Posted on

A strong social network is essential!

 

 

 

 

 

Network support

 

 

Strong social networks make life easier and happier!

Often when you’re feeling overwhelmed by work, study, family commitments and life in general, you cut yourself off and hunker down, thinking that any social interactions take time away from what you should be getting on with. The truth is socialising is an invaluable tool for stress relief and is vital to your wellbeing.

 

Studies show people with strong social networks are generally happier with greater job performance and leadership skills.

When your schedule seems so tight, it feels impossible to spare half an hour to meet a friend for coffee, it’s probably even more important to take the time to reach out. 

Tips for creating a strong support network

  • Commit to at least one social engagement per week. It could be simply coffee with a friend or spending time with a special interest club.
  • Make use of technology. Face-to-face interactions are best but staying connected with your support network through emails, texts and social media, is a useful way of staying present in a relationship, especially if you are far away.
  • Follow your interests. Sign up for a class, join a club or volunteer your time. Even if you don’t make new friends instantly, connecting with like-minded people will inspire you.
  • Make use of our online study groups to connect and network with other students completing the same course as you.
  • Not everyone has one special friend they can confide in. Look at different relationships for different kinds of support. Perhaps you have a work colleague you can talk to about work problems or another school mum to chat to about your kids.
  • Don’t wait for others to reach out , it’s ok to ask for help, no matter how awkward it feels.
  • Be there for your family and friends even if just to say hello. If you are there for others, they’ll be more likely to be there for you.
  • If you’re suddenly faced with a particularly stressful situation, for example a chronically ill family member, seek out support groups. You’ll find relief in talking to and sharing with people going through similar circumstances as you.
  • If you lack a strong support network, there are many organisations you can turn to. Community centres, Citizen Advice Bureau, and refugee and immigrant groups may be able to help you identify and connect with specific support groups. The Australian Government website has some useful information for immigrants or simply google specific support groups.

Tips for creating a strong support network

  • Commit to at least one social engagement per week. It could be simply coffee with a friend or spending time with a special interest club.
  • Make use of technology. Face-to-face interactions are best but staying connected with your support network through emails, texts and social media, is a useful way of staying present in a relationship, especially if you are far away.
  • Follow your interests. Sign up for a class, join a club or volunteer your time. Even if you don’t make new friends instantly, connecting with like-minded people will inspire you.
  • Make use of our online study groups to connect and network with other students completing the same course as you.
  • Not everyone has one special friend they can confide in. Look at different relationships for different kinds of support. Perhaps you have a work colleague you can talk to about work problems or another school mum to chat to about your kids.
  • Don’t wait for others to reach out , it’s ok to ask for help, no matter how awkward it feels.
  • Be there for your family and friends even if just to say hello. If you are there for others, they’ll be more likely to be there for you.
  • If you’re suddenly faced with a particularly stressful situation, for example a chronically ill family member, seek out support groups. You’ll find relief in talking to and sharing with people going through similar circumstances as you.
  • If you lack a strong support network, there are many organisations you can turn to. Community centres, Citizen Advice Bureau, and refugee and immigrant groups may be able to help you identify and connect with specific support groups. The Australian Government website has some useful information for immigrants or simply google specific support groups.
Posted on

Reduce stress with meditation

 

 

 

 

Meditation is food for the soul

 

 

Manage stress and improve your concentration by practicing mindfulness.

Feeling overwhelmed, anxious or tired? Meditation can bring an instant calming perspective to your life in as little as two minutes. The benefits are numerous; it can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, sharpen concentration and improve circulation.

The most basic meditation practice is mindfulness and it’s easy to learn. However, one size does not fit all and the key is finding the right fit for you. There are guided meditations online, useful meditation apps, and even brain-sensing headbands to help you stay focussed.

Get started with these simple mindfulness techniques

The 100 breaths technique: The easiest way to begin is by focusing on breathing, the cornerstone of all meditation. Take a long deep breath and feel your breath move from your lungs and out of your nostrils or mouth. Count your breaths. Try not to think about anything else but if your mind does start wandering, simply bring it back to your breaths. Brains are thought factories and it takes some practice to focus your attention.

Do a body scan: Take notice of how each body part feels, starting with your toes and working up to your head. Tense and relax each muscle as you go. If your mind races off, come back to your toes and start again.

Be an observer of yourself: When you’re feeling particularly volatile, imagine you’re watching yourself on a movie screen. Stepping out of the situation for a moment before reacting to it will give you an instant, calming perspective.

Chores with purpose: Focus on your senses when doing mundane tasks like washing the dishes. Feel the warmth of the water, listen to the sounds of the soapy bubbles popping, take in the fragrance of your detergent.

Mindful walking: This is a great tool if you are always on the go or if you are new to meditation and find yourself especially restless when you try to sit still. Simply walk at a slow or medium pace, focusing on your feet – pay attention to when your toe touches the ground, when your foot is flat on the ground, when your toe points back upward. Observe sensory details. If you mind wanders – and it will – bring it back to your feet.

Posted on

The evidence is in the piece of paper!

Two women shaking hands in an office

 

The evidence is in the piece of paper!

Applying for a job requires a special set of skills. 

It is easy to forget how challenging it is to be a job seeker if you’re fortunate enough to have been in steady and consistent employment for a number of years. It is only when you find yourself looking for work or wanting a change that you realise how applying for a job is a skill in itself.

A common requirement when you are applying for a job or promotion is that you provide evidence of required skills. This can be difficult to articulate in a resume or cover letter, but can be easily remedied if you have undertaken study to extend and update your skills.

Most companies have a professional development budget and while it is important for any business to invest in its workforce, it is equally important for individuals to invest in themselves.

Up skill for success

For job seekers who may have limited experience or have a lot of experience, but not the most current skills, undertaking a course not only illustrates self motivation, but also provides that all important evidence that is asked for in a job advertisement.

There is no doubt that employers value experience, but actual knowledge, skills and the ability to apply what you have learned in the workplace is equally valuable.

If you are looking for a job in a particular industry, or you are working toward the next step in your career, it is worth looking at job ads for similar roles. Tick off the strengths you already have, and once you have an overview of the gaps in your “evidence”, you can choose the course that you need to achieve your goal and win that job or promotion you have been dreaming about!

Get a FREE CV review!

Send us your CV and receive valuable feedback including:

  • A professional opinion of the appearance and overall CV layout
  • Details of any spelling errors or grammatical inconsistencies
  • Appropriate content and terminology
  • Career guidance to help you achieve your goals

SEND YOUR CV

Posted on

Manage stress the healthy way

Man walking on pathway

 



Manage stress the
healthy way

The fundamentals of stress management involve keeping a positive attitude, changing the situation when you can and changing your reaction when you can’t.

While you can’t stop your bills from coming or make more hours in the day, you can learn to manage stress by taking charge of your lifestyle, thoughts and emotions.

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, use these tips to help you cope in a healthier way:

Learn relaxation techniques Try yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or tai chi.

Eat healthy Have regular meals with lots of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein. Avoid too much sugar, alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety.

Get enough sleep It’s easier to cope if you’re well rested.

Exercise regularly You’ll relieve stress and feel better.

Take time out Make time for your interests and hobbies and remember, laughter is the best medicine!

Manage your time wisely Make sure to delegate where you can, prioritise your tasks and avoid procrastination.

Accept help Talk things through with your friends and family and let them know how they could help.

Do your best Perfection isn’t possible, so be proud of giving it your best.

Know when to get help 

It is important to accept that you can’t control everything, and please, make sure to see your doctor if your stress is severe, or starts to affect your daily life.

Posted on

Staying motivated while studying

The Career Academy Stay Motivated

 


Staying motivated while studying 

Whatever the project, seeing something through to the end becomes more difficult once your initial motivation dies down.

When it comes to study, we find there are two common reasons our students find it challenging to finish their course:

  • They’ve skipped a week or two, and can’t seem to get back into it
  • They’re struggling with something in their course, and are feeling discouraged

If this sounds like you, don’t worry; we have a few strategies to help you along!

Just start – Everyone struggles with procrastination – some of us more than others! This is often because we feel stressed when we think about the task at hand. However, you’ll find once you start, it’s never as hard as you thought it would be.

Say no to distractions – Schedule chunks of time in your week for study. Blocking this time out in advance is key to ensuring you keep progressing with your studies. Stay away from your emails and social media during study time.Set mini goals and rewards – Large or long-term goals can be overwhelming. Break up each module into specific and achievable goals, each with a small reward. Each success will trigger your brain’s reward centre, releasing the feel-good chemical, dopamine. This will help to focus your concentration and to feel inspired to take on another task.

Stay accountable – Talk about your study to your friends, family and colleagues. This will help create not only a supportive environment, but also a level of accountability to help you push forward.

Contact your tutor

Don’t get discouraged if you’re finding something difficult or need some clarification, our tutors are experts and they’re here to help! It’s as easy as sending an email or picking up the phone.

Posted on

Set up your study space

Home office with desk laptop and stationery

 


Your study space

Follow our tips to set up your study space.

Location, location, location!

Are you able to study at work, or are you planning to study from home? Whether it’s your home office or the kitchen bench, a quiet area to study will help you stay on task and work through the course material at a consistent pace.

Get organised

Organise your study space and have any books, equipment and stationery you need close to hand. This will help you stay on task and stop you getting sidetracked!

Coping with distractions

While it’s not always possible to have a silent space to work in, having a chat with your flatmates or children about your needs will mean they are less likely to interrupt you. If your kids are at home, set them up with an activity, a snack and their water bottle – this should give you some extra time!

Posted on

Try brain boosting healthy snacks!

Healthy snacks strawberries blueberries and nuts

 

Brain boosters!

Temporarily boosting your energy levels with convenient but unhealthy snacks will only exhaust you further. 

Many of us can’t help but reach for quick, easy and unhealthy snack options when we are studying – because who has the time! But making sure you have a range of brain boosting snacks is a must, so here are some healthy food options to help your learning.

Pre Study Breakfast

Eggs on toast. Whether they’re scrambled, boiled or poached, eggs are an amazing brain food. Serve them with wholegrain toast for a solid high-fibre breakfast. If eggs aren’t your thing, swap them for some peanut butter. It contains healthy fats and lots of protein, and it tastes amazing!

Liquid gold

Water, water, water! Staying hydrated is the key to maintaining your concentration. Resist the urge to swap your water for an unhealthy sugar loaded alternative!

Snacks

It’s a no brainer that fruits and vegetables are an excellent healthy alterme top snacking fruits are apples, bananas, avocadoes and berries. They contain fructose and healthy sugars for a natural energy boost. For a treat, have a mix of nuts, seeds and even a bit of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate may not be to everyone’s taste, but it has been found to increase the flow of blood to the brain and even lower blood pressure!

Posted on

I’ve finished my study, now what?

Professionals sitting waiting for job interview

 



I’ve finished my study, now what?



So you’ve wrapped up your online course, and now its time to put your best foot forward and step into the working world!

Stand-out CV

Keep it short and sweet! Stick to the essentials – is it relevant to the job you’re applying for?

Highlight your experience in roles of responsibility or teamwork.

Volunteer

Consider doing volunteer work. It can give you useful experience and potential employers are always impressed with candidates who go the extra mile to boost their own skills and experience.

Networking 

Ask friends and family if they know anyone in the industry you want to work in.

Be genuine and friendly. Don’t fear networking opportunities – everyone is in the same boat!

Ask questions. Engage others in discussions and query their interests.

Sell yourself. Speak clearly and confidently about your skills!

You got an interview!

  • Know where the interview is, how you will get there, how long it will take and where car parking is available.
  • Research the organisation, its public profile, products and services.
  • Anticipate likely questions from the interviewer and prepare answers.

You got an interview!

  • Know where the interview is, how you will get there, how long it will take and where car parking is available.
  • Research the organisation, its public profile, products and services.
  • Anticipate likely questions from the interviewer and prepare answers.
Posted on

What does Facebook say about you?

Group of women taking a selfie

 

 


Is your Facebook profile employer ready?

Facebook has become a professional tool employers use to vet potential employees. Make sure what they see isn’t harming your chances of getting a new job.

Are you an obsessive selfie taker? Are your weekend antics splashed across your timeline? Do you have a tendency to share questionable material?

Perhaps it’s time to review how you use Facebook and consider how it’s affecting your career prospects.

Get Employer ready & Social media savy

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for your Facebook page:

  • Remove any photos, content and links that can work against you.
  • Keep your issues offline! Focus your content on positives and make sure to highlight your achievements or interests.
  • Create your own professional groups to network and establish relationships.
  • Remember others can see your friends, so be selective about whom you accept. Make sure to monitor comments made by others and posted on your timeline.
  • Don’t mention your job search if you’re still employed. It’s unprofessional!

Privacy settings

Remember, along with fine-tuning your CV, ironing your best shirt, and researching the companies you’re interviewing with, it may be time to pay a visit to your Facebook privacy settings and review what you’re revealing to the world.

Posted on

Know your email etiquette

 



Know your email etiquette



Think twice before hitting that send button! Does your email follow these professional guidelines?

Are you using an appropriate email address? Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your email address from “funkychick@hotmail” to something that reflects your professional self.

Make sure the subject line clearly states the purpose of your email. This could mean the difference between the recipient choosing to open or dismiss your email.

Write clearly. Use bullet points to make your points concise and don’t use ’text speak’.

Proofread! Read your email out loud before sending and don’t rely on spell check to pick up mistakes.

Think before you reply

Be careful when selecting reply and ensure you send your email to the right person. No one wants to read an email that has nothing to do with them because someone accidently clicked ‘reply all’.