Expert Career Tips for School Leavers


At MIGAS, we’re in the business of making careers. With our national reach, and almost 30 years’ experience in the industry, we know a thing or two about how to get you where you’re going.

Our own staff have had their own experiences however, some coming from university, some with a trade background, and others coming straight into the workforce from high school.

We spoke to a number of our staff to get their perspective on what a career means and what advice they’d give to those leaving high school now.

“I enjoyed Tafe and the experience that it gave me although, my real life experience came from working within the employment industry. It has taught me to be respectful, hardworking and most of all compassionate to all that I am working with. I believe that hands on work experience is the key to success!!”

- Joe Scollo, Team Leader, Melbourne

"You need to have a passion about your trade, you need to bounce out of bed in the mornings wanting to go to work. Always learn off the older tradesmen and treat them with respect and they will teach you the right ways." 

- Darren Hoefsmit, Field Officer, Sydney

"Take a look at the sort of hobbies and interests one might have.  Its a good indication of what they might like to do as a pathway. For example someone who likes potting around with miniature motorised model cars or planes might like working with automotive engines or someone who has an interest in electronics might want to consider the Electrical or Air Conditioning and Refrigeration trade. You just need to know what you enjoy doing and your most likely to stay in a role that interests you."

- Petelo Petelo, Community Liaison Officer, Brisbane

"When you make a career choice at school, don’t feel that you will be locked into that path forever.  Life often presents unexpected opportunities to change direction for the better.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the duration of an apprenticeship or university degree.  When you reach your thirties, that time spent on training and education will seem like a small step in your overall career path.  Be flexible, open minded and be prepared to try something new.  Life is short and full of experiences.  At the end of the day, it’s up to you how much you put in and how much you get out of it."

- Mark Corgat, Chief Financial Officer, Brisbane

“Never rely on someone else to advocate for your best interest.  Make your own decisions and take your time to research, learn and create the career path that suits you. “

- Melissa Gleeson, QLD/WA State Manager, Brisbane

"No matter how many doors get closed in your face, don't settle for less than your goal. Some people feel like they have to just take something, but if you want a particular career, then don't settle for something off your pathway. Be serious about the career you want and get the right education, even if it takes your a few years to get where you want. Find someone who will support you, believe in you and push you to believe in yourself and succeed."

- Wendy Cavanagh, Field Officer, Sunshine Coast

"Most people are required to work for a number of years to pay their way through life so it is important to find a career or job that you love and clearly focus your energies to achieve your goals. Leave no stone unturned -  work hard, network, develop your skill base, build on your strengths, overcome your weaknesses and show your passion to achieve your goals. Understand that anything is possible with hard work, clear goals and a steely determination."

- Ken Smith, National Business Development Manager, Brisbane 

"It’s not a terrible thing that we feel uncertain when deciding on what we want to do when we step into the workforce. We all have options when choosing our careers, some we may not see right now – but just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Work out what you like and dislike, do research on different job descriptions and ask plenty of questions, talk to family and friends and if possible find people to job shadow for a week or two."

- Robyn Burgess, Administration Officer, Hunter Valley 

"Make sure you tailor your resume to suit the role you're applying for and match your experience to the selection criteria in the ad. Have a professional and appropriate email address, and your contact information is correct. Even if they don't ask for one, ALWAYS submit a cover letter, and give your references advance notice so they'll be expecting a call."

- Nyssa de Waard, National Services Coordinator, Brisbane

“I enjoyed university and it was the right decision for me at the time, but the truth is I’ve gained more knowledge, focus and insight into my strengths from being on the job than I ever did in a lecture room. If you’re not certain on where your strengths and goals lie, take some time out to assess your options and decide what will work best for you. There’s no rush to choose a career that’s right for you!”

 - Laura Gosney, Marketing Support, Brisbane


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Published 12 February 2016