07/05/2002 - 22:00

A career under control

07/05/2002 - 22:00


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THE days of a job for life are long gone. Gold watches presented at retirement and long-service leave are fast becoming anachronistic.

A career under control
THE days of a job for life are long gone. Gold watches presented at retirement and long-service leave are fast becoming anachronistic.

Now, more than ever, individuals must take a dominant role in the direction and management of their own career path.

And while some people jump from one good job to another, luck may not always be on your side.

Combining a sound career strategy with an ounce of luck was among the issues addressed earlier this week by Megan Enders at the Winning that Job or Promotion seminar, as part of the WA Club’s Hold a Mirror to Your Career series.

Throughout her career Ms Enders has realised the benefits of identifying, planning, and achieving goals.

At 31 years of age she was the first woman appointed to the Western Power management in its five-decade history.

As the general manager, commercial services business unit, she reports directly to the managing director. Ms Enders is responsible for 550 employees and has a budget of $70 million.

She said getting to that level didn’t come by just bouncing erratically from job to job.

“The way I have gone about this is a deliberate, quite organised approach,” Ms Enders said.

She said that, even before she started her career in the public service, she recognised the need to adapt to circumstances in the work environment.

“I actually had a job lined up in my final year of university but then the recession hit and they had to withdraw the offer,” Ms Enders said.

“I re-evaluated my circumstances and spoke with a lot of people. At that time, being in Canberra, they said ‘if you want to be in business you need to get into government’.”

And with the government graduate intake program all but over, Ms Enders decided to head back to university and complete her honours, enrolling in the program the following year.

But she wasn’t about to put all her eggs in one basket.

“I kept my hand in other things. I tutored and I made sure I did work experience,” Ms Enders said.

“To have an option is really important. I’m a real believer in having a bit of variety and being able to broaden your horizons.”

She was accepted into the graduate intake and began working in government, including time as a policy adviser to Paul Keating’s department, and later as an adviser to Nick Minchin regarding the republic.

And, while Ms Enders could have kept moving ahead and enjoyed a successful career in government, she was determined to stick to her plan.

“I said I would do five years in government and then get out. I decided to do my MBA at the University of Melbourne as a means to get into the private sector,” Ms Enders said.

She then decided to work for a management consulting company in order to gain a wide knowledge of business operations.

While working for the consulting company she did some contractual work for Western Power and, when the organisation advertised the position, she decided to apply, eventually being successful.

But the point to all the planning, she said, is that, although we need to set up our careers and keep moving along the path, we must be happy in walking it.

“We spend so much of our time working. It’s very important to like what you do,” Ms Enders said. “There are changes that can happen that can take the gloss off. It’s important to be able to find new ways to adapt, which may mean moving on.”

The next in the seminar series, Essential Career Management Tools, will be held on Tuesday May 28.


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