At some point in everyone’s career, you will be faced with the feeling of being overlooked or undervalued as you butt your head up against a glass ceiling. Nowadays, even the stats can seem against you. It’s no secret that employees in today’s workforce are unlikely to have the same job, or even career, for their entire working life. The average Australian worker aged under 25 will spend an average of just 20 months in any single job. Across all age groups, the average tenure these days is just three years and four months. A student leaving school today is likely to have 17 different employers and five different careers.
In today’s moveable workforce climate, how do you know if you have stayed in one place too long?
Adaptability is key to survival
What if you’ve invested your blood, sweat, and tears for years and you’ve become the obvious choice for a promotion, but nothing’s happening? What if your loyalty is ignored each time you ask for a better job with more responsibility? Or it could be that you have outgrown the business you have invested your career in until now. If any of those sound familiar, then maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.
The problem is, leaving a job without another to go to can be foolish and scary. Instead, find a new way to leverage your career prospects and get that promotion you were hoping for in the first place.
Think of this time as an opportunity, and look for a strategic way to switch ladders to a longer one that has better opportunities. That way, you have not started at the bottom again with a daunting climb ahead of you.
A great start would be to update your skills outside of the workplace, in your own time, and at your own pace. Undertaking a relevant diploma could be the difference between falling short in job interviews, and getting that career break you deserve. More and more employers consider a diploma as a pre-requisite for promotion. That’s where the College for Adult Learning can make a real difference.
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When is it time to take control?
Feeling unrecognised and unrewarded in a job is quite disheartening, if not devastating. Suddenly, you realise that the job you’ve chosen isn’t all you thought it would be. Generally, three to five years without promotion is about the time to start looking around. By then, you’ve proven you’re up to the task, but haven’t yet suffered job ‘stagnation’, and the possible negative fallout from that.
So, what about using the skills you’ve acquired for your own benefit? Mid to upper-level managers who move on after being overlooked for promotion often become consultants. On average, Australian consultants earn almost $88,000 a year or more.
The beauty of consulting is how quickly you learn on the job. You can capitalise on skills you’ve already learnt and deploy them in a new and rewarding way. Consulting projects can last from an hour to a month, and you have the stimulation of working with different teams, in different locations, while often collaborating with other stakeholders.
Once you’ve decided to set yourself up for a job change or consulting career 12 or 18 months from now, then planning to complete a diploma online and at your own pace might be one of your first moves.
Which diploma is best for consulting skills?
The average diploma graduate salary is $2,000 per annum higher than the average university graduate’s ($56,000 compared to $54,000). Online courses are usually much shorter at 12 -24 months compared to 3 years, less expensive, and easily completed without leaving home.
So, it’s not surprising that many consider a university degree as geared towards learning, while a diploma is aimed primarily at earning.What this means, is that a degree often only contains the theoretical knowledge and learning whereas a diploma not only includes the theoretical, but the practical ‘how-to’ knowledge that is immediately applicable within a job role. However, there’s such an array of diplomas available that it can be tricky to decide which one is best for you.
Let’s start by using the premise that you’re looking to ‘move on’ from an employer where promotion is off the table. No matter what career you have, or want, a business-related diploma is going to help get you where you want to go.
That ‘formal’ qualification, coupled with your on-the-job experience, is what sets you apart in a crowded field of candidates. These days it’s quite common for companies to consider an array of candidates, even for consultancy services.If you have gone to the trouble of earning a diploma while the other candidates are relying solely on their work experience, then you’ll be a standout candidate. Before you know it, your career will be back on track.
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The right way to climb higher
So you’ve decided to ‘move on’ to get ahead. That’s not to say you should leave behind the work relationships and contacts you’ve already made. In fact, they’ll be vital resources no matter whether you undertake another full-time job, or decide to take the path to consultancy.
Maintaining relationships with former co-workers gives you a foundation of talent options to ‘tap’ for advice in future. Those same people can be a good resource to specialise on specific aspects of future projects you undertake, particularly as a consultant.
Five of the most common consultancy specialties relate to business strategy, business operations, financial advice, human resources, and risk and compliance. They are also among the highest paid, and not a single practitioner in any of these disciplines would be likely to get their ‘foot in the door’ without a business or leadership management qualification. The competition is too fierce. Companies are willing to pay top dollar for the best consultants to help their business, but only if they’re getting the best of the best.
If you’ve spent years in a workplace, honing your skills, knowledge and contacts in any of these fields or more, getting the right qualifications in addition to your experience will help you ‘launch and fly’ beyond your current glass ceiling.
Studying for a Diploma of Business (Leadership) (BSB50120) or Diploma of Leadership Management (BSB50420) through the College for Adult Learning puts you back in control of the climb while you gain your confidence and credibility. A Diploma in your chosen field of specialty might also be the right path to take. CAL can help here also, with management diplomas offered in the fields of Logistics/Supply Chain Management, Building & Construction Management, Project Management, Human Resources, and Practice Management.