My career in career development education

Cuong Le and Michael Healy, part of the 2014 RMIT Vietnam career development education team
Cuong Le and Michael Healy, part of the 2014 RMIT Vietnam career development education team

I had never considered career development education as a possible pathway. I barely even knew it existed. But when I took an opportunity to become a career development educator, I immediately knew it was the right decision.

Making the jump to career development education

My discovery happened a couple of years ago at RMIT in Vietnam. I used my experience as an English teacher to land a job as a career development educator in the RMIT career centre. This was mostly out of a desire to get out of English language teaching, which was getting stale for me.

I wasn’t certain that taking the job was the right decision. I’d never been interested in the corporate world. I assumed I had to have a degree of business experience and a corporate mindset to do the job well. I was unsure  what I had to offer students who were studying to become accountants, analysts, managers, or marketers.

Like a fish to water

But as soon as I started working with students, I knew that I’d be a great career development educator. I discovered that the job entailed teaching some fundamental skills. I taught students the value of concise writing, by helping them edit their resumes down to one or two powerful pages. I gave them confidence, by showing them how to drive the conversation in a job interview. I helped them articulate their goals and their values and make sound decisions, by asking them a few key questions. My experience as an English teacher was invaluable as I distilled complex ideas into engaging lessons and resources.

Full steam ahead

In helping students choose their career paths, I found mine. I have decided to commit myself to the profession of career development education. I have consolidated my career change, securing my second position as a university career consultant, at La Trobe University in Melbourne.  I’m also studying RMIT’s Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development to gain a formal credential.

I have plans for the future, of course. Hopefully, you’ll see them play out on the pages of this blog as I record some of my personal and professional learning as a career development educator.