Getting the right career advice can be crucial for your success.

However, that advice can vary during the stages of your career.

In our guide below, we provide an overview of career advice and career change and how to define your dream career. 

We have sections from some of Australias leading Career coaches.

Getting the right advice based on the stage of your career and how this advice needs to be tailored to ensure your dream career evolves and stays on track can be difficult.

To help answer these questions, our leading Australian Career coaches provide insights based on your age and career stage.     


1.      So what is Career Advice and Career Change

2.      So what is a dream career

3.      Career change does not have to be scary and it quite common

4.      Ten best career tips for those leaving school

5.      Ten career tips for those leaving Uni

6.      Tips for career growth 25 to 35

7.      How to accelerate your career 35 to 60

8.      I never want to retire! Career growth for 60 plus


Chapter 1


So what is Career Advice and Career ChangeSo what is Career Advice and Career Change

Sharon Mackie Goh


Simply put, career advice helps you figure out what you want to get from your career and plan the steps you need to take to get there.

Career advice is normally dispensed by a career coach – this could be a school or university employment guidance counsellor, a career advisor, or even a recruitment agency.

These professionals deploy a wide variety of methods to help you plan your career transition, which can include providing salary advice, resume preparation, career coaching, retirement planning, training and accreditation, and much more.

You should seek professional career advice if you’re unsure about what you want to do, feel that you lack control of your career progression, find what you’re currently doing unsatisfying, or generally have doubts about whether or not you’re in the right role, organisation, or even industry.

Career advice is often approached from an aspirational direction: what do you want from your career? What is important to you?

For example, if your priority is to have short work hours so you have more time to spend with your family, this could mean you need to choose a career that pays well enough per hour to accommodate working shorter days, or make sacrifices around your lifestyle, such as cutting spending on holidays or restaurant bills.

 What your priorities are and what lifestyle you want to have are entirely up to you.

Once you have figured out what professional goals you want to achieve and what sort of life you want to have, you might find that you need to make a career change.

This can be a small shift, such as taking a similar role in a different company or industry, or it can be a significant one, for instance, starting in a role you have no experience in, or even launching your own business.

Changing career can be a tricky process, particularly if you’re already well established within your current role or industry. Starting on a new direction in which you have less experience will often result in an initial pay cut, though it could help you earn more – or have other benefits – in the long run.

What is important is that you know what you want to achieve a few years down the line, and start heading in that direction now.

If you are unsure about what sort of work you want to do, a good place to start would be to look at your strengths and transferable skills and think about how you might apply them to different roles and industries.

An expert career coach can help you with this, particularly as they will be attuned to what roles are currently in demand across various sectors – some of which you may never have even heard of – and be able to tell you what you need to do to move into those roles.

This may be as simple as changing the way you talk about your existing experience on your resume or cover letter, or it might require a more significant commitment, for example, going on an accredited training course or acquiring a specific qualification. 


Chapter 2


So what is a dream career?

Tim Crowden


The great thing around careers at the moment and particularly looking to the future is that you really can decide what you want to do. If you don't like what you're doing, you can change. 

It's very different from the past ten or twenty years when people had very long careers with the one employer or doing the same job.

We can now have jobs that help get us to the next job and the next. And we have many avenues of study to help us progress.

We can also have multiple careers at the same time that support each other, utilise different skillsets and provide different networks, all of which can help move us towards our dream career or what I call ‘the encore career’.

Plan for ‘the dream’

Step 1: Visualise your future

Dreams are good but a plan is always better. 

When I'm career coaching I always get my client to think about the job they’d like ten years from now.

The one they’d like to see themselves in that is not constrained by immediate day to day needs, geography, financial constraints (like the mortgage payment) or what they think they should be doing.

It is the first step of actively planning for the ‘dream career’.geography, financial constraints (like the mortgage payment) or what they think they should be doing. It is the first step of actively planning for the ‘dream career’. 


Step 2: Define what really mattersStep 2: Define what really matters

After thinking about where and how they’d like to be working in 10 years time, I get them to go a little deeper.

Here’s a bank of reflective questions I use to help people better define what really interests them, and matters to them.

  1. What gets me out of bed in the morning?
  2. If I didn't need money, what would I do in life?
  3. What most fascinated me as a child?
  4. What most fascinated me when I was at university?
  5. When am I happiest in my current job?
  6. When in my life have I been so passionately focused on doing an activity that I completely lost track of time?
  7. What do I want to be remembered for in life?
  8. What is my legacy?
  9. Why was I put on this Earth?
  10. What's the thing on my gravestone or what are people saying in my eulogy about me?
  11. What do I believe I do best?
  12. What do others say that I do best?
  13. What am I most recognised for in my life and in my work?

It’s with introspection that your values and sense of purpose in life will come through.

I had one of those “significant” birthdays a little while ago and a good friend of mine came up to me and said ‘so what are you going to do when you retire?’

I was taken aback by that because I thought ‘well I'm actually at a pinnacle in my career.

Why would I be thinking about something that is coming up in five or ten years time?’

It prompted me to start asking questions like the ones above, and to get better clarity about what I actually enjoyed and what I wanted to do I in life, I involved others - my partner, my colleagues, my friends, the people I trust.

And guess what happened?

       I now know what gives me energy when I wake up in the morning

       I know what I love doing

       I know what my interests are

       I know the things that really excite me, and

       I know what I'm really here to do..

See, when I started talking to people I was expecting ‘you’re good at strategic planning’, your good at crisis management’ or ‘you’re good at managing projects’ not ‘you're really good at getting people motivated through coaching, mentoring and leadership’ but that was what kept coming up and it made sense.

I do love coaching and mentoring and have been actively involved in staff development and graduate programs for a long time.

I mentor staff, people in other departments, even in other organisations.

How could coaching not be part of my encore career?

See, when I started talking to people I was expecting ‘you’re good at strategic planning’, your good at crisis management’ or ‘you’re good at managing projects’ not ‘you're really good at getting people motivated through coaching, mentoring and leadership’ but that was what kept coming up and it made sense.

I do love coaching and mentoring and have been actively involved in staff development and graduate programs for a long time.

I mentor staff, people in other departments, even in other organisations.

How could coaching not be part of my encore career?


Step 3: Proper Planning...

We all know the 5 (or is it 6?) p’s related to goal setting: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance so once you are clear about the real future you want, it’s time to set goals with some deadlines for achieving it.

A plan without a timeline will always remain a dream. 

If you’re at goal setting/strategy stage, here are some more questions to think about.If you’re at goal setting/strategy stage, here are some more questions to think about.

       Will this opportunity or decision take me towards where I want to go?

       Is this a step sideways that will help me reach my goal? Or even better clarify my goal?

       Do need to take a step backwards to take a step sideways to take those two steps forward?

       Am I completely clear of what I want to achieve? And what my big goal might be? My dream career??

This process might seem daunting but I promise it is worth it.

This process might seem daunting but I promise it is worth it.

As a coach, I’ve been witness to many people’s excitement when they find their ‘encore career’.

I’m a perfect example. I still have my Public Service career and I'm coaching because, at the moment, it's about getting the boat as close to the dock to make the jump into my encore career, and I’m loving every moment.

I recently read an HBR article on Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers.

As someone who has a lifelong career - and two relatively new ones - this article hits the mark on fulfilment and how complementary careers benefit each other.

We all know or can recall a favourite person we've worked with that when they walk in the room, the energy in the room lifts.

I believe it’s because they've found their dream career, the one that meets their values and sense of purpose.

Get connected with that and your dream career is also possible.

More reading

Why You Should Have (at Least) Two Careers (Kabir Segal, April 25 2017, HBR)

Stop saying work/life balance. Work is a part of life (Karen Ferris, May 26, 2019, LinkedIn

Energising Leadership, (Nita Cherry, Oxford University Press, 2015)



Chapter 3


Career change does not have to be scary and it quite common. 

Kate Henty


The thought of changing career might seem big but it doesn’t have to be scary nor do you have to feel on your own.

 The current national average tenure in a job is 3.3 years so career change is quite common and you can find a lot of support around it.

 Let’s look at some common fears around career change and how to quash them for successful progression.

I have no skills! I have to retrain.

As a career coach, I see a lot of people at a time when they are in a rut with their career and want to change direction.

 What’s interesting is how their first thought on going about this is almost always the most laborious and time-intensive.  

 Before jumping headlong into months or even years of expense, study or even the wrong career direction take time to review these key areas that make you uniquely you:  

 ·          Your strengthsYour strengths

·          Your transferable skills 

·          Your current skillsetYour current skillset 

·          What you want your life to look like.

Even if you’re considering a completely new career that requires a uni degree, chances are you have a lot of the required skills already.

 It's just identifying what they are.

 This goes for strengths too.

This, however, is not a navel-gazing exercise, getting other people's input on what they think you're good at is invaluable.

 As is hearing about any blind spots - don’t be afraid to find out.

With regards to ‘what you want your life to look like’, this is where you need to dig a little deeper.

 What do I want my life to look like?

·          What do I want my life to look like?What do I want my life to look like? This is a great question to start. 

o     What is that dream/ideal vision? 

o     Describe your lifestyle

o     How many hours a week will you work? 

o     Where will you work? 

o     Who do you work with and for?

 The next important question is:

 ·          What will it actually look like getting there?What will it actually look like getting there?  

o     If there is any study, is now the right time? 

o     What are the sacrifices you may need to make? (time/financial etc)

o     Who is part of my support network? (partner/work/friends/colleagues)Who is part of my support network? (partner/work/friends/colleagues)

o     What's available to support me through this change? 

 And then the underpinning question:

What are my values?

 What is really important to me at this point in my life?

What are the non-negotiables? 

What have I done? Have I wasted my time?


Quite understandably, a difficult thing for people changing career is letting the old one go.

They’ve been doing it for so long, have put a great amount of effort into their professional development around it and identify themselves strongly that career in that role.questions

 This can bring up anxious feelings and questioning around whether they were right to put all that work and effort into this particular role? is it right to want to change?

 What have I done?

 Have I wasted my time? 

 If this is you, I think the important thing to recognise just how much knowledge you are taking away. Pull out the skill set, transferable skills and strengths list and find the connections with your new career venture.

 It will be in list that you will most likely find your unique selling point, something that only you can bring to your new career.

 It’s also a good process to go back to when you first started your ‘old’ job looking at why you liked it and made you so engaged.

What was it at the beginning that I really loved?

 That drove me to get into the profession in the first place? 

 Then spend time identifying what's changed on a personal level - children, marriage, illness, death, divorce - our life events can really impact us.

 Get connected with how you’ve grown, what challenges and adversity you’ve faced and how your values have changed. 

 Think of it like documenting the evolution of you. It’s wonderfully empowering. 

Am I too old for a career change?


This is such a common fear for those mid to late professionals. They see a saturation of bright young, tech-savvy people entering the industry and wonder about their own relevance or worthiness in the space. If this is something you are dealing with there are two things I recommend you do:

1.      Head right back to your skill sets, your strengths. Connect with your knowledge and your insight from being a mature candidate and what puts you ahead of the rest.  

 2.                  Own your age!  This is what is differentiating about you.  

Put it in your cover letters, address the elephant in the room. ‘Hi, I am older and I have made this career change and this is why. This is what I'm going to bring to this new role with my renewed energy and passion and commitment’. 

 The thought of changing career can seem big but if you shift first into a positive mindset you will be able to have control of your new direction, and it won’t seem so scary. 



Chapter 4

Ten best career tips for those leaving schoolTen best career tips for those leaving school en best career tips for those leaving school

Sheena Polese


Leaving school can be daunting.

You’ve spent most of your life within a structure that has allowed you to know what’s next - but now what’s next?

Whether you’re heading to uni or TAFE, into an apprenticeship or a gap year, this is the time to start thinking about and taking action on developing your career and career plan.

Here are my 10 best career tips for those leaving school - some of them are obvious and some not.

1: Understand the work environment

The world of work and the future of work is changing and evolving at a rapid pace.

Your ability to adapt and evolve with it will be key to your future success. Here are three things to remember:

  1. Embrace flexibility. Multiple careers are the norm which means it’s also okay to try different things. 

    Demonstrate your variety of part time roles and your preparedness to get your hands dirty and do things that aren’t always things you enjoy but are willing to do.

  2. Build your base of transferable skills.Build your base of transferable skills. What do you know already that you could bring to any position? Can you type? Do you have customer service skills?

    How have you dealt with conflict in the workplace before, what good habits do you have that set you up well for working, etc

  3. Stay up to date with technology and what is happening in the industries you want to get into.Stay up to date with technology and what is happening in the industries you want to get into.  Make a point of regularly reading up on industry trends and who the key players are in the segment and what strategies are they adopting to hold their sector dominance, what involvement does Government have, what are the regulations affecting the sector, etc.

2: Know your options

Research all pathways and opportunities for the career or careers that interest you.

There is never only one way, even for those careers that require a university degree.

Career pathways to explore:

        Internships, volunteer opportunitiesInternships, volunteer opportunities

        VET (vocational education and training) courses such as TAFE.VET (vocational education and training) courses such as TAFE.

        Apprenticeships and traineeshipsApprenticeships and traineeships

        Your network (see below for more).Your network (see below for more).

Interested to know more?

Here is something I wrote for parents on teen development that might help.

3: Create your profile

You have your grades, perhaps you have work experience but what else is true about you?

What else could be of interest to a future employer?

And what else will help your decision making around work and career?

Here are three areas to consider when creating your professional profile.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

This doesn't need to be fixed, but you need to have a 10-year vision of yourself, so you can start making choices in the present that actually are going to create the future that you want to have.

What personal goals do you have for yourself as this is going to influence your work choices. 

If fun and travel is your goal, then your commitments to roles may be for limited times and this may suit some employers.

If you’re looking to return to Uni to do a Masters in your late 20’s then this might influence how much you need to save. 

Likewise if you want to purchase a property or start your own business.

What are your work values?

       Are you customer service focused?

       Do you want to work in a busy/fast-paced/quiet/small/big environment?

       Are prepared to work in a controversial industry like tobacco or mining?

       Do you want to work in an office or be out on the road?

What are your strengths?

Find out what your top five strengths. Your strengths, values, and where you see yourself in the future are all things you can talk about in interviews and when networking (see below).

There are plenty of online assessments that can help. you can do to find out about your strengths.

 This Gallop one is not expensive and great.

4: Start developing your networks

Networking might seem like a term for people with an established work history but it’s actually something worth developing now.

Networking is not about being friends. It is about having conversations that can forward your interests in work and career-wise.

With this in mind, you need to be looking broader than family, friends and their family to other people - teammates, coaches, mentors or adults you’ve connected with and trust.

Think about who you know that might be able to help you with your next stage (or even your 10-year vision) and have a conversation with them about the type of work you are interested in pursuing.

Think of networking as a means to find out more rather than a place to job hunt. 

Use your network to ask questions about:

        The industry you’re interested in and the ways to enter itThe industry you’re interested in and the ways to enter it

        The types of work in that fieldThe types of work in that field

        The culture - is it competitive? How are young people or new grads treated?

        Technology and skills you could learn.

It’s through conversations like this that people will see your enthusiasm and have of you when opportunities do arise in their network. 

Surprisingly few young people take advantage of networking early and those who do benefit from people in the industry who are willing to help younger people. 

Back yourself and ask people for advice. 

Most people are prepared to share.Most people are prepared to share. 

These conversations, however, take practice which leads to the next career tip on developing your communication skills.

5: Develop your networking skills

Just like your interview skills, networking, meeting and connecting with people on a professional level will take practice.

Even if you are someone who finds meeting new people easy, practising and preparing for networking is a skill worth developing because unlike interviews, networking opportunities often come by chance rather than being set up.

Here are some tips to help you open up in networking situations

        Have a repertoire of three questions you'd like to know about the area of work you want to get into.

        Have short elevator pitch about what yourself and about what you're looking for or interests you.
Keep your strengths, values and short term and 5-10-year vision in mind
Demonstrate what you know about the industry and ask some questions to affirm or challenge your views. 

        Practice effective communication - ask open questions and then listen.

        Be curious - curiosity is absolutely critical in the workplace.
It's how you will push your learning and development, connect with people that you don't ordinarily connect with, and grow your view of the world. It is also a great strength to use in a social setting.

6: Social media clean up

I know employers who print out everything online about their potential employees.

In some organisations, it is part of the risk management policy.

If you do have a checkered history on social media, clean it up where you can and own it. 

Owning your mistakes and be able to say what you've learned from it is the most mature and respected approach.

7: Do the work

As a teen coach, I’ve heard many times from young people about how they want to work differently to their parents.

They’ve watched them work really hard for years, experienced the absenteeism, witnessed their stress and understandably teens are saying, ‘I don't want that’.

Working smart, however, doesn’t mean not doing the work. In order to get into the workforce, working smart means you actually need to do the hard yards for a few years.

You need to demonstrate your employability and employers don’t like to see a sense of entitlement. 

8: Find a mentor

Who around you would you consider a mentor?

I can not stress enough the value of having someone independent of your life – a friends mum or dad, a past teacher, coach or friendly neighbour who knows you well, who can help you navigate your new stage, someone you can bounce ideas off without fear of a bias response.

9: Sleep and self-care.

        Get your sleep. Eat well. Exercise. Your brain and body need you to.

        Understand yourself developmentally - Did you know that your brain is still developing? In fact, young people’s brains continue to develop well into their early 20s and even though you might not like to hear this, your development is much like a toddler in that everything is developing at once: the physical, the emotional and the neurological.

This can affect your decision making, how effectively you can take on differing perspectives, and also how you see yourself.  

Being aware of this can help you be better at communicating and decision making.

10: Ask for help

You are starting out.

No one is expecting you to know everything.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can learn and develop your skills and knowledge.

Ask for help when you need it. Asking for help and asking questions is one of the greatest builders of trust with employer and employees.



Chapter 5


10 career tips for those leaving Uni

Dylan Arnot


No more exams, no more assessments, you’re time at uni is done.

Now it’s time to get to work. Here are 10 career tips for those of you leaving uni from YNG coach, Dylan Arnot.

1: Build your networks

Whether you like the term “networking” or not, you’ll find that it’s in your networks where most of your job leads will come from and hiring happens.

And if you don’t like the term “networking” think, meeting like-minded professionals.

Chances are you will have friends or people you know with their own established networks who will receive the occasional job opportunities through these connections.

Why? Hiring managers and organisations almost always share job opportunities internally first and pretty much the last resort is to advertise online like through seek or indeed or chore.

So the first career tip is to build your professional friendships (aka networks).

LinkedIn is a great place to do this. It also gives you the opportunity to build your professional profile engaging in discussions and joining groups, joining alumni groups for your university, that kind of thing.

2: Gain relevant work experience.

You might have ticked all the boxes getting your degree but are you employable?

Developing relevant work experience on the ground and building your employability profile is essential. 

This can include unpaid work through volunteering and internships and placements through uni, but also informal placements as well.This can include unpaid work through volunteering and internships and placements through uni, but also informal placements as well.

Some industries like the legal profession, have a strong structure for gaining experience.

But what else could compliment legal skills?

Customer/client service, managing work with competing deadlines, filing, data entry, phone skills - think outside the square.

Sometimes the structure doesn't allow you to gain broad experience that you might actually require with our changing workforce. So you could look for ways to develop other skills, like in

literacy, digital literacy skills, learning how to code or something like that.

Even if you are a lawyer all of these kinds of out of the box kind skills are useful.

Too often new grads have the assumption that after all the uni work is done they will jump into a job, but it just doesn't work like that.

You've really got to be taking the initiative and creating opportunities for yourself.

You really need to think about what kind of work experience your perfect grad role would require and get building those skills.

Volunteering is an excellent way to start. To develop hands-on application of the skills that you've learned, that's absolutely essential.

3: Dedicate yourself to your ongoing development.

Your learning isn’t over! It doesn’t matter how many years of study you have achieved, your commitment to ongoing learning and development is what will place you at the top of a competitive pile.   

Don’t stop building your knowledge, look at what the industry you want to get into needs. Think about what you need to do and be proactive.

If you can, do this before you finish your degree.

Yeah. So I mean, of course, you know, an obvious one is to dedicate yourself to ongoing development and to continually develop an update your skills constantly, um, and not consider that your degree is the last major learning that you'll do.

It's just one stepping stone amongst thousands throughout your career.

Um, so taking that sort of growth mindset of continually updating your development, um, in your industry and across different industries.

4: Be in touch with changes in your industry.

It helps to become a member of your relevant industry body.

What is happening in that world?

Are there updates in technology?

Research informing your evidence-based practice?

What are the changes and trends?

You just have to have your finger on the pulse of your industry.

Being in touch with new developments and new initiatives, whether it's government funding and particular projects is key to having your finger on the pulse for your professional opportunities.

5: Develop your transferable skills.

The world of work is changing rapidly.

You need to develop your transferable skills - skills that move across industries.

At the moment, the transferable skills most sort after are interpersonal, teamwork, communication and digital literacy skills.

The Foundation for Young Australians ( has excellent information about this.

6: Hold your end outcome job lightly – be prepared to adapt.

Your ‘dream’ job may change dramatically in the future or even cease to exist!

So be prepared to adapt. You might even change your mind about what you want to do - and often.

According to Foundation for Young Australians (2019) current 15-year-olds are likely to make 17 changes in employers across five different careers.

Being prepared to adapt is about being prepared for change.

Refer to the tips above:

       Develop your transferable skills.

       Be in touch with changes in your industry.

       Dedicate yourself to your ongoing development.

       Build your networks...

7: Rather than thinking passion leads to the right activity (or job), flip it.

There is a saying that ‘Activity (or saying Yes, Trial and Error) leads to Passion’.

But I think we actually discover what we like, or what we don’t, by trying things.

You don’t need to be married to a career interest to explore it.

8: Consider the future of work.

Google #Work2030 presented by Tom Tilley from Triple J’s Hack program for a video series on the future of work. It has some really great predictions around what is in store.

9: Future proof your career choices as much as possible

Start researching the growth potential of your industry.

Can automation take over your future role?

If it involves simple, repetitive tasks then the answer is probably ‘yes’.

To help future proof your career, seek out high emotional intelligence roles - the ones that separate us from robots, like the care industry, STEM and computer science, especially coupled with innovative approaches in STEM are highest growth areas.

Author Adam Grant of Power Moves and Originals has some excellent research on this.

10: Application skills

Practice and prepare for ever step of the application process.

Get help with your general resume and tailor your it to the selection criteria for the role.

Practice your phone/zoom/in-person interview skills with a friend because first impressions really do count.



Chapter 6


Tips for career growth for those 25 to 35Tips for career growth for those 25 to 35

Sharon Mackie Goh


1. Develop deep domain knowledge or technical skills

The vast majority of jobs, at all levels, involve a degree of problem-solving.

Your ability to respond appropriately to the challenges of your role will set you apart as someone who is destined for a successful career.

In order to devise and implement the right solutions quickly and effectively whenever problems arise, you need to be prepared – and that involves having the right knowledge and skills.

So, research your industry.

Read everything you can, particularly about problems that have arisen in the past and how respected experts have dealt with them.

If there is specific technology or tools associated with your job, make sure you can use them to a highly proficient level.

Anticipate what could go wrong, and think about how you’d act to put it right.

Having the right knowledge and skills is key to making sure problems can be solved.

Moreover, by coming up with fast, effective solutions, you demonstrate that you’re ready to face the challenges of the next stage in your career.

2. Find work that plays to your strengths

All jobs involve an element of learning.

However, you can give yourself a significant head start by choosing a job that enables you to use the skills, knowledge and interests you already have.

This gives you several advantages:

  • You already know you will find the work interesting and enjoyable, so you’re likely to stay in the role long enough to succeed.
  • You’ll fit into the team more quickly as you’ll hit the ground running, proving your competence from the start and not having to ask too many questions.
  • You’ll enjoy your job and feel fulfilled, so it will be less stressful. This reduces the risk of mental health difficulties or burnout, which can have an impact on your career progression.
  • You’ll be more productive, as you’ll feel confident in your abilities.

By choosing work that plays to your strengths, you will demonstrate more quickly that you are ready to climb the career ladder.By choosing work that plays to your strengths, you will demonstrate more quickly that you are ready to climb the career ladder.

3. Work on your interpersonal skills

If you are well-liked and don’t cause conflict, this shows that you care for the ethos of the company and workplace culture. It also means that you will have more chance of getting people to respect you if you end up leading the team.

This means you need to be a great communicator.

Work on listening to other people’s ideas, instead of being desperate to get your own heard.

Prove that you are capable of working well within the team and collaborating with others.

Make sure you are always working towards a common goal, rather than simply trying to outshine everyone else.

And, when you really need to get others to see your point of view, do so through discussion and persuasion, not arguing about it.

If you can prove you are an asset to the team, you’re one step closer to proving you’re ready to lead it.

4. Focus on the outcomes asked of you

In a busy job involving lots of different elements, it can sometimes be easy to lose your focus on the goals that matter.

This is especially true when you are desperate to prove yourself.

But you will go a lot further by maintaining your focus on the goals and outcomes that are expected of you.

Initially, these will be the responsibilities outlined in your job description.

As your role expands, you will probably be given a number of targets, or KPIs, which you are expected to meet.

These outcomes are what you should always keep in mind if you want to succeed.

So, listen to what your manager says in your performance reviews.

Act on any suggestions they make.

And, if you have any concerns about your work, make sure you discuss them to find the right solutions.

If you can prove consistently that you can achieve the outcomes expected of you, you’ll demonstrate that you’re ready for more responsibility.

5. Spend time with your older colleagues

It’s only natural that you’ll forge workplace friendships with teammates close to your own age.

But don’t limit yourself exclusively to these friendships at work. Your older colleagues are well worth spending time with if you want to succeed.

Remember, the 45 to 60-year-olds in your organisation were once just like you.

They remember the stresses and the problems they had to solve. They’ve probably got some great solutions and ideas if you ask them.

Some of them will have been with the organisation for years, and they’ll have a long history with the customers, which is always worth knowing if you want to be prepared.

In addition, demonstrating that you can communicate well with all age groups is an extremely positive trait if you want to be a leader.

6. Go the extra mile

Nobody expects you to be a slave to your work. Your bosses understand that you have a life of your own.

But you will be seen a lot more favourably if you’re not watching the clock.

If a project is urgent and you know you could finish it if you stayed an extra hour or two, do it.

Show willingness if you’re asked to do some extra hours or take on additional responsibility.

Don’t be shy if your manager is asking for volunteers for a particular task.

By going above and beyond what is expected of you, you demonstrate commitment and loyalty to the company, which will work in your favour when it comes to promotions.

7. Get to know the people who can help you

Many careers have been helped by having a mentor or champion at work.

So, you need to get to know people in more senior positions who can potentially progress your career.

Find valid reasons to start up conversations with more senior staff who you feel you share common goals with.

Make sure you nurture your relationship with your manager.

Try and get involved in projects where you will be working closely with people who could be in a position to recommend you for promotion.

By developing these relationships, you show your ambition, as well as demonstrating that you are capable of mixing well with more senior staff.

This will make them more likely to want to work alongside you.

8. Out of sight, out of mind

We all know that worker who keeps their head down and gets on with the job – but would you remember their name if they left?

Being visible is important when it comes to career progression.

As you climb up the ladder, you will be expected to show initiative and motivate teams, and you can’t do these things unless you’re being seen and heard.

So don’t hide your light.

If you have a contribution to make, make it. Speak up in meetings.

Demonstrate the viability of your ideas.

If you can show that you are an active and creative participant, you will be viewed as an asset to the company.

9. Always be open to trying something new

Showing willing is important if you want to progress your career – if you are reticent, you won’t be seen as a leader.

So, grasp any opportunities which are offered to you, even if they take you out of your regular comfort zone.

If you take up opportunities to do something different within the organisation, you will broaden your skills and experience.

This makes you more valuable and widens the scope for promotion.

10. Share the personal challenges you face

Your employers understand that you have a personal life.

However, if anything outside of work could potentially affect your performance in your job, you need to talk about it before anything serious happens.

Personal issues such as health, family or financial problems can take a toll on your work.

If any of these things are affecting you, it’s important to put your manager in the picture rather than staying silent and letting your work suffer.

If the company isn’t aware of the challenges you’re facing, they won’t be able to put solutions in place to help you.

By working with your managers, you will be better placed to succeed at work in spite of the problems in your own life.

This shows you are determined, tenacious, dedicated, and a good choice for career progression.



Chapter 7

How to Accelerate Your Career: 35 to 60

Linda Yeoman


It is not uncommon for a person by the time they are 40 to have multiple careers or want to shift gear in mid to late-career.

If this is you, here are some questions and tips that will help accelerate your career success.

I do quite a lot of career assessment and career coaching including across all different ages.

For those who fall into the 35 to 60 age bracket, I specialise in outplacement, mid-career and late-career coaching.

Outplacement coaching is for people who have been made redundant or have had their organisation shut down or shift direction. 

These situations naturally bring up feelings of fear and uncertainty around what’s next.These situations naturally bring up feelings of fear and uncertainty around what’s next.

"It's got to be the same job I've always done", "I have no clue what I can do”, “I'm not at all trained for that new thing"

Late career coaching is for those 50 to 60-year-olds with a strong intellect and a great skill set over their long-term career who are looking to learn and take on something new. 

Mid-career coaching is for those feeling stagnant in a current role or not liking the organisation, maybe questioning ‘should I leave?" or ‘where this is all going?’ and looking for a way forward.

Regardless of the career stage however, the start of the coaching always begin with a focus around their interests and strengths.

Then we really get down to what they have done in their career and through that process, a theme will surface, or at least a lean toward where to look next. Here are key areas I help them explore.


Q1: What do I value?

Q2: What do I know?

Q3: What’s my plan?


Q1: What do I value?

Life is about change.

We can’t progress or succeed without it.

As we move, progress and develop, so do our goals and values so revisiting and reassessing goals is a great first step when facing change in the second half of your career.

That goal of buying a house to fit your future family, affording kid’s education or establishing yourself in a competitive industry might have been your ‘dream’ a decade or so ago, but what is important now?

I have a client who started her academic career late in life, starting her PhD when she was around 35. Prior to that, she had done a variety of different, not quite permanent types of roles.

There was a lot of change. She was working towards getting that academic career.

That was her goal. She landed her first academic job was when she was 50 so her next goal was how to accelerate her career from entry-level.

With both her kids living out of home she rented out a room in her house so she could accommodate her new stage in life without any major impact on her lifestyle financially.

What do I know?

My biggest tip for anyone looking to accelerate a career is to focus on what you've done so far.

Audit of every position, role and interest you’ve had including volunteer. Understand what your transferable skills are, bring them forth and share them so everyone can benefit from them and have the opportunity to build on them.

I had a friend who got into law quite late in life.

She was surrounded by ambitious young people but she moved up the ranks quicker than most because the amazing transferable skills she offered from her former career were recognised.

A 25-year-old might be super smart, do really well academically, and be up on all the content knowledge, but there are some things (contextual or business acumen) that you can only learn through experience.

Many transferable skills are completely overlooked because the focus is on the most recent achievements.

So often skills you gain incidentally will provide your something extra to showcase.

Typical transferable skills:

       Teamwork and collaboration


      Customer serviceCustomer service

      Client managementClient management

      Business strategyBusiness strategy

      Leadership abilitiesLeadership abilities

      Organisation and time managementOrganisation and time management

      Database management

      Written and verbal communication

      Research and analytical skills

Tip: Make keeping up with transferable skills easier by capturing early. It's very easy to forget when you're pushing forward or learning on the go.


What’s your plan?

Do you have an acceleration plan?

What about an exit plan?

Or even a plan B?

Lots of people think their retirement plan but what about one for your progression?

Whatever you want to call it a plan that supports a new life stage allows you space for change.

This is particularly worth looking at by mid-career when typically things do change - financially, in personal health or parental health, or with children moving into new stages.

What does planning for change or career acceleration look like?

        Multiple sources of incomeMultiple sources of income

Side hustles and multiple sources of income are ‘the new black’ of our current working economy.

You could be in a permanent, full-time job and still create opportunities for multiple sources of income and there are many opportunities to do so.

Here’s a tiny list of ideas (google ‘side hustles’ for hundreds more):

       Tutoring, night or weekend lecturing, assignment and exam help.

       Airbnb - have a spare room?

       Have a car? Then what about ridesharing? Or even renting it out?

       Grants - my academic found a grant where she could go and speak to a group overseas.

       Freelancing - utilise that gig economy.

       Rural Opportunities

Rural placement can be a great option for career acceleration.

         Job sculptingJob sculpting

What other skills and experience can you build up to help you progress?What other skills and experience can you build up to help you progress?

Can you join a committee?

Volunteer somewhere?

Can you mentor?

         Knowing your networkk

Remember that everyone you ever meet or have ever met is part of your network - you don’t know where you’re going to end up, and it might just be that someone you’ve kept in touch with from all those years ago that can help accelerate your don’t know where you’re going to end up, and it might just be that someone you’ve kept in touch with from all those years ago that can help accelerate your career.

         Building your profile online

What’s your story? If someone viewed your profile on LinkedIn what person would they see?

Building your professional profile online takes time but that is truly all it takes.

Get active: join industry/professional groups, like, comment and share relevant pieces - but be sure your profile is up to scratch with your future story and transferable skills first.

I know an IT person who was quite specialised, he wanted to move out of that and into HR.

When he first came to me he was like, "Oh, I don't have experience. I'll never be able to apply for these jobs."

But then once I started questioning what he actually did as part of his career in IT like “did you ever train anyone?" the experience started to float to the top. "

Oh yes, I was involved in doing some inductions, and yes, I was also skills training, and oh, I led a team."

And suddenly his story - his future story was there.

We didn’t remove all his technical skills but it wasn’t the feature.

If ever you're feeling like,” will this ever happen?”, "Oh, no one's going to want me" or whatever, go back to those really good star model examples of those transferable skills to give you a boost to keep at it and find the right place that you want to be in terms of your career.

"Oh, no one's going to want me" or whatever, go back to those really good star model examples of those transferable skills to give you a boost to keep at it and find the right place that you want to be in terms of your career.



Chapter 8


I never want to retire! Career advice for 60 pluses

Tim Crowden


If you are shouting in the face of a long career ‘I never want to retire!’

The great news is, regardless of how you got to this point, you don’t have to because you now have the unique opportunity to create the work you really want. Here are some questions to help you clarify.

Many paths lead to retirement from redundancy to illness or a life-changing event.

Sometimes it's planned, sometimes it’s forced.

Sometimes it feels like an arbitrary point in life set by the tongues of superannuation funds or government retirement ages.

However, given that these days 25% of people who are 65 years old will live to 90, retirement in your 60’s seems crazy.

That's 35 years of retirement which is a long time to tidy the shed, paint the kitchen, go shopping and look at your partner over at lunch. 


Career advice for 60+ career

When someone comes to me for career coaching around retirement age I like to ask them to do a little visualisation on what the career they really want to do and it goes like this:

‘What if your work in the second half of life combined a continued income with greater personal meaning and greater social impact?’

‘I want you to visualise your favourite rock concert or favourite musical performance.

That one where you really let your hair down and were transported by the music. You hear the last song and watch as the curtains are drawn.

The applause is rousing and cheering the artist on to come back.

Then after the while, the curtains reopen and the music starts again! and even though it’s only for three or four songs, they are the best songs - the best part of the performance.

The musicians are more relaxed, they know their audience after engaging with them and are enjoying the performance much more.

They get to play.

To me, this captures the idea of what is possible post-retirement.

It’s the encore career where you take everything you've learned from the first part and bring it into this nice little burst in the second part where it is far more enjoyable.

5 great things about the encore career

  1. It allows you to follow your energy and your interests and your values.
  2. You get to use your wealth of skills and experience you've built over your lifetime.
  3. They are exciting and personally rewarding.
  4. They can be more financially rewarding (or it can be unpaid or voluntary).
  5. They are usually successful.


There is also so much support and structure for making and creating a career that you really want regardless of the stage of life you are at.

       You can work at home or almost anywhere else.

       You can enjoy flexible hours.

       You can gain professional development and learn just about everything from the comfort of your home, at any time of the day.

       You can now access technology that makes jobs so much easier and you don’t have to be ‘tech-savvy’ to embrace it.

       Time is actually on your side. Thanks to your previous work history, you do have knowledge and skills and networks that can open doors to roles not usually available to younger people like mentoring or board positions..

What makes this next stage exciting is the hindsight, foresight and insight on your side.What makes this next stage exciting is the hindsight, foresight and insight on your side. 

You know what your capacity is and whenYou know what your capacity is and when you combine it with that thing that transcends you like music, you start to see possibility in things you never thought you would do.

       Run a small business

       Work from home or online

       Be a mentor to someone

       Start a side hustle or five

       Become a consultant of your industry

       Work overseas..

This, in turn, gives you new skills, growth, renewal and energy.

Remember, like everything; success takes time

There was some research done in 2011 out of the US around people who were interested in encore careers[1]]. On average, they started to think about the encore career at age 50 and took about 18 months to make the transition.. On average, they started to think about the encore career at age 50 and took about 18 months to make the transition.

In my coaching, I've also seen this to be true.

Creating your next career might require an indirect path.

A client of mine for example, who was retired, not thinking about the encore career at all, had to do a little job in between to get their next career going.

And everyone who starts a business knows it takes a little while to get going - but then suddenly it all kicks off.

Retirement can be a really interesting and exciting phase.

Get connected with your hindsight, your foresight and your insight - and the career that is music to your ears.


“Older people are nailing the art of happiness. Renowned psychologist Mary Pipher explains why” By Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Bec Zajac for Life Matters podcast or article from Radio National.

[1]] Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation. (November 2011.) Encore Career Choices: Purpose, Passion and a Paycheck in a Tough Economy. Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation. (November 2011.) Encore Career Choices: Purpose, Passion and a Paycheck in a Tough Economy.