Age an ad­van­tage

Ma­ture-age grad­u­ates can of­fer em­ploy­ers more than just their qual­i­fi­ca­tion, Lau­ren Ah­wan re­ports.

The Advertiser - Careers - - Vocational Education -

cently with their rights, it would be worth reac­quaint­ing them­selves and know­ing what their em­ployer’s rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are, as well as their own.’’

IBISWorld gen­eral man­ager Robert Bryant says short ‘‘leisure ed­u­ca­tion’’ cour­ses – such as cre­ative arts, cook­ing, health and well­be­ing, dance and lan­guages – of­ten are pur­sued by ma­ture-age stu­dents for per­sonal rea­sons but they sub­se­quently can her­ald a re­ward­ing ca­reer change.

For­mer fi­nance worker Nevena Simic, 57, stud­ied English at the Univer­sity of Ade­laide af­ter mi­grat­ing to Aus­tralia from Yu­goslavia in 1998.

She sub­se­quently com­pleted a so­cial work de­gree and will soon fin­ish a mas­ter’s in grief coun­selling.

Now a na­tional pro­ject of­fi­cer at COTA Se­niors Voice, she over­came sev­eral hur­dles in her hunt for work.

‘‘I was go­ing through dou­ble con­cerns, not only be­cause of my age but be­cause of my lan­guage . . . my strong ac­cent is go­ing to stay for­ever,’’ she says.

‘‘But be­cause of my life ex­pe­ri­ence and maybe be­cause I’m a per­son who likes a chal­lenge, I de­vel­oped the con­fi­dence in my­self so that when I went to present my­self, I made sure I stood out. I de­vel­oped all dif­fer­ent strate­gies for all dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances. I’ve spent a life­time find­ing my­self. Em­ploy­ers should know there’s value in that.’’

Pic­ture: James Elsby

Nevena Simic, 57, who will soon fin­ish her mas­ter’s de­gree in grief coun­selling, has over­come hur­dles in her search for work.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.