Careers and Change: If you don’t love it, leverage it.

6 May 2014

There are currently 11.5 million Australians in paid employment and according to studies late last year by Roy Morgan Research, just over three quarters of them are satisfied with their jobs.

Recently, CEO of Trevor-Roberts, Edwin Trevor-Roberts shared some insight into how to add to this growing number of employed Australians and keep that level of job satisfaction.

“Know what you’re good at, know what the market needs and know how to sell yourself into that market,” said Dr Trevor-Roberts.

The market needs, and indeed the market itself, are constantly changing and so too are the people entering any given field.

Dr Trevor-Roberts predicted that Australians would go through five career changes in their working life, only three of which would be voluntary.

“At some point, you’ll be retrenched from an organisation, not because you’re no good but because organisations change.”

And change is not a bad thing.

When people approach Dr Trevor-Roberts about transforming their careers after being retrenched, it is change that they must embrace.

“Most people pick themselves up, dust themselves off and go and find something even better.”

Flexibility, adaptability, the capacity to think laterally and a strong network of contacts is what will give you an edge in the current job market.

His advice to graduates was simply to keep learning.

“If you don’t learn something within the next 12 months, society will overtake you.”

Dr Trevor-Roberts suggests that there is a common misnomer about career planning, as realistically; there is no way to follow a ‘career plan’.

The first decision many of us make in our career path is as early as grade ten, when we are making decisions on what to study at university; this is a time when Dr Trevor-Roberts states ‘you don’t really know what’s happening’.

“When I ask people ‘did you think you were going to end up where you are today?’ almost everyone says ‘no’, and that’s because something happens along the way – and that something is life.”

There is an adage that states ‘If you don’t love it, leave it’ but Dr Trevor-Roberts disagrees.

In an example that may resonant with some of our alumni, Dr Trevor-Roberts told an anecdote about a friend who had spent most of her time in accounting; her degree and all of her experience was as an accountant but she wanted to go into the sporting discipline.

She overcame this by using her accounting skills within a sports club; doing the things she is good at in a context that she is passionate about.

As an amendment to the adage, Dr Trevor-Roberts suggests ‘If you don’t love it, leverage it’.

“It’s a myth that people think they will get all of their job satisfaction from one job,” said Dr Trevor-Roberts.

Change is not a bad thing, but hesitation is.

Dr Trevor-Roberts notes that it doesn’t matter what you want to be doing, the most important thing is that you just go out and do it.

“Start today; the most important thing to do is stop waiting.”