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Are you someone who is able to face challenges head on? Recovers quickly from setbacks? Then you have a strong sense of self-efficacy. If however, you are someone who quickly loses confidence, avoids challenging tasks and shy away from challenging situations then you may have a weak sense of self-efficacy. Bandura (1977) describes self-efficacy as a person’s belief in themselves, their capabilities and ability to achieve goals. Self-efficacy develops in childhood either by mastering skills, observing others achieve skills, verbal persuasion and/or a person’s psychological state (Bandura, 1994).

According to Bandura (1994), there are four major psychological processes through which self-efficacy affect the way people function. The first is Cognitive Processes, which is the ability for a person to make a commitment and to visualise their success. The second, Motivational processes is the ability for a person to set goals, be self-motivators and are self-satisfied from fulfilling their goals. The third, Affective Processes is the ability for a person to cope with stress and challenging situations. The final process is the Selection Process; this is where a person exercises control over their own environment and where their occupation can provide them with a source of personal growth (Bandura, 1994).

Its never too late to develop self-efficacy. Through mastering small goals, surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and making an effort you can develop self-efficacy.  Teachers and role models can play an integral role in providing students with appropriate feedback to their situation which can assist them in overcoming any difficulties they may have had and in turn enhance their learning ability and self-efficacy (Goulao, 2014).

“Success is not just a matter of capability, but really a matter of how capable we think we are” Dr. Chad Magnuson

References

Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. Encyclopedia of human behaviour, 4, 71-81.

Bandura A. (1977). Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215. doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.84.2.191

Goulão, M.F. (2014). The Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Academic Achievement in Adults’ Learners. Athens Journal of Education, 1(3), 237-246.

Li, M., Yang, Y., (2009). Determinants of Problem Solving, Social Support Seeking, and Avoidance: a Path Analytic Model. International Journal of Stress Management, 16(3), 155-176.

Luthar, S.S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The Construct of Resilience: a Critical Evaluation and Guidelines for Future Work.  Child Development, 71(3), 543-562.

Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial Resilience and Protective Mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57(3), 316-331.

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A Community Services Case Manager works in the Community Services sector and performs 2 key roles.

  1. Supporting Individuals with Complex Needs and
  2. Managing and Leading Community Services Workers.
Provide Support for Individuals with Complex Needs

The first is to assist individuals within the community to improve the quality of their life and the provide a range of services to them including undertaking an assessment of their needs then coordinating the required services to be delivered.

Case Managers generally work with highly complex situations and as such are either more experienced community service workers or have a very sound knowledge of managing complex individual needs.

Manage and Lead Frontline Community Service Workers

The second role that a Case Manager plays is one of leadership among the practice or organisation within which they work.

They are typically senior leaders within the practice and both promote practice standards in addition to supporting and leading frontline workers.

Case Managers are in high demand and according to the government jobs outlook website (joboutlook.gov.au) the demand for Case managers will grow by approximately 19% per annum over the next 5 years and according to the job site Seek, the average salary is in excess of $70,000.

To become a Case Manager will typically require you to undertake either a specialised Diploma, such as the Australis College CHC52015 Diploma of Community Service (Case Management) or upskill through a course such as the Australis College CHCSS00073 Case Management Skill Set.

The role of a Case Manager is a highly rewarding one given that you’re working with both individuals and their complex needs plus leading and managing other frontline community services workers.

If you would like to find out more about how to become a Community Services Case Manager then contact Australis College today on 1300 887 991 and speak with one of our consultants.

The post How to Become a Community Services Case Manager appeared first on .

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Domestic Violence in Australia

In Australia, as there is a high prevalence of domestic violence at one time or another you may find yourself working with clients who are living with domestic violence or who have done so in the past. A client does not have to present with a physical injury to be abused as abuse can come in many forms. It is important to provide the person with a safe and supportive environment.

The impact of domestic violence on a person

Individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence are in the process of healing both physically and emotionally from multiple traumas. These traumas can have various effects on the mind, body and spirit. It is natural to experience these, and acknowledging the effects can be an important first step in embarking on a process towards restoration. Even though survivors may experience similar types of abuse, the response to trauma varies from person to person. Many factors can influence how a person responds to short and long-term effects of the abuse, such as the frequency of abusive incidents, the degree of severity and the effects on physical health (Briere & Scott, 2012). The overall impact of domestic violence also depends on the individual’s natural reactions to stress and ways of coping with stressful situations. Other factors can include age in which the trauma occurred, previous exposure to unrelated traumatic incidents and extent of therapy or timing of intervention (Laing, 2004; Briere & Scott, 2012).

It’s important to know that the effects of domestic violence can be overwhelming to experience. It’s common for someone in an abusive relationship to not recall many aspects of their personality before being abused, especially if they have been exposed to violence for an extended period of time. Sometimes, it may seem as if the violence defines their identity. However, the effects of domestic violence are possible to overcome, and it is possible to break the cycle of violence. Recovery from exposure to domestic violence is possible, and although it requires addressing painful realities, it also entails discovering new inner strengths, a process that needs time, space and safety to begin (Laing, 2004).

Domestic violence is such an impactful and unfortunately far too prevalent in today’s society. If you would like to learn how to assist those who have suffered from domestic violence then we would recommend studying one of a number of courses with will assist you in being better prepared to comfort those in need. Courses such as the CHC52015 Diploma of Community ServicesCHC50313 Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention or CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling will certainly provide you with a range of skills, knowledge and techniques that you can utilise when confronted by domestic violence clients.

The effects of domestic violence

Abuse significantly impacts the way a person thinks and interacts with the world around them.   Chronic exposure to domestic violence and the stress resulting from this exposure can cause immediate physical injury and mental shifts that occur as the mind attempts to process trauma or protect the body. Domestic violence affects one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours and can significantly impact one’s mental stability. Increased anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms are commonly observed among survivors of domestic violence (Laing, 2004).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Some common symptoms associated with PTSD are flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while. But with time and support, such traumatic reactions usually get better (Briere & Scott, 2012).

Depression can include prolonged sadness, feelings of hopelessness, unexplained crying, changes in appetite with significant weight loss or gain, loss of energy or loss of interest and sleep disturbance. Depression can affect a person’s outlook, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness. This, in turn, can impact his or her thought process and ability to make decisions.  In extreme cases of depression, people may even experience suicidal thoughts and/or attempts.

Dissociation usually refers to feeling like one has “checked out” or is not present. In some instances of dissociation, people may find themselves daydreaming. But in situations where dissociation is chronic and more complex, it may impair an individual’s ability to function in the “real” world, such as not being able to focus on work-related duties or being able to concentrate on schoolwork.

Resilience and vulnerability are largely influenced by one’s family of origin, personality and point of view.  Workers must always meet their client’s experience with empathy and a genuine curiosity and desire to understand their situation (Briere & Scott, 2004).

Domestic Violence on Children

Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence grow up in an environment that is unpredictable, filled with tension and anxiety and dominated by fear. This can lead to significant emotional and psychological trauma. Instead of growing up in an emotionally and physically safe, secure, nurturing and stable environment, these children are forced to predict when it might happen next and try to protect themselves and their siblings. Often getting through each day is the main objective so there is little time left for fun, relaxation or planning for the future.

  • The extent that each child will be impacted varies depending on:
  • The length of time the child was exposed to the domestic violence.
  • The age of the child when the exposure began.
  • Whether the child has also experienced child abuse with the domestic violence.
  • The presence of additional stressors such as poverty, community violence, parental substance abuse or mental illness and disruptions in family life.
  • Whether the child has a secure attachment to a non-abusing parent or other significant adult.
  • Whether the child has a supportive social network.
  • Whether the child has strong cultural identity and ethnic pride.
  • The child’s own positive coping skills and experience of success.
  • Family access to health, education, housing, social services and employment.
Emotional and psychological trauma

Children living with domestic violence suffer emotional and psychological trauma from the impact of living in a household that is dominated by tension and fear. These children will see their mother threatened, humiliated or physically or sexually assaulted. They will overhear conflict and violence and see the aftermath of the violence such as their mother’s injuries and her traumatic response to the violence.  Children also may be used and manipulated by the abuser to hurt their mother.

Risk of physical injury

Children may be caught in the middle of an assault by accident or because the abuser intends it.  Infants can be injured if being held by their mothers when the abuser strikes out. Children may be hurt if struck by a weapon or a thrown object and older children are frequently assaulted when they intervene to defend or protect their mothers.

Violence occurring during or post-separation

There is clear evidence that abusers often increase their use of violence and abuse to stop their partners from leaving, or to force their partners and children to return home following separation. The abuser may attempt to take the children away from their mother to punish the woman for leaving and in some cases, children have even been killed.  The risk to children during and following separation is enormous.

Apart from the emotional, physical, social and behavioural damage abuse creates for children, statistics show that domestic violence can also become a learned behaviour. This means that children may grow up to think it is okay to use violence to get what they want, and as adults that it is okay for there to be violence in their relationships.

Cultural Diversity and Specific Needs

Victims of domestic violence belong to all types of families and come from a wide range of social classes, occupations and ethnicities. Reported incidence is more common in lower socio-economic groups but that may be linked to the ability of victims of higher socio-economic groups to escape domestic violence without reporting to authorities or accessing formal services (Gondolf, 2002).

Counsellors need to demonstrate a high level of sensitivity to client’s specific needs by behaving in ways that promote diversity, respect and inclusive practices.

Specific needs relating to clients can include:

  • Sub-cultural backgrounds.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background.
  • Reside in a rural or remote location.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Dual diagnosis (e.g. mental health issue and substance use).
  • Active addiction.
  • Same-sex relationship.
  • Identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered (LGBT).
  • Religious and spiritual practices.
  • Gender
  • Age

Diversity can be expressed in a variety of ways including communication style and language, social behaviour, values, relationship expectations, concepts of morality, ethics, the concept of time, power and control, work attitudes, grief and loss, role expectations and lifestyle preference.

In working with the following diverse groups, it may be necessary for a counsellor to consider referral to services that can offer additional resources or support that will facilitate work with the client around domestic violence issues.

Disability

People with disability who have experienced domestic or family violence require an understanding of the complexity of their isolation, not only within their relationships but within broader society.  Multiple experiences of abuse in its various forms are likely to impact an individual significantly.  Counsellors who do not have an in-depth understanding of disability and its impact on the individual need to consider referral or accessing assistive devices and technology that will benefit the client.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community

Domestic violence is common in Indigenous communities. A history of violence, such as the forcible removal of Aboriginal children and their treatment is a key factor for the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who experience domestic violence.

Additional factors include:

  • Marginalisation and dispossession.
  • Loss of land and traditional culture.
  • Breakdown of community kinship systems and aboriginal law.
  • Poverty and chronic unemployment.
  • Physical illness.
  • Lack of education.
  • Racism-induced stress.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Poor or inadequate housing.

The following are factors that must be considered when working cross-culturally:

  1. Focus on facts rather than the beliefs, including the frequency, history, level of violence and impact of the violence, to assess the seriousness of the situation.
  2. Be willing to be informed by the client of their cultural understanding of domestic violence and various options.
  3. Challenging abusive behaviour is not the same as challenging someone’s culture.
  4. Be aware of your own cultural attitudes and personal biases.
  5. Be flexible in the support options you offer victims of violence.
  6. Be aware of cultural attitudes and perspectives surrounding family. What appears to you to be lack of action by the victim may, in fact, be a deliberate protection strategy.
  7. Identify services and resources that are culturally appropriate and stress confidentiality and its limitations.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Background

People of different ethnicity and language backgrounds require counsellors who possess cultural awareness and competence.  Counsellors need to be aware of community resources such as language interpreters that may be needed to effectively support the client in processing their experience of violence.

Many women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who live in Australia and are experiencing domestic violence may not be fully aware of their rights or the law in Australia.  The number of information women may have will vary and may depend on the length of time they have been living in Australia, their comprehension of the English language, whether they have a supportive family or social networks and their level of economic independence.

The domestic violence provisions of Australia’s migration program allow certain people applying for permanent residence in Australia to continue with their application after the breakdown of their spouse or partner relationship. This may occur if they, or a member of their family unit, have experienced domestic violence committed by their spouse or de facto partner. The domestic violence provisions were introduced in response to community concerns that some spouses and partners felt compelled to remain in abusive relationships rather than end the relationship and be forced to leave Australia.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) Community

The occurrence and reporting of violence in same-sex relationships and in bisexual and transgendered relationships is increasing.  Counsellors supporting clients who identify as LGBT and have experienced domestic violence, need to have an understanding of the specific issues that oppress this group in our community and the services and resources available.

Interviewing the Client

Conducting a client interview with a person who has experienced domestic violence requires sensitivity and a solid process, whereby respect and emotional safety are prioritised.  Exposure to domestic violence is highly traumatising because of the use of coercion, threat and control.  Therefore, counsellors must be careful to not add further to a client’s distress or trauma.

Assessment should include questions aimed at detecting domestic violence, including verbal and psychological abuse. Direct questioning regarding violence is the most effective assessment tool. Victims report that it is extremely helpful to be asked specifically and directly about violence (Bagshaw et al., 2000). During assessments, it is important to be aware of the tendency of victims to deny or minimise the violence so that their level of risk may not be immediately apparent.

Research has shown that professionals respond to victims with different levels of empathy depending on the type of abuse experienced. Women who have experienced physical abuse tend to receive more empathy than those that have experienced non-physical forms of abuse (Bagshaw et al., 2000).  By asking specific questions about physical and non-physical abuse, the counsellor conveys to the victim their concern for her safety and the belief that all forms of domestic violence are real and serious problems (Geller, 1998).

This article was written by Wendy Webber, the Australis College Head of Faculty for Community Services and Counselling. For more information about our range of courses that could assist in the areas of domestic violence review the following courses  CHC52015 Diploma of Community ServicesCHC50313 Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention or CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling or call 1300 887 991.

The post The Impacts of Domestic Violence appeared first on Australis College.

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What is Grief Complex Grief

Grief is a normal process to go through and everyone, at some point in life, will experience loss. Guidelines suggest that the ‘normal’ grieving time is approximately one to two months. It only becomes a problem when it becomes disabling and a person loses their ability to function in everyday life for an extended period of time – say six months or more. This can have a serious impact on motivation levels and the desire to carry on living. It results in broad changes to all personal relationships, a sense of meaningless and yearning, and a loss/upset in personal beliefs. The level of functional impairment is, therefore, an important symptom to consider when assessing grief related responses to loss.

The difference between complex and regular grief occurs in the brain – while complex grief sufferers are fully aware their loved ones are gone, they haven’t subconsciously integrated this information yet. When these conscious and unconscious notions collide, complex grief can result.Click To Tweet

As such, typical treatments for depression such as antidepressants are ineffective for complex grief sufferers. Counselling – talk and exposure therapy – is needed to help them process the loss subconsciously.

The symptoms of complex grief include:

  • Intense longing for the
  • Invasive thoughts/images of a loved one.
  • Denial of the death.
  • Imagining that the deceased is still alive.
  • Looking for the person in familiar places.
  • Avoiding things/circumstances that remind them of their loved one.
  • Extreme anger/resentment over the loss.
  • Feeling that existence is pointless/suicidal ideation.

The role of these symptoms is a natural coping mechanism, to process and understand the loss – in a similar way that self-harm can be used to cope with strong negative emotions. Note that this is a generalisation, as everyone is different and the role of these reactions will differ from person to person.

Determining the differences between Complex and Normal grief may appear easy, however, may not be clear to an untrained professional. Courses such as the CHC52015 Diploma of Community ServicesCHC50313 Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention or CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling will provide you with the skills to clearly identify the correct type of grief and individual is experiencing.

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief is the result of a loss where there are no socially recognised ways to mourn. These socially ambiguous losses are effectively unsupported in the culture or community and thus public demonstrations of grief are not deemed appropriate because elements of the loss prevent public recognition. Some examples include:

  • The death of a sibling you never knew
  • The death of a pet
  • The loss of a home/residence
  • An abortion
  • A celebrity death
  • Suicide

It also covers more socially stigmatised situations, such as:

  • A relationship breakup
  • STD diagnosis
  • Botched cosmetic surgery procedures

As a result of cultural norms towards loss, people dealing with grief in these areas may not qualify for typical grievance allowances, such as bereavement leave. This can result in a person not having sufficient time or outlets to grieve – the lack of understanding from others can often add to their negative feelings.

Typical reasons for grief, such as the death of a loved one, can even become disenfranchised once the ‘acceptable’ time allotted for mourning has passed. If we look at the Oklahoma City bombing of April 15, 1995, if parents were not “over” the death of their children after two weeks and resuming normal working life, they were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

This type of grief can be hard because either people don’t understand, or the person grieving thinks that others will not understand. Basically, it is a feeling of grief when society, in general, deprives a person of the right to grieve. This is where you, as a counsellor, come in. As time passes, the grief often intensifies while, at the same time, the social support diminishes – making it more difficult for the client to integrate the loss into their life.

Cultural Reactions to Loss

Your background may also have an effect on the way you grieve loss and others’ interpretations of your reaction to loss.

Indigenous/Aboriginal Australians

Funerals

Funerals are an important event to an Aboriginal person and may be nothing like the European funeral. An Aboriginal funeral may be a traditional funeral at the local church lasting the usual time – but it may also be a two-week long ceremony conducted hundreds of kilometres away. They involve a primary and secondary burial that can be months or even months apart and it is obligational to attend for the Aboriginal community.

In addition, when asked, “Who died?” they may look away and not mention the person’s name. This may be misinterpreted as them being deceptive; however, in many tribes, custom forbids members from mentioning the dead person’s name.

It is important that this extended grieving is not misinterpreted as complex grief if the client is of Aboriginal descent.

Cultural Competence

An individual’s social, cultural, ethnic and spiritual beliefs all have a profound effect on how they react to death and loss. As a counsellor, if these beliefs are significantly different to your own, it can be difficult to relate to your client and empathise with their position. Consequently, it is important to educate yourself about the different cultures in your community and their belief, by establishing networks with them.

Cultural competence is a continuous practice. The first step is knowledge and the second is awareness.

Culture is really important and unconsidered by most therapists. An extreme example is Schizophrenia – in the Western world, it is one of the most debilitating disorders; in other parts of the world, it is revered (e.g. shaman). So, the grieving process can be massively impacted depending on social, cultural factors etc. This might mean grief looks very different – the importance is that the behaviours function the same way. On a basic level, think gender differences – a female might cry, whereas a male may not but this doesn’t mean one is grieving and the other is not. Imagine how Buddhists may differ to Christians following the death of someone. You can imagine that there are vast differences between people based on these factors – some of the behaviours may even be strange or harmful (starvation, self-harm, hallucinations) – but, in dealing with grief, it is important to be sensitive to individual differences.

Developmental levels should be considered also – think about how age may affect the grieving process. A child will grieve differently to an elderly person and to middle-aged persons, as their outlook on life is completely different. Exposure to death for an elderly person may have numbed the effect somewhat, whereas a child may be new to the concept. With the older generation, it may also elicit the facing of their own mortality; a child may not understand the severity of the situation and only grieve at a later time when they are able to process the events. This can result in them ‘acting up’ later in life.

Cultural differences

Certain cultures may view public displays of grief as unacceptable and this may contribute to the build-up of emotion in a client, making it hard for them to express their emotions; however, other cultures view the public expression of grief as vital.

Within each culture, individual reactions will differ also – this can be down to their personality, their closeness to the deceased or their role in the mourning process.

The ideal situation is to become ‘culturally competent’ – that is not only being culturally sensitive but also able to engage with clients from different cultural backgrounds.

Failure to do this may result in the following:

  • Misinterpretation of a client’s reactions
  • Causing offence to the client, creating a barrier to effective counselling
  • Inability to offer appropriate support and support networks

Once you’ve established this information, you should then seek to use available resources to find out more about their beliefs.

These can include:

  1. Community/religious leaders.
  2. Family members (of the client).
  3. Colleagues familiar with your client’s cultural beliefs.

Ethnic Differences

Ethnicity is not merely the colour of someone’s skin. Moreover, it refers to the culture a person identifies with. So, even if a person is white and of Australian descent, but they grew up in Tokyo, Japan, they may identify and consider themselves as “belonging” to Japanese culture.

The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition”.

In a counselling context, therefore, you must not make assumptions based on appearance alone. Just because someone looks like they are from somewhere e.g. Asia, does not mean they are from there or that they identify and comply with that culture.

Social Differences

Simply whether your client is male or female can affect the way they grieve. In some societies, males are taught not to show emotions such as sadness, loneliness and depression, as it can be perceived as a ‘weakness’. When a loved one is lost, this can result in a build-up of these emotions, with a no appropriate outlet to vent them – they may even deny their feelings of grief.

Spiritual Differences

Spiritual differences can affect the societal consensus about death – whether it is viewed as a negative or positive outcome. Note that spirituality doesn’t merely refer to religious beliefs – it is a broader concept that means something different to each individual, but that which gives their life meaning.

Let’s look at the Mexican and Hispanic Day of the Dead – where death is celebrated and families leave gifts and food on the graves of their deceased loved ones’ graves. In Ecuador, they even have a picnic on the grave of their loved one, when they are initially buried.

Compare this to the traditional funeral, where it is a much more sombre affair, where attendees grieve through remembrance of the deceased’s life and crying. This can be followed or preceded by a wake.

From this, it is understandable how people’s perceptions of dying can vary greatly.

This article was written by Wendy Webber, the Australis College Head of Faculty for Community Services and Counselling. For more information about our range of courses that could assist in the areas of grief and loss review the following courses  CHC52015 Diploma of Community ServicesCHC50313 Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention or CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling or call 1300 887 991.

The post What is Grief and Loss appeared first on Australis College.

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LinkedIn is a well-established and renowned online platform that has changed the way employees are recruited. Formerly serving as an additional asset to your resume, LinkedIn has recently become the most recommended job application tool, replacing the traditional resume/CV format. In this day and age being asked for your LinkedIn profile is becoming a recurring occurrence.

Having a LinkedIn profile has shown to significantly increase your job prospects, professional brand and online visibility. Having the widest breadth of data available, it’s effectively used to find potential employees within a certain field or organisation and to market and sell to a targeted audience. There are over 433 million LinkedIn members – hence why it’s important that your profile acts as a digital ‘first impression’ and showcases your skills. So how is your LinkedIn profile ranked?

Keep Your Profile Updated

Having an active and up to date LinkedIn profile will show your potential future employer all of your details in order to be considered for a position. Constantly updating your profile whether it maybe your picture, contact details, experience, sharing a post or posting content yourself will increase your online visibility as your profile can be shown in someone’s newsfeed or be recommended to organisations/recruiters.

Include Everything!

Ensure you include all the relevant details that you would normally add to your resume, for example information about your education, your qualifications, industry/work experience, internships, volunteering and skills. This will give the employers a further insight and better understanding of your capabilities and whether you fit the job description.

Proof Read Your Profile

LinkedIn is a fun and modern way to network and display your skills! Nothing is more unprofessional than a profile with spelling mistakes. You want your profile to be visually appealing, organised and professional. When an employer, causal LinkedIn stalker, or a recruiter sees bad spelling they will happily leave your profile. They don’t care if your profile picture is a 10/10 or if you have the skills that they’re looking for – bye bye. Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, apply high punctuation skills.

Profile Picture

Last but not least is having a profile picture for your LinkedIn account. It’s important to have a good profile photo as you’re advertising your own personal brand. Profiles without a photo are often ignored and the additional effort could be the difference between receiving 7 to 14 more profile clicks. Your profile picture shouldn’t be a selfie from the weekend, with your cat or your current Facebook picture. Essentially, being well groomed, in corporate clothing and with minimal filters used (hard to resist!) is ideal. Having a good profile photo shows the employer that you took initiative, and that your level of competence and professionalism is high.

Building a professional LinkedIn profile is necessary for job opportunities and professional networking. LinkedIn is a powerful platform used globally! Understand LinkedIn, treat your profile like gold and stand out from the others!

Written By Anja Botic

References:
http://internships.about.com/od/findinganinternship/a/Using-Linkedin-To-Search-For-Internships.htm
https://scrunch.com/blog/what-your-linkedin-profile-should-say-about-you/
https://www.linkedin.com/static?key=what_is_linkedin

The post How does your LinkedIn profile rank? appeared first on Australis College.

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Are you looking for a career in Community Services
and want to find out the best pathway from a Course to a Career?

If so, then watch our 45 minute Community Services Career Pathways Webinar by clicking on the image below and find out what course will help you land your dream job!

You’ll hear from industry-leading Community Services Professionals, Educators and Course Consultants.

Their invaluable insight will help you get up to speed with the latest Employment, Education and Industry Trends.

The webinar covers:
  • Working in the Community Services Industry
  • Working in the Leisure and Health Industry
  • Personalised course pathway advice
  • University pathways
  • Different study options, and
  • Funding & payment options

Guest Speakers include Melissa Ford, Stephanie Bejma and Wendy Webber. Combined they share over 50 years of industry experience.

The Year Ahead

With 2019 fast approaching (or already here), there is no better time to get planning than today!

Don’t wait any longer….set yourself up for success for 2019 and beyond and watch this webinar!

Simply click the image above and watch the webinar, which will provide information and answers to a range of questions about the Community Services Industry and the pathway to developing your career in this fast-growing sector!

Community Services will be one of the fastest growing sectors in Australis for jobs over the next 5 years.

According to the Federal Government’s Job website (joboutlook.gov.au), job vacancies growth will be incredibly strong over the next 5 years with up to 179,000 job openings.

If you would like to speak with one of our friendly Course Consultants about the webinar and how we can assist you to enter or further develop your skills within the Community Services Sector then please feel free to:

Australis College is a leading provider of Community Services Courses to both individuals wanting to enter the industry as well as to existing Community Service workers who are upskilling to broaden their industry knowledge, enter different areas of the sector or to gain a promotion. We off a large range of courses from Certificate III through to Diploma level qualifications in addition to a number of specialist skill-sets.

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Burnout and Stress…They’re Similar but Not the Same

Imagine you are driving home from work after a long day and it’s nearly Christmas.

Going up a hill your car starts to just miss a beat, then it starts to backfire, the brakes are squealing as you brake for the traffic lights and your car stops running.

You are surrounded by people rushing home to their loved ones for Christmas, yet your car won’t start and you’re stuck in the middle of the road at the traffic lights!

Burnout is a road hazard in life and common in the community services industry.

Burnout is feeling like you are under constant stress, you feel helpless, disillusioned, exhausted, loss of empathy towards others and feeling incompetent in the workplace.

You may feel stressed at this time of the year but stress and burnout are very different.

You may find that the stress you have in your life has caused burnout but this isn’t the same as having a lot of stress.

Stress is generally manageable but overwhelming and prolonged stress can often lead to burnout.

Stress is having many pressures and demands on you physically and mentally.

If you are stressed you may use self-talk, if I can finish this then I will be fine, if I get through my list then it will all be better.

Burnout is about feeling empty, mentally exhausted and beyond caring. People who are experiencing burnout don’t see any hope for change, they feel like they are drowning.

If you are feeling under pressure and have a lot of stress in your life you may not notice when burnout happens.

What are the signs of Burnout?

The following symptoms are what you need to look out for:

Physical signs and symptoms of burnout

  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain
  • Lowered immunity, getting sick a lot

Emotional signs and symptoms of burnout

  • Sense of failure and self-doubt
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated
  • Detachment, feeling alone in the world
  • Loss of motivation
  • Increasingly cynical and negative outlook
  • Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment

Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities
  • Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
  • Taking out your frustrations on others
  • Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early
Actively dealing with burnout using the 3 Rs

Dealing with burnout in the most effective and easy way is to follow the method known as the 3 R’s. By taking these steps and applying them to your daily life not only will it assit you in recovering from any existing burnout but it will also help to prevent it from reoccurring again in the future.

The 3 R’s:

Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout

Reverse – Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress

Resilience – Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health

10 Tips for Assisting to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout
  1. Talk with someone about your feelings
  2. Reschedule your work
  3. Cut down on your workload
  4. Take a holiday
  5. Use the Christmas time to recharge your batteries
  6. Use relaxation and meditation
  7. Use positive self-talk
  8. Allow yourself to enjoy life and have a laugh
  9. Care for yourself, do something nice
  10. Find new friends and a support network
Summary

Finally, find what you are passionate about in life. You may need to redefine your goals or find a balance so you can enjoy life once more.

If you require further assistance please contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14

References

The post Stress and Burnout – Do you Have it and How to Overcome it? appeared first on Australis College.

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Subscription…the most flexible way to get qualified or stay current!

Continuous education and learning new skills is essential in today’s fast-paced and competitive global economy, which is why we’ve created the Australis Subscription Program.

If you want to:
  1. Change Jobs or Career Direction
  2. Gain a Promotion
  3. Get your First Job or a New Job
  4. Prepare to go back to work after staying home to look after your children
  5. Obtain Professional Development (PD) points or time for membership bodies; or
  6. Simply Learn New Skills and Knowledge

…then the current higher education and vocational systems aren’t always structured in a way that best meets the demands of our busy lives.

How we learn today:

Currently, you need to go through the process of selecting a specific qualification, enrol into the qualification, then either pay substantial upfront fees, take out a Government Loan or commit to expensive monthly payments…plus have the pressure of needing to complete your qualification within a set timeframe or run the risk of paying for a course you never finish!

Our time is extremely limited in society today with demands in all aspects of our lives from; long working hours, family commitments, socialising with friends not to mention always trying to fit in time for maintaining your health and well-being.

So how do you make the time to take on the commitment of a study program that will ultimately help you achieve your goals and make a better life for yourself and your family given the current education system?

Revolutionising how we learn in the future:

With all the demands on your time, it’s often very difficult to commit to signing up to a full-time qualification with assessment study schedules and assessment deadlines which seem to be relentless throughout your course…unless you can create more hours in the day or you neglect one or more areas of your life.

If you want to grow, both professionally and personally, gain that promotion, change careers or simply get a new and better job, then you need the flexibility to be able to study at your own pace, be it as fast as possible to achieve your goals quickly or over a longer time period, which fits in with your busy life and doesn’t force you to make too many sacrifices in other areas of your life.

To enable you to achieve this, Australis is now able to offer you a Subscription Program, which enables you to:

  1. Study at your own pace (take a long or as fast as you want to complete your course)
  2. Select which topics or subjects you want to study and in the order that suits you (some subject may have pre-requisites)
  3. Gain access to a comprehensive library of all content within a given Faculty/Subject Area
  4. Receive access to new content, at no extra charge as it’s released
  5. Select the amount of training support you want, from simply online webinars & chat through to dedicated 1-on-1 training sessions
  6. Obtain Nationally Recognised Qualifications by completing Assessments only when you’re ready to complete them…you can even obtain multiple qualifications for no extra subscription fees
  7. Not be locked in to an expensive course fee giving you the ability to unsubscribe or change your type of subscription at any time or even place your subscription on hold when life gets too busy

Australis currently offers Australia’s first Subscription Program designed for the education…think of it as the Netflix* for Training and Education and all for an affordable monthly fee (that you can cancel at any time)!

In fact, depending on your goals, you can simply:
  • Gain new skills and knowledge by working through the subjects for your own professional development or
  • Obtain 1 or more qualifications as many of the subjects are in multiple qualifications

…and all with the flexibility of completing the subjects you want and when you want to complete them!

All you need to do is simply select one of our Subscription Packages that best suits your training needs and based on the package selected you’ll gain immediate access to a large library of content, regular online training and support plus the option to even purchase 1-on-1 dedicated training sessions.

The Australis Subscription Program is the first of its kind in Australia and will revolutionise the way Australians study, acquire new skills and knowledge, but most importantly enable you to achieve your goals and improve your life.

To find out more about how you can benefit, or better still take advantage of this unique new program, call us today on 1300 887 991 or click here.


* Netflix is a registered trading name for Netflix Inc. who provides a personalised subscription service that allows members to access movies and TV shows (“Netflix content”) streamed over the Internet to certain Internet-connected TVs, computers and other devices (“Netflix ready devices”).

The post The Australis Subscription Program appeared first on Australis College.

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When your study is in full swing and you have assessments and big projects that you are about to begin, it can be hard to manage your stress. But you don’t have to let stress get the better of you or your academic performance.

Try these 5 unique, quick, and simple strategies to fight off the stress in a healthy way and reinvigorate your study.

1. Embrace your stress

Though it sounds counterintuitive, one of the best ways to alleviate stress is to embrace it, says psychologist Kelly McGonigal1.

If you can reframe your stress as a challenge to overcome rather than looking at it as an unsolvable problem, you’ll find it much easier to manage.

Ask yourself about the source of your stress and what you can learn from it. For example, if you discover that you have anxiety because you want to do well but fear failure, you could try and channel your great desire to achieve as a positive motivator. By being optimistic, you can use stress as a way to learn and grow.

 2. Connect with green spaces

Research about the link between plants and wellbeing showed that people with plants in their offices reduced their stress levels and negative feelings by 30 to 60%. Even one plant in your study space can make a difference.

Since exercise is a natural stress-reducer, going for a morning jog in the park reinvigorate you and reduce your stress. Just a ten-minute walk in a green space has been shown to reduce blood pressure and stress hormone levels. If you can’t get outside, invest in plants for your home or put your desk near a window that looks out on trees.

 3. Eat stress-reducing foods

While it may be tempting to soothe your anxieties by eating a tub of ice cream, a better plan is to keep your blood sugar balanced is by eating healthy snacks2. When our brain doesn’t have the proper nourishment it needs it won’t function at its optimum level and our stress hormones rise.

Bananas are high in potassium, which regulates blood pressure and protects our bodies from the negative health effects of stress. Avocados, cashews, berries, and chocolate are also good choices according to health experts.

For an even greater calming effect, eat your snack mindfully. Pay attention to its taste, texture, and scent as you eat. By stepping outside of yourself and putting yourself in the moment, you’ll feel more relaxed and clear-headed.

4. Melt stress with music and videos

Listening to music has long been proven to help with relaxation3. In one study, Malaysian researchers found that subjects who listened to music that played at 60 beats per minute felt increased physical relaxation and reduced feelings of stress. This is common in slow classical music.

While staring at a computer screen for hours has been shown to increase stress, certain media can help you feel better if you engage in small doses. Whether you watch a funny viral video online (yes, this includes cute cat videos), or share a laugh with your friends, laughter increases endorphins, or as we call them, the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain, which reduce stress.

5. Organise your study area

If your study area is cluttered then this will increase your levels of stress. Neuroscience researchers determined that clutter reduces our ability to focus and process information, which makes us frustrated and agitated. You’ll reduce your stress levels and make it easier to study by organising your study space.

Tidy your desk, remove all unnecessary papers and books so you have plenty of space around you.

Focus on a single task or subject at a time and only have the books or reading materials required for this task in your study area. You’ll be amazed at how your levels of stress reduce when you have a tidy study space.

References:

The post 5 Healthy Ways to Destress When Studying appeared first on Australis College.

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Jamie Zammit, an Australis Student wins Prestigious Scholarship recently at the 2018 Regional Aviation Association of Australia National Convention on the Gold Coast.

Jamie won the Jeppesen Pilot Scholarship, which is valued at $7,500 and he will put the money towards his studies and to also help offset the costs of his aviation training.

He is nearing the completion of his Diploma with Australis whilst at the same time is in his first year of a Bachelor of Aviation at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).

“Flying is something I’ve always wanted to do.” said Jamie.

In response to winning this award, Jamie said “It’s quite humbling to know that my hard work and perseverance has paid off and that there are people out there who believe in me and are willing to support me financially.”

Jamie is close to completing his Diploma with Australis and obtaining his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) having completed almost 200 flight training hours.

Andrew Hetherington, Australis College’s Managing Director, said “Jamie is not only a hard-working student but a brilliant role model. He’s leading by example, showing everyone it’s possible to make your dreams become a reality. We look forward to Jamie graduating from his Diploma and wish him the best of luck as he continues his aviation studies with USQ, he’s definitely a very worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”

Jamie is hoping to be accepted into the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program (QGFPP), which is open to high-achieving USQ students studying a Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations).

To learn more about studying Aviation at USQ or about the QGFPP, visit Aviation.

The post Australis Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship appeared first on Australis College.

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