When a break from work can help you find your vocation

January 16, 2014

~ by Rachel Burke, National Training Manager

Re-entering the workforce after having a child or even after just having some time off can be an extremely daunting prospect.

Time off can also prompt a career change - but where to start?

The workforce changes as quickly as your circumstances and suddenly that gap on your resume is the first thing employers ask you about in an interview.

University can be an option, but degrees can take 3-4 years and often require full time attendance on campus.

The option of vocational education can offer much more, especially for those who find themselves needing to up skill in order to re-enter the workforce or those simply wishing to expand their options when looking for work.

A good place to start can be to find a few of your ideal jobs and start looking at the skills that are listed in the relevant advertisements.

Do not just limit yourself to the ‘must haves’ but include the ones listed under the heading ‘desirable candidates will have’, then compare them to the skills currently listed on your resume.

This type of gap analysis can be invaluable when working out what to do next when it comes to study.

One of the best things about vocational qualifications is that they are not just theoretical. You will not just be sitting in a classroom reading a textbook - you will be learning real skills.

The list of skills you write down may well just match to a qualification that you did not even know existed.

Furthermore, a qualification like the Diploma of Management or Certificate IV in Training & Assessment can be completed in 8 to 10 face-to-face sessions, with flexible online and blended delivery options allowing for a manageable balance between your study and life commitments.

These qualifications are nationally recognised and in the example of the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment can lead into the type of flexible career that is perfectly suited to someone looking to re-enter the workforce on their own terms, for example a mother looking to work two days per week while she spends time with her young child.

The list of vocational education courses is as diverse as the people who choose to study them - community services, accounting, education support and even skills like construction.

With this in mind, should you find yourself considering a career change in the next few months or even with some free time on your hands wanting to upgrade your resume, take a look at the skills you need, speak to someone about the different options on offer then find the matching qualification.