Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do the Best Jobs Require You to Be an Extrovert?

Written by guest blogger, Andrej Kovacevic

Social interaction, to some degree, is a requirement of every job. Even if your chosen career involves significant amounts of computation, you’ll still most likely have to be able to explain your work to your boss and colleagues. This requires you to have at least some level of communication skills.

The more advanced your communication skills are, the likelier you are to succeed in your career. Being a persuasive communicator can dramatically escalate your career, whether you’re a data scientist, an engineer, or a worker in virtually any other role.

This might prompt you to wonder: Do the best jobs require you to be an extrovert? And, in fact, do you have to be an extrovert if you hope to be successful?

The answer to both questions is “no”.

It is true that, until recently, in many ways, western workplace culture has seemed to favour extroverts over introverts. Extroverts have had a tendency to earn higher salaries, because they have been more frequently entrusted with high-paying jobs that require management expertise or top-level communication skills. Introverts may have been at a disadvantage when seeking such lucrative jobs, because so many of the best-paying jobs have been ones that require “people skills”.

But introverts are just as likely to be successful as extroverts are in the years ahead.

Changing Dynamics As the Fourth Industrial Revolution Proceeds

 A dramatic change in dynamics is underway as we embark on the fourth industrial revolution. This is because a different set of skills is emerging that will be more critical for the future of work – and for the workers of the future — than it has ever been in the past.

The up-and-coming skill set is one that doesn’t exclude introverts and is, in fact, likely to reward them. Some of these skills include creativity, innovation, persistence, empathy for others and the ability to listen to others. These skills don’t tend to favour either extroverts or introverts; they are skills that all people have the potential to master.

In fact, they are some of the traits that make human beings human. These characteristics distinguish us from the robots and algorithms that are increasingly taking over tasks that humans used to perform.

As we embrace the future, the differences between introverts and extraverts may become less important at work. This is because, in the future, both groups of people will need to work on perfecting the humanistic skills that distinguish them from various forms of technology. These “soft skills” are becoming increasingly crucial for human workers because they give people a distinct advantage over their likeliest future competitors: robots.

Jobs for humans, whether extroverted or introverted, are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Some analysts have proposed that, in the future, many of the jobs that are currently done by humans will be performed by artificial intelligence or other forms of technology.

We can already see this happening. For example, as accounting software becomes more sophisticated and automated, more business owners are able to handle their own accounting. This is likely to translate to fewer well-paying opportunities for bookkeepers in the future.

If you hope to remain among the employed far into the future, at some point you will probably have to demonstrate to your employer why you are more valuable to your organisation than a machine would be. If you’re able to be persistent, creative and innovative; if you’re able to listen empathetically and work as part of a team; and, overall, if you demonstrate capabilities that algorithms and robots couldn’t possibly replicate, you will be much better positioned to remain employed in the future. That holds true whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert or somewhere in between.

Career Vitality provides individual and group career coaching services to support clients to plan and achieve their career goals. Email Judith at to help work out your next career steps.

Brisbane’s Top 4 Fast-Growing Industries

Written by guest blogger, Andrej Kovacevic

Brisbane, Australia is currently enjoying growth and a hot job market. Employment growth in Brisbane is far outpacing population growth; and, in fact, Brisbane’s job market is growing faster than the job markets in either Sydney or Melbourne. In particular, The Australian reports that Brisbane Inner City and South Brisbane have been two of Australia’s top fastest-growing job markets thus far in the twenty-first century.

So which industries in Brisbane look the most promising for career changers and job seekers to seek work in? Let’s discuss 4 of the top fast-growing industries in Brisbane, Australia.

1. Healthcare and Social Assistance

Experts in the Australian government are forecasting increasing numbers of job opportunities for Brisbane residents in the healthcare sector through at least the year 2022. In particular, the following sectors are experiencing significant levels of growth:

  • Nursing and aged care
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dental services
  • Psychology and counselling

Many, but not all, of these roles require university degrees.

2. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Demand for high-tech products and services is skyrocketing across the globe – and businesses in Brisbane are eager to share their relevant offerings with the global marketplace. Tech startups in Brisbane are providing the world with a broad range of offerings ranging from software to mobile applications to energy solutions. They’re hiring for an impressive array of different job titles. Demand is high for the talent in the following types of roles:

  • Data Scientists
  • Software Developers
  • IT Project Managers

A bachelor’s degree is beneficial if you want to be competitive for many, but not all, of the best jobs in this sector.

3. Education and Training

It will be vital for job seekers to have cutting-edge skills if they hope to succeed in the technologically developed job market of the future. This means that education and training are in demand, and they’ll continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future. In particular, demand will be high for the following types of educators:

  •  Education Managers
  • Education Advisers and Reviewers
  • Education Aides

Education is prized in this industry. Many roles tend to require applicants to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. For some positions, graduate level education is also a requirement.

4. Construction

In the recent past, some elements of the construction and engineering industries in Queensland have been in decline. However, experts at the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) are forecasting that construction industry growth in Queensland is likely to resume again in 2020 at a rate of 5.6 percent.

The growth is likely to be balanced between public and private engineering and construction projects. There are a number of civil construction projects planned for the future in Brisbane.  Experts are also forecasting that demand for dwellings in Brisbane, and, indeed throughout Queensland, will outpace supply. They’re predicting this excess demand for housing will grow until at least the year 2028.

In the construction industry, government analysts at the Department of Jobs and Small Business are predicting moderate to strong growth for a number of different roles. Some of the jobs offering strong growth potential include the following:

  • Construction Managers
  • Civil Engineering Professionals
  • Structural Steel Construction Workers
  • Plumbers
  • Glaziers
  • Electrical Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians

TAFE training is sufficient to prepare you well for many of the jobs in this sector. However, some of these roles do require a university degree.

These are four of the top fast-growing industries in Brisbane, Australia. So if you are thinking of changing careers, these growing industries, including that roles that support these industries, will be an excellent focus for your efforts. Do be aware there are some industries in Brisbane that are not currently experiencing growth; a couple of the industries that have been experienced decline are manufacturing and agriculture. Serious consideration needs to be given to investing significant amounts of effort pursuing work in the industries that are declining.

Best wishes for your next career transition.

This article was kindly submitted by guest blogger Andrej Kovacevic.

Career Vitality provides individual and group career coaching services to support clients to plan and achieve their career goals. Email Judith at to help you to work out your next career steps.

7 Secrets to Success in the Gig Economy

As a career coach I regularly talk to clients about the idea of starting a side hustle (an income producing activity on the side of our primary role) to explore new career paths or to create a portfolio career (one in which we have multiple career roles simultaneously). Whether you are aiming for the portfolio career or are currently looking for a new role with flexibility, it can be a great option to look at the gig economy. Lucy from Gigmine has kindly shared her knowledge on this topic with us. Over to Lucy …

Getting started in the gig economy has never been easier. There are tons of freelance jobs for those looking to begin their own business. If you want to enjoy the flexibility and added income of your own gig, begin by following these seven important steps.

 Find Something Fun

 One of the perks of the gig economy is that you can get paid to do just about anything. If you have a way with words, you can write freelance articles. You can get paid to drive people around town. Some people even get paid to hang out with puppies! Dog walking and pet sitting can provide you with endless nose boops and quite a bit of income, too.

 Do Some Serious Budgeting

 If you’re going to break out on your own, you need to have a solid budget worked out. Gig jobs don’t always provide a regular stream of income. You may have 20 clients one month and five the next, so it’s crucial to be careful with your finances. Lay your budget out in writing. Include housing, bills, and groceries in your core number. Be sure to budget for entertainment and extras as well.

 Stay on Top of Your Schedule

 When you’re juggling multiple clients, it can be easy to get your appointments mixed up. Make sure that doesn’t happen by working on your time management skills. Keep a calendar at home and stash a smaller one in your car or bag, to keep track of business on the go. You can also use a task management app to keep you on course. Be sure to schedule some time for marketing and social media, to get your gig business connected with new clients.

 Be Prepared to Network

Starting a new successful gig  means building a solid client base. You can definitely turn to your network of family and friends, but you’ll need to put in a little more work to sustain your new business. Get out in your town and talk to people about your business. Leave business cards and put up flyers in local shops and spend some time working on your social media and web presence. Online portfolios can snag you more clients and give people an easier way to contact you.

 Pay Your Taxes 

The one area where gig workers tend to get lost is their taxes. Without an employer taking taxes out of your salary, it can be easy to let this little detail slip your mind. To avoid ending up with a big surprise come July, check in with your accountant or the ATO to see what to expect. You may need to pay your taxes in installments throughout the year and could even end up with a refund.

Get Those Positive Reviews 

 Whether your working from an app or on your own, user reviews can make or break your gig business. People are so dependent on reviews these days that it’s hard to have a gig business without them. Encourage your clients to leave their feedback for you. If someone has an issue, take care of it right away to keep those five-star reviews coming.

Always Schedule Downtime

 Being your own boss can give you a big confidence boost, but it also means you may be busier than before. You’ll have to put in some time to build your gig business but don’t let it take over your life. Leave some time in your schedule to relax and take it easy. When you reach your goals, treat yourself to a massage or nice meal out. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself from feeling burned out.

Gigs are a great way to earn income, try something different in your career and to build your own work schedule. If you think the gig economy is right for you, a little planning can make your career change come true. So get out there and make it happen!

 Photo Credit: Pixabay

Has your interview been hijacked before? How to take control next time around.

One of my current interview coaching clients, Ms R, told me this week about the recent interview that smashed her confidence and left her feeling terrified of the next one. As you’ll appreciate, a fear of interviews can be a major obstacle to job search so it’s fortunate that she reached out for some help and is getting back on track.

Ms R’s interview was stressful from the get go. At the scheduled time she was ushered into a room and given six complex questions with 10 minutes to prepare. Panic set in immediately. Her body stiffened and she felt like her mind was in shutdown, rather rising to the task at hand. In fact it was. With our fight or flight response triggered, it is difficult for us to access our higher order brain functions to rationally navigate the situation. The great thing is cognitive behavioural therapy tells us that by tackling our beliefs and thoughts, it is possible to create more effective responses to avoid the panic.

Appropriately preparing yourself before the interview can make a huge difference to your experience. Remember that getting shortlisted means that they already think you’re a solid fit for the role. Take in the mindset that interviews are simply an opportunity to communicate what the interviewer(s) needs to know to confirm your fit for the role. Be in touch with what you offer, take your achievement examples in with you if you can and recognise the need to remain calm so they get an opportunity to see the best of you.

Once Ms R was taken into the interview room, it went from bad to worse. She felt highly anxious and the panel not introducing themselves definitely didn’t help. One panel member was a psychiatrist and she noticed him writing notes on his pad. She immediately thought “He’s judging me, I can see he doesn’t like me” and it threw her further off course.

So what could Ms R have thought instead and how might it have changed the experience? That interviewer certainly was judging her but most likely on her fit for the role. She might have thought “I’m glad he’s so interested in noting what I’ve got to say today” or “I’ll take a moment to become really present by feeling my feet on the floor, rather than imagining what the interviewers are thinking”. These responses are likely to have a much more positive effect on our mindset and subsequent actions.

One of my key takeaways from Russ Harris’ Happiness Trap book was to question our thoughts, eg. “Is this thought helpful?”, “Is this thought going to take me to where I want to go?” You don’t even need to think about whether they’re true or not. While it takes some practice, it is totally possible to not buy into such thoughts and to replace them with others that are more helpful.

Unfortunately, not all interviewers set candidates up for success, however, there is often an opportunity for us to influence the experience and increase the likelihood that we will present the best of what we have to offer. While you might not want to work with a company like the one in this story, you’ll definitely will want to preserve your confidence for interviews.

If you want to shine at your next interview, consider a coaching session with Career Vitality.

The Green Rush. Why pay attention to this emerging industry?

A few days ago I heard something so exciting for our economy that I’ve felt compelled to write about it since. My partner asked me to watch an episode of ‘4 Corners’ that he’d recorded last week called ‘Green Rush’. We recently purchased a small number of shares in two medicinal marijuana companies and he thought it would give me some understanding of what is going on with the industry.

As I watched, rather than thinking about share values, I started to appreciate the possible impact of the medicinal marijuana industry for the Australian agricultural and pharmaceutical industries and our general economy. I couldn’t help thinking that this emerging industry may very well be the answer to many of the challenges Australia faces.

As a career coach, one of the approaches we encourage clients to consider is looking for emerging opportunities or occupations based on strategies such as research, gathering intelligence from our networks, attending conferences, reviewing media reports etc. Medicinal marijuana seems a perfect enactment of this strategy on a macro scale.

The ‘4 Corners’ episode explained that medicinal marijuana has been identified as a possible treatment for a range of medical conditions including epilepsy, insomnia, autism and chronic pain. There have been some promising overseas clinical trials and some Australian states are currently running clinical trials. The Federal Government approved the prescription of Australian-grown/manufactured medicinal marijuana in 2016 but it hasn’t been smooth sailing for patients. They have faced many barriers although the government has been working to reduce these, with some recent success.

When ‘4 Corners’ reported that the Federal Government had recently approved Australia exporting medicinal marijuana products I actually said out loud, “This could be the smartest thing the Australian Government has ever done.” Demand for the product is building, with consistently more and more countries considering or approving medicinal marijuana, and we have masses of land with ideal growing conditions, creating excellent circumstances to embrace this opportunity.

The medicinal marijuana pharmaceutical market is likely to present a lucrative export and domestic opportunity for the Australian economy, particularly given the reported shortages of medicinal marijuana worldwide. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “By opening up the export market the government is hoping to improve the viability of domestic producers, thus securing supply for Australian patients”.

Let’s imagine for a moment that we can become the world’s leading producer of medicinal marijuana. That could reinvigorate our declining agriculture industry and generate significant revenue to invest into science, research, exploring additional new industries, skilling Australians for the future and providing support to members of our society in need. All potentially equating to additional job growth and worthy of our attention. As a career coach, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

If you haven’t already watched it, I’d encourage you to take a look at the 4 Corners Green Rush episode and share it with others in your networks.

Six easy steps for transforming your life and career


How has 2016 been for you? Have you found yourself reaching your life and career goals? Are you someone who sets goals? Until this year I’ve tended to go with the flow and never really dreamed big. I feel very fortunate to have discovered the art of goal setting earlier this year because it has made this one so much more successful than it’s predecessors. If you’d like to enjoy more success in any aspect of your life including career, you might enjoy this blog I recently wrote for our friends over at flexible employment website, School Hours, recently. You can check it out <here>.

How to be a career trailblazer

Donna preparing for the Oxfam challenge

About nine months ago my gym partner Emma told me she was planning to do the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker for her 40th year and wondered if I’d be interested in joining her in a team for the challenge. Thinking that it had been a long time since I’ taken on a personal challenge (excepting parenthood!), I jumped onboard. It seemed a distant goal but all of a sudden it’s just two weeks away.

As I reflect on my preparation, I can’t help but notice parallels between setting and actioning this goal and career goals, especially for return to work parents. There have been umpteen obstacles including a nagging knee injury, negotiating time away from family for lengthy training sessions; buying new equipment; preparing and testing food, footwear, and pack contents; the cost and time for podiatry and physiotherapy appointments; and even arranging occasional childcare.

I have had to become fit for the task which has required significant commitment and training. I have had to seek counsel and support from others when a couple of people suggested I wasn’t doing enough training. These comments led to a few days of self doubt until I was reminded of my tenacity and previous achievements.

Communication has been key to the preparations, whether it be at home, with team members, experienced friends or those we met on the track. The experiences of others has built my confidence; helped me to anticipate and prepare for the challenges; and basically given me a deeper understanding of what’s ahead.

We had a couple of really painful training sessions but never did any of us think that we’d give up or drop back to the shorter distance – we have continued to focus on our goal and HOW we will make it happen. I’m really looking forward to seeing all our hard work pay off on 17 June 2016. Whatever the outcome, I know that I have done what I can to prepare for this exciting challenge. If you’re not already, try giving some of these strategies a crack in your career planning. I’d love to hear how you go.

If you’d like to support our team, the Wander Women and the amazing work of Oxfam, head on over to the teamspace.

Ways to get shortlisted for interview

Anne text

The message above arrived last week from one of my working mum clients, Anne. I get them a bit and they’re one of the highlights of my job as a career coach – I love the feeling I get when I’ve helped someone to achieve a result.

I had worked with Anne in the past to plan a career direction so it was natural for her to reach out to me for some job application support when she identified a role that she really wanted. We worked together to ensure that Anne’s application stood out and that it did.

So why did Anne’s application impress the interview panel so much? Put simply, it clearly communicated to them that she possessed the skills, attributes and results to perform the role they were recruiting. The objective of any job application you write is to create the strongest possible link between you and the target role and this should guide all of your content.

If you’d like your next application to rise to the top of the pile too, here’s a few valuable tips:

  • Review the job information (eg. job advertisement, role description, and/or any discussions you have with the hiring company) and draw out all of their key requirements, eg. they may ask for an Information Technology degree, excellent communication skills, project management experience and strong customer service skills and you should demonstrate with specific examples how you meet each of these requirements in your application.
  • Include only what is relevant. The more you include that does not support the link between you and the role, the blurrier the link will become. For example, you wouldn’t usually include your responsible service of alcohol certification if you are applying for a role as an Accounts Clerk, except, in the very unlikely event that it’s in a wine bar and you may be required to help at the bar when others are on a break.
  • Ensure all parts of your application address their requirements – some recruiters won’t read your cover letter whilst others won’t read your resume unless you’ve hooked them with the cover letter so you need to cover both bases.
  • Use their words. The job criteria can be thought of as the keywords for a role. It is critically important to include these because they connect you to the role in the reader’s mind. Additionally, some companies use software, called applicant tracking systems, that search for these keywords and if they don’t appear enough, your application will not progress in the recruitment process.
  • Focus on results. Including your achievements, or results, differentiates you from other candidates because they back up what you’re saying and companies love results! When all applicants list duties it is very difficult to tell them apart because the roles have often been very similar. Results should generally be one sentence long and start with a past tense action word.
  • Less is more. Recruiters generally have less than one minute to read your application so create the link quickly, keep it to three pages or less with a 2 – 2.5 cm margin and use good spacing between paragraphs so it’s easy on the eye.

Give these strategies a go when writing your next application and let me know how you go. If you’d like more information, you can contact me on 0419 120 601 or

Looking to make a career transition?

career ahead

How are you feeling about your career right now? Is your work generally engaging and energising you? Do you ever find yourself day dreaming about making a career change? Chances are that even if you’re not thinking about changing careers right now it’s something that you will experience at some point in the future and if you’re like me, you’d like it to be as painless as possible.

So how do you work out what career to pursue next? Recently I have had a casual career counselling gig at a local university and what has really shocked me is how often students select careers and courses without any research. Many of the students I have met have never spoken to someone in their target occupation.

My work with many private clients confirms that this is not a rare phenomenon, with many of us approaching our early jobs in this way. Having also gone through my own career transition from human resources management to career coaching several years ago I thought I might share some tips that will increase the success of your next career transition.   <Keep reading  on Champagne Cartel>

How to find the right job

How are you feeling about your career right now? Is your work generally engaging and energising you? Do you ever find yourself day dreaming about making a career change? Chances are that even if you’re not thinking about changing careers right now it’s something that you will experience at some point in the future and if you’re like me, you’d like it to be as painless as possible.

Read my recent blog for Champagne Cartel if you’d like some tips on how to go about it.