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Thinking about changing lanes, changing your job or changing careers entirely?

You aren’t alone. Research shows some professionals only stay in a job for an average of 1.9 years, meaning managing your career is more important than ever.

As the Director of Bond’s Career Development Centre, Kirsty Mitchell has guided hundreds of students through university and into their careers, so she’s well-placed to bestow advice onto the next generation of postgraduate students.

Here’s what Kirsty had to say.

1. Think about what you want to achieve

When it comes to making decisions about your career, you need to have a clear intention behind your actions.

“Do a stocktake of where you’re at, what your skills are, your experience and your values,” she says.

“Think about what you want from work and from there you can start to design that journey, which may include postgraduate study, a side hustle or simply a change in workplace.”  

Kirsty Mitchell is the Director of Bond's Career Development Centre

2. Design your life

You spend a large proportion of your life at work, but work shouldn’t necessarily be your entire life.

“Life design is a concept that [career advisors] are using a lot of now,” says Kirsty.

“It’s about understanding that the parts of your life that give you the most satisfaction, might not be the parts you get paid for.

“But you can design your life so you make the most of your career and get the most out of it. We see students who do that, and they get extraordinary results.”

3. Understand the modern career path

The traditional model of working your way up a career ladder is no longer reality. The modern career is all about being adaptable and able to recognise – and follow – the opportunities that arise.

“The modern career isn’t about achieving certain thresholds anymore,” explains Kirsty.

“Most of the time, the modern career is based on a series of projects that may be housed in different places.

“It’s about having a journey that makes sense to you, at that moment in time. There’s no perfect plan.”

If you’re feeling a little lost or unfulfilled by where you are, there’s always an opportunity make a change.

4. Be open to opportunity

One of the key traits of successful professionals is what Kirsty calls an “opportunity radar.”

“Being open-minded to what opportunity looks like is really important,” says Kirsty.

“Learn how you might be able to use the skills or experience you gain from that opportunity, and then build your own path from there.”

5. Say yes

“Side hustles, internships, work experiences – all of these things are designed to foster relationships and who knows what opportunities might come from them,” says Kirsty.

“Top performers across all different fields have strong and varied relationships, they’ve been open-minded to opportunities and they’ve had a go.

“They’ve just done things – they’ve said yes. You say yes, you get somewhere, you make a decision and then you ask yourself ‘where else?’”

Postgraduate study at Bond

Bond offers a range of flexible postgraduate study options to fit into your professional and personal life.

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