Personal stories of Jo Pilon and her daughter Kate Pilon, the co-founders of Expand Careers Consulting Services.
Grad Cert Career Education & Development
BA Library & Information Science
Certificate IV Project Management
Certificate IV Training and Assessment
After working in a number of jobs and two careers, I am able to say that genuinely enjoying my work has made me more confident and innovative.
I worked in a variety of jobs after school including in a bank, as a Teacher’s Aide and only studied after I had my children. When I couldn’t find suitable employment in my field I worked as a Service Coordinator and as a Teacher in Adult Education. All these jobs have given me so many transferrable skills that have enabled me to transition quickly and effectively to new positions.
For the last 15+ years I have had the perfect position for me, working in Training & Development, Information and Digital Literacy as a Library Manager with vocational education. My job was so varied, interspersed with training people in information literacy and new learning technologies, writing project submissions, reports and presentations all the while encouraging students to achieve their goals. During this time I also wrote numerous job applications for clients from different industries and demographics, helping them to successfully gain employment in their chosen jobs.
At every opportunity I attended training and volunteered for projects that extended my skills, taking part in opportunities I would not have thought would be available to me living in an isolated regional area.
It was always important to me that my career fitted in my values, interests and desire for continual learning. I have found that even when things go wrong in other areas of my life, I can cope a lot better when I am happy in my work.
Life is always changing, and when I decided to move into a new career, I studied for my Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development as I wanted to see others have the opportunity to find rewarding work.
The experience and expertise I have acquired in the variety of workplaces I have worked in and the study I have done has given me skills, knowledge and understanding that I will be able to use to help you choose, plan and move forward to success in your chosen career path.
Based in regional New South Wales, I look forward to using my academic knowledge, work experience and life skills to help others find their own exciting and rewarding career.
BA (Sociology/Anthropology, Politics)
Grad Cert Career Education and Development
Although I was born and raised in Australia I am currently living in New Zealand with my partner Kasey.
Like many people, I found choosing my career path scary and confusing. There were so many options to consider and I didn’t know where to start. There was too much information, too many courses, too many pathways to each job, too many jobs I didn’t even know existed! And what if I made the wrong choice?
This line of thinking, combined with a lack of access to professionals who could help me, has made me want to empower others in a similar situation.
I decided (like many!) to study a BA as I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to do. After graduating, I went on to complete a Psychology degree. While studying these two degrees, I worked in many different jobs, in restaurants, pubs and as a Teacher’s Aide.
I discovered I liked helping others to achieve their career goals when I started working with people with a disability, assisting individuals into the workforce and other mainstream organisations. I have 8+ years of experience writing CVs and other career focused writing projects.
I have also worked in program management within an international volunteer organisation and as an interior designs seamstress. I am a firm believer that every position gives you different transferable skills. None of my work experience is wasted, rather it informs my current work in so many valuable ways.
Having a fulfilling career has made me happier and more in control in other aspects of my life and I think it’s important that all people, particularly girls and women, have the opportunity to access different resources and services to achieve their career goals. Looking outside the square and finding different pathways for career opportunities is something that I am excited to explore with clients who don’t have the typical career experience.
Finally, it is my absolute belief that lack of physical access should not disadvantage people in regional areas, something that I found was a real issue when I was wanting to meet with career practitioners (and other services) when I was younger.
All of my education, work experience and life experience has lead me to this – empowering others to work towards the career they want and/or to manage the one they have.