Career Options

Benefits of On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training involves learning in and amongst day-to-day work and can occur in the normal working environment or via specific training with a more experienced member of staff. On-the-job training is seen as the most popular and effective form of staff training – here’s why.

The first and most obvious advantage of on-the-job training, when compared to organised distant courses is often the cost. By getting new staff started straight away, employers do not have to invest in expensive training schemes or lose new members of staff to lengthy external training courses. It is also worth noting that once the employee has completed the training there is nothing to stop them deciding to quit and not go through with their job, if they realise it is not what they expected.

In a similar way, building experience and training while working means that the employee is likely to be bringing home a wage. This is especially important when trying to join careers such as teaching which require training before further examinations. By enrolling on a scheme with organisations such as EduStaff you are able to gain key training whilst working on-the-job.

It is also certainly worth mentioning the depth of passive training you will receive while immersing yourself in the actual role and learning from your experienced colleagues. All jobs and workplaces will have a myriad of different processes and cultural nuances that you simply cannot fully understand without settling into your new team and job.

Aside from the benefits for the new employee going through the process, on-the-job training is a great way for management to demonstrate the value they place on the more experience members of staff who help with the training. Tesco often asks experienced members of staff to conduct on-the-job training for new recruits. This demonstrates the trust the organisation has in those long-serving staff members who may not be suitable for other forms of acknowledgement, including promotions or raises.

One benefit that may only be applicable for some roles is that showing new recruits the ropes, while getting them started, can act as a canny assessment technique. Training new staff in exactly what their role entails means that their ‘sink or swim’ moment naturally comes early and both the organisation and the new recruit will know if they are likely to stay on in the long-term.

So, next time you go through training yourself, or plan training for a new member of your team, consider what you would be missing out on if you were subjected to external training from a faceless corporation who know little about the culture of the company and what your new role will truly involve.

Is Self-Employment Right For You?

Self-employment is becoming a popular option these days with more people seeking flexibility and traditional jobs losing their security appeal. Are you wondering if self-employment could be the perfect next step for you? Read on.

RELATED: Make Working From Home Work For You

Why are you considering self-employment?

Before you make up your mind, take some time to explore your motivation. Are you imagining yourself working whenever you feel like, doing only things you love and getting paid generously for it? Let’s get real, it’s not likely to happen that way, at least not in the beginning. You will be doing the work (hopefully, something you love), but you’ll also have to find your own clients, organise your workload, take care of paperwork and manage your finances. In short, you’ll be taking responsibility of every single facet of your business.

On the other hand, if you’re considering self-employment because responsibility empowers you and you can’t wait to bring your own ideas to life, then you’re much more likely to stick with it in the long-run.

The pros

  • Flexibility. While you can’t just work whenever you want and expect a steady income, you should be able to establish a schedule that fits nicely into your lifestyle.
  • Fulfillment. It’s up to you to choose work that you’re passionate about and eliminate or outsource draining tasks as much as possible.
  • Choice. You get to choose what you do and who you work with. You can say “no” to that client you absolutely hate and no one will fire you.
  • No boring meetings.
  • No office politics.

The cons

  • Uncertainty. While traditional jobs are not as secure as they used to be, psychologically you still feel safer – you expect your paycheck to come on a certain day no matter what. When you’re self-employed, securing your paycheck (and making sure you have enough to cover your expenses) is entirely up to you.
  • No benefits. You won’t get your paid annual leave or your super delivered to your account automatically. If you want to top up your super, it will have to be out of your own hard-earned profit.
  • No structure. With a job also comes a structure that tells you how many hours you’re supposed to work and what you need to accomplish in that time. When you’re self-employed, you need to create your own structure. If you’re not focused, it’s easy to fall into one of these two extremes – either working all the time or working only when you feel inspired and not getting anything done.

Self-employment is not right for everyone and is not a magic wand that will make all your dreams come true, but it can be a means to an end. What’s important is to do meaningful work in a profitable, sustainable way and you can do it (or fail to do it) both in a job or as a self-employed.

Image via Pixabay

Top Tips For Women In Franchising

Thinking about owning your own business? Consider buying a franchise – you’re in business for yourself, but not alone which can offer peace of mind and a bit of extra confidence when taking the leap and becoming a business owner.

RELATED: All Work And No Play… Creating Balance In Success

In a nutshell, this is the essence of franchising; being a part of something bigger and more experienced. You’re working with a known brand and a sound business model with access to support networks and a strong marketing strategy. It’s the perfect solution for those who want the opportunity to own their own business, but may not have the confidence, capital and know-how to start something from the bottom up.

Buying into a brand with an existing presence and loyal following means a large part of the foundation work is done. But that’s not to say the rest is easy… success does only come if you work for it!! And there’s much planning, budgeting, forecasting and decision-making involved in ensuring your slice of the franchising pie is a fruitful business.

For many women who are also aspiring business owners, franchising is an attractive ‘tried and tested’ option, and many women often see success in the franchising game!


  • Women are often great organisers! They know how to plan and prioritise and have an eye for detail.
  • Multi-tasking comes naturally to females. Women are quick thinking, improvise and are comfortable with adapting to make things work.
  • Believe it or not, women in business tend to be more financially conservative than their male counterparts! This means starting small and taking baby steps in growing their entity – a pretty sound approach for purchasing, owning and operating a franchise business.
  • Women are generally pretty open to building business relationships and aren’t afraid to tap into the wider community, including other franchisees.

You might be on track to look at franchise business options, but there are some considerations from those already in the thick of the franchising game, suggest to women who are considering going down this path:


Look at options and business offerings that match your passions and your personality. If you enjoy fitness, maybe a gym franchise is a fit for you. But don’t go into motor spares, if fashion is your interest.

Remember, franchising is a long-term business prospect. Make sure what you choose is something you’re happy about so that you’re energised to make it work, especially during the down times.

Be a facilitator

Help create and maintain a positive business culture. Look to fellow franchisees as part of a wider team, rather than competitors. It will help you (and the overall franchise system) grow! And you know those organisation skill sets – use them!

Ask for help

You have the networks and resources available to you for guidance, so utilise them! You’re not expected to be able to do everything, so focus on your strengths and hire a team for their expertise (and perhaps any of your own weaknesses). Don’t be afraid to bounce off other experienced franchisees for their guidance.

Think outside the box

The beauty of franchising is that you do have support and formal planned activities, but you also have the freedom and I suppose responsibilities to implement your own ideas that really make your part of the business your own. Do this, but do it within the framework of your brand… Anything that’s worthwhile will garner support from your franchisor.

And as history has it, some of the most successful franchise brands have women working with them… so we say what are you waiting for?

Visit for some great franchising tips and business opportunities with Franchised Food Company including brands like Cold Rock, Trampoline Gelato, Pretzel World, Nutshack, Mr Whippy and Europa Coffee.

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Women in the arts

The arts is an area that has always attracted female workers. According to the team at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, a female-dominated team can make for a pretty good working environment.The office of the Adelaide Fringe is made up of sixteen women and four men and the management team is solely women.

According to the festival’s artistic director Karen Hadfield, that is fairly common in the arts.

“I’ve always worked mostly with women, ” Miss Hadfield said. “I really like it, I find there’s a very good collaborative nature in working with women.”

She says that women are attracted to the arts for a number of reasons. “It’s very rewarding, it can also be quite flexible too and there are some major advantages to that.”

Jennifer Moody is the publicist for the Fringe. She has worked in male-dominated offices as well as her present female environment and says there are certainly differences between the two.

Miss Moody says that women are more likely to talk about their lives outside the office and are more open with each other. Men are more likely to talk about something not related to them, such as football.

But while she finds women more open, Miss Moody thinks it is men that are friendlier outside of work hours. “Every office I’ve worked in with a strong male balance, after work drinks has been a strong cultural aspect of the company. I think that breeds a bit more mateship within the office. A bit of camaraderie,” she said.

For both Miss Hadfield and Miss Moody, the focus has not been on the gender of their co-workers but on the Fringe environment itself. “There’s no oppression in any sense. Everyone is very comfortable and open with each other. My first impression of the office was how comfortable everyone was,” Miss Moody said.

by Kiri James, acting editor CareerOne.

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A day in the life of… a gold medallist

Name Jane Saville, 28, Commonwealth Games gold medallist race walker.

Describe a typical day

A typical day incorporates 25-35km of walking in the morning (either a flat, hill, long or speed session) and 1.5hrs of cross training in the afternoon, such as running, riding and weight training.

What’s the best part of the job?

The high of competition, all the anxiety, nerves and excitement – and it’s a natural high.

What’s the worst part of the job?

Injuries and illness, as well as the mental hurdles that people don’t see.

What would you consider to be your key talents?

Persistence and working hard at overcoming obstacles to achieve my goal.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

The main thing is to enjoy yourself. Community fun run/walks give people the opportunity to pursue a goal. Group categories such as the Braun Silk-epil Team category in the Sussan Women’s Fun Run helps keep you motivated because you are preparing and participating with a friend.

What was your first job and what was in your first pay packet?

Doing the deliveries for my Dad’s butcher shop (Saville Quality Meats) when I was at Uni – I got to use his car all week and petrol included!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

It changed all the time but during most of high school I wanted to be an architect.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My parents always encouraged me but never pushed me and that is probably why I have stayed in sport for so long.

How do you deal with work related stress?

My husband/coach is always there to listen to me and help me. I sometimes make mountains out of molehills and he keeps me balanced.

How do you deal with difficult people at work?

I try and work around them and see it as a challenge. But it’s not a problem that I usually encounter.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

A romantic dinner with my husband!

What would you never wear again?

My school uniform

What are you reading?

Cesar by Colleen McCullough

What can’t you live without?

My Braun Silk-?pil epilator – in my profession there’s a lot of focus on my legs and I want them to look their best at all times.

What inspires you?

To fulfil my potential in every part of my life.

A Day in The Life of… A writer

SheSaid gets the goss from Belinda Alexandra, author of White Gardenia.

Describe a typical day

I usually begin the day with yoga or dancing (depending on my energy level and mood) and a healthy breakfast. I walk my two indoor kitties in the garden and then settle down in front of my computer about 9am. I usually write or read for research about six to eight hours a day, and few hours over the weekend. However, when you work with your imagination, you are pretty well always working, even in your sleep or in the shower. My office is in my head. I do try to ‘shut off’ when I’m out with friends, though, for their sanity’s sake and mine. I usually end the day with dinner with friends or family, a movie, or taking some sort of class (language, history, dancing).

What’s the best part of the job?

Being able to live two lives – the one I’m living and the one I’m creating. Travelling for research. Creating stories that give people pleasure.

What’s the worst part of the job?

Facing a blank page everyday during the first draft process and trying to make the words and images come together. But when it works out, it’s a real high.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Read books twice. The first time to enjoy the story. The second to study the writer’s technique.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My mother. She used to buy me exercise books to write down my stories as soon as I learned to hold a pencil.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

A dinner party for good friends

What would you never wear again?

A one piece catsuit (unless it was Halloween).

What are you reading?

Bush Oranges by Kay Donovan. It’s a beautiful tale about sisters living in the tempestuous climate of North Queensland in the 1920s to 1990s.

What can’t you live without?

My sense of humour.

What inspires you?

Beauty – in people’s spirits and in nature.

Buy White Gardenia from the SheSaid bookshop.

A Day in the Life of… a Seminar Leader

SheSaid gets the goss from Roberta Cava, Seminar Leader, author and founder of Cava Consulting.

Describe a typical day It

It depends – I could be writing books, preparing for doing my seminars, presenting seminars, traveling to seminars overseas, doing Human Resources consulting for clients or doing career counseling – lots of variety.

What’s the best part of the job?

Helping people with problems – especially dealing with difficult people and situations.

What’s the worst part of the job?

Extensive travel – sometimes travel as long as 30 hours at a stretch.

What would you consider to be your key talents?

Dynamic seminar leader – internationally best-selling author.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Work your butt off!

What was your first job and what was in your first pay packet?

My first job was as a typist at a military hospital. It was so long ago, I can’t remember.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m it! I’ve done almost everything I’ve wanted to do in my lifetime – the rest will be a bonus.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

Getting divorced and having to support my children was the catalyst to get me into the workplace and into doing what I believe I was born to do.

How do you deal with work related stress?

Read my books on Dealing with Difficult People – I use all the techniques in them – which are really stress relieving techniques that keep me in control under most situations.

How do you deal with difficult people at work?

Again – read my books.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

Buying gifts for my grand daughters in Canada.

What would you never wear again?

A bikini.

What are you reading?

I’m an avid fan of Stephen King.

What can’t you live without?

Sunshine and warmth – that’s why I moved to Queensland from Canada!

What inspires you?

Other successful people and the opportunity of doing something different.

Roberta’s new book Dealing with Difficult Situations is out now through Pan Macmillan. Buy this book from the SheSaid Bookshop.

How to Be an Astrologer?

Astrologer Claire Petulengro’s new books, Diet Signs and Health Signs explore the link between astrology, diet and health. To find out why Taureans have sensitive throats and how Librans can shed the extra kilos they’re prone to carrying, plus much more, get your hands on Diet Signs & Health Signs. Available from good book stores.

When did you get involved in astrology?

When I was young I thought everybody had ‘feelings’ about things. I was brought up in a family of clairvoyants so I didn’t think I was any different to anyone else until I went to school. That’s when I began to realise I was different.

My mother taught me to trust my instincts and let me give readings to her old clients. When I was six years old my uncle Leo taught me the art of palmistry and used to pay me pocket money to learn the lines on the hand! I would stay up until all hours learning the names of the lines and was giving professional tarot card readings by the time I was 12.

What is it that attracted you to astrology?

It was always in my blood and part of my soul. It is part of who I am.

What did you do before you became a full-time professional astrologer?

Everything! My mum and dad made sure I tried lots of different things, even though I was travelling to LA and all over the world giving readings.

I started working professionally in my teens. At 16 I appeared on a children’s program (I read the horoscopes to kids) and I even had my own radio show where people would call in and I’d solve their problems through the art of astrology. I have a very deep and husky voice and so the listeners thought I was a lot older! .

How did you turn your hobby into a full-time occupation?

I met a lady called Melanie Cantor who wanted to manage me and said it would be silly not to get into the media and TV. As a little girl I always wanted to be on telly and took to it like a duck to water. We got on so well, (she is a Cancerian and I love other water signs) and I knew she’d make sure I didn’t do things that were corny or would make me the object of ridicule.

I have worked for the Sun newspaper, the Mirror and have appeared on many TV shows. I now work for The Daily Express and The Daily Star every day, OK Magazine every week, Company Magazine every month. I’m also MTV and VH1’s astrologer and I work full time for Open Television and I am dying to write a fourth book. I’m a workaholic but I still manage to get my husband’s dinner on the table every night! I even make all my own baby food for our son Paris.

How can we incorporate astrology in our every day lives?
By learning what your weaknesses are and where your strengths lie. After all prevention is better than cure, don’t you agree?

How do you use astrology in your own life?
I cheat, I use clairvoyance as well. If I meet someone and don’t like them then I won’t do business with them. I’m in the very lucky position that I don’t have to do all of the work that is offered. I just happen to love everything I currently do. Luckily, plotting charts for daily horoscopes means I know when there are problems coming up. It’s simple, when Mercury is in retrograde, I pack up and go shopping!

Twenty-nine year-old Claire lives in Devon in the UK with her husband Rob and six month old son, Paris.

How to Be an Astrologer? (Cont’d)

How can we incorporate astrology in our every day lives?

By learning what your weaknesses are and where your strengths lie. After all prevention is better than cure, don’t you agree?How did you come up with the idea for the books, Diet Signs & Health Signs?

Each part of the body is ruled by a different star sign. For example, Taureans are prone to throat problems so should avoid foods that are overly mucus producing. I worked with top nutrition and diet experts who were amazed at the results of tests I conducted. I designed the meal plans for Diet Signs and then had health experts check them to make sure they were healthy and balanced.

Health Signs on the other hand, is about maintaining a healthy mind. It also deals with herbs that you can take when you are ill or just to stay healthy. I wanted to make people more aware of how to stay fit both mentally and physically.

What star sign are you? Are you typical to this sign?

I am a Scorpio and yes I am very typical of my sign. If I do something then I get obsessed by it, as you can see! On the downside I get jealous if I don’t get to spend enough time with my husband who is also a Scorpio.

I get a lot of fan mail and get to go to a lot of fancy parties but if it all ended tomorrow I wouldn’t worry. Rob, (my husband) and I make everything an adventure and when he comes home at night he still says, ‘get me a drink darling,’ so I have my feet very firmly on the ground.

How do you use astrology in your own life?

I cheat, I use clairvoyance as well. If I meet someone and don’t like them then I won’t do business with them. I’m in the very lucky position that I don’t have to do all of the work that is offered. I just happen to love everything I currently do. Luckily, plotting charts for daily horoscopes means I know when there are problems coming up. It’s simple, when Mercury is in retrograde, I pack up and go shopping!

Twenty-nine year-old Claire lives in Devon in the UK with her husband Rob and six month old son, Paris.

Career In Cinematography

Behind the scenes – Jobs in FilmYou don’t have to be able to act to have a career in film. Whether your interest is in lighting, sound, special effects or one of the dozens of other careers available in the film and television industry, there’s a world of opportunities hidden behind the cameras just waiting to be explored.

A Career In Cinematography

For 22 year old Caroline Moody, it’s the love of her craft, rather than fame and fortune that drives her to succeed in her chosen field of cinematography. The Queensland Uni Technology Film and Television School graduate kick started her career by winning the 2000 Australian Cinematographers Society Encouragement Award (for new Queensland filmmakers) for her work on the short film, The Drunken Bath.

What does a Cinematographer do?

A cinematographer is responsible for lighting and the overall look of the film and works closely with the director in deciding what shots and camera angles to use. Moody, whose ultimate aim is to work in feature films, says she was drawn to cinematography because of the balance of creative and technical aspects in the job. “Cinematography requires imagination,” she says, “there can be basic ways of lighting?but stand out cinematographers break the rules.”

The job sounds glamorous but requires a lot of manual labour, particularly when you’re starting out. “Cinematography at my level is very physical,” Moody says. “You end up lugging everything around. Lights and cameras get to be very cumbersome.” According to latest figures available from the Australian Film Commission (AFC) only 11% of cinematographers are women, so it’s not surprising that the camera departments on most shoots are quite blokey. Nevertheless, being a female on the set has never been a problem for Moody. “It’s the attitude that you walk in [to the job] with? I think it’s important not to feel disadvantaged. Assert yourself, but also be willing to listen to other people’s ideas.”

Career In Cinematography (Cont’d)

On Location

Moody says working on film sets is a lot of fun although working through the night is common, particularly on low budget films where money for locations is scarce. “If your location is a business, for example, you have to film when they’re not open. You get the hours [to film] whenever you can. For The Drunken Bath we were filming all night for a couple of nights but it was good fun. Max (Maxine Williams, the film’s director) would go out and get us all ice cream and we’d be eating ice cream at 4am.”Networking

Like most aspects of the film industry, networking is everything. “It’s the biggest part, apart from talent,” Moody says. “I’ve worked on corporate productions, ads and short films. I got the work mainly through contacts or invitations. It’s all been by word of mouth.” Nevertheless, continuity of work is a common problem in the industry. “You get bombarded by opportunities all at once then it slacks off. It comes in waves. But at a high level you can jump from one job to the next, especially in advertising or documentaries.”

So how do you get ahead in the field? Networking is the key. Moody says her next step is to use her contacts to find an ‘attachment’, an industry professional who you “follow around like a sheep for a period of time on a shoot”. Caroline, who plans to travel to England this year, says her dream is to get an attachment with a British cinematographer. “Some of their work is beautiful,” she says.

How to get a foot in the door

A university degree in film and television is a great way to get started in a career behind the scenes but it is by no means the only way. Cinematographer Suzanne Barker entered the industry later in life after setting up a video production company with her husband in Townsville. “I worked on boats as a hostess and deckhand while my husband and I built the company up,” she says. “When we first got going we lived on our boat. We had wires and cables and cameras everywhere? That’s how we got our company name, Mainsail Productions, because we started out on the boat.”

Barker is self-taught and believes that getting ahead in the industry is a matter of self-confidence. “I just got out there and did it without any formal training, but since I’ve been in Brisbane I’ve done a few short courses at QPIX on lighting. I’ll go to anything like that to further my knowledge.”

My Business: Organic Farming

Busy mum Penny Brown, 35 is an organic farmer and lets us in on her life and work habits.

Tell us about the farm …

We farm seasonal organic vegetables and natural bush foods. Farming involves enriching the soil, sewing seeds and planting seedlings, weeding, protecting crops, dealing with farm pests and diseases, harvesting, and distributing or selling the produce.

We have a 25-acre farm located on the Shoalhaven river flats, east of Nowra. We employ 3 part time hands and work 3 days a week on the farm. The remainder of the week is spent in Sydney. I work approx 30 hours a week doing farm stuff.

I operate a stall at Paddington markets every Saturday. I also do the North Sydney Growers market every third Saturday of the month. The rest of my week is devoted to looking after my 3 daughters.

Where do you sell your produce?

We sell the produce from the farm mainly to the central coast market at Flemington and also to organic shops. We also sell to local restaurants in the area straight from the farm.

Is there a big market for organic produce?

The market for organic produce is constantly growing, it is a very exciting industry to be involved in.

Is it difficult to compete with big suppliers?

Competing with other big suppliers is not a problem, providing we maintain our quality. There is never enough organic produce available.

How did you get into this, and was it difficult to get started?

We got into this industry because we were looking for something to get us out of Sydney. We are in the interim stages of making sure that this is a viable business. Currently, we lease the farm. I’ve been a horticulturist for 15 years, with experience in nursery work, landscaping and bush regeneration.

It would be difficult to start an organic farm from scratch. It’s a lot of hard physical work. We took over the lease of our farm after it had been run as an organic farm for 10 years, so in some ways, a lot of the hard work had been done. Nevertheless, it’s never-ending, unrelenting work, and you really need to love it.

What is a typical day for you?

My children are the priority of my day – I have to meet all their needs before I can consider work. If I am at the farm their father or other family help out, and when I’m doing the markets their father has them. Days on the farm or at the markets start as early as 4:30am and often don’t finish till 7:30pm or later.

What’s the best part of your job?

The appreciation you receive from customers. They often say they have never eaten produce like it, they are totally blown away by the difference. At the market stall we sell produce that is picked the afternoon before, so it’s always wonderfully fresh.

What’s the worst part of your job?

When the exhaustion catches up on you, and then having to hold it all together because being a mum comes first.

What’s the average salary from small-scale farming?

There is no average salary. We have a comfortable life and really I’m not in this for the money, I do it because I love it.

For more information on where to buy Penny’s organic produce, call Earth Care Organics on 0413 627 587.

A look at Jobs in Non Profit Organization

Christmas and its lead up are the really busy times of the year for charity workers. One of the most important tasks is encouraging ?those who can? to dig deep and to share the Christmas spirit with less fortunate community members, not to mention making sure that Christmas goodies are distributed to those that need them the most. So what does it take to work in the not-for-profit sector and do you have the drive to succeed there?Firstly, let us take a quick tour of those not-for-profit organisations with a presence on the net. Even a cursory search reveals a cross-section of charities. They range from the Starlight Children?s Foundation whose glamorous fundraising events help to make wishes come true for terminally ill children, to Westnet, an online facility for community organisations that includes an intranet to serve the socially disadvantaged across Western Sydney and Central Western NSW.

So, who

are the people who work in these organisations? Most private industry employees cite the salary, fringe benefits and the prospect of being able to earn a bonus as reasons to go to work, but this is generally not the case in the not-for-profit sector. Jillianne Weekes, CEO of Starlight Children?s Foundation explains: “People are working in the not-for profit sector for reasons other than money. Certainly you are not working here if you want to make a fortune.” Her sentiments are echoed across not-for-profit organisations. Take for example, the salary structure of a social worker employed at Centacare, the welfare arm of the Catholic Church in Australia. According to Elisabeth Pattison, Acting Team Leader ? Foster Care, of Centacare Newcastle, their salary is directed linked to a standard Award developed in conjunction with their professional association.While the revenue generating abilities of most private sector employees can be rewarded by various incentive and bonus schemes it is unlikely that remuneration increases in the not-for-profit sector are directly linked to increases in funds raised or to superior work performance. Because many organisations in the not-for-profit sector depend to a large extent upon donations from the general public, it is essential that the money allocated to operating expenses (eg salary and wages, expenses, administration etc) be carefully managed. All the internal accounting processes must be absolutely transparent and capable of complying with the most detailed audit. For the employees, this means long lunches or overseas trips courtesy of the company expense account, are out of the question.

Given that the purse strings are so tightly controlled why is it so many talented people choose to work in the not-for-profit sector? A common theme among this employee group is that they genuinely believe in the cause or the group that they serve and are confident that they can make a real, positive difference in the lives of others. Be careful not to confuse these high ideals with an overly benign interpretation of the world ? the not-for-profit sector is founded upon the abilities of the staff to apply business principles, particularly when it comes to fund raising.

“Starlight Children?s Foundation has developed a range of strategic business objectives that relate not only to fundraising, but also to the quality and service aspects of our program,” says Jillianne Weekes. “Being the CEO of this organisation is pretty much like running a business, except that there are more facets. The perspectives of the families who are understandably experiencing severe stress, the employees and the volunteers must all be considered.”

Not surprisingly, this combination of practicality and altruism tends to attract a larger number of women than men to employment in the not-for-profit sector. There can be tangible benefits to employment in an industry that is dominated by women, including increased opportunities for flexible working hours, job-sharing and innovative approaches to work-based child-care. As Elisabeth Pattison notes: “Employers in the not-for profit sector tend to be very approachable in terms of flexible working hours and job-sharing. We have a couple of people working here in a job-sharing arrangement and our roles are very suitable for working women who have a family.”

At times, however, a lack of funds can also have the opposite effect. “While we do have one staff member working from home, as a charity we are under resourced and are probably less flexible than other organisations,” comments Jillianne Weekes.

The strategies used to gain employment in the not-for-profit sector differ from those used in the corporate world. Unless you are applying for a very senior position, it is most unlikely that a recruitment agency will be involved in the selection process. You are more likely to see your dream job advertised in the back section of the newspaper, in the organisation?s own publication or newsletter, or in an appropriate industry-publication. While many groups do have a web site, very few offer an online employment section. The not-for-profit sector ?grapevine? is alive and well so it may be worthwhile to undertake some volunteer work in the organisation of your choice if you are aiming for a paid job. You will, in most instances, be required to make a written application, including a covering letter, a copy of your CV, as well as details about how closely your skills, knowledge and attributes match the selection criteria for the role.

At times, the pay and the conditions may be frustrating and it certainly would not be the ideal job for everyone. However working in the not-for-profit sector offers employees the intrinsic rewards that many who are set on chasing a dollar tend to miss out on. Combined with the knowledge that you are being of genuine assistance to those in need provides all the reasons that many not-for-profit sector employees require to keep going.

Charities on the Internet

The InfoXchange

A Victorian based community information network that contains details about an estimated 30 000 community support agencies and services. The site contains an employment section, advertising some of the jobs available in Victorian not-for-profit organisations.


Online information about the community service sector in NSW, including a Positions Vacant page. A brief description of each job and the Employer contact details is presented on the employment noticeboard.

ACOSS Australian Council of Social Service

The peak council of Australia?s community welfare sector, ACOSS links approximately 11 000 Community organisations nationally. The site contains a wealth of information, including links to a variety of national and international community sector groups, research information, government and social policy sites.

Starlight Children?s Foundation Australia

Starlight supports seriously ill children via a range of programs, including wish granting, hospital-based entertainment and recreation rooms. Starlight Volunteers receive extensive training and details of how you can be involved are available at the web site.

How to Swap Job Successfully?

Don’t like your job? Here’s how to get into the industry you have always dreamed of.

All you need is:


to leave your current job


to thoroughly research your new industry

To Be Available

to take courses to retrain


to go out there and compete with others that may be younger or more experienced than yourself


to start again. You may have held a senior position in your former job, but be prepared to start from the bottom in your new career.

Where to start:

Talk to some one who is already in the industry you are interested in. Ask them what qualifications (if any) you may need, and about the best way to get a foot in the door

Contact tertiary institutions, tafes and evening colleges to see if there is a relevant course you can take. Even if it’s only a short evening course, you’ll at least be on your way to learning more about your new industry or profession.

For contacts in many industries, including sport politics and law, get your hands on a copy of the Directory of Australian Associations, published by Information Australia tel:

(03) 9654 2800 or

One of the countries biggest recruitment consultants Morgan & Banks have several sites which contain insider tips on interview techniques and how to write eye catching resumes. Check it out –

Career Swap – In profile

Jenny Evans , 51

Customer Service Manager at Q Stores, a multi million dollar government supply company

Jenny Evans has changed careers five times during her working life. From retail to advertising sales, music management and hospitality, she had experienced almost the full the gamut of industries and professions. At 44, the urge for change struck Jenny again, encouraging her to make the move which led to the senior position she holds today. Walking into a new industry with no prior experience meant that she had to start from the very bottom. “I worked my up from a junior position to the supervisor of the department. From there I became the department manager and member of the management team, as well as spokeswoman for the company, all in three years.” Jenny has held here current position for four years, but the journey to success was not always easy. Starting from the bottom meant that she had to learn many completely new skills and that she lost many of the privileges she was used to in her former job, including the power to make decisions. “It was easy to be humble in the beginning when I realised that I didn’t know what I was doing. But once I learnt more and became more competent it was difficult for me not to be able to make decisions and to have to take direction from others. I learnt a lot from this experience, though. Now I make a conscious effort to empower my staff to make decisions, even at junior level,” she says.

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