Posted on Leave a comment

Leaving High School Poster. Four tips to smooth your way.

There is too much information for high school leavers.

“Go to this uni.”

“Get that apprenticeship.”

“Take a gap year.”

Download this poster of 4 simple tips that help smooth your way as you leave high school:

Jobs and Skills Centres

Jobs and Skills Centre

Jobs and Skills Centres help you to find your right career direction and find the right course at TAFE or at uni. They can help you to write your resume, improve your interview skills, find the right course and even find a job.

Every high school leaver can find support at a Jobs and Skills Centre.

Award Wages

An Award sets out the minimum pay and conditions for a particular industry or occupation

If you are working for a friend, or doing gardening in your own small business you, probably won’t get award wages.

Big employers like McDonalds and Coles pay award wages. If you ever earn above $450/week you will be paid superannuation.

See moneysmart for students.

Make Connections

Wherever you go, you can find help through people you meet.

If you have a plan, your connections will help you to achieve your goal.

If you don’t have a plan, your connections may help you to discover opportunities.

Find Guy Kawasaki’s tips on how to get people to like you HERE.

Have Your First School Reunion Soon

No one understands what you are going through more than your friends from school. Many will have already had experiences that will help you to avoid mistakes, save time and go forward more confidently. Some will be suffering more than you. Some will be thriving.

Meet up with them soon. Meet up with them often.

They want to see you.


Get career information for Western Australian students


Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia
Posted on Leave a comment

How to get the most from your In Focus Careers News

Craig Hillman

Craig Hillman, from Helena College in Darlington sent in his Tips on How to Get the Most from Your In Focus Careers News. 

Thanks Craig.

Tips to get the most from In Focus Careers

  1. I read it straight off my screen.  It is a skim/scan effort and usually tasks 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. I cut and paste, so…on my second reading I take the relevant info and put it in a word doc.  
  3. The information then goes into the Daily Notices on SEQTA and/or to our Community Relations Team for inclusion in the next newsletter.
  4. I prepare handouts for parents during the Parent Information Evenings I deliver.

My Top Tip: Teacher Registration Board Professional Learning Log

I log the reading of your newsletter on the TRBWA Website as Professional Learning, Informal Category, I log it as 30 minutes.  I guesstimate it at that length and tick the following boxes:

Professional Engagement

  • Standard 62 (Engage with professional learning and improve practice)
    • 3 (Engage with colleagues and improve practice)
    • 4 (Apply professional learning and improve student learning)
  • Standard 73 (Engage with the parents/carers)

Notes Relating to Readings

There is a Documents retained section on the TRBWA website so I tick the “Notes relating to readings …” as well as the “Copies of articles …” and “Conference papers” when I share the information at Parent Nights.

Back Copies

I keep an electronic copy of your newsletter and have been able to go back to find dates and contact information during interviews with students and their parents.


The In Focus Newsletter is long but the information is rich and really valuable.  The in-school opportunities and post-school options for our senior students are extensive.  I personally value and thank you for you distilling the vast array of material into bite-size chunks with links to further details when I require them

Thanks again


Join West Australian career experts

These resources are available to subscribers to In Focus Careers. For a complimentary copy of In Focus Careers News EMAIL: 

In Focus Careers Resources

Please email me a complimentary copy of the In Focus Careers newsletter.

Bev Johnson

Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.

I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at

Posted on Leave a comment

Year 11 & 12 Career Pathways for West Australians: PowerPoint

Year 11 & 12 Pathways from high school for West Australians
Year 11 & 12 Career Pathways for West Australians

Get a quick overview of the pathways from schools to uni, TAFFE or into a gap year that can lead to work and travel from this PowerPoint. It is an overview of the information I provide in presentations to year 11 & 12 school students. Share it with students and parents so that they get a high level understanding of the options.

Check out the PowerPoint HERE.

Discover how In Focus Careers can help you to make better career decisions.

Please send me a complimentary copy of your insanely great careers news for West Australians

Posted on Leave a comment

Help students to transition to Life Beyond School: Infographic

Get your copy of the Help Students to Transition to Life Beyond School infographic.

Career Education

Whatever you have been investing in career education in the past, you will be most likely to invest more in the future. Teachers can become learning coordinators by connecting with others to form a learning network. This infographic gives you ideas about who you can collaborate with to support students to gain skills for life beyond school.

Engage and Collaborate Framework

  • Dave Turner created the WE3 Framework which supports the move from exposing primary school students to career ideas, through exploration in middle school and work experience for senior students.
  • Dave told me to connect with Ian Palmer on LinkedIn. He is from School Industry Partnerships. There are some good tips for parents, teachers and students on there including information about work experience.
  • You can explore opportunities for schools to engage with industry at Re-engineering Australia.
  • A long time favourite of mine is Youth Central in Victoria.
  • We don’t have anything like it in WA but we do have a Community Directory where you can find services in your area.

Middle School Ideas

Middle school is when students start to explore on their own. They test our boundaries as they strive to create their independence.

Direct the energy of middle school students through these ideas.

Students can check out ideas on this Coggle Map.

5 Steps to Engagement

There are just 5 steps to get in place when you want to start collaborating with community or industry.

  1. Governance: Agree on what you are trying to achieve together, who will be responsible for what bits, and to what standard.
  2. Business Rules: All organisations have rules that govern how things are done within the organisation. These are often about your priorities as an education providers. SCSA delivers some of our rules for example.
  3. Legal Framework: Schools are governed by duty of care, privacy and equal opportunity.
  4. Financial Management: Schools need to be accountable for the money that they spend and for the way that resources are used.
  5. Technical Framework: You will need to have some IT standards that ensure interoperability on one hand and privacy and security of data on the other.

Get clear, trusted career information that gives your students opportunities to find their dream. Subscribe to In Focus Careers News.


Posted on Leave a comment

What matters to you? the Resilience Project

Having the ability to bounce back when you have been knocked down. That’s what people mean when they tell you to be more resilient.

Bounce back toy

A better solution would be that people stop knocking you down, give you a hand to learn, support you so you don’t feel knocked down.

I try to stay away from places where I might get knocked down. This has been a bit tricky as a Dockers’ supporter. I could easily despair, or give up on them.

AFL grand final: Hawthorn makes up for 2012 loss with 15-point win over  Fremantle at MCG - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Dockers despair

I have learned not to expect too much from the Dockers. I cheer them on, and to feel joy every time we do have a win. We lose more often, and I bounce by back thinking of ways that they could improve next week, next season, when Fyfe is back in form, when the other team gives us a chance to win!!

Supporting my team when it is down matters to me. It is more important to be a loyal Dockers fan than deserting them for a team that wins more often.

Knowing that my loyalty matters to me helps me to be more resilient when we lose. I have learned how to bounce back after losing without falling into the depths of despair.

On the other hand, if I love or even trust someone, and they aren’t loyal to me, that kills me. My ability to bounce back takes a real battering.

Ten pin bowling strike.

Whenever I get upset I can usually check to see which of my values is being attacked. I don’t think I bounce back any quicker, but at least I understand what the real matter is and avoid that person or that situation in the future.

There are lots of online values clarification tests. You can check out this one. It is okay, but I would try a few different ones to get a clear picture of what really matters to you.

Knowing what matters to you most will help you to set your radar so that you can avoid getting knocked down, and maybe bounce back just by knowing what the hell just happened.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to create the best opportunities for your kids – The Resilience Project

Most of us can’t send our kids to the exclusive private schools or take them to Aspen on skiing holidays, but we can still set up the best life opportunities for them.

In Who Gets to be Smart Bri Lee talks about how the Commonwealth government makes sure rich kids in the exclusive private schools, and universities, get the best life opportunities by flooding them via systems that favour those who are already privileged. Even during the holidays, rich kids get further ahead of mere mortals.

The Resilience Project

There is a lot you can do to build your kid’s opportunities. This is the start of a series called The Resilience Project. Through it I will deliver opportunities that will help us all to be exposed to new experiences so that we can all build our capacity to bounce back and achieve our dream lives.

I believe people do their best. If sitting on the couch playing games all holidays is the best you can manage, so be it. Building interests and growing knowledge and skills is a gradual process. We need to make services and systems attractive and easy to use so that all people can engage at their level to build their resilience.

Dave Turner has given us a continuum that gives age appropriate resilience building strategies:

  • Primary school we need to expose kids to lots of experiences.
  • When kids move into high school they need to start taking responsibility for exploring different opportunities.
  • In senior school young people need to engage with workplaces or volunteer opportunities to learn work capabilities.

Time V Quality Time

You can to build your kids’ resilience just by sitting with them and talking.

And that’s not easy.

You will always have other things to do.

You need to set aside time for being with your kids. Just being, not doing. If sitting on the couch watching TV is the best you can do, so be it. Quality time is great, but my kids just wanted to know I was around. I didn’t have to be playing with them. They thought my being at home from work was enough.

The first step is the hardest

The first step on your daily fitness regime is the hardest. When you are out the door in your joggers, its easier to keep going.

Getting started on new experiences is the hardest. Asking someone if you can join their group is the hardest step. Once you have taken that step they will take some of the load and support you to take the next step. Many people get their joy and fulfilment from helping others. By asking for help and appreciating their support you are valuing their expertise.

Check out some of these ideas. You can find Career Exploration for Middle School ideas HERE.

Google “volunteer” in your suburb to find more opportunities.

Support Networks

Try to appreciate the power of standing on the shoulders of giants. See the giant in everyone around you. Everyone is better than you at something, and you have so much to offer to others. By connecting with others you can create a constellation of stars who help each other.

Networks deliver remarkable power to boost life opportunities. We all hope our fairy godmother will come along and make our dreams come true. That may not happen but you can surge your opportunities by creating networks.

Working together creates better results.

Check out the It’s Who You Know that Counts blogpost for tips on how to activate your support network.

Map your support networks and identify how you could build opportunities through it.

By exploring the world during your holidays and engaging with your network, you can enhance your opportunities to create the best life opportunities for your kids.

You can get the gist of Who Gets to be Smart in the Sydney Morning Herald or listen to the podcast she made with the Australia Institute to get mad at what is happening, and get ideas of how to make sure your kids have the best opportunities.

Posted on Leave a comment

Did you discover your dream career in primary school?

Your dream career will come in a whisper, not in a shout.

Stephen Spielberg said that. He started making movies when he was still in nappies!!

Steven Spielberg’s movie BFG

If HE didn’t hear “MAKING MOVIES” shouting at him as his dream career in primary school, what hope is there for the rest of us?

There are lots of quizzes designed to help. None of them is 100% perfect. All of them are good at giving ideas about what we are good at and what direction to look for our dream career.

One of the tests is the Holland Aptitude Test. It identifies 6 types.

Primary School Career Exposure

The Career Industry Council recently had Ed Hidalgo talking about integrating career development in primary school. His project in California uses the Holland Career Types to help primary school kids to identify their type.

Ed Hidalgo CIO Cahone Valley District Ed. California

Once their type is identified he says you can focus on exposing them to opportunities that match their type.

At first I thought this was too early, but the exposure to one particular type of career isn’t exclusive and it does give the teacher or parent some direction.

Here is an example of how the tests work

I am strongest in Persuading, then in Creating.

  • Persuading/Enterprising(E) — I would be exploring opportunities in leadership and management. I could try persuading the world that insanely great career development is vital.
  • Creating/Artistic is also strong in my profile, so I might explore music and drawing. Or I might try writing a blog and a career newsletter!!

The tests point you in a direction where you have your strongest natural abilities.

Dream Big road to the future

They can help you to focus your search for your dream career. Your road might be bumpy but finding your dream career is worth the ride.

For a complimentary copy of In Focus Careers News email:

Posted on Leave a comment

University Open Days Tips for Years 9 -12 students

In years 9 – 12? Go to uni open days.

Here are different uni open day tips for students in years 9 – 12

Murdoch Uni’s Open Day is 18 July.

Going to a uni open day is like going to a show. There are food vans, exhibitions and demonstrations and interesting people to meet, who WANT to convince you that their course is fantastic.

Curtin University Open Day

Check out the Worksheets at the bottom of this post.

Year 9 Tips

Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.

Year 10 Tips

Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with.  Do it now.

Year 11 Tips

Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff.  Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.

Year 12 Tips

This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.

Go for a smooth transition

Here is a guide for you to prepare for life after school. Start early and gradually build your ability to glide gradually from school into your chosen new life, rather than leap into the unknown.

Posted on Leave a comment

Micro Credentials are the buzz. 5 thoughts to help you manage

1. Packaging

Micro credentials are a way of packaging slices of knowledge. A quick Canva course is not a micro credential. You learn skills but you don’t get a recognised credential.

MOOCS courses

2. Recognition

If you need to have proof that you have learned to the required standard, your proof will need to be recognised by people.

The easiest way to do this is to learn through a big organisation like a university, TAFE college or Registered Training Organisation, an organisation like Microsoft.

I need to be sure of what I am buying before I pay for a micro credential from someone I don’t know.

3. Records

I lose stuff.

We need the provider of the micro credential to keep a record of our learning so that we can get it from them if we need it.

4. Motivation

Your motivation to do a micro credential may be an employer requiring you to learn a new system or it may be a requirement of a job you want to move into. Many people aren’t motivated enough to finish their micro credentials because the motivation isn’t great enough.

Maybe they want skills or fun, not a qualification.

5. Logistics

If your employer will benefit from you learning a new skill, you may be able to do part or all of the course in work time. The cost of doing the course could also be negotiated with your employer.


Micro credentials aren’t new, although the name may not be familiar. For years, people have learned how to become a barista, get a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate or learn work’s new document management system.

The number and variety of courses becoming available is growing.