It’s good for you, your community & your career..

Volunteering – Good for you, good for your community and good for your career….

Did you know volunteering is not only a great way to do something good for others, it’s also good for your career and your well-being?

Benefits:

Well-being:  Volunteering can bring meaning and purpose into your life providing you with a natural sense of accomplishment.  According to research, being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.

Career Direction: If you’re in the middle of a career change or unsure of a new path or direction; volunteering can be a great opportunity to try some new fields or types of work.

Skill development: Volunteering can provide you with the opportunity to practice important skills and develop transferable skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving.

Resume: If there has been some time since leaving your last job, fill some of the gaps on your resume. Showcase your new skills and experience!  You’ll also be able to demonstrate that you’re reliable, experienced and organised.

NetworkingBy volunteering, you will expand your network, make new friends and potentially gain exposure to professional organisations to boost your career.

Finding the right organisation and volunteer role that meets your requirements and one that you will enjoy is the key!  Ask yourself:

  • What causes are important to you? What’s your passion?
  • What types of volunteer roles and organisations are you interested in? Do your research.
  • How much time can you commit?
  • What skills can you bring?
  • Do you want to try something new?

12 Days of Christmas – Here are some volunteer stories and personal journeys to inspire you.

Where can I find the opportunities?

Volunteering Geelong – helps match volunteers with organsiations needing help

Volunteering in the City of Greater Geelong – Explore the volunteer options and join the team

Go Volunteer – has a large range of volunteer roles including one off, short term and long term opportunities

What are you waiting for, start exploring now.  Good luck!

Written by Lucinda, our new Networking Superstar. If you would like some assistance with finding a good volunteer opportunity for you, make a time to talk to Lucinda or any of The Skills and Jobs Centre advisors. 

How to find out what’s happening in your Industry.

Are you unsure of what is happening in your industry? Unsure of what to do to get into that job you want? Or what’s the next step??

Define and do your research, explore and ask! Take some time to list what information you are looking for and what you hope to gain from that information.

Researching examples

Step 1. I have experience in manufacturing, so what else can I do in the manufacturing industry?

Step 2. What do the job prospects look like for a particular role?

Step 3. That looks promising, so what skills do I need for this role?

Step 4. I do have those skills, so what qualifications or training do I need for this role?

Step 5. Okay, so where can I find an RTO that can provide this training?

Step 6. Make a positive plan that will make this possible!

Thank our lucky stars for the internet!!!! …. And of course your friendly informative staff at The Skills and Jobs Centres. There is a lot of information currently out there that can help you with some guidance around job prospects, job titles, weekly earnings, the latest statistics, skills and training, but it is just a matter of finding it.

Whether you are trying to find new career options, are already confident in your choice of career, have the experience and need information on how to expand on it I can recommend doing some research.

Contact or view industry body websites for a guide and information on occupations, industry size, and industry contacts. There is also migration information for workers in these industries.

Here is a list of the industries you can research:

  • Automotive
  • Aviation and Aerospace
  • Biotechnology
  • Building and Construction
  • Defence Supply
  • Education
  • Energy Extraction and Generation
  • Engineering
  • Financial Services and Funds Management
  • Allied Health
  • Nursing
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Small Business

Find more information at: http://joboutlook.gov.au or https://myfuture.edu.au.

Of course the staff here at The Skills and Job Centre are always happy to help you with industry advice and career advice!

Written by Shai, our King of Industry. For help with industry information, book an appointment with Shai or any of the Skills and Jobs Centre advisors. 

Picture credit: Geralt

Sample answers to common interview questions.

Although you can’t predict exactly what questions will be asked – you can think about possible questions and prepare BRIEF responses beforehand.

Some questions will be behavioural (on the assumption that past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour). This requires examples of where, when or how you did something.

For these use the S.T.A.R. method to help keep your responses relevant.

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S.T.A.R. = Situation, Task, Action & Response

 

Straightforward Questions

Tell us about yourself?

  • Be concise, relevant and interesting.
  • What has lead you to this interview:
    • A passion for . . . . . .
    • Studied &/or worked &/or volunteered with . . . . . .
    • Gained relevant employability skills by . . . .
    • Now keen to . . . . . . .
  • Focus on how and why you became interested in this area or role & show the skills you bring to this position – show that you are a good fit for the position.

A Poor Response: Too few details, not convincing or focusing on one aspect e.g. your childhood.

Why did you apply for this role?

  • Why you are keen to work in this particular role and for this particular organisation.
  • Employers want people who are connected to working for them and working within their team.
  • Focus on the key factors that make you a great fit for the role.
  • You need to match your skills to the skills the role requires e.g.
    • ‘I have always been interested in . . . . ., and valued my studies in . . . . . .
    • ‘I have also gained relevant employability skills such as . . . in my work at/with  . . . and gained further skills such as . . . in my work placement/volunteer role at . . . .’
  • Next: Link that information to what the organisation does and how that connects to the role.
  • Finally, focus on what it is about the organisation that drew you to apply and why you want to be a part of that.

A Poor Response: I need a job.

What do you know about the company?

  • Show you have done some research. This requires information that is found on their website and/or under the ‘About us’ button.
  • Perhaps you can focus on an aspect from their Mission Statement, Values or History e.g. The fact that they are in a new, cutting edge industry.
  • It may require further research about the organisations future plans, or even knowledge of their achievements or the awards they have received.
  • Your networking skills may connect you with a contact person who works or worked there, and may provide more information.
  • Be clear as to why this information or knowledge about the company appeals to you.

A Poor Response: Not much.

Why should we hire you?

  • This is a great opportunity to sell your skills & experiences.
  • You need to show that you are capable of doing the work and delivering the results that the company wants.
  • Show you can fit in with the team as well as the company culture.
  • Show you are the best fit by focusing on examples that demonstrate the required skills and abilities from your recent experiences.

A Poor Response: Little detail.

What are your greatest strengths?

  • Be genuine, accurate and relevant.
  • Show your true skills – not just what they want to hear. It may also include values.
  • Choose the strengths that are most suitable for this particular position and be specific.
  • Give an example of how you’ve demonstrated these traits in a professional setting.

A Poor Response: Everything!

Really Difficult Questions (Don’t be afraid!)

How would you deal with conflict?

  • Examples need to reflect an understanding that we are all different and have different perspectives and ideas. In team meetings you need to show that you embrace the diversity of views, listen to others, appreciate their perspective, contribute and let the group and/or leaders make the decisions.
  • Sometimes people become frustrated and may behave badly. Whether this is someone in the general public or within an organisation, any conflict requires you to remain calm, listen carefully and focus on resolving the issue, or seek assistance from someone who can resolve the issue.
  • For issues with team members it may be that this outburst is unusual and may indicate that someone is struggling with other issue. You may need to check they are OK and encourage them to seek assistance.
  • In any example steer clear of being negative in your example and never criticise others.

A Poor Response: Criticising management

Why did you leave your last job?

  • This is such a tricky question.
  • Turn the focus to why you are seeking a new position.
  • You do not have to divulge personal details or mention everything you thought about your last position.
  • In the end you are seeking a new opportunity, a change, to gain more or broader skills, to work in a different or related area or to take up a promotion. You may have been training in a new area whilst working and now want to use the training and your employability skills in a new or different position. Or you may be passionate about what this company does and want to be a part of that.
  • Even if you felt unappreciated, that the culture has changed or you were no longer happy, now is not the time or place to discuss these issues.
  • It is better to focus on positive aspects such as seeking new challenges, extending skills & experiences, new qualifications and wanting to work in that area, limited opportunities where I was, retrenched, the business closed or had time off to have a family.

What are your weaknesses?

  • Another really terrifying question.
  • It is best to focus on something you have since addressed, that you used to do but have worked on so that it is not a problem now.
  • Focus on something you have improved e.g. skills such as planning and organisation, communication or working in multidisciplinary teams, or perhaps your personal life such as work/life balance or introducing more exercise in your daily routine.

Written by our resident interview champion, Robyn. If you need help with preparing for an interview, come along to Robyn’s interview workshop or make an appointment for interview coaching with any of the Skills and Jobs Centre advisors.

Picture credit: Geralt