How to plan your Career


Step 1   Take  Stock of where you are now ..

Don’t just list your current job, but consider all the aspects of ‘you’.  Meaning:

  • the education you had at school and anything you have done since then such as courses or workshops. Do you have:
    • degrees or diplomas – in any number of areas accountancy, finance, engineering or administration;
    • any certificates – such as WHS or chemical handling;
    • special licences – to operate a forklift for example; or
    • food and safety handling.
  • What do you like to do? Are you the sort of person who likes to work with their hands and outdoors? Or do you like to add things up and make them balance? Do you like talking to other people? Or are you happiest when left to get on and do things on your own?
  • What do you do away from work? Are you the treasurer of the school governing council? Or more comfortable selling on a local market stall? Of maybe you just prefer to create the produce for others to sell? Do you coach the local football team? Do you write a newsletter for your local community interest group?
  • What other work have you done? Do you work at a computer all day but your ‘best job’ was the sales work you did over the Christmas break?
  • What are the actual tasks in your current job? Are you the person who pays most attention to others safety or are concern about product quality control?

Thinking about all of these things will help you create a broad new picture of ‘where you are now’ an uncover natural abilities or learned skills that could lead you down a very different pathway to the one that you are currently on.

Step 2       Think about where you would like to ‘end up’ or head towards …

This is about the long term. You may be a Cellar Hand who wants to be a Winemaker. You could have had some casual experience doing a vintage here in Australia somewhere or overseas, but really have an ambition to do more within the wine industry – be involved in sales or the promotion of wine, manage people within the industry or specialise in vineyard irrigation or winery infrastructure. Perhaps you like what you do now but would like to do it better. Deciding where you’d like to end up will help you choose the right pathway to take, but you need to be very clear about why you want that and whether its realistic for you.

opportunity Step 3       Plan how to get there …

Again, be realistic about what suits you best.  For some people, the pathway to Winemaker will take them straight to university – others will want to spend some time in Cellar Operations learning on the job from experts and taking progressive courses such as Cellar Supervisor or Assistant Winemaker. It’s also important to consider that your pathway may include lateral or even temporary ‘backward’ moves (a Supervisor in the vineyard may need to relinquish the role if moving into the Cellar Operations to pursue a Winemaking goal).


At your workplace

The first place to go for help with your planning is Management if there is no dedicated HR department within the workplace.  Management or the HR department are best placed to advise you about openings which are likely in the future and they type of skills and qualifications that will be expected of you in the roles you’re thinking about.  This has the added advantage of letting them know you about your interest.  Ask for any information they may have on courses available to you and what type of support and assistance the business may be able to provide.

From TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) …

Depending on the field you choose, you may find there are a number of different courses you can do, or flexibility within course to make up your own combination of core, specialist and optional units.  Talking to someone who really understands the training program will help you to make the right selections. You may also find that some of the work you’ve already done will count as Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) which will give you credits and let you fast-track the process.


Do your own research …

studyThere are a number of websites that can help you investigate the options open to you and help you with your career planning. The “My Future” website will step you through the process of identifying, exploring, deciding, planning and implementing a career pathway that’s right for you. both the Australian and the South Australian Governments have contributed to this site, so you may find useful information relevant to the South Australian Wine Industry – such as the tasks you could expect to do in each job, the personal attributes you’d need, earnings you could expect and the courses that are available. Go to Job Outlook for more information.

Wine Industry Career Information …

The former Food, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Skills Advisory Council produced a number of career information that gives useful information about various roles and pathways in the South Australian Wine Industry. There is information available on this website about pathways to wine industry careers.  You could use one of these pathway if it suits your needs – or draw on different aspects to create your own, check out what George, Travis and Julia did to start and progress their careers via the videos found on this website under Career Videos.