I heard a shocking stat this week that has been on my mind. Did you know at the end of March the number of people receiving jobseeker type income support in South Australia was 78,000? That is a lot of families and people affected. But what has really impacted me was at the end of May 2020 this number had grown to over 126,000. That is over 70% increase in 3 months!
We know that this is because of COVID19 and the Prime Minister’s announcement that the JobKeeper subsidy will end in September will have further impact with the number of unemployed people increasing again. It has been described as the second cliff. I can understand why the government can’t continue with this level of financial support but still it has me worried about the sheer number of people who will be affected.
As an organisation that believes “everyone deserves a working future” it does feel like we have to do something to help people to transition to a new career and/or job.
Career guidance is an effective strategy that we can use at this time and make it available to people who may not normally receive this kind of support. A meta-analysis of research to the effectiveness of career development services by ACCELL* has shown that people who are given individual career development support are 2.67 times more likely to secure a job. ACCELL’s analysis is a summary of 47 independent research summaries which included 9575 individual participants, so it is valid.
ACCELL also found that “encouraging proactivity” increases successful employment by 5.88 times. Given that the labour market will be highly competitive, I believe proactivity will be a critical factor for jobseekers. Why you may ask. According to Wikipedia (all truthful source), proactivity describes a person who is taking responsibility for his or her life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people.
As the labour market changes and adapts post COVID19, it is essential that jobseekers have the skills and confidence to shift with it. This will include being able to translate transferable skills to a range of industries and be able to tell an employer how they align. If you are feeling unconfident and stressed about money, this is not an easy task.
At Employment Options we are revising our career development support to meet this demand. Over the next few weeks we will offer individual career counselling and group workshops at very affordable rates.
Our career practitioners are experts in job search interventions that target behaviour like proactivity that result in getting a job. Please get in touch if this sounds like the help you need.
* Australian Collaboratory for Career Employment & Learning for Living
At first, I thought it would be over quickly and we would all get back to normal. As time goes on though it feels hard – hard to keep trying and turn up every day. I have had a few moments when I have felt I let myself down by not being the best version of myself. The negative thoughts flowed freely!
I am generally a optimistic and positive person except for when I am worried. It is at these times I can be judgmental, critical, controlling, indecisive and most definitely not the best version of myself. All the things I dislike in others.
Luckily for those close to me at work I had a week’s annual leave planned. Last Friday it seemed an inconvenience although I knew deep down that I desperately needed a break. For me, this week of self-isolation has been a blessing even though it is only day 4.
I decided – yes made a conscious decision – that I wanted to do something creative to learn new skills and find joy in being me.
My first project was to cook something new every day that I wanted to eat without having to cater for my family tastes. Completely selfish! So far, I have made fish and chips with no other vegetables on the plate, banana pancakes to remind me of Bali, mushroom soup just because I love mushrooms and today, I am planning a cake to use up the plums we have grown.
My second project was to make my mum a crochet rug. She lives alone and is self-isolating due to her age and heightened COVID19 risk. She has been unable to do the things she normally does to fill her days. She isn’t close by so we can only catch up remotely. She told me recently that she rings a friend every day to see how they are. My mum has always cared for others and its her way of pro-actively doing that. Why a rug? It’s to put over her knees and give her comfort – perhaps caring for others is a genetic trait we share.
This brings me to the RIBBIT, RIBBIT, RIBBIT. My rug isn’t perfect, the sides are crooked, it’s not big enough, the stitches aren’t even and I have run out of wool. I sent a photo to my friend and colleague Jo and explained that whilst I was enjoying the process, I was wondering if I should give up. Jo is a maker at heart and gave me this wonderful advice. “Just frog what you have done to make it wider. This is your practice swatch….. I make and frog lots! It sounds like RIBBIT, RIBBIT, RIBBIT”.
How often do we forget when we haven’t done something before that it won’t be perfect? Projects like a rug are easy to stop and put aside but there are other things in our lives that we stop when we shouldn’t because it gets hard. Employment Options believes everyone deserves a working future and we often tell young people who are trying to get a job to “persevere by keeping on trying and don’t worry about being perfect”. As adults though I think we sometimes forget to follow this advice.
Like me not being by best self as I deal with COVID19 and the impact on our organisation. I just need to RIBBIT, RIBBIT RIBBIT – in other words – keep on trying. Dealing with COVID19 is a new skill we are all acquiring.
Which leads me to my third project. Write a blog! I have been wanting to do this for ages as I like writing although in my day to day I only ever write for business. Its unemotional writing. Thinking about writing for pleasure has seemed like just another chore. Having finally written my first blog, it’s been pleasurable. Like my rug, my blog isn’t perfect, but I have done it. RIBBIT, RIBBIT, RIBBIT.
Its day four of my break and I can feel the tension easing and my creativity kicking in. I’m even feeling excited about a tender that I have been putting off for weeks. I’ve learnt that being creative is good for my spirit and that I don’t have to execute everything perfectly. It feels good!
And now I am wondering about sharing my blog as it is too long, overly personal and not perfect. Who wants to read about my experience, but I am going to be brave and share it! Maybe it will inspire others to be try something new and just RIBBIT, RIBBIT and keep on RIBBITING!