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Tuesday, 23 December 2014 17:35

Family first ahead of career for Aussie professionals

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net/images Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net/images

Senior professionals, it seems, value family more than their job as a measure of their success in life, according to a newly released study by professional network LinkedIn.

According to LinkedIn, its ‘Life of a Professional’ study of Australia’s senior professionals found that more than half – or 65% to be precise – say they value having a family as their top measure of success, followed by owning a nice house (47%) and having a high income (37%).

LinkedIn’s worldwide study, undertaken jointly with CensusWide, researched the aspirations and evolving needs of a sample of some of the network’s 6 million Australian professionals and also looked into the challenges senior professionals faced at work and their professional regrets.

And, while career and family are important, nearly a quarter (24%) of the Australian professionals surveyed said volunteering their time and skills to important causes or causes they care about is a top measure of success in life.

While having a family was cited as their top measure of success, one in five (20%) senior professionals in Australia said leaving work to start a family was, or would be difficult, for them.

In addition, over one quarter (26%) of the senior professionals said they found it, or would find it, difficult to move from full-time work to a part-time arrangement.

Looking back on their career to-date, 42% of senior professionals said that if they could have done anything differently in advancing their career, they would have acquired more qualifications, followed by proactively building and expanding their professional network (32%) and undergoing more training courses (29%).  

Commenting on the findings of the LinkedIn study, Brisbane-based career coach Sally-Anne Blanshard had some timely career advice for both professionals and employers: “As you reach the latter stages of your career, it’s a good time to pause and take stock of what you have achieved, set new goals and decide how you would like to spend the remainder of your professional life.

“As evident in this study, senior professionals have plenty of experience in dealing with tough career decisions as well as advice on what they would do differently and strategies for success to impart on the next generation of Australian professionals. Employers should tap into this wealth of experience and industry knowledge and approach senior staff with opportunities to mentor junior team members.”

Blanshard and LinkedIn say senior professionals can use their experience to engage meaningfully with their industry and other professionals, and they offer some tips on how best to do this:

•    Build your personal brand: Creating a compelling LinkedIn profile can help you market yourself better and at the same time attract prospective employers. Your LinkedIn profile can be your ticket to a variety of new professional opportunities like partnerships, mentorships, volunteering, jobs or new business

•    Share your knowledge by publishing posts on LinkedIn: Share your expertise with other professionals on LinkedIn by publishing long-form posts. Write about topics relevant to your profession or industry. Publishing posts will help you build your reputation as a go-to resource in your area of expertise

•    Learn from successful leaders: With hundreds of the brightest and most successful business minds among LinkedIn’s Influencers, you can exchange and get insights to help take your business and career further. Follow leaders of your favorite companies and industry experts to see how they have achieved success.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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