“La Trobe University, Bendigo Campus” front entrance sign

Are we really country hicks? How being regionally based can reward your career.

I’ve heard it time and time again. After I finish my degree I’m moving to the big smoke. Or I’ll find my first job here, get some experience then move. And sure, if you love the lure of city skylines, tailgating traffic and the countless events that a burgeoning social calendar beckons then that’s immensely attractive. I can, however also take a metro trip via rail or the freeway (yes we have evolved from dirt roads) to get a fix of my city trappings but still enjoy my country career. And I rarely pay for parking.

Keep Workin’ It

As a regional employee for over 15 years I can attest to that part of the saying ‘…it’s who you know’ which can really work for you in the regional networking circles, as locals can be passionately patriotic about their home patch. In particular, non-clinical faculties such as the Arts, Business and some Humanities and Social Sciences students whose job path may not be linear, can use that meandering path to your advantage. The contacts and skills gained through experiential sources such as internships or a volunteer project all count towards your work experience. And not to mention the exposure you get to a wider cross-section of customers, products and service suites from small to medium business.

The Country Career Mind-Set

A country career mind-set is thinking about:

  • Diversity of your approach – to your career prospects (as to which people and organisations you want to give your valuable time and skills too)
  • In hidden opportunities – in understanding what offerings you have to give at the right time, to the right people at the right place for the right reasons (to identify personal and professional wins and build on them)
  • Keeping that country spirit – knowing that we are different and not everything and everyone is a competition (yes we like to get work done but still want to have a good time doing it)

Who knows? Maybe the idea of living (and working) in this so-called Hicksville may hold some chances after all.

Many thanks to Leira Woodman, Career Ready Ambassador at the Bendigo campus, for sharing her insights on living and studying in regional Victoria.