Thursday, December 19th, 2013

It’s definitely been an interesting year for Australian workers. With industries across the nation facing challenging conditions and the overall economy stagnating slightly, 2013 saw many Australians opt for stability rather than testing the job market.

While this is understandable - especially with the Federal Election also adding to this uncertainty – when looking back on the year it’s clear it had a significant impact on workers throughout Australia. Across the year the amount of Aussies looking to change roles decreased substantially, while employee confidence in finding a new job also diminished significantly. This uncertainty affected confidence in other areas of working life, with employees 13% less confident in their chances of receiving a pay rise this year than at the end of 2012.

However as we approach the New Year, there are signs the tide may be turning. The World of Work Report by recruitment & HR services specialists, Randstad, shows almost half (42%) of employees are planning to leave their job in the next 12 months, and the quarterly Randstad Workmonitor shows 50% of the workforce believes the economy will improve in the coming year.

With the labour market continuing to be significantly tighter than most other nations – even with the minor increases in the unemployment rate – Australians can be positive about the 2014 outlook and consider ways to further their careers throughout the year.

It’s important though to take time out and consider what’s essential in your role, and strive to fulfil these requirements, particularly in light of change. Whether it’s internal change resulting from a merger and acquisition or a restructure, or external change relating to technology or the economy, consider what’s required by you, in your role to deal effectively with this change and come out on top.

Randstad recruitment consultants recommend you use the Christmas break and the early part of 2014 to evaluate your position in the organisation and how you can shape your personal career path in the year ahead:

1. Be prepared to take advantage of opportunities

The employment market is set to be competitive next year, with almost one in every two Aussies intending to leave their current employer and look for a new role within the next 12 months. Because of this, it’s important you be well prepared in your job search and dedicate time to researching roles which are of particular interest and perfectly suit your skills and experience. Update your CV, brush up on your behavioural interview skills and meet with specialist recruitment consultants who can help in your job search. Those who are ready to apply for roles and take advantage of opportunities immediately as they arise will ultimately be the most successful in their pursuit of new employment.

2. Adapt to work alongside different generations

With four different generations employed in the Australian workforce, people need to show how they can collaborate and work effectively with colleagues of all ages and cultural backgrounds. As Baby Boomers prepare to retire and leave the workforce, it’s important they share their learnings and experiences with remaining teams. This will then leave skills gaps in the business, which will need to be filled, providing new opportunities for employees to stretch and step up to the plate to advance their careers.

3. Take advantage of flexible working arrangements

Flexible working arrangements are set to become more prevalent than ever due to advances in technology and pressures on organisations to allow mobility.

More than a quarter of Australian employees (26%) say their ideal work week would consist of working half in the office and half from home and as a result, 35% of employers intend to recruit more staff on flexible working arrangements over the next five years.

If you’re one of these people that need flexibility in your working week, seek out the opportunities. If you can demonstrate the benefits to you and to the organisation, then it will certainly be embraced. Consider the reduced commuting costs and time; being a more engaged and satisfied employee due to greater work / life balance and increased productivity and autonomy. Speak to your employer about any flexible work options available within your organisation, as you may be in a position to negotiate these into your contract.

4. Develop skills employers will value in 2014 and beyond

In order to fast-track your career, whether within your current organisation or by moving elsewhere, you need to invest time in developing skills that will hold the greatest value with employers in the future. Employers have indicated that leadership skills (33%), creative and innovative skills (15%) and technical skills (12%) will be the most critical to ensuring their organisation’s competitiveness over the next five years. Similarly, five years from now employers expect the majority of their workforce requirements to be for leaders (29%), people engaged in skilled knowledge work (34%) or specialist technical work (19%), with talent scarcity expected to be ongoing for senior leaders, middle managers, project managers and business development managers.

For all employees, an investment in developing a range of skills, from management abilities to social media and creative skills, will prove highly beneficial in an increasingly competitive workforce. Learning what skills will be most valued in your industry, and making sure you are well trained in those areas will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

When making your career resolutions for the New Year, make sure you reflect on what you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to make it happen?” Then work on your plan and consult the best people to set you on the right path.

Steve Shepherd is Group Director of recruitment & HR services specialists, Randstad. Randstad is passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level. Visit for further information.

Amity Harrold

118 Victoria Road


Rozelle NSW 2039

T 02 9818 9334

F 02 9810 3520

[email protected]

M 0434975868



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