My beautiful future career / ABC Far North, ABC WA Drive, Hong Kong 3









The world has conspired this week to make most of my on stage and on air conversations Education focused.

Tomorrow I have the honour of speaking to a group of year 9 -12 students at one of Melbourne’s State Schools about all things careers, the jobs they may be doing and the way they may be working – truly can’t wait and even better, this is a full day program put together by a  couple of Year 12 students who invited the other local schools to come along – well done!

On Thursday I take my quest to Higher Education, when I address a group of Sydney’s elite higher education providers and look at the future of higher education and explain why universities will be soon be selling their land holdings and why the emphasis of tertiary qualifications has to global, just in time, just for me and just enough and develop more of the human traits than the industry ones, more on both of these later in the week.

So having designated this Education week, I’ve spilled the topic into many of my regular on air chats as we explored Kindergarten to Death education, what it is, why we do, what we won’t do anymore and what we must do instead.

Such an important conversation, I’ love you to have a listen to any of the interviews below and then share your thoughts on the Future of Education and if you’re up to it join me on air on Wednesday night (2nd August 2017) at 10 p.m. on ABC Radio as Nightlife’s Phil Clark and I chat our way through the Future of Education and take callers thoughts on where they see it all heading.

Kier Shorey, ABC Far North Monday 31st July (14 mins 52 sec)

Barry Nichols, ABC WA Regional Drive (8 mins 49 sec)

Phil Whelan, Hong Kong Radio 3 (16 mins 53 sec)

Empathy, adaptability key to survival in new-age job market / Sunday Star Times – Business Section – New Zealand

reprinted from Sunday Star Times – Business Section – New Zealand, written by Simon Day

NZ jobsBeing employable could soon be more important than being employed in a fast-changing job market.


Are you honest, reliable, know how to drive a van and don’t mind handling urine samples? Then how about a career as a drug detection technician, just one of the jobs in hot demand as Kiwi society – and its job market – sees rapid change.

According to job website, technology is changing the world faster than we can adapt and new jobs are rising out of the ashes of industries that are getting rapidly left behind.

And this evolution means young New Zealanders need to be less fixated on a particular job and instead look to develop a range of employment skills.

“You are not aiming to be employed, you need to be employable, they are quite different,” says Auckland University manager of career development and employment services, Catherine Stephens.

There have also been big increases in demand for jobs such as social media managers, app developers, sustainability officers, and wellness advisors.

Last week there were 132 social media manager vacancies, and 37 advertised app development roles. Young social media users and device developers are becoming essential to companies who want to manage their online message and experience, according to Stephens.

Is your job on the way out?

The sustainability movement has produced roles within companies that want to be genuinely committed to reducing the environmental impact of their industry. Seek has started to see listings for sustainability officers across a number of industries, to audit the environmental commitments of companies.

“If the management believes it is a priority then the correct resources need to be attached to it, or otherwise it is just a good idea. You need someone who takes responsibility for it and manages it and enforces it,” she said.

Australian futurologist Morris Miselowski believes increased automation will do way with boring tasks, hopefully freeing workers for more creative work. That would, however, require a more skilled workforce and more innovation around recruitment for those taking on staff.

Miselowski sees a number of major changes in the job market in the future, including the rise of freelance workers, greater specialisation and the need for workers to be more proactive in developing their work skills.

Brace, too, for the increased importance for workers to possess “soft skills” such as interpersonal skills. The ability to show attributes such as empathy will also be of value to the future worker.

Miselowski predicts the average person’s working life will consist of six career changes and up to 14 individual job changes.

When former police drug detective Kirk Hardy founded the Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) 10 years ago it was the first workplace drug testing company in New Zealand. In the past five years the business has rapidly expanded and now employs over 100 people and is testing people in a number of professions.

It started with the “safety sensitive industries” such as construction, aviation and manufacturing. Drug testing has now become a part of many professional services and retailers job interview process. Accountants, lawyers, financiers and retailers are increasingly being drug tested when they make the short list of candidates for a job. They usually take hair samples that provide a six- to 12-month history of drug use for employers who are tracking regular drug use, not the occasional toke, says Hardy.

“Professional services have had a big shift into hair testing. They are looking if candidates have a propensity to use drugs, if someone has a habitual use of methamphetamine. The drug test has become one of those modules, like a credit check,” he said.

It is difficult to find employees with the integrity and tact required to administer the drug tests.

“You are dealing with people’s emotions. Tensions are high. You have to have empathy, you have to treat people with dignity,” Hardy said.

So, what does a social media manager do?

“Don’t worry,” I assured my wife after social media work commitments had delayed our 2010 holiday to late summer. “Nothing happens at the end of February.”

New Zealanders who knew what did happen will never forget it, and neither will I forget turning the car around so I could be back in the newsroom the following morning to help a social media audience hungry for information in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Christchurch on February 22, 2011.

First came the social media marathons, then the days of walking through the silt, floodwaters, and rubble as I took my smartphone on the road to help distressed residents tell their own stories over social media. Imagine using technology to bring families into a virtual community when their physical one was in absolute disarray.

Four years later I’m no longer a social media editor, but a social media manager – one of two employed by Spark. The effortlessly clever Jess Moloney handles the proactive marketing stuff while my focus is, as ever, on advocacy plus strengthening relationships in our Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram communities. Basically, it’s my job to care about people, to be sure that we’re listening to what they need and to report it in so we can repair or improve, and we’ll also return all the love sent our way.

Frith and Morgan are a social media manager’s dream come true – they’re the ones who maintain these relationships while I’m either giving direction on our tone of voice, or while my head’s up in the clouds where all the strategic thinking happens. Their jobs are newer than mine, and are evolving even faster.

I can’t say this was a lifelong dream. The job didn’t exist, and there’s no way I could have imagined it while I was flailing hopelessly in the sea as a twentysomething with no direction whatsoever.

I had ambition, though. I wanted to be useful to my community on the largest possible scale. Now, I feel I’m on my way. Thank goodness for technology.

3 day weekend – Fact or Fiction? | 4BC, ABC radio Alice Springs and Nth West South Australia

90127735a21bae6f512ef92564c5e9e2There’s a proposal flying around that taking a 3 day weekend will enhance our health, well-being, family, society and economy.

It is based on having more time to relax and unwind, its speaks to the ability to be more efficient and focused on your 4 days of work and the possibility of hiring others to work on the other days.

Tim Brunero of ABC Local radio Alice Springs wanted to explore this notion and as we chatted I laid on him my belief that in the next few years the notion of a weekend, a standard 5 day week and 9-5 jobs would all become obsolete as we moved into a world that worked to project and task – getting things done as, where and when they need to be done, rather than trying to shoehorn it into an industrial revolution constructed work week, that required many people to come together at a set time and place to get stuff done, even if there wasn’t stuff to be done or it might have been better done elsewhere, or at an alternate time.

This issue of family life, weekends and holidays came up as possible issues and as I see it the ability to work where and when you want, with the proviso of course that work gets completed to specification and on time, allows families to choose together time that suit them all, to be able to come together for important events and school activities and to re-frame family back into the centre of activity,rather than something else that has to be juggled in a busy week.

“One size does not fit all” and this new work construct will not suit all industries, work-spaces or people, but this approach to work will be one of the many possible work permutations that we will be able to choose from in the very near future.

Have a listen to the segment now and then share your thoughts on tomorrow’s workplace.

Andy Gall @  ABC North West South Australia also phoned in for a chat on the topic:

and then Chris Adams of Brisbane’s 4BC gave me a call and he had a completely different set of questions and views on the 3 day weekend, have a listen to our chat: