One of the things that entice many of us to the Transport cluster is the chance to do exciting and meaningful work. Work that benefits the people of NSW but also allows us to build our own skills and expertise.

However, your feedback in the People Matter Employee Survey told us that only 45 per cent of you are satisfied with current development opportunities, and only 46 per cent believe our organisation is committed to developing employees.

We’ve listened and in response we’ve created a new career guide called ‘It’s your career. Own it.’ It’s designed to help you put your career on the right path.

It’s available as an interactive e-guide that you can read anywhere, anytime on any device, and also as a printed booklet. The focus is all about giving you the power to take charge of your own career.

Looking for practical tips for working out where you want to go? What about the kinds of development activities and experiences you need to get there? It’s all in there. And most importantly, it makes it really easy to put pen to paper and map out your own unique career plan.

After you’ve done the thinking and planning, the guide will help you prepare for an effective development conversation with your manager, so you can get their support and help to make your goals a reality!

There are lots of opportunities to do great things within the Transport cluster. So it’s time to get inspired, take action and set a course for the career you want.

Getting the right mix
It’s important to remember that development isn’t all about training courses and qualifications. Formal training will always have a role to play but sometimes the best way to develop and progress is through on-the-job experiences or learning from others. That’s why ‘It’s your career. Own it.’ is based on the 70-20-10 development rule. That means:

  • 70 per cent should come from on-the-job experiences like shadowing, secondments, acting up or workingon special projects learning from others through things like coaching, informal or formal mentoring and networking
  • 20 per cent should come from others through things like coaching, informal or formal mentoring and networking  
  • 10 per cent should come from formal learning including e-learning, research, training workshops or university courses.

It sounds simple but it’s surprising just how powerful this approach can be.

Let’s meet some employees who share their stories on how different types of development have helped them steer their own careers.

70% on-the-job
Alexandra Nehme from Roads and Maritime is living proof of how on-the-job learning and development can take you places.

Alexandra started as in intern with RailCorp in 2011 and since then she has always sought to learn from others, taking advantage of every opportunity that has come her way.

In 2013, Alexandra was seconded as a Policy Officer at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, she has taken on an acting role as Business Manager under Roads and Maritime Chief Executive Ken Kanofski, and is now an Executive Officer in Maritime.

This is just the beginning for Alexandra who says informal development opportunities have helped her build relationships across the organisation that she knows will lead to new opportunities to learn and develop in the future. Her top tip for career development?

“I have always learnt a lot by being inquisitive on the job and seeing how people approach different situations.”

20% learning from others
Yvette King, Aboriginal Service Development Officer with Transport for NSW, has experienced many career highlights.

She has an Advanced Diploma in Management and she has been named Roads and Maritime’s Aboriginal Employee of the Year. She has also completed the NSW Public Service Commission Aboriginal Career and Leadership Program.

But Yvette says her mentoring relationship with Roads and Maritime Senior Aboriginal Engagement Specialist, Nigel Robinson, has had the biggest impact on her development so far.

“Nigel and I have a lot in common culturally and personally and he has helped me grow my confidence in the workplace and realise that I had the potential to go further,” she said.

Mentoring is often a two way street, providing just as many benefits for the mentor as the mentee, which Nigel can attest to.

“I realise many people in my life have provided a bit of advice here and there which has impacted my own career.

“I get a real kick looking back over Yvette’s career progression. I have watched her come into the workplace as a young mum, complete her traineeship and gradually win a number of roles to be where she is now. Mentoring Yvette has also helped me become a better leader,” he said.

Yvette is keen to continue learning from others. She has plans to shadow a leader, and would also like to become a mentor herself so she can give back to those who are starting out in Transport.

Yvette & Nigel mentoring maestrosYvette & Nigel mentoring maestros

10% formal training
State Transit has stepped outside the box when it comes to developing its 3,600 Sydney Bus Operators.

The Bus Operator Development Day is new and focuses on development in safety, customer service and having a positive attitude.

Drama is used to deliver unique, high impact learning experiences. Attendees watch and have the opportunity to join in scenarios. They then share experiences, and participate in group learning and discussion.

There’s been some great feedback from Bus Operators, with one development day participant saying that “It’s the best course 

I’ve attended at State Transit. I’m really happy and motivated that State Transit is committed to their Bus Operators.”

State Transit has also been rolling out The Big Blue Book, which replaces the former, rule orientated Bus Operator Handbook. It includes a chapter called ‘Much more than a driver,’ which looks at the power of having a positive attitude and going that extra mile to help our customers. So with the book, Bus Operators are supported in their development both on the day and once they’re back at their depots.

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