VIC Career Mapping Seminar
18 April 2018
On Wednesday, 18 April, the Australian Water Association Victorian Branch and YWPs came together to co-lead an event on the theme of career mapping. The sell-out event was generously hosted at the Jacobs Melbourne office and was sponsored by KBR. With the aim of providing insight, advice, and inspiration water professionals at any stage of their career heard from; Nicola Belcher, from Public Transport Victoria, Diarmuid Kelly from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Charmaine Quick from Melbourne Water. Lachlan Guthrie, PhD Candidate at RMIT University, hosted the event and set a fun atmosphere for the evening.
Nicola spoke about how her diverse experiences and willingness to take up opportunities have lead her to where she is now. She began her career in the navy, before moving into local government and the public utility sector. She emphasised the importance of having a strong “tribe” of trusted people to receive advice and bounce ideas off, and how important it is to gain multi-dimensional experiences.
Diarmuid talk to letting your own values lead career progression. Born and raised in Ireland and training as an engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, he has had many varied experiences including in the international development sector and now is in the community partnerships space. He spoke passionately about how important things outside of work, especially family, and your own values are vitally important in choosing your career path.
Charmaine discussed how her willingness to back herself in taking on more responsibility has lead her to her current role. Now in senior management at Melbourne Water, she is an avid supporter of those who support themselves, challenging the audience to ask their managers for greater responsibilities. She also left the audience with a few catch phrases including “back yourself” and the crowd favourite “drive it like you stole it”.
Following the presentations, the floor was open for a panel discussion. Questions were asked on a range of topics from how best to move between sectors, to what should be in a twenty year plan, to how long should you stay in the same role, each receiving three different and complementary answers.
The diversity of experience in the speakers lead to an excellent night of sharing and learning. Strong overarching themes emerged including backing yourself into new opportunities, build and use a strong support network, finding a job to suit your life not the other way around, and the vital importance of things outside of your career including family.
For those of you who couldn’t make it or want a recap, we’ve published a range of videos recorded live at the event.