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Kim’s career switch to community services

Training and skills case study

There’s a lot to think about when you’re making a career change. For Kimberley Jackson, there was a whole other life to consider.

“I was a busy, working mum with a toddler when I started looking at making a change,” Kim explains. “One of the biggest challenges was going to be juggling work with study and being a parent at home.”

Kim Jackson case study

Kim was living in the regional area of Horsham when she decided to pursue a Diploma of Counselling.  

Having spent a few years working in business administration, she was eager to find a role with more opportunities for growth. But with only one university nearby and a child at home, she thought her options might be limited.  

“The uni in my area didn’t offer a counselling course at the time, and because of my young child, I couldn’t just leave for school,” Kim recalls.

Determined to see her goal through to the end, Kim started doing her own research.

“I was talking to one of my best friends, who is also a single mum, and she said she had finished off her studies online. I thought if she can do it, then I can do it too.”  

After enrolling into an online diploma, Kim went on to complete her studies from the comfort of her own home.  

When it came time to do her placement hours, she applied at a local community health centre.  

“It was so cool. The process of getting in was easy and they had a great system in place to support students doing placement hours,” Kim says.  

Following her placement, Kim studied an extra 4 units to gain skills in the area of alcohol and other drugs.  

She now works at the same community health centre as an alcohol and other drugs counsellor.  

“They told me there were jobs available in the area at the time, so when I finished, I applied and was employed from then onwards,” Kim says.  

Kim Jackson case study

Now thriving in her counselling role, Kim is looking forward to further growing her career in the community services area.  

“There are so many more opportunities for me now, but I definitely want to stay in a job where I’m helping people,” says Kim. 

“It’s so rewarding when you get feedback that you’ve made even just a small change in someone’s life.”

To those considering their own career switch, Kim recommends looking at all the options available in your location.  

“Do some research about what’s in your area in terms of jobs and study, then see if something fits with your life,” she suggests. “There are so many options out there that don’t have to mean relocating.”