Monday, June 29, 2009

Latest issue of CareerMums newsletter

Read about:
- Dr Mataji Kennedy who transformed her career from senior HR roles to helping women cope with motherhood;
- Completing a skills audit if you are considering a new profession or have been out of the game for a while.
- 111 organisations ranging in size and spanning across all industries who have won the EOWA tag of Employer of Choice for Women

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is flexiblity becoming more mainstream?

In the workplace, employers are in 1 of 2 camps when it comes to flexibility – they are talking about or doing it. Employers will need to adapt to more flexible working conditions with the introduction of the National Employment Standards in January 2010 which includes giving parents of children 5 and under the ability to request flexible working arrangements. If employers don’t already have policies on flexible working arrangements and parental leave, it will become imperative in the next 6 months.

Parents need to become more familiar with their employer’s HR policies. It is interesting that young women these days are asking prospective employers about the opportunities to work flexibly and where they stand on parental leave, yet women who are parents now do not consider asking these questions. Our view is stick to the facts and build a business case to work flexibly.

End of financial year checklist

A great find - an end of financial year checklist. Regardless of whether you are working or not, there is something for you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The biggest barriers to returning to work and how we can overcome it

Two critical barriers women face when returning to work include cost of child care and lack of flexible jobs. The cost of child care is an ongoing problem. The Government now offers a 50% childcare rebate which is not means tested so it is certainly a step in the right direction. However, it does not fix the long term problem that over 70% of childcare centres are privately owned. This means that Government has no control over price increases so eventually the 50% childcare rebate will be ineffectual because the yearly increase in childcare fees far outweighs the yearly inflation rate. I think the Government had a wonderful opportunity to purchase the ABC Childcare Centres but it was not to be.

The inability to find flexible jobs continues to be a major barrier but I think that parents will see a huge change in the next couple of years. Many sectors are being challenged by the skills shortage and this will bring about change. In the meantime, parents need to understand their worth and negotiate flexibility. Many employers still don’t understand the concept of flexibility so if a skilled, experienced, mature and loyal candidate puts forward a sound business case, why wouldn’t they consider it?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

View our latest candidate newsletter

View tips on negotating flexibility, money & finance, and more -

Why parents on parental leave from work have a better chance of being able to work from home

Working from home is something most of us would love to do. Being able to work part time and structure work around your family is so appealing.

Current skills shortages combined with globalisation and technological advances are changing the mindsets of organisations about working flexibly. Flexible work options such as part time work, job sharing, flexi-hours, telecommuting and working from home are becoming more prevalent in organisations.

If you are currently on maternity leave, you have a better chance of being able to work from home for part of your working week. Why? Because your manager knows you and understands the type of worker you are. Many organisations have not worked out how to measure people’s performance outside of the office walls so trust and familiarity play a significant role.

If you are not currently employed, you need to be creative in your approach. Consider securing a part time role and demonstrate your abilities before requesting the opportunity to work from home. Or you could identify your key skills and market yourself as a consultant with a home office. Often, the best leads for employment come from close to you so communicate your intentions to your friends, family, work colleagues, and local businesses. Design a flyer and hand it out.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Top 10 Tips for Business Success was launched in December 2006. CareerMums is still very much a young business so my top 10 tips for business success are more about important lessons I have learned so far.

1.Funding – Quite simply, you have to work out how you will fund your business idea. Do you have enough capital or do you need to borrow from the bank? Ideally, you will need to support yourself for up to 12 months while the business gets off the ground.

2.Research – Take time to research everything about the market you want to tap in to. The more you know, the more sound your business model will be.

3.Mentors – Identify a few successful small business owners you would like to learn from and see if they are prepared to give up 1-2 hours per fortnight to talk to you about your business and share their experiences.

4.Identifying skills shortfalls – What skills does your business idea require? Do a stock take on what you can and can’t do and start looking around for people who can fill in the gaps. For example, do you have a friend who is a lawyer? You made need legal advice.

5.Listen and learn – Stop talking and start listening to successful entrepreneurs. Moving from paid work to running your own business is a huge mind shift.

6.Cheap marketing options – Learn how to market your business on the cheap. Consider newsletters, press releases, networking and submitting articles. Depending on the market for your product or service, there will be free opportunities to take advantage of.

7.Passion – No need to must love what you do.

8.Network – Create a network of people who you can leverage from. Running your own business can be lonely so it is important to create a network of colleagues that you can tap into for advice, joint marketing opportunities and leads.

9.Documentation – Something I am yet to master! Make sure you document your processes and procedures early on. This is important for many reasons: you may take on staff, you may sell your business, or you may need this information to take out another bank loan to expand your business.

10. Feedback – ALWAYS listen to your customers. Surveys and feedback options on a website are great tools to gauge feedback and information that will help to improve your business.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CareerMums survey results

On a regular basis, CareerMums taps into the opinions of our users to understand topical issues such as workplace flexibility, parental leave, child care, and Federal Government policies for working parents.

One interesting statistic generated was that over 75% of respondents did not know about the Government’s new National Employment Standards (to be introduced in Jan 2010) which include the option for parents caring for children under school age to request flexible work arrangements.

View the results of the survey:

Friday, June 12, 2009

The CareerMums Challenge

CareerMums challenges you to create for yourself a flexible career. If you don't ask, you will never know. But before you ask, be prepared:

- Self confidence is critical;
- Know your rights and obligations;
- Be clear about your flexibility requirements and salary;
- Know your skills; and
- Don't give in if at first you don't succeed. Learn from it.

Take the emotion out of it and treat it like a business transaction. Think of it like this...... you are offering your skills, experience, expertise, loyalty and maturity in exchange for flexibility. It sounds like a good deal to me.

If you succeed, let us know and we will profile you!

View our gameplan:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Have you heard of crowdsourcing?

If you are starting your own business, tender your work to an online community. If you need to design a logo, website, source images, or have other graphic design needs, you can now send a brief and budget to the worldwide web. These services are great if you have minimal funds to spend. Some of these websites include 99Designs, ScriptLance, or iStockPhoto.

Tech trends for 2009

Keep up to date with the latest in technology trends - impress your friends, your work colleagues, and your kids. Learn about twitter, iPhones, crowdsourcing and the top 10 must-have gadgets for 2009.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

RecruitTECH: Recruitment and Technology Conference

I will speaking at RecruitTECH on September 18 in Canberra. The RecruitTECH conference will provide delegates with an insight into the future of recruitment and how technology will increasingly impact upon the sourcing of employees in coming years.

Themes to be covered during the conference include: the use of social media (eg. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), user-generated content, the distributed workforce, the evolution of recruitment advertising, the use of employer-branded career sites, and the trend towards Software as a Service (SaaS). Further information about the content of the conference is available in the conference program.

For more information, visit