And for business professionals, what could be more meaningful than finding a job that they're passionate about, and being given the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and experience, and use their gifts.
Gifts? Yes. The business professionals we’re about to feature here are skilled migrants. Coming from different countries, they are not only equipped with professional skills but also with the gift of language; they speak at least bilingual: English and their mother tongue – either Mandarin, Korean, Malay, Cambodian, Hindi, or Spanish.
They migrated to Australia for a number of reasons – due to family reason, for better future, or simply their love for Australia. However, searching for job opportunities haven’t been really easy for them, let alone finding one.
Could it be that they know not how? Or could it be employers who couldn’t recognize their capability? Or could it be they know not how to convince the employers?
In fact, there are some truths in all of the above: these skilled migrants after experiencing some unsuccessful job applications, often they become discouraged as their self-doubt starts to creep in. Especially for some of them, who have been out of work for a while due to employment termination or family reasons.
Losing courage and self-confidence is very daunting.
Frodo, in the Fellowship of the Ring – realising that he was in danger but didn’t know how to face it – also suffered such a discouragement.
“But where shall I find courage?” asked Frodo. “That is what I chiefly need”
“Courage is found in unlikely places,” said Gildor (his companion, an Elf)
Indeed, courage, along with self-confidence, is also what these skilled migrants mostly need. While it’s true that courage or self-confidence can be found in unlikely places, however, it’s not just where to find it, but how to get it.
For the 3rd time, Reach Your Potential – a five-week employability skills workshop, sponsored by Crows Nest Centre and Hornsby Shire Council – was conducted. The workshop is specially designed to help skilled migrants reconnect themselves with their skills and experience in order to find their self-confidence back, and develop their employability skills within the Australian working framework.
It was conducted in Lindfield Library (Lindfield), and attended by 12 skilled migrants – from India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Cambodia, Mexico, Columbia, and Spain – whose academic and professional background and past experiences are quite fascinating.
They shared two main challenges: first, how to find their confidence back; second, how to get a job that fits their skills or passions, therefore establish their presence in the Australian working place.
Finding the authentic career story. It was here in Reach Your Potential where Janice Hui and Fourteena Halim led them on an intellectual journey, a journey to return to themselves in order to discover their “intellectual treasure”: their skills and experience, and to assess their strengths. And captured all of their findings in a story – their authentic and unique career story.
How is it not authentic and unique when you find in their stories a former successful entrepreneur whose passions are in bookkeeping and accounting and wants to find a job as a bookkeeper while pursuing his studies in business; a young industrial engineer who chose to be a marketer, while a senior marketer who found a new talent in teaching wishes to find a job in education; or a web designer – who holds a master’s degree in computer studies but also is a bachelor in economics – had recently undertaken a role as finance controller; or a senior telecom engineer who also has an accounting skill background, but wishes to remain to be a telecom engineer.
Among the 12, there are four who have been in a technical role – hardware or software expert with strong technical background – who aspire to find a role in the same area; and, there’s also a senior purchasing officer who still passionate about purchasing and an accountant with pure accounting background – both want to return to the work force in the area of their expertise, after a few years of career break. And finally there’s one – a bachelor in science who also holds a diploma in computer programming – whose dream job is to be a laboratory technician.
Through their story, they’ve finally found and saw their core values. Upon finding them, their level of confidence increased: they now believe that they truly have something to contribute to the Australian working place.
Refreshing the communication skills. But the story alone wouldn’t mean much unless they know how communicate it articulately. Indeed, it was in Reach Your Potential that they also had a chance to refresh their communication skills, namely, writing, speaking and listening, and self-presentation.
Again for job seekers, one of the most important tools is resume; therefore apart from refreshing their communication skills, a special session was dedicated to writing resume, carefully reviewing job descriptions and responding to them, as well as preparing cover letter and job interviews.
Five weeks have passed since 17 July 2014: their story written, resume polished, and their communication skills refreshed – their confidence’s back; nothing more exciting than to be once again dare to set out on a further journey – a job seeking journey – but this time, they hold the right tools in their hands!
Spring time is coming, a season of glad songs will be here again (Song of Songs); may we all soon hear a glad surprise, too, from one and each of them, saying: “I did it, I’ve got a job!”
We wish them all the very best, and let's toast for their success!
Cai, Belen, Snehal, Zaneta, Janice, Ninive, Fourteena, Sebastian, Pern, Cecilia, Ethan, Lucy, Jane (Steven, Tony, Sunita -- not in the picture)
Fourteena is now an executive coach for young professionals; through coaching sessions, Fourteena helps them reach their potentials discover new skills and capabilities. Read their stories a-transformation-moment-all-they-need-is-just-a-little-light.html
And here the recent work journey-to-change-nothing-is-too-difficult.html