Accellier is the provider of choice for thousands of people and hundreds of organisations in Australia and around the world. Under our former name SAVE Training, we built a solid foundation on which Accellier now stands, embodying almost 10 years of service to Australia’s Tertiary and Vocational Education Sector. As a testament to this, since our inception in 2010 we have spent only a few thousand dollars on advertising. Our clients are almost entirely referred from our happy graduates and business customers.

Accellier is the trading name of SAVE Training Pty Ltd and is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO 32395) that offers a range of nationally recognised courses in education and business Australia wide through our online and face to face courses.

Our mission is to enhance people’s value through excellence in service and learning outcomes.

Sarah McKinna

Sarah McKinna is a Career Strategist and we recently pitched some questions based on ideas from our Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and Education Support participants. Sarah kindly put together these valuable insights for us to share with you.

Many people undertaking courses with Accellier Education are training as part of their personal strategy to pivot their career. What are some tips based on your experience you can offer to anyone in this position of leveraging existing skills and experience and using these in new and interesting ways?

Normally I would speak to someone before they choose a course. People sometimes seek my advice to help them choose a course that’s the right fit for them. I always advise them to research carefully before they sign up. Assessing the employment prospects for that job or industry is important.

If possible, I would suggest you shadow someone or talk to people in the industry you wish to get into, to get a taste of what is involved in the job. You need to have your eyes open and get advice. Also, you need to monitor labour market developments. Do your homework and be open to ideas and suggestions from others.

The Australian Government provides an excellent resource called Job Outlook for people at all stages of their career. This site has a Skills Match section where you can enter your current skills and experience to help you find new job ideas.

We don’t know what we don’t know. Big career changes often come with fear, excitement, sometimes even a bit of fantasy; “when I finally (get the job/get the certificate/start the business) THEN I will be happy…”

How can people get a reality check on their future career aspirations? A taste of the reality of what it might be like when they achieve a certain career goal.

Don’t underestimate the skills you already have. Make a list that you can continue to add to and ask people who know you well for their input.

Examine carefully why you want to make a career change. Are you in an industry in decline e.g. certain types of manufacturing, traditional print media? Are you making the change reluctantly or with enthusiasm and energy to take on something new?

What made you choose your current career path?

Be prepared to start in a junior role and work your way up again. This can be hard for some people. You need to ask yourself if you are prepared for that kind of step down in status and often, income. Once you have done an assessment of your own skills and experience (technical and human skills) you will get a sense of what is a good fit for you.

Again, do your research. Having curiosity helps. Take people out for coffee and get their view on things. See if they can introduce you to someone working in the career you are planning to switch to. Ask lots of questions. Make sure you make decisions with your eyes open.

In all jobs, there are some things you are good at, but you don’t like doing – the key is to find work that lets you combine what you enjoy, what you are good at and what the market needs. And occasionally the job you think you will like doesn’t suit you after all but if you have done your homework you are less likely to find yourself in this position.

Qualifications = Salary Image Concept

Sarah, you work with individuals who are looking for clarity and renewed purpose in their professional lives, what do you feel is the key to finding clarity in this regard?

For people to get clarity – they need to look at their own values and interests and what really matters to them.

What skills do I have? What skills do I need in the future?

If money is a big motivator and is rated most strongly, then there is little point is shifting to an industry where salaries are on the lower side.

I would advise people to ask themselves what’s driving their restlessness and the dissatisfaction. Is it the environment they are working in or the conditions? Is it colleagues they are working with right now or is the whole role? And what about the tasks in that role? Are most of the tasks no longer of interest or only one or two?

It’s important to consider your responsibilities and lifestyle outside work. What are the trade-offs you are prepared to accept? Where do you need to live? How much commuting are you prepared to do? What other responsibilities do you have?

Understanding yourself is key.

Successful career from Training decorative

We often meet people moving from a practitioner role to a trainer role, where they will teach the skills and knowledge they’ve gained over the years. Their position is founded on their years of experience but it requires a whole new set of skills. What thoughts/suggestions might you offer someone in this situation?

I’ve met people who want to move into a training role after many years in a physically taxing role. It really is important to understand that training others requires a whole set of new skills.



I would always ask someone who wants to go into a training role:

  1. Can you stand up in front of a group of people, think on your feet and impart knowledge in an engaging way?
  2. If you are planning to be a trainer in a heavily regulated industry do you understand this will mean completing extensive paperwork and reporting?
  3. Do you have the attention to detail and computer skills to enable you to perform (and enjoy) this part of the role

Attend events and listen to presenters to assess how well they engage an audience. See what you can learn from them (and what you need to avoid).

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced some potential career challenges for many people. Do you have any thoughts to offer on career strategy in the current climate?

The pandemic has changed the way we work in ways that we are only beginning to understand. Some of these changes are temporary, some will be long lasting. You have to have your eyes on the job market all the time and consider the trends. Be prepared to be learning all the time – for the rest of your life in fact. Don’t just rely on advertised jobs.

Learning to network now is even more essential to finding the hidden jobs, they are out there but you do need to research and talk to people to find them and that is still the case now. While some jobs have been lost, others are in demand, especially in IT and health care.

I have been watching way some industries have adapted and thinking about what can be learned from that. For example, in many jobs, everything has gone online, so that requires people to develop digital skills which may take people out of their comfort zones. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to learn new skills during this period.

This period of staying at home has given a lot of people the time and space to look at what they value in a way they may never have in the past and that includes their relationship to work.

Finally, check out these government websites where you will find so much useful and reliable information, tips and resources:


About Sarah

The most enjoyable part of my job involves working one-on-one with my clients to identify their unique strengths and hidden talents, and seeing them move from despondent to hopeful, burnt-out to energised, lacking in confidence to knowing their value.

Sarah McKinna is a Career Strategist who has helped hundreds of people facing career dilemmas including redundancy, redeployment, outplacement, and simply being in jobs that just weren’t right for them. Sarah’s insights come from 25+ years’ experience in corporate and government HR roles. She knows that workplaces are changing rapidly and many people are not aware of their options, especially if they’ve worked within one organisation or sector for a long time.

If you’re in the process of navigating career change and keen to uncover new opportunities that are right for you, consider reaching out to Sarah at sarahmckinna.com.au