Category Archives: Job Searching


Job Sites for Flexible Employment Options in Australia

Happy relaxed young female working on the laptop while at homeAt different ages and stages of our lives we look for flexible working arrangements.  Be it returning to work after children, or taking a career break, embarking on further study or transitioning into retirement.

Below are some great niche job sites to research, dependent on your situation. Some offer paid employment, others include franchise and business opportunities and volunteer work. 


Design your career & lifestyle your way!


Great Career & Lifestyle Books to Get You Inspired in 2016

booksI love reading, and in particular I enjoy reading books related to how we live and work.  This year I managed to get through a sizeable stack of books (I even managed to write my own, The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation). Below I have a brief overview of those that I found to be most relevant for people looking to make career and/or lifestyle changes. I find that the two generally coincide.



Enjoyable Books That Made an Impact in 2015  

Mean Girls by Meredith Fuller, is a great book that helps understand the dynamics of working with female colleagues – namely those who maybe causing you some grief. The good news is that you are not alone. At various stages in our careers we all encounter ‘mean girls’. It is nothing you are doing wrong – generally it is all about them!  This great book offers some good strategies to deal with the various types of ‘mean girls’ that inhabit our workplaces.

Sell Your Thoughts by Matt Church, is a book which title goes on to state ‘How to earn a million dollars a year as a Thought Leader’. The book is a part of a program that the author offers. Whether or not you are interested in doing the program and/or becoming a thought leader, what the book does is offer a great formula for guiding you through how to capture your personal brand. It offers the reader some thought provoking career related questions around who are, what you want to be known for, how you want to make your mark and so on. If you are considering self-employment or looking to remain an employee the book is a valuable resource.

Life in Half a Second by Matthew Michalewicz is an inspiring book, based on his life experiences. Matthew is a migrant who is a self-made successful business person and the book is his formula for experiencing success in your life be it business, career and/or personal.  The book is confronting in a great way, forcing the reader to reflect on how they want to live their lives. Given we all have only a finite time on this planet, what do we really want to be doing with this precious commodity called time!

How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krnaric is a book I picked up in December from The School of Life in Melbourne.  As a career strategist the title caught my eye!  The book is an easy read that is peppered with career related exercises which is where the fun and challenging part kicks in. To get the value from the book you have to do the homework! While I agree with most of what is written I feel that the author is too dismissive of any personality profiling – namely Myers Briggs (MBTI).  From his description I suspect his knowledge of how the tool is actually used is limited. Any profiling tool offers a different perspective on who we are. They are not there to typecast or pigeonhole us which the author seems to suggest. We are more than our MBTI type!  He also seems to have an outdated view of careers coaches which was disappointing. In reading his book, I would suggest that what he is proposing when it comes to finding fulfilling work is what most contemporary career coaches advocate. For those contemplating a career change, it is a nice little book to get you started.

What I Am Looking Forward to Reading in 2016

My brothers kindly gave me the following book selection below (at my request) for Christmas. So this wonderful pile of books are sitting patiently on my bedside table waiting to be read. Each book sounded intriguing based on the reviews by the various people who made the recommendations. These were people who were ‘Thought Leaders’ in everything from career coaching, through to leadership development and general business.

  • A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger
  • The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease
  • The Workplace Within by Larry Hirschhorn
  • Ego & Soul by John Carroll
  • To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink

If you have read any of the books from either list please feel free to share your thoughts. Also further book recommendations are always welcomed.

The Most Important Questions to Consider Before a Career or Job Change

Business people walking outside a congress centerSo you are thinking about making a job or career change – which is fantastic.   Chances are you have been thinking about this for a while and that you have lots of thoughts and idea’s running about your head.  Before taking the step to engage a career coach or engage professional support, spend time considering the below questions. Even if you are not ready to put pen to paper just focusing your thinking a little may help provide you with some clarity and confidence to take the next step towards action!

The Position

  • What salary do I want?
  • What benefits am I seeking?
  • What hours do I want to work? I.e. days, evenings, part-time, etc.
  • Do I want to manage staff? If yes, what type of people?
  • Do I want to work autonomously or in a team or both? If both, what will the percentage be?
  • Do I want my role to involve travel? If yes, where? International? National?
  • Do I want one role or to have a few roles?
  • Do I want to work for myself or someone else?
  • How much flexibility would I have in my role?
  • What skills would I be using?
  • What challenges would I be encountering?
  • What types of people would I be working with?
  • How do I feel about these people?
  • How do I want to feel about the work I do?
  • What work life balance looks like for me?
  • Would I be learning?
  • If I was learning, what types of things would I be learning?
  • What are the pros and cons of the roles I have had in the past?

The Physical Work Environment

  • What does the office I work in look like? I.e. the style of building, levels, décor etc.
  • What is the location of the office?
  • Do I want to drive to work and will there be parking?
  • What space will I be working in? A cubicle, office, open floor, etc?
  • Do I want natural light?
  • Will there be music and a lot of noise and activity?
  • Do I want tranquility and peace?
  • Do I want to work in a high rise office tower?
  • What are the immediate surrounds of the organisation? I.e. parks, shops, gym etc.
  • What are the pros and cons of the work environments I have had in the past?

The Organization

  • What is the people size of the organization?
  • What is organisation’s culture?
  • What is the leadership of the organization like?
  • How will they manage their staff?
  • What are the organisation’s vision / goals / motto?
  • How is the organisation viewed by the community?
  • What are the values of the organisation?
  • Are they a prestigious organisation (well known to everyone) or an unknown entity?
  • If I want to create my own organisation, what will it look like?
  • What are the pros and cons of the organisations I have worked for in the past?

The Industry

  • What is the industry I am working in?
  • Is it a new industry for me?
  • Is it a growth industry?
  • Am I working across multiple industries?
  • What appeals to me about the industry/s?
  • How is the industry perceived by the general community?

The People

  • What will my co-workers be like?
  • What will the management of the organisation be like?
  • What will my boss be like?
  • What type of boss will I be?
  • What will my customers and clients be like?
  • What types of people do I work best with and why?
  • What are the pros and cons of the colleagues and managers I have had in the past?

My Personal Needs

  • What are my key interests – work and personally?
  • What do I enjoy doing most?
  • What am I great at?
  • What do others say I am great at?
  • When have I felt the greatest about what I was doing?
  • If I could change the world, what three things would I like to see?
  • What would I have to do to bring these into my work?
  • What are my own personal values that I live by?
  • What values do I expect a business that I work for to uphold?
  • What will I and won’t I tolerate at work and in life in general?


  • Write in a book or on paper your answers to some / all of these questions.
  • Go through your resume in chronological order and look at all the roles you have had to see if there are any patterns. Think about what you enjoyed doing and why?
  • Using job sites print out jobs that appeal. What are the things that appeal? Why?
  • Talk to people who work in roles and industries you are interested in working in.
  • Research courses that relate to roles and industries you are interested in.
  • After you have spent some time thinking about these questions do your research – are there any patterns or themes?
  • Talk to friends or family about your discoveries.
  • If you still feel unsure about where to go from here, contact a Career Coach or Career Counsellor to assist you with gaining some direction.

Dowload PDF_ TheMostImportantCareerChangeQuestions

Professional Careers Support

If you are looking to engage a Career Strategist to assist with your career change, I invite you to contact me to find out more about how I can assist you. I have successfully supported hundreds of professionals and executives in securing terrific new roles and in making life changing career transitions.

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The Reality of Job Seeking & How to Remain Resilient

03B64721As a job seeker, one of the key challenges is to remain motivated particularly given how challenging the job search process can be. More and more employers and recruiters seem to have dropped the ball when it comes to providing a professional and respectful service to job seekers. For all the talk of employer branding over the last few years – one of the key areas that seems to be ignored is the experience prospective employees receive when they connect with an employer brand.

If employer branding is as important as companies say, you would expect employers to acknowledge applications and/or indicate if an application is unsuccessful. It is not uncommon to have an interview and never hear back. It can be disappointing for job seekers. However, it is also a good way to rule out organisations as prospective employers as it could be indicative of their approach to people in general!

Unfortunately the recruitment process is becoming increasingly automated with the onus on the job seeker to spend more time applying, thus saving the person hiring time and money engaging with prospective talent. This is evidence by all the online application processes and the growing trend to use video recording interview software in the early stages of interviews.

This week an online service site I use has merged with another company and has been renamed. A real person emailed me to provide a phone and email address if I needed any help. Wow I thought!  When job seeking, you rarely get the phone number or email of an actual person to call regarding a job ad. You simply send your application into the ether or spend hours filling out useless online application forms that a system screens for key word searches and then it has only slim chance of being seen by a human. How little regard is shown to prospective employees’. Crazy stuff really.  Yet an online service can provide such an amazing level of service and make me feel like a valued client.

Given the impersonal nature of job seeking, it can be tough to remain positive and focused. My recommendation however is to always take a professional approach – even if you are not experiencing one at the other end. By having a well written, relevant resume and cover letter and by applying for jobs that are within your scope, you are doing all the right things. You will likely not hear back from many of the people and companies you apply to but some will engage with you – the right ones!

Know that you are not alone. Job seekers at all levels, from graduates to the C suite are all experiencing this poor service and it is not helping their confidence or motivation levels. Again, revisit your career goals and strategy and stay focussed. Ideally you should not rely too heavily on job sites. Find recruiters through referrals who are professional in their approach. Where possible, network, which can appear as a more time-consuming approach but ultimately will be more effective.

If you are inclined to follow-up on applications sent (which I recommend where possible), I encourage you to read the article ‘5 Follow-up Emails That Scare Hiring Managers (and What to Write Instead)’ 

While job seeking can seem a challenging process, and one that can easily get people down, it can also be an empowering process if you approach it with the right mindset. Remind yourself of the realities of how the job search process works, which can hopefully keep it all in perspective.

17 Career Management Tips for Women

03B68299While it seems managing our careers is just another thing we need to do in our already busy lives, the reality is, that like ourselves, our careers are hopefully always evolving and our salaries growing!

That said, it can be difficult to ensure we are focusing on the right areas for developing our expertise and our career growth.  Review the 17 areas below and take note of what you are doing that is aligned, and of the areas you need to create an action plan for improving over the next six months.

  1. PERFORM efficiently those job responsibilities which will help your boss the most.
  2. FIND OUT what your boss regards as good performance in your job role. It may differ from your current opinion.
  3. MASTER your position as quickly as possible and pass your knowledge onto another person. This will prevent lack of suitable successors stopping your next internal job move chances.
  4. LEARN to like yourself and value all the talents, attributes and experiences you bring. Put yourself into the spotlight so others can see, respect and take notice of you.
  5. STEP OUTSIDE the confines of your position description responsibilities; make sure your actions are regarded as constructive initiatives—not just attention seeking.
  6. DON’T accept a job move if the role involves a lot of responsibilities you don’t like. We all perform better when doing things we enjoy and using skills which we prefer to use.
  7. EXPAND opportunities for those in influential positions to learn more about you by achieving success in outside work activities such as in community service organisations and/or personal development studies.
  8. IDENTIFY a well-regarded person in a senior position where you work who could be a potential sponsor and who you could seek career advancement advice.
  9. SUGGEST thoroughly prepared recommendations—not criticisms—for problems within your employment environment.
  10. DEVELOP your skills at interpersonal relationships; accept the fact that ‘office politics’ exist; re-examine your personal values regularly so that when faced with ethical dilemmas at work you will know what to do without procrastination.
  11. RECOGNISE that ability alone will not advance your career—persistence, hard work, careful planning and being seen as personally ambitious, but an effective team worker, will.
  12. SMILE a lot. Others notice and favour people with happy but conscientious dispositions. The despondent people are often regarded as too risky to move to new positions.
  13. ENSURE you have a good variety of interests outside work to prevent stress of your efforts bringing you hard.
  14. PRACTISE self-nomination. Don’t wait to be offered new job roles. Let it be known the role/s you want and present your case for why you’re the best candidate.
  15. PLAN for more than one career path. Ensure you develop skills and knowledge for different directions for your career development and eligibility for them.
  16. CHANGE employers after you have done the research and looked at your options objectively.  Accept a new position factoring in everything from pay, to developing new knowledge, career repositioning, education and so on.
  17. NEGOTIATE your salary whenever opportunities arise such as performance review and salary review time. In the event your employer does not arrange these, be sure to schedule them directly once a year at a minimum.

Actions: Take note of which of the 17 steps you have chosen to work on developing. It is recommended that you don’t choose more than 4.

  • List which four have you chosen.
  • What help will you require and from who in order to accomplish these improvements?
  • Document a plan for implementing these changes over the next 6 months.

About the Author

Kelly Magowan is a certified Career Coach and has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space. Kelly has been working in the arena of Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Career and Executive Coaching for over 17 years. Initially focusing on commercial recruitment, and later moving into corporate Human Resources working with Ernst & Young and General Electric. Since 2012 Kelly has been working part time at Melbourne Business School as a Careers Consultant assisting the Senior Executive MBA students, MBA Students and Alumni in securing their next rewarding role and/or embarking on a new career. In addition she continues to successfully grow her own Careers Consultancy and speak on the topic of Salary Negotiation for Women.  In addition she is the author of ‘The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation’.

Where does your Personal Brand begin and your Employer’s Brand end?

personal brand in wood type“Some traditionalist bosses see the Brand You notion as institutionalized disloyalty. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. Brand You is about people profoundly committed to personal growth — and it goes without saying [I think] that people committed to growth are by far the most engaged and valuable employees.”Tom Peters

Referencing Daniel Pink, we live in the information age and are moving into the conceptual age, where we transition in and out of new jobs and careers more readily than ever before. As technology continues to evolve, offering us new media and social networking sites to promote ourselves and our expertise, not everyone is embracing this at the executive and senior professional levels – yet!

What is Personal Branding?

Tom Peters is the founder of Personal Branding, which I believe should form a part of every working person’s career strategy, including executives and senior professionals. If you have not read Tom’s article Brand YouI highly recommend it – it is an old one but a good one!

Our personal brand is about how we are seen by those who know us and how we are remembered by those we meet. It is how we package ourselves up online and offline to be viewed and remembered by the world. We have the ability to control what and how our personal brand is remembered. Our alternative is to let others create it for us and/or to rely on our employer to define it.

Personal Branding Goes Beyond Networking

In the past we relied heavily on our personal networks and still do and will continue to. Our networks offline are limited and don’t reach globally. We are seeing more and more people embrace social networking sites and services such as Twitter, which have the capability to expose your personal brand globally. It is not enough that a few friends or colleagues know your specialization; you have to be out there sharing it with the world, writing about it on your blog, in relevant forums, publishing your works. It is about creating conversations about your expertise beyond your immediate sphere or reference. Are you comfortable doing this? Chances are, like most of us, you are not. Just as most of us avoid or require a lot of courage to network at an event, similarly you have to pluck up the courage and get over there and participate in the conversation and hope you have something worthwhile to say. Yes, online networking is pretty much similar to offline networking except you don’t need to leave the house or office; however, it brings its own challenges. You need to learn the rules, you need to participate and be prepared for others to disagree with what you have to say. Most of all, you need to make a commitment to managing your personal brand and ultimately your career.

Some of you may be thinking, well I have my old school networks and I am sorted. To a certain degree this will assist you, however not as it once did – it forms only a small part of the successful person’s branding strategy.

Separating Your Personal Brand from Where You Work

For many of us, we struggle to define our brand beyond the company we work for and the job titles we hold. What you do will no doubt form a part of your personal brand, but who you work for is not so relevant anymore. The danger people face is being comfortable in their job and with their employer and as a result failing to carve out any niche or reputation for themselves beyond their current employer. Being proud of where you work and what you do is great; however, what happens when the company no longer exists or needs to downsize? What happens when you go and look for a new job and the companies you are looking at don’t know or care about where you last worked? – they actually just want to know what is your unique selling proposition (USP) and how can this benefit them and their business.

Today the majority of recruiters and hiring professionals do a Google search on those they look to interview, with figures quoted between 50%-80%. Notice that they are searching on your name, not your employer’s name, which I think says it all.

In the past, having a few ‘perceived’ good employer names on your resume opened doors. Today the weight employer brand names hold is diminishing – your personal brand now supersedes all these things. As a 21st century worker in the information and conceptual age, personal brand management is integral to your career success. It opens doors and ensures that you are always employable and employed and that you are not reliant on the decisions of others for your financial and personal career satisfaction.

While I am not suggesting it is an easy thing to do initially it does eventually get easier and more enjoyable!.  For a lot of professionals and executives it is an important career management strategy.pb cover

Contact me today for your complimentary 22 page guide:

‘Your Personal Brand – Defining, Developing, Marketing and Managing Brand You!’

How to Combat the Fear of Getting Fired

at_deskLack of job security is an unfortunate reality that we all live with. For many of us it can be a cause of great stress and anxiety. There are no ‘safe’ professions anymore and particularly for those people who value and need security in their worklife, this unsettled world of work we now have can be very challenging.

The post by Susie Moore, ‘Five Reasons to Never Fear Getting Fired’ may provide some comfort as you trek off to work. I particularly like point 4 – Something better is waiting. I cannot agree more with this as next to always when people do find themselves without work they always go on to do something bigger and better that they enjoy a lot more than what they left or were forced to leave.

While fear of lack of job security is going to rear its head now and then, take comfort in the fact that we all go through it and that a lot of this fear is purely just that. The quote “worrying never changed anything” rings so true in this situation.

If you are feeling uneasy about your job security I encourage you to read ‘Five Reasons to Never Fear Getting Fired’.

LinkedIn Profile Tips

linkedin kelly 2 ‘The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers‘ is a neat and concise article to give you the essentials of what you need in your profile when job seeking.  While in some areas it does not go into the detail about how to do it – it is a terrific starting place. It is also a good checklist to use to ensure your profile has all the key criteria that recruiters and hirers look for.

I really like point 7) to use stats where you can and qualify whatever you can. Case studies also add bonus points to your profiles impact. These are things people don’t include enough both in their resumes and on their profiles.

Now is the time of year to make sure you update your profile and add all those new achievements, skills, training etc. Point 10) is about highlighting your achievements – an extension of point 7).

Be active on LinkedIn, add multi-media where you can and don’t be afraid to extend recommendations where they are warranted.  It is a case of the more you give the more that comes back to you.

The final area which many job seekers can leverage is the online publishing platform LinkedIn now offers. It is great for growing your personal brand and promoting your current blog or other online content you produce or contribute to.

Have a look at  ‘The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

Looking to Change Careers in 2015? The ‘Next Step Career Change Program’ is for You!

kelly biz logo 2 smallThe Next Step Career Change Program is designed for busy professionals and executives who are looking to make a successful career change. The program offers structure, accountability, flexibility of session delivery and ongoing coaching support.

You might be looking to make a career change and don’t know where to start, or you may have some career directions in mind but are not sure which path to take. Alternatively, you may have been retrenched and are looking to use this time to find a career you are passionate about.

If you are looking to start a new career in 2015 this program is for you.

What the program includes:

  • Initial 90 minute session; client career story and needs analysis
  • MBTI / The Majors Profiling Tool: 60 minute debrief and workbook
  • 4 x 60 minute sessions; covering core career change and job search areas. These can be conducted face to face or via Skype/ phone.
    • Self reflection work: values & skills card sorts, vision/goals, target jobs & industries – one session
    • Research, Networking Job Search Strategy – one session
    • CV writing / LinkedIn & Personal Branding – one session
    • Interview Preparation & Coaching – one session

Fees & materials:

Program materials include; 5 career workbooks, The Majors Report and ‘You’ve Got Personality’ book by Mary McGuiness, plus Career Key.

Total: 6 Sessions     Fee: $990 plus gst    Materials: $65 plus gst

It is important to note that clients are expected to do additional work outside of the sessions.

*Clients seeking additional support can purchase sessions at a reduced rate.

**Clients can swap the MBTI session for a 60 minute career session.


To make a booking or to find out more contact Kelly Magowan or call 0417 330 673

My Top 5 Books for Job Searchers & Career Changers

IMG_5330When working with careers clients, there are various tools, methodologies and techniques that I draw upon dependent on the needs of the client.  In addition to providing clients with workbooks – where relevant I provide additional reading.  Below I have listed my five most recommended careers related books and why.


Fierce Conversations, author Susan Scott
It is a terrific book that offers a framework for having difficult or challenging conversations at work or home. In some instances having the challenging conversation can sometimes ease a difficult situation at work that is contributing to dissatisfaction or provide the vehicle in which to have that career conversation about where you really want to be working within the organisation.  Without having these conversations you can overlook ideal career opportunities that maybe right in front of you! It must be added that this book is a challenging one to get through with a lot of exercises to apply the strategies – however well worth the effort.

Business Model U, author Tim Clark
What Colour is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles has stood the test of time and is a great career resource.  However Business Model U offers a more contemporary take on the career change front leveraging a business minded approach to the task. It is based on the structure of creating a business plan and provides practical information in small chunks, including activities and stories by other career changers on how they did it. An appealing book for those who like a more pragmatic approach.

The Happiness Trap, author Russ Harris
Changing jobs or careers requires a lot of time and dedication and with it comes a lot of rejection. Maintaining a positive state of mind can be tough as applications go unanswered, interviewers don’t give you ‘real’ feedback or update you and all you seem to be receiving are countless verbal and emailed no thank you’s. In my recent post ‘How to Tame the Internal Critic when Job Seeking’ I explain how the internal critic within can blare more loudly when you are making a career related change. This book offers practical and easy to apply techniques to help control the internal critic. It is an easy and enjoyable read and one that will help you get through the job search or career change process more confidently.

How to Master Networking, author Robyn Henderson
Networking can be enjoyable – it just depends on how you approach it.  If you view it as simply an opportunity to learn new things and meet interesting new people it can take the sting out of the process.  In her book, ‘How to Master Networking’, Robyn Henderson offers practical and easy to apply techniques to improve your networking ability and enjoyment.  It is a career essential and particularly relevant for professionals and executives to master.

The First 90 Days, author Michael Watkins
While ‘The First 90 Days’ relates to how best to use your time once in the job, it is also incredibly relevant when going through the interview process. As a professional or executive going through the interview process if you can share your ideas and a high level strategy of how you would execute in the role the interviewer cannot help but be impressed. It is this preparation and strategic thinking that makes the top candidates stand out from the others.  This book offers a framework of how to succeed both in the interview and once in the role. It is very detailed offering a step by step approach.

While these are some of my favourite books to assist job and career changers, I would welcome hearing about your favourite books.