Past employment and work experience will also give you valuable insight into who you are and what type of future employment you may like to explore. However, a lot of young people will often say to me ‘I don’t want to flip burgers nor do I want to be a check out chick.’ The reality is that, particularly when you are young and trying to build up your transferable employability skills, working within any industry will give you experience, build on your skills and open more employment options.


There are many positive attributes to working within big retail and fast food outlets. McDonalds often will formalise their staff training with a Certificate III in Retail. Again not only are you gaining valuable employability skills such as customer service, money handling, food preparation, food safety, and hygiene, are just a few transferrable skills to add to the resume plus a formal Australian standard certificate qualification.


There are many organisations, both small and large, who offer people vast incentives to study on the job while working within the company. Some employers may even offer a traineeship or apprenticeship, and this is not only a benefit for the business who is taking the risk and time to train and upskill their staff, but also a significant bonus to you as an individual as these skills and qualifications can be transferred into your next position.


Having skills and working within an industry before or while formalising your qualifications is an invaluable opportunity. It allows you to decide if this career is one in which you wish to peruse with formal qualifications as well as making you more attractive to a potential employer. As the company knows you not only have the formal qualifications but more importantly you have the commitment, ability and understanding to work within the industry. Prior experience within an industry will also support your future studies and understanding of the theory learnt during your studies, as you can apply processes acquired directly to your daily tasks at work.


Another important aspect of deciding educational pathways is also considering if you will be employable after you have graduated. Studying topics that are interesting to you and you find enjoyable is beneficial to successfully completing your qualification, but it is also important to investigate ‘job prospects’ meaning that after you have spent so much time and money on furthering your education whether or not you will you be able to find employment in your chosen field of study. An example of this is a Bachelor of Hospitality Management—a perfect degree for an adult who has been in the hospitality industry for some time and is looking to formalise their experience with a qualification. A young person with no hospitality experience, however, may struggle to find employment in the hospitality industry as a manager, especially straight out of university with only experience with the theories. They may find that they have to work their way from the ground up, building on their skills before they reach management level.


It is important to be cautious of institutions offering diplomas and degrees where there are no job prospects or limited opportunities available within the industry. If your passion is for a chosen field that might be difficult to find paid employment, together we can explore how to incorporate your passion, skills and qualifications to help you be successful in your chosen field.

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