-Newcastle and Queensland Sunshine Coast areas.

The site published over 6,000 jobs last year and is a prime site for jobseekers and hirers in the three locations.

Mr O’Brien said as the job market tightens and there are more qualifications for benefits, jobseekers need to show as much commitment as they can, and this is one way they can do that.

Long-term joblessness does not allow a job applicant to show they have the will and the discipline for a position for which he or she has applied.

“As a consequence, employers go for someone who has a job or who has had one until recently because they expect that applicant to be more job-ready,” he said.

“A work for the dole scheme can show the willingness and discipline to a person or business with a job vacancy.”

There has been some negative reaction to the re-introduction of Work for the Dole since it was announced earlier in the year and any scheme can only be as good as its program and administration, he said.

“For unemployed individuals, it can offer opportunity that’s not available any other way except for volunteering,” he said

Mr O’Brien is also a member of a local volunteering association that recruits and manages volunteers, as well as promotes best practices in volunteering. 

“Volunteering offers a similar chance to demonstrate a person is prepared to turn up on time, make an effort and take on responsibilities – all valuable qualities to be able to demonstrate when looking for work,” he said.

There was also the important benefit of feeling that the person was making a contribution to society and large and his or her community in particular.

“It shouldn’t be underestimated what that sense of worth and the confidence it instills is worth when going for a job,” he said.

The federal government announced it was re-introducing the Work for the Dole scheme initially as a pilot in a handful of regions from July this year, with full roll out scheduled for 1 July 2015.

SOTC CC logo

Local jobs website has expanded to make it more useful to look for specific skills and provide a forum for those who want to advertise their skills. was launched for the Central Coast region on Thursday to let employers know there are those with skills and experience or in training and they are on the jobs market.

The value for employers is they can “shop” for the skills they want to recruit for free on the same website.

“Employers looking to recruit usually have to advertise a position then sort through many hopefuls as well as those who have the experience or skill in demand,” said JobsOnTheCoast Founder Tim O’Brien.

“This new site will allow them to see who is out there looking for work, advancement or a career change based on their abilities.”

Mr O’Brien said the changing jobs climate meant that some industries were retrenching people with experience and skills. These people can now list individually on SkillsOnTheCoast to be seen by potential employers.

The site has been developed because of feedback from employers and from those who want to “put themselves out there” to potential hirers.

As it gains momentum, it has the potential to save the money and time normally associated with recruitment, especially when specialised experience and skills are involved.

It has drawn support from NSW Trade and Investment, Regional Development Australia, Central Coast and HunterNet.

Negotiations are proceeding with other partners including service providers (employment and training) who are interested in a presence on the site.

Mr O’Brien said the same philosophy behind the success of the jobs website would apply, namely that people want to work in the region where they live so they look to find work, advancement or skills improvement locally.

“By bringing people with skills together on the one site, it affords those individuals and their potential employers more scope” he said.

These people have skills and experience that the Central Coast needs to retain, in order to be competitive with regions and to ensure there is a speedy return to prosperity when the economy turns around, he said.

140520 JOTSC Mayor Mark Jamieson, Tim O¹Brien and Anthony Dow

The success of locality-based jobs website has prompted expansion interstate to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The founder of the now three websites, Mr Tim O’Brien, launched the Queensland operation at a ceremony on the TAFE campus at Mooloolaba attended by 100 people from government, industry, training and recruitment sectors.

The Queensland operation is headed by Regional Manager Anthony Dow, who was CEO of Regional Development Australia on the NSW Central Coast before a move to Queensland two years ago.

“After being at the launch on the Central Coast while CEO of Regional Development Australia, it is such a pleasure to be leading the rollout of this third site,” said Mr Dow.

Mr O’Brien started the first website on the NSW Central Coast more than three years ago and replicated the operation in the Hunter about 21 months ago.

“The success is built on a simple premise,” Mr O’Brien said, “People choose where they want to live for all sorts of lifestyle reasons – and they want to work as close to home as possible.”

Illustrating the success of the two sites has been the growth in the number of on-line jobs, with the Central Coast site topping out at more than 300 and to Hunter listing about 450 vacancies in its peak season.

The site is supported by business partners who provide services for jobseekers and employers as well as training and skill development.

The aim is to make it the definitive site for advice and guidance for all matters related to finding work or recruiting.

Mr O’Brien said as well as expansion to the third region there was a continuous process of refinement to improve the websites for those looking for work or advancement and those seeking to hire.

 “Feedback from the growing army of users is monitored so we can make adjustments and improvements,” he said.


GrowthCLUB is back and this is an event you won’t want to miss….

You will be lead through ActionCOACH’s proven 6 Step Business System and 5 Ways for Business Growth to develop your Key Priority for the next Year and your Top 3 Action Initiatives for the next 90 Days. You will hear from other successful business owners real examples of how they have put ActionCOACH’s Business System to work in their business.

GrowthCLUB is on Wednesday June 18, 2014, commencing at 8:30am and running through to 4:00pm.

Here’s just a few of the benefits you’ll get from this valuable workshop:

  • The 6 Step Business Structure – All businesses are different yet at the same time share an underlying structure that must be sound to achieve results. You will find out about the missing ingredients in your business that you can’t succeed without and you’ll be introduced to a 5 point Scientific Formula that, if followed, will show you exactly in what areas of your business you need to work to Massive Results.
  • Steal the proven business strategies that work – “Steal” the business strategies that have worked for other business owners…don’t worry – it’s allowed!  Case studies delivered in person by the business owners themselves make it easy for you to profit without struggling to re-invent the wheel.
  • Your own personal step-by-step action plan to achieve explosive profits in the next 90 days – Get ALL the tools you need to create REAL goals and walk out with a realistic, step-by-step, executable action plan for the next 90 days that will have you achieving sustainable profits for your business.

All this and more is waiting for you at GrowthCLUB!

This day is designed to give you energy, vision and focus that you can inject into your business and see the results in your bank balance…

…And getting RESULTS is what this day is all about – hosted by Coach Marcus Kroek, who has won numerous Business Coaching Awards including ‘Best Client Results’ – he knows exactly what delivers results in business and he’ll be sharing it with you at GrowthCLUB!

Special Price of $197 for friends of (usually $297)……all you have to do is following the link to register today…remember to enter ‘JOBS’ as your promo code!

Register Here

Places are limited so get in quick! To find out more, please contact Marcus Kroek on 0412 313 733

Marcus Kroek – Business Coach, proudly supporting


Information brought to you by Jobs On The Coast specialist partner, Finance On The Coast …

Ask an economist where interest rates will be in two or three years and the likely answer will be that no one can see that far into the future when it comes to an economy’s ebbs and flows.

But an astute economist can probably tell you that what goes up must come down, and vice versa. Interest rates, like the broader economy, move in cycles.

But, in case you thought that makes a decision to borrow on fixed or variable rates easier, there is no way to know how long and high or low the cycles will be.

Remember, interest rates in Australia are at historic lows at the moment.

Aside from hedging your bets against the fluctuations, there are sound structural reasons why one form of borrowing might be better that another.

Variable rates have several structural advantages, especially in a stable rate environment and when an economy is growing and jobs are secure [see chart below].

But there are horror tales from the 1980s, for example, of people who borrowed on variable rates to buy homes in the good times only to have interest rates in some cases more than double and, because of a contracting economy, to loose their equity in their home.

More borrowers are now choosing to fix their loans, says Phil Riches, Senior Mortgage Consultant for Finance on the Coast

“Statistics show the average proportion of borrowers fixing their loans is more than 16 per cent of the overall market, compared with 12% for year ago,” he said.

“So, with fixed rate terms of one, two or three years lower than discounted variable rates at this point in time, they can be appealing.

“Key considerations for borrowers should be confirming the indicated variable rate once the fixed loan expires, ensuring the loan is not fixed for a term beyond when the loan will be paid out, and whether it is possible to retain some flexibility such as a fully offset account and/or ability to make extra repayments during the fixed term.

“At Finance on the Coast, we see an increased interest in fixed rate loan inquiries. We go over the typical benefits and disadvantages of variable and fixed rate loans and where our clients indicate a desire to fix their loan.

“Where suitable we finance them with a lender who allows fixed rate loans with 100 per cent offset and no ongoing fees,” he said.

One advantage of a variable rate loan is, as personal prosperity grows and the family income gets bigger, the loan can be paid down quicker, without penalty.

Fixed rates give some certainty. You know what the repayments will be for the duration of the loan.

If you borrow at 5 per cent and, over time, rates go to 7 per cent, you are clearly in front.

But it’s because of the uncertainties of the financial cycle that banks or other lender will give you a fixed rate for a specified period, sometimes up to 10 years.

If, in five or 10 years, rates are high and your loan is switched to a variable rate because the fixed rate period expires, it can be a steep lift in repayments.

Loans and the circumstances in which they are made are as individual as the borrowers.

That’s why it is key to get specific advice based on individual circumstances.

Even within the fixed and variable loan rates there are differences – such as a cocktail of fixed and variable – that enable a tailoring of the loan for the optimum result for the borrower.

JobsOnTheCoast/JobsInTheHunter founder Tim O’Brien says there is no longer such a thing as a job for life.

“It is normal for someone’s career to change direction much more than once and it’s difficult to predict what is around the corner.

“This may include different jobs with different levels of income, or perhaps setting up an business.

“So it’s important to not only set out on the right track but also to get the right advice as your situation changes over time.

“Phil and his team at Finance On The Coast not only have access to a vast array of lenders and mortgage types, they also have the necessary experience to look at individual circumstances and find solutions to non-standard requirements,” Mr O’Brien said.

For further information or enquiries contact Phil Riches, Senior Mortgage Consultant for Finance on the Coast, on 0418 204 304 or email

Variable rate loans:


  • Flexibility to make extra payments without penalty
  • Opportunity to redraw from equity in the loan
  • No penalty for early discharge or refinancing with another institution (administration fees do apply)
  • Interest usually moves down when the Reserve Bank cuts its rate.
  • Linked off-set accounts are available with most variable loans. (These charge interest on the amount of a loan outstanding minus any plus balances on the off-set account)
  • Flexibility to increase the amount borrowed (to put in that swimming pool, for example)


  • When the Reserve Bank lifts its cash rates, repayment rates go up accordingly. To illustrate, loan repayments on $500,000  of principal and interest basis over 30 years  at today’s discounted variable rate of about 4.99% are $2,682 a month. The same loan at 20% interest is $8,356 a month
  • Restriction on borrowing limit based on what you can repay and a margin against interest rate rises, usually a factor of 1.5 to 2 per cent

Fixed rate loans:


  • Certainty of ongoing repayment during the fixed term
  • Protection from increased interest rates
  • Option to fix for up to 10 years
  • Peace of mind and ability to set a household budget accordingly
  • Ability to ‘lock in’ todays fixed rate at time of application (most lenders charge a fee for this)
  • With some lenders, ability to increase amount you are able to borrow when taking a 5-year fixed rate


  • Depending upon what rate you fix at, what happens to variable rates and how long until the fixed rate expires, there may be a fixed rate break cost on exiting the loan if you need to discharge during the fixed term because of the sale of the property or refinance to another lender (not to be confused with exit penalties, which have been abolished)
  • Limited extra repayments, usually restricted
  • Offset account not offered with fixed rate loans (there is one lender who allows a 100 per cent offset on a fixed rate loan)
  • Mostly fixed rates not offered when taking a construction loan to build a new home
  • No ability to increase or decrease the loan limit during the fixed term

Welcome to the February edition of our Jobs On The Coast eNews.

As Summer comes to an end, we see the jobs market at one of its busiest times of the year, with lots of opportunities for employers and job seekers alike.  Competition is high, with not only active jobs seekers searching for work, including new-to-the-market school leavers, but also passive candidates receptive to moving on to new roles in this period.

With this in mind, this month’s edition of eNews includes articles for job seekers on interview etiquette and accessing training opportunities to keep your skills offering relevant.  For employers, we look at motivational techniques to help you retain your best staff, and consider the benefits of employing older candidates in your organisation.  We also want to hear your views on how the opening of the new Hunter Expressway will change your travel time.

Our newly introduced “Jobs On The Coast Extras” service is being well received.  Offering expert support from our specialist HR and recruitment partners the service will ease you through the process of recruitment and hiring.  The Extras service is fully flexible, meaning you can select one, or any number of services, ranging from the writing of position descriptions through to background and pre-employment checks.  For more information follow this link.

I hope you enjoy our latest edition of Jobs On The Coast eNews.  We love to get feedback so please do let us know if you have anything you’d like to say!  Thank you for your continued support of

Warm regards

Tim O’Brien

Founder and Chairman

The summer months are for many the time when their school education is behind them and now begins the challenge of equipping for a career.

Training will get you started, but it will be the key to your sustainability and progress?

Training is for the entire working life.

To stay relevant in a changing workplace, with technology and working environments and duties constantly evolving, training is important to sustain a career as well as begin or advance it.

Ann Morris is the Managing Director of Aurora Training and Professional Services in Newcastle and she says about 70 per cent of those who study through her business are upskilling in an existing career.

“As people get older and want to stay in the workforce for longer, it’s essential to retain and improve the relevant skills,” she said.

Forsythes Training Managing Director Chad White says his company has a focus on corporate training and can provide or develop courses for employee skills gaps that have been identified during a performance review.

Many courses focus on performance management, administration and leadership, he said.

“Businesses train for many reasons, one being the constant changes in the workplace that result in employee skill gaps and a need for new skills and knowledge, we support our clients with tailoring and delivering training solutions,” he said.

Not all training courses are vocational and there are many that are about you and your role in the work environment.

These courses are naturally useful for personal growth in a workplace context and they are beneficial to the employee and the employer at any stage over a career.

Examples are report writing, which is such an important element of effective and accurate communication, emotional intelligence and how to have that difficult conversation about performance.

More than ever, maintaining a productive office or factory, depends on effective teamwork and that requires employees who are enthusiastic and committed.

The skills to manage and maintain such an environment are import in the progression of a career.

Talk to your boss or supervisor about the training you could benefit from to either plug a gap in skills or to make the best of future opportunities.


Baby Boomers are reshaping the mix of people in the workplace, bringing a challenge to employers who want the experience of an “old head” but on young shoulders.

Two conspicuous issues with older employees is, first, they are not the tech-natives that young people are and can be slow to embrace technological change and expansion.

Second, they have typically been less mobile throughout their career and so tend to have a narrow view of their industry or work sector based on their work history.

On the upside, stability brings certain planning certainty for a business, and experience, especially when combined with some initiative, can be a company’s most valuable asset.

Employees of any age and background are as varied as people in the wider community, but some generalisations are reasonable when it comes to older workers.

Many are in a stable personal and financial position and are therefore not looking over the fence of alternative employers all the time, keen to kick off a bidding war.

That said, pay and conditions might want to take some measure of the value the employee brings through experience and stability. Age should not be a career restricting condition.

Some older workers and staff don’t recognise the value their experience, not least because many have worked in environments where they were not encouraged to think and contributions to improved harmony or productivity were not sought or acknowledged when given.

Teasing out the value and benefit of that experience can be rewarding for a proprietor or manager, and rewards can be tangible.

When it comes to the image a business or company projects when it employs older people, it shows it is inclusive, has depth and stability that is a consequence of experience and it very often has someone who can speak as an equal to experienced customers and others the business deals with.

Someone who has the bruises and scars of past battles is most likely to have the patience and diplomacy to diffuse or manage potential conflict as well as optimize the public relations opportunities.

Managers and proprietors say it all the time: People are our greatest asset.

It must be true because people wouldn’t be employed if they weren’t essential to the business, its purpose and its profits.

So, how do you maintain your investment in an employee’s skills, time and wages so the business can continue to profit?

The first part is to acknowledge that, whether it’s one employee or a thousand, each is different and each has different motivations – because there are many motivations – or at least the spectrum of motivations in different ratios.

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how does it affect the relationship that each employer has with his or her workers or staff?

First matter to be aware of is that you will favour your “darlings”, those who are productive, convivial and, often, those with whom you have the greatest rapport for both business and personal reasons.

That’s good for the chosen one or ones, but it can leave everyone else out in the cold. Remember to be inclusive of all on your team, and spend a little extra time with those who are down on par.

Coaching, encouragement, time to listen are all likely to build rapport so each has a better understanding of the objectives and abilities of the other.

Your employee is, after all, looking to the boss for leadership.

Equally important, build the team and build the team so it builds itself. Let those who have the capacity step up to leadership functions, especially in team-building exercises where that leadership is coming from a peer.

Give opportunities at whatever level the individual is capable of succeeding, and give the tools for that success, however modest.

This has a consequence, the notion that the employees are contributing in a greater than nuts and bolts kind of way and, in the process, you might identify or unleash true leadership or other creative abilities that weren’t noticed before.

Team building is often associated with “game” to test and display leadership and initiative, but simple workplace team building can be as basic as routine meetings at which people are encouraged and free to express ideas.

Ground rules should always include a primary condition; there are no bad ideas – only ideas that need refinement or whose time has not yet come.

Now try it. See how it works.

And we’ll have another episode in next month’s eNews.

131128 Wild Fig #011

Five Central Coast senior high school Business Studies students were rewarded for their business ideas and entrepreneurial potential at the inaugural Wild Fig Young Entrepreneur Support (YES) program.

The top three students were each presented with a cheque for $1,000 while the two runners-up received $200 each. The students were awarded before an audience of local business owners, parents, teachers and special guests Innov8 Central Project Manager, Frank Sammut and Central Coast Innovation Facilitator, Graham Baker.

Winners were:
• Zoe Friedman from Terrigal High School for ‘Divine Domestics’, a business concept that combines home ware product sales with professional interior designer service and expertise.

• Shay Goddard from Gorokan High School for ‘Smashing’, a unique and quirky concept that encourages an over 18’s clientele to legally vent their frustration by smashing crockery and other breakable objects in a safe, fun environment.

• Paige Wilson-Turner from St. Philips Christian College (Gosford Campus) for ‘Aqua Laser Tag’, an eco friendly hybrid laser tag/aquatic centre that combines land and water components.

Runners-up were Henry Hamilton-Burgoyne from Wyong High School for his thoroughly researched real estate business concept ‘Champion Realtors’ and Aaron Stace from St Edwards College, East Gosford for his eco friendly health food and beverage concept, ‘Wellness Kahvila’.

The annually run incentive scheme invites the Coast’s next round of school leavers to consider local business ownership in their future endeavours and reward the best of those students for their entrepreneurial potential. Finalists were selected from a pool of Year 12 students nominated by their schools and judged on a set of predefined criteria including originality, business planning and presentation skills. All five finalists delivered comprehensive, well-structured business plans that demonstrated a solid understanding of the marketing, financial and human resource requirements needed to run a successful small business. Importantly, Each student also demonstrated the passion and innovative thinking needed to set their business concepts apart from others.

Terrigal High School Business Studies teacher, Dale Massie-Brahams said, “I cannot speak highly enough about this wonderful program. The value for students of Business Studies to have the opportunity to develop and pitch their business idea to such high calibre business people in our local area cannot be overstated – both in terms of their personal and their educational development. I extend a huge thank-you to all at Wild Fig Service Alliance for this invaluable support of our students.”

Wild Fig Executive Member and partner in business acceleration firm CtechBA, Bruce Cottrill has offered each winning student his time to explore the possibility of kick starting their business idea via creative crowd funding website,

“We were so impressed with the calibre of the students’ business plans and the originality and creativity of some of the ideas in particular that I have decided to offer my time to those students who wish to explore taking it to the next level,” said Bruce.

Wild Fig Service Alliance is a not for profit organisation consisting of members representing a broad range of established businesses on the Central Coast. The Wild Fig Young Entrepreneur Support (YES) Program was launched this year as part of the group’s commitment to support local youth and encourage an interest in small business.

6. Phil Riches

It is one of the truisms of small business that the focus is seldom on the processes of doing what it does.

And it’s here that there are opportunities for improved productivity and efficiency, says finance broker Phil Riches.

His business, Finance On The Coast, provides a service to business that ranges from analysing and suggesting more efficient transaction banking systems, such as payrolls and superannuation, to using or defining capital resources for expansion and consolidation, such as buying premises that are currently rented.

“There are many processes with receivables and payments that can be automated,” Mr Riches said.

This frees up personnel for better business development, he says.

By way of practical examples, he has been giving guidance to a number of small businesses on how, by switching the terms of a loan for the commercial premises they own, they were able to leverage funds for working capital purposes and their financial position was strengthened.

In another example, he has helped a business to buy the premises it operates from using their self-managed Superfund (SMSF) structure.

Mr Riches was in business banking with a national bank during the global financial crisis, a time when many businesses both big and small had to look to their internal efficiencies to survive.

Often, introducing the structural efficiencies in the handling of the business’s cash flow was associated with capital arranged through Finance on the Coast.

It is explained on this way: “Our initial consultation involves getting to know (the client) to understand short-, medium- and long-term plans.

“From there, and usually working in consultation with your accountant, we review your current turnover, gross and net profit and forecast income, assets and outgoings as well as understanding how you do things from an operational perspective.”

Mr Riches said it was important to understand how each business operated and what it wanted from the efficiencies to be gained.

Phil Riches can be contacted on 1300 081 522, by email at, or by mail at PO Box 326, Avoca Beach, NSW 2251

Further information is also available at

Three high school students will be named the Central Coast’s entrepreneurs of the future on November 28.

The three will be selected for a prize of $1000 from a field of six candidates nominated by their respective schools.

The other three will be awarded certificates of encouragement for their ideas.

It is the first Young Entrepreneurs Support program to be run on the Central Coast and it has been under the auspices of the Wild Fig Service Alliance business group.

Co-ordinator Bruce Cottrill, who conceived the idea, says the success so far of the inaugural awards suggests it will be continued next year and probably beyond.

“We see it has two important aims,” he said.

“The first, and as a minimum, it will help to make better and more valuable employees.

“Secondly, and our ultimate aim, we might see that million-dollar idea – one that we can get behind.”

The Central Coast has a ate of youth unemployment as high as 40 per cent, Mr Cottrill said, so it was important to create a program and award that was more than lip service to giving opportunity to young people.

“We had to find creative ways for the students to show what they have to offer,” he said.

The six students are in Year 11 and will sit for their Higher School Certificate next year.

They are Paige Wilson Turner, of St Philip’s Christian College (Gosford Campus); Shay Goddard and Stephanie Smith, both of Gorokan High; Henry Hamilton Burgoyne, of Wyong High; Zoe Friedman, of Terrigal High; and Aaron Stace, of St Edward’s College.

There are six judges representing the spectrum of business and commercial enterprises across the Central Coast.

JobsOnTheCoast Chairman Tim O’Brien has been involved with the launch of this inaugural program.

Mr O’Brien said: “This has been a marvelous process to showcase the acumen of these young people and it’s hoped they will be encouraged to bring their talents and foresight to the Coast’s business community.” will have comprehensive coverage of the award presentation on November 28, so keep watching for it.

The definitive guide to statistics and data for the Central Coast is now available on the internet.

Based on comprehensive data, mainly from the 2011 national census and also from the Gosford and Wyong local councils, the website will be a significant tool for business to plan establishment or development based on land strategies and demographics.

There are sites for the respective councils as well as a combined area covering the two LGAs.

The profiles were created by in a joint venture by the two councils with the Central Coast division of Regional Development Australia.

It was launched by acting chairman Phil Walker at a function at the RDA office on the University of Newcastle Ourimbah campus on Wednesday, November 20.

The sites are free to users and will be updated on average about every 18 months, Nathan Villiers, a demographer for, said at the launch.

The sites have comprehensive information about the economy, demography and geography as well as forecasts and projections on the regional, the LGAs and, in some instances, suburbs and localities with the LGAs.

We have set up links to the data on at

Caption: Demographer Nathan Villiers demonstrates the new websites to acting chairman of Central Coast Regional Development Australia Phil Walker at the launch at Ourimbah.

Do you want more exposure for your business or would you like more customers?

If the answer is YES, save money today with a substantial discount of 50% off pre-booked advertising for your business brand, products and services on or

There is a limited number of business advertising space available so please hurry and don’t hesitate to take advantage of this offer.  If you want to target a local audience of individuals or businesses across the Central Coast and Hunter, we have some fantastic prices given the size and relevance of our reach. Business advertising rates on this deal start at only $73.50 + GST per month.

Pages viewed on the Jobs On The Coast and Jobs In The Hunter websites have exceeded 85,000 in the last month and our audience is highly engaged, spending an average of 4 minutes and 32 seconds on the site (source: Google analytics). This means your ad is very likely to be seen and noticed.

We also have a large social media following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as over 10,000 subscribers to our email database.

To find out more or to secure these fantastic value rates, simply send us a quick reply with your name and telephone number. One of our friendly staff will then give you a call to chat through the options and we can process your booking if you wish to proceed … it’s really that easy!

This exclusive 50% discount offer is just available for the next two days and applies only to bookings processed before 5pm this Wednesday (13th November 2013). So contact us today if you would like to take advantage of these amazing deals, and if you know anyone who wants to expose their business brand products or services to a large and local audience, please feel free to forward them this email.

We always welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have so feel free to email or call our office in Erina on (02) 4365 7565.

Please note that advertisers are approved at the absolute discretion of  Some advertisements will not be possible due to exclusivity arrangements with current advertisers.  Booking is not confirmed until payment has been processed.  Payment can be made via direct deposit, Visa, MasterCard or PayPal. 

Workplace health and safety regulations sometimes seem burdensome for both workers and employers.

But their purpose is simple; to prevent harm and injuries that can be devastating for workers, their families and costly for businesses.

There is no doubt, it is a complicated and technical field and many businesses – especially small and family-operated ones – struggle to know little more than the basics of the legislation and practices they must follow.

Workers and supervisors, on the other hand, are tempted to take shortcuts, often without understanding the level of risk such a false efficiency might have for the individual or workmates.

So, how do we navigate this complex field in the best interest of protecting all associated with a given workplace?

Lorraine Rogic, the Managing Director of Logic Business Resources, says workplace safety is often tacked on to the duties of the human resources or payroll departments “and that’s very often not good enough.”

Threats to a business with poor health and safety procedures often result in a high number of injuries, loss of productivity, high absenteeism and poor morale through to higher insurance premiums and permanent or temporary staff replacement costs.

A positive approach can be motivating for workers, resulting in improved productivity and greater staff stability.

“It’s also a wise investment because it can enable a business to grow through accreditation to Standards that are often necessary in tender processes,” Ms Rogic said.

“These are business opportunities lost to those who don’t have recognised safety practices,” she said.

For more information, visit

Hazard a Guess is a program for workers and employers to take the guesswork out of workplace safety.

It is specifically for employers, educators, students and young workers to help meet their respective work, health and safety (WHS) training obligations in a variety of industries.

In turn, it contributes to lower injury rates in young workers.

The tool uses a game show style to engage the young worker with a range of topics and questions, each of which is worth a certain number of dollars – similar to the game show Jeopardy.

As the young worker selects a topic and dollar amount they are presented with a scenario in which they must make a series of decisions about which actions to take. Actions that result in dangerous or reckless behaviour result in the loss of money and the characters being injured or killed.

More information is available at the Young Workers website and on CD-ROM. To order more kits specific to your industry please contact the Publications Hotline on 1300 799 003 and quote the respective catalogue number for the industry you require.

Young workers, especially those in their first job, don’t always realise that productivity will be the ultimate measure of their work to the boss.

Prompted by a talent, powered by enthusiasm for the challenge, these young workers are at the doorstep of their careers.

See the full report here:

Bonuses are fine, but what a significant number of employees want is better workplace relations.

Not the government policy kind, but better conduct and treatment from they work with and for.

On the upside, however, about one-in-three employers said they were happy and felt empowered in the workplace, a survey by the website Job Advisor found.

Workplace perks and days off had limited appeal and were not likely to keep employees for the long term.

See the full report here: