Jacob Wackerhausen

Are your career goals on track?

WE'RE one month in to 2015 - what have you done?

Have you made good on, or started progress towards, any of your new-year career goals?

If you have, you've likely realised that it's pretty difficult to make major changes in your career without making similar changes in your education, qualifications and skill set. You want a new job, great, but you'll need a particular set of skills to make that a reality.

So where to start? That really depends on where you want to drive your career.

The more major the change, the more major the training or re-education you'll need to commit to.

At the top end of the scale, you could be heading to university. It's not too late to apply for semester one, but the clock is ticking and sitting at two minutes to midnight. If university is where you need to be, you need to move, now.

How do you know if you need to make such a major commitment? Hopefully you've done your research into your desired career - if the industry has a governing body, check their website for the required qualifications to work in the sector. They should make it pretty clear as to what you need to do study-wise.

Same goes for non-professional or vocational careers - things like trades, hospitality and the services industry - you'll need to meet specific requirements to even be considered for a position. Difference is though that you'd be heading to TAFE or a registered training organisation to get your skills up to speed.

Both of those examples are obvious - if you want to change careers and pursue something new, you'll need to complete some amount of training or study. But what if you want to improve your lot in your current career?

Depending on your current job, there will be a range of short courses and certifications you could choose to complete that will make you more employable, more efficient, and generally better skilled.

Whether you choose to complete such a qualification with an eye to moving to a new job or as a negotiating chit when it comes time for your annual review is up to you, but the bottom line remains the same - if you want more out of your career, you need to be prepared to put more in.