Career benefits from APS COVID-19 redeployment

Thousands of APS staff have redeployed to assist departments that directly support Australia’s pandemic response. Whether you are new to the public service, or have an established career, your redeployment offers opportunities that could benefit your career. Now is the time to consider these benefits so you can observe, experience, and note the results.

Here are some opportunities and experiences to look out for and record for future reference.

New skills and knowledge

  • What skills and knowledge did you acquire and use during your redeployment?
  • Did you undertake any training?
  • How did you undertake an effective transition from one role, organisation, situation or environment to another while maintaining strong and consistent performance?

Understanding the APS

  • How has working in this new department or agency increased your understanding of the APS, its roles and responsibilities, how it works and is inter-related?
  • What are you learning about how policy works in practice?

Building networks

  • Are you working with people from a range of departments and agencies?
  • What level are they?
  • Are you building relationships with many people, as they may help your understanding of the APS and support you in the future, with information, job opportunities, cooperation on projects?
  • How are you establishing effective working relationships with other staff (both within and outside the organisation)? What skills are you using to achieve this?

Change management

  • What have you observed about the mobilisation process?
  • What made it effective? What worked well or not so well?
  • How are people supported through changes including strategies for responding to common emotional responses, maintaining motivation and engagement, letting go and accepting the new, and celebrating the achievement of change milestones?

Resilience and stress management

  • How are you building your understanding of resilience, including the key attributes and factors that build or diminish resilience?
  • How are you balancing work and wellbeing in order to address the demands of the job while maintaining personal wellbeing and honouring non-work commitments?
  • How are you and others dealing with set-backs by, for example, maintaining perspective and reframing the set-backs as learning opportunities?
  • How are you actively managing stress, including being able to identify causes and signs of your own stress and productive stress-response strategies?

Delivering outcomes

  • Are you becoming comfortable with complexity, ambiguity, change and risk typically encountered within the APS environment?
  • Are you identifying goals, context, barriers and enablers in order to achieve results within a particular set of circumstances?
  • How is your performance measured and assessed?
  • What results are you delivering on a daily and weekly basis?
  • How are you supporting others to meet their work outcome expectations?

Self-understanding

  • What are you learning about your personality, strengths, limitations, aspirations, needs, anxieties and preferred ways of working?
  • Are you seeking assistance to understand and develop yourself? What does this demonstrate about knowing when to seek assistance and who to seek it from?

Management styles and experience

  • What do you learn from observing different management styles and considering what is effective, what you prefer, how others respond?
  • What do you learn from observing techniques for making decisions with confidence, time management and prioritising tasks? How do these compare with your own preferences?
  • What do you learn from observing how people assign work, set goals, delegate and empower staff so that individuals and teams achieve useful outcomes?
  • How are you and others motivating and engaging staff to deliver outcomes?
  • Are you coaching staff to solve problems by themselves or establishing a series of work experiences to build particular skills and qualities?
  • Are you providing feedback, both formally and informally, to staff about their performance and behaviours in ways that allow staff to use the feedback to achieve and sustain optimum performance?
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist® specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.