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Narrative Storytelling – Values, Change and The Future of Work #BCM313

As we come towards the end of my journey in the BCM313 – Future of Work subject, along with my overarching time here at the University of Wollongong, I was afforded the opportunity to interview a member of the Australian Public Service in a narrative conversation discussing the themes of professional values, change in the workplace, and the future of work. These talking points, will all become especially relevant when I make my eventual transition from university student to graduate/jobseeker and eventually a real-world professional. (Casciano, 2021)

One major epiphany that I have discovered throughout my time attending BCM313, is the importance of confidence in yourself with regard to interviewing, presentations, and portfolios in the professional landscape. When you are required to communicate with other people, it can always be a nerve-wracking scenario, but the key is to be confident in yourself, your skills, and your own ability, which helps internally reinforce that you are in this position/opportunity on your own merit. (John, 2021)

The individual I decided to interview for this narrative conversation, was Kali Marshall, who is the acting team leader in charge of training as a Public Servant within the IP Australia Agency, but also my personal mentor through the Australian Network on Disabilities’ PACE Mentoring Program. Kali has been instrumental to my smooth transition from student to jobseeker, as she has seen both sides of the hiring process, which provided me an immensely valuable source into the values, and skills needed to be successful in the workplace, along with the understanding of future trends of the workplace, and how to deal with these predictable and unpredictable changes in our professional lives.

During the process of editing my interview with Kali to present to the BCM313 cohort, my personal values heavily shaped the direction and response to Kali’s story, when dealing with specific career moments due to the time limits set on the presentation. As a result, I wanted to focus primarily on Kali’s roles within IP Australia, due to its importance to Kali as her first professional career after graduating from university, this was done because, I will be making that similar transition over the next year, and it connects with one of the possible directions my life is currently heading with a potential opportunity in the public service.

This led to the discussion of Kali’s professional values and ability to respond to change, in which the concept of resilience continued to stand out in Kali’s stories. Resilience is a “necessary skill for coping with life’s inevitable obstacles and one of the key ingredients to success” (Reachout, 2022) and throughout my time at BCM313, and since my childhood resilience has been a key skill personally that has shaped my personal attributes and career path journey, which reinforced the importance of discussing this key skill in more detail with relation to the practice of re-membering and the club of life.

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

“Thinking about one’s life as a ‘club with members’ offers new possibilities for therapeutic conversations” (Russell & Carey, 2002) as Kali narrowed in on her club of life, we were able to take part in the practice of remembering, and reflect on our relationships and how those around us impact our values and lives in general. (YouthAOD, 2022) Kali and I share similar experiences within our clubs of life in terms of knowing about our resilience, however, I believe that the outer circles of my club of life including friends, and close teaching staff are aware of my resilience through my openness about my trials and tribulations, and my willingness to accept help from those around me.

Rounding off, Kali makes a fantastic point about investing in our future and I believe that is extremely important to consider when going forward into the white-collar industry, this was reinforced by the questions raised by Mark Jay after the presentation. In a competitive landscape, we must always take opportunities that can enhance our skills and employability, but be smart to invest in the right areas, to make the short-term efforts have a profound effect on our long-term work portfolio.

I will have learned a lot of things in Switizliand, which I should be able to take, teach and share back in my current job!

– Kali Marshall, 2022

Thank you so much for reading about my experience preparing and presenting my interview with Kali Marshall. This final semester at the University of Wollongong has been tremendously stressful with tons of work, job hunting, and personal complications, but as we close in on our last week as students, we must all reflect on the amazing experiences we’ve shared, all the talented friends we’ve made along the way, and the many lessons learned. Cheers for the fun ride, and I eagerly await the future of work!

Reference List

Casciano, M (2021) How to Navigate the Shift From College Student to Real-World Professional, According to Career Experts [online] https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/job-career/transition-from-college-student-to-working-professional [Accessed 25/10/2022]

John, I (2021) Why Confidence is The Game Changer In Job Interviews [online] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-confidence-game-changer-job-interviews-ita-john/ [Accessed 25/10/2022]

ReachOut (2022) What is resilience? [online] https://schools.au.reachout.com/articles/what-is-resilience [Accessed 25/10/2022]

Russell, S, and Carey, M (2002) Remembering: responding to commonly asked questions [online] https://narrativepractices.com.au/attach/pdf/Remembering_Common_Questions.pdf [Accessed 25/10/2022]

YouthAOD Toolbox (2022) E9. Re-membering [online] https://www.youthaodtoolbox.org.au/e9-re-membering [Accessed 25/10/2022]

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