Making the Move from Government to Commercial

Linda ParkerHave you recently taken a redundancy from the State Government and considering the move into a commercial organisation?

You are not alone.

In the current market more and more candidates are attempting the transition from the public sector to the private sector.

Unfortunately there is a ‘public servant’ myth, which can hinder your ability to even get an interview. So how do you convince the hiring manager of a successful blue chip organisation that you have what it takes to work in a fast paced environment?

Tips to bear in mind when presenting your application to a commercial organisation, or through a recruitment agency, is to highlight the ‘commercial’ aspects of your previous roles and have a clear plan in mind.

Do your research!! Going into an interview without any prior knowledge of the company and its operations or strategic vision is a sure fire way to not get the job!

In recent years, Government organisations have been recruiting candidates with commercial experience in order to change the culture and drive greater efficiencies and performance. This argument can be used to flip the public servant perception on its head.

Private sector employers who fail to recruit the most talented employees, and prejudice themselves against people with different career backgrounds are unintentionally exposing their own management weaknesses. Their inability to recognise that public sector workers have an enormous amount to offer suggests a lack of foresight on their part and can potentially make them appear narrow minded.

There are so many strengths that you can bring to a role in the private sector including your ability to manage change and varying levels of bureaucracy, not to mention multi-million dollar budgets!

Take the time to think about what you can offer, and sell it!

If you’re currently preparing your CV, or would just like to enhance your current one, this article from Business Insider offers some great advice on what to avoid putting in your resume.

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Outplacement Services – A Good Investment or Money Wasted?

Recently I have been providing outplacement services to Queensland Government executives as part of the Queensland Government employee assistance program. For many years government jobs were considered untouchable, but government is no longer immune to the constricting economy, and they too have to make efficiencies while at the same time maintaining the services the community expects.

By the time many of us get to Executive level positions in government, we feel that we are institutionalised and are too proud to think that outplacement services will be of any benefit.

Well, let me be the first to tell you, those of us who have been employed in government for long periods of time (me included), have lost our mojo in terms of what the private sector market is looking for in a prospective employee.

My experience working with executives as part of the outplacement services has highlighted the barriers that they face, not only in terms of the outdated tools used to promote themselves in the employment market, their lack of personal self worth, but also their limited knowledge of the market.

You would be well advised to seek independent advice and support to help you transition into this market. As you could very well spend a lot of time barking up the wrong tree, especially if you use the resume you have always used in government. You could waste a lot of time and energy being upset with not getting that call, when you know you have all the right skills and experience. Not only will you get upset but it is also a blow to your already fragile self-esteem.

Outplacement services can assist you to to build your confidence and ability to sell yourself to prospective employers.

So take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but ask yourself the question – Are you and your career are worth the expense? It is these very services that will help you prepare yourself for the market and find those opportunities.

LinkedIn – what is this?  It’s a business tool to promote your qualifications, skills and experience. Many employers no longer advertise in the traditional newspaper or even on Seek. They are using LinkedIn – Recruiters are looking for candidates through this medium too. So get on board, or you may be missing valuable opportunities.  In this job market, opportunities are not to be missed.

Preparation is key.  Evaluate your options, identify your best opportunities, create an outstanding resume, use social media and learn to interview effectively.  This takes time, planning, commitment and effort on your part.

We are here to help you navigate your way through this new world of opportunity. Contact us to discuss career transition, psychological testing, career coaching, creating a red hot resume, using social media to find employment opportunities and tips for preparing for that dreaded interview.

The Australian Dollar Butterfly Effect

Australia is currently experiencing a sort of monetary renaissance period, as the AUD sits atop the US dollar (despite a slight drop following the US Presidential Election). However, weak commodity prices that come in response to this high dollar are doing particular industries no favours when it comes to employment.

Large mining companies are hiring sluggishly as the high exchange rate and weak commodity prices take their toll, restricting cash flows and the progress of new projects. As these companies slow their existing projects and halt new ones, the need for staff will drop off. However LNG (liquefied natural gas) has not been adversely affected, with a multi-billion dollar CSG to LNG export project developed by Australian Pacific LNG (a joint venture between Origin, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec) scheduled to go ahead and continue through until early 2015. So overall, organisations that encompass a wider range of resources will still be hiring in certain areas.

These adverse affects are also being felt in Education, as foreign students are less inclined to study abroad in Australia as our dollar climbs higher in the Foreign Exchange. Without the up-front fees of these students, large educational institutions are experiencing budget constraints, resulting in an influx of redundancies and hiring freezes.

It may sometimes seem difficult to predict when and where job cuts will happen and when you may need to commence a search to keep yourself in work, but in these turbulent economic times, if you keep an eye on the ripple effects caused by change and to keep abreast of things as they happen, you’ll be able to see cause and effect in the job market and stay ahead.

Redundancy – The Worst Thing Ever or The Opportunity of a Life Time

Recently we have been subject to the headlines of significant job reductions being the focus of Queensland Government. More and more people are finding themselves faced with uncertainty and possibilities of redundancy.

Tempting as the money is, and your dream to go on a long vacation, away from the trials and tribulations of the work environment, reality is, the money only lasts for so long.  The commitment to a mortgage, school fees and ongoing costs means that most of us must continue to work.

So how do you make that transition from working in government or working in an organization that you have known forever to the world of the great unknown?

As frightening as this may be, a career transition can sometimes be a blessing in disguise and an opportunity to make positive change to your career. It all depends on how you approach it. Of course you can fight and resist change, and most of us do this for a period of time.  But how about working through this resistance and then allowing yourself to explore the open door ahead of you.

Take advantage of this moment in your life and honestly ask yourself, do I love what I do?  Whether you answer yes or no, it doesn’t matter as you have just been given a huge opportunity to make what might be the biggest change in your life. It is important to remember the skills you have gained within your career can be used anywhere, and that there are opportunities for the future.

It isn’t so much about the job but more about leaving what feels comfortable and what you know.  Taking you out of your comfort zone. It is exploring the unknown, which can make us hesitate when making a decision.

Why not take advantage of coaching and support outplacement services. Yes there may be a cost, but aren’t you worth it. It is these very services that will help you see this moment as an opportunity to review your career and take on new challenges. Lets face it, most of us would have been reluctant to embark upon this journey, while employed under the safety net of permanent employment.

Preparation is the key.  Evaluate your options, identify your best opportunities, create an outstanding resume, use social media and learn to interview effectively.  This takes time, planning, commitment and effort on your part. You cannot expect that this transition will occur without speed bumps on the way.

We are here to help you navigate your way through this new world of opportunity, contact us to discuss career transition psychological testing, career coaching, creating a red hot resume, using social media to find employment opportunities and tips for preparing for that dreaded interview.