NewsCan career advice help older Australians get a job?

Can career advice help older Australians get a job?

In what it bills as an Australian first, the NSW government has announced everyone in the state can soon have free, confidential career advice.

Unemployment figures are down, some job markets are booming - but can such an initiative make a difference for older workers?

First, a disclosure: after a redundancy some years ago, I was offered a career adviser. I found him so helpful  I gladly paid extra for additional help after our allotted period.

Did he deliver a dream job? Not exactly, I don’t believe in such things, but he did help me find more clearly where my skills and passions intersected with growing work opportunities.

In short, it was identifying transferrable skills from journalism such as writing, speaking to people, simplifying complexity and then applying them to booming sectors such as online startups.

My role at the FiftyUp Club is directly linked to the insights, confidence and energy he helped me understand better and reflect. Not bad!

If you can find a great careers adviser when the world of work is changing, in ways you might not fully appreciate, it can be a significant investment in yourself.

Now NSW is piloting a state-run online service called Careers NSW to begin later this year. You can read more here from the government.

This model seems to be about recruiting experienced volunteers from key areas such as advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and construction to provide the advice.

Given the number of comments you have shared around the difficulties in finding work and age discrimination, this initiative, at least for those in NSW, might be handy.

They also seem focused on older workers as part of the mix, many of whom may have mixed feelings about careers advice.  

“Needing career advice does not just end when you leave school, you need it when you are 16,26 or 56,” said  Professor Peter Shergold, who with businessman David Gonski led the review which came up with this policy.

In the meantime, work out how much good careers advice might be worth to you in getting a job or making a change. There’s some good advice on where to start here.

I’m all too aware not everyone has a successful engagement with careers advice, but as with many options in life, it’s worth trying.


Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

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Anonymous from QLD commented:

Where do you suggest we go to for career advice for older workers? It is a minefield of choice out there... 

Bruce from QLD commented:

i wonder how much Sheargold and Gonski got remunerated for another thought bubble? 

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