Personal stories of Jo Pilon and her daughter Kate Pilon, the co-founders
of Expand Careers Consulting Services.
Right for You 30 minute free service
We offer a 30 minute free meeting either in person or over Zoom so you get the right service. This is where you outline what your dilemma is and we discuss our service options with you.
Grad Cert Career Education & Development
BA Library & Information Science
Certificate IV Project Management
Certificate IV Training and Assessment
Like many people I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school so I worked in a variety of jobs including in a bank, as a Teacher’s Aide and only studied after I had my children. Then when I couldn’t find suitable employment in my field, my transferrable skills came to the rescue and I was able to gain employment as a Service Coordinator in Aging & Disabilities and later as a Teacher in Adult Education. All these experiences have kept building my transferrable skills so that have
enabled me to transition quickly and effectively to new positions.
Living in rural and regional areas often means compromising your "perfect fit" career and I was no exception, for 15+ years I had the perfect position for me, working in Training & Development, Information and Digital Literacy as a Library Manager with vocational education. My job was 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 but the sting in the tail was the two hour commute to and from work.
We have all heard how important it is to be a lifelong learner, and as a Career Coach it is certainly something I believe is essential, not only does it provide you with the skills to do your job well, now, but it also helps you prepare for the jobs of the future and helps you be prepared to take opportunities as they arise. With this belief I made sure to use every chance I had for training and I also 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. An interesting point is that jobs in rural and regional places often provide a more diverse and comprehensive experience than in big cities due to less people in the organisation/business.
Life is always changing, and due to a number of different circumstances I decided I had to leave my job, so I looked around and got myself prepared to move into a new career. I studied the Graduate Certificate in Career Education and Development as I wanted to see others have the
opportunity to find rewarding work no matter where they lived.
This decision has led me to another rewarding phase in my work-life. I love helping people work out what career is the best fit for them and their lifestyle. Who could ask for more than being able to support people to make a decision that is going to lead them to a more rewarding and happier life. Another area I love helping people in is building their skills so they are either able to move onto that job they want or they gain confidence and stature through doing their work efficiently and well.
Having lived in rural and regional areas all my life I know how geographic isolation can affect your career choices and I want to help you to overcome any barriers that you may encounter. This understanding along with the experience and expertise I have acquired in the variety of workplaces I have worked and the study I have done has given me extensive understanding of the skills, knowledge and understanding that I will be able to use to help you choose, plan and upskill so you 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
After spending over 6 amazing years in New Zealand we decided to move back to Australia. I really miss the great friendships I made and of course the fantastic New Zealand landscape. Although, I am so excited to be back home with family and relearning about Australian skills and jobs.
My work experiences in New Zealand has given me new insights into the differences in getting work are in different countries, even countries as closely linked as Australia and New Zealand. With every change is a new learning experience and understanding, this is certainly how it is for me now, as I juggle working and caring for our son. It is certainly very busy but it has also given me a lot more empathy for our young mum clients who are sorting out child care, immunizations, flexible work arrangements, school or daycare pickup and all the other issues around having children and working. my time management, organisational skills, and negotiation skills have all been well used. I can draw from these experiences to help you with your career decisions.
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 am committed to empowering others to overcome the scary and confusing feelings of choosing a career, by providing access to a professional and accessible career service for rural and regional people. It is hard to know where to start when there is too much information, too many courses, too many pathways to each job, too many jobs that you have never heard of. That is where a career counsellor and skills coach can support and guide you.
I have worked in a variety of positions, in schools, with people with a disability , 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.