Career planning and becoming job ready

This part of Work45+ has information about career planning offered by:

There’s also a handy section with links to these and other useful websites:

Work45+ suggests both workers and employers take a life-course approach to careers.

For job seekers this means recognising that your needs and interests change throughout your life. Whether you’re a job seeker by choice or have been retrenched, it’s possible to plan the next step in your career.

A point made to us by employment service providers and recruitment agencies during our consultations for this website was that many older job seekers focus too much on where they have been in their earlier career instead of talking more about who they are and where they are going.1 If you spend some time planning your career, you’ll be able to make stronger statements in interviews about what’s important to you and why.

Career planning looks at your experience, skills, values and preferences as well as your income needs. It can help you identify transferable skills and training that could make you competitive for a new kind of role. Transferable skills are skills you already have that may be valued in other jobs or industries. You can read more about transferable skills in the section about resumes on our web pages called “Applying for jobs“.

Getting ready for your next job – sometimes called “becoming job ready” – often goes hand in hand with career planning. Other information to help you become job ready is on the Work45+ web page called “Education and training“.

Government help to plan your career and become job ready

Career Transition Assistance supports registered job seekers aged over 45 even if you’re not on income support. It can help you identify your transferable skills (see above), build your confidence and target your job search. Find out more in the section below called “Career planning resources“.

Whatever the industry you are considering, you may be eligible for financial assistance of up to $500 to help you get job-related equipment, essential clothing, or certificates such as a White Card or First Aid certificate from the Job Ready Fund.

If you’ve just lost your job (or think you might)

If you’ve lost casual, full-time or part-time work in the last 12 months due to retrenchment, downsizing or business closure, you may be eligible for Tasmania’s Rapid Response Skills Initiative. If so, you will be able to immediately access up to $3000 towards the cost of training to help you get back to work as soon as possible. This includes up to $500 for employment advice.

Employment service providers

If you get income support from the Australian Government, you probably have an employment service provider. Some providers offer programs specifically for older workers. In the video below, Mark Boonstra and Samantha Lawrence talk about what programs like this have to offer and how to access them.

Advanced job reach

Mark Boonstra (MB) and Samantha Lawrence (SL), both of Impact Communities

Impact Communities

MB – Hi, I’m Mark Boonstra, manager of Impact Communities.

SL – I’m Samantha Lawrence and I’m the employment innovation facilitator.

MB – Impact Communities is part of Workskills Incorporated and Workskills is a jobactive provider providing employment services to a whole range of people in southern Tasmania. One of the programs that we do at Impact Communities is called Advanced Job Reach which works to assist people who are 45+ get to work.

How do I join such a program?

MB – If somebody been recently unemployed or retrenched usually the pathway to join a program like our Advanced Job Reach program is the first point of call is having a Centrelink appointment and then Centrelink would be referring you to a jobactive provider and there’s a few of those around. Sometimes they’ll refer you directly to one but you do have the choice to choose one for yourself and then you can come to a jobactive provider like us at Workskills and then we are, like other jobactive providers, will offer a range of different programs to be able to assist you in your journey to work.

How can programs like Advance Job Reach help me in my journey to work?

SL – So, Advance Job Reach over the 8 weeks, we look at your years and strengths of experience, how they can be used and brought into new employment. You might even be considering changing your career path altogether, so we do some workshops around that and figuring out where and what you’d like to be doing in the next three to five years plus and then through that we also look at the employability skill set. So, where your strengths lie and where you are needing to improve.

How can such programs help me build confidence?

SL – One of the first things that I found was when the job seekers came together, they came from all over southern Tasmania. No-one knew each other. The only thing they had in common was that they were unemployed and that they were all over the age of 45. And then within hours they were all supporting each other, realising that they had shared stories and that they could help build each other up.

MB – And often with our program Advanced Job Reach you can feel like you’re, before you come along, you can feel like you’re alone and that nobody’s experiencing what you’re experiencing. But there are a whole lot of people who are going through the same thing and I think that peer support and friendship and to be able to spur each other on and what we’ve seen in Advanced Job Reach is the people encouraging one another and: “Go for it, you can do this!” and I think there is something really important about having a team behind you who can support you on your journey.

SL – I even had a lady in her mid-fifties coming along and said to me at the end of the first session: “Look, I came in today thinking – ‘what can you teach me? I know it all’. But I’ve left with all these new skill sets and I’ve made a couple of friends”.

Career coaches

If you can afford to pay for the services of a qualified career coach, this might be an option to consider. There are several in Tasmania, some of whom are registered with the Career Development Association of Australia.

University of Tasmania career conversations

If you’re a student at the University of Tasmania or a recent graduate, you can speak about career planning and career transitions with a career development consultant.

Apprenticeship Network providers

Apprenticeship Network providers give personalised advice and support services from pre-commencement to completion. They are the first point of contact for anyone considering an Australian Apprenticeship, including an adult apprenticeship. They can help you decide whether an apprenticeship would be suitable for you or whether another training pathway would be better.

Career planning resources

The websites below have more information about services that can help you plan a career that works for you.

Mature Age Hub

The Commonwealth Government’s Mature Age Hub will connect you with Job Outlook, to help you explore career options; Career Transition Assistance to help you build confidence and skills; and other incentives, programs and ways to find work.

Career Transition Assistance

The Career Transition Assistance program can help you become more job ready by building your confidence and skills. It will help you identify your transferable skills and target your job search to local industries and available jobs. It is for job seekers aged 45 years or over who are registered with a jobactive or New Employment Services Trial (NEST) provider, even if you are not getting income support payments. It can also help you learn to use technology and apply for jobs online.

Rapid Response Skills Initiative

The Rapid Response Skills Initiative provides up to $3000 towards the cost of training for people who have lost their jobs because they have been made redundant, the place they worked has closed, or the employer had to let staff go. The focus of this program is to support people to gain the skills and support needed to get a job.


TasTAFE has brought together online short courses and “skill sets” to help you prepare to re-enter the workforce or change career when the economy starts to recover from coronavirus (COVID-19). The options, most of which have no fees, include “Employability Skills” and “Career Planning”.

Job Outlook

You can use the career profiles on Job Outlook to learn about the future outlook, pay, main tasks, and physical and other demands of careers that interest you. Find out about the skills, knowledge and abilities you may need to get and keep a job. When you are ready to take action, follow links to job vacancies and related courses. If you are not sure what sort or work you want to do or are considering a career change, the Career Quiz can help you to think about your work preferences and to get ideas for careers you can aim for. This can be useful information when you are thinking about future study and career options.

Your Career

Your Career is operated by the National Careers Institute to give clear and simple careers information and help people of all ages and circumstances plan their career.

Job Ready Fund

Whatever the industry you are applying for, you may be eligible for up to $500 in financial assistance to help you get equipment, essential clothing, or certificates such as a White Card or First Aid certificate through the Job Ready Fund.

Employment service providers

Employment service providers may be able to help you develop a job plan and link to training. You will generally be able to use the services of an employment service provider if you receive an income support payment through Services Australia.

Australian Apprenticeships Pathways

This site has lots of information about career pathways for apprentices, including adult apprentices.

Apprenticeship Network providers

If you’re serious about becoming an apprentice, you’ll need to contact an Apprenticeship Network provider. They’ll talk to you in more depth about your career path. You need to do this even before you find an employer and a training organisation. This web page will give you more information and link you to providers in Tasmania.

University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania’s Student Leadership and Careers Team is available to all current students and recent graduates for conversations about career planning and transition.

Career Development Association of Australia

CDAA members can help you manage your career, make occupational and study decisions and plan career transitions in a wide variety of ways, including career coaching.

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Video credits
  • Mark Boonstra is the Manager of Impact Communities, which is part of Workskills, a jobactive provider.
  • Samantha Lawrence is Employment and Innovation Facilitator at Impact Communities.
  • Film maker: Lucy East
  1. Curtis, J, and Frith, C, 2019, Getting to Work: Mature Aged Work in Tasmania, a report for COTA Tasmania