07 577 9662

Welcome to Career Decisions

Career Decisions provides professional advice & support to assist you in finding the ideal career. Whether you’re looking to change career direction or you’re a high school student designing a brand new career or study path, Career Decisions can help pinpoint what’s right for you.

A trained professional can make a huge difference to the speed and success of your new career choice.

Gloria Selkirk draws on seventeen years experience in the career management field. She worked for nine years in the tertiary sector, running the highly successful 17 week ‘Pathways’ programme getting people back into the workforce. This experience enabled her to build contacts in a wide range of industries which she still uses today to keep current with workforce trends.

You can benefit from Gloria’s expertise and insight to support you in making serious career decisions. She holds a Masters degree in Counselling; is a registered Counsellor; a professional member of the Career Development Association of NZ and a trusted EAP Counsellor (Careers).

Gloria understands current workplace environments. This knowledge and her familiarity with future work trends ensures you will get the help you need to make a career decision that provides long term satisfaction.

Gloria can assist you to select a career that really suits you and strategies that will help you to land the ideal job.

Gloria Selkirk

M. Counselling(Hons), B.SocSci.(Ed), TTC,

Experience | Qualifications | Expertise

  • Masters degree
  • 17 years progressive experience
  • University Counsellor
  • Polytechnic tutor and coordinator
  • Professional Member
    NZ Association of Counsellors
  • EAP Services Counsellor (Careers)

“I was at a point where I really needed to make changes. Gloria Selkirk opened the door to my new career. The process was motivating and inspirational. It concentrated on achievable and measurable results in my life. Gloria coached and guided me, used her expertise, knowledge and resources to support me into my ideal career.”

Sharon Birchall, Registered Nurse
Changing Careers

Changing Careers

There are many reasons why you would use the services of a Career Consultant during times of change. A Career Consultant can bring a fresh perspective to your career / study choices, job search and career satisfaction.
You may be stuck, trying to find a new career, or in need of career / life inspiration. Perhaps you’ve out-grown your current role or it’s changed into something completely uninspiring for you. Or an organizational re-structure may have left you out of work.

After consulting with Gloria you will know where you’re headed. You’ll know why you are going in this chosen direction and what to do next. You’ll be inspired to carry out a carefully devised career action plan that will lead to the ideal study path / career for you.

Sessions with Gloria are designed to assist you to learn more about yourself, your talents, strengths and factors that would give fulfillment in your life as a whole. She will work alongside you to put together a dynamic career action plan; match jobs to your skills and help you prepare for the transition.

Sessions may focus on:
  • Discovering your unique strengths
  • Developing a career plan
  • Preparing yourself to find a new job
  • Identifying your transferable skills
  • Updating your CV

“I went to see Gloria Selkirk of Career Decisions, after a career in Public Relations came to a sad and disappointing end. Gloria pulled out all the stops to make sure that she understood my personality type, academic ability and which career option would best suit my current situation within the demands of a struggling world economy. After a series of consultations , Gloria gave me spot-on career advice based on very thorough testing and her personal ability to see qualities in me, which I would never have imagined. I completed a Graduate Diploma course in Primary Teaching. I’m now in a full time teaching job and could not be happier!”

Jaco Labuschagne, Primary Teacher

“I contacted Gloria completely confused about where I was heading. Gloria had the skills and knowledge to compile a detailed profile and I was able to make my next career step with confidence. I came out feeling inspired and excited about the opportunities that I previously didn't even know existed. I have now made an educated decision about the next step in my career.”

Kate Blackwood, Management Graduate,
Otago University
Secondary Students

Secondary Students

At secondary school you’re asked to make a lot of decisions that can affect your life later on. It’s important that you consider what you want to do when you leave school. You might want to study at University or Polytechnic. How you make decisions about subject choice can affect your future and what careers will be open to you. As a student you can feel pressured to make these decisions and you’ll need help.

Being undecided or unsure about career choices is normal but even if you’ve got your future all planned out, a Career Consultant can help you decide which occupations might suit you best. Gloria Selkirk as a trained professional has the knowledge and expertise to ensure you get the help you need.

Gloria understands current workplace environments. This knowledge and her familiarity with future work trends ensures you will get the help you need to make a career decision that provides long term satisfaction.

Gloria will take you through a programme and assist you to determine careers / study choices that suit you best. Finding out early where your strengths and interests lie is a huge advantage to help set you up for a fulfilling career. You’ll get individual help to select school subjects that broaden your options for employment in the longer term. You’ll be guided to make good career decisions.

Good career decisions are those that match your talents, abilities, skills and circumstances. Good career decisions also depend on taking into account the forecasted rate of growth of the chosen occupations.

In working through the Career Decisions programme you will use a range of resources to draw out your natural abilities. There is a focus on personal strengths, motivation and individual characteristics so that you can make the best subject choices and build qualifications toward a career that you will really enjoy.

Discussing these strengths & interests with a career consultant can also open your eyes to other fields of future employment that you might not have been considered. Armed with this knowledge and having the time to implement a long term action plan will give you the best chance of future employment fulfillment.

Parents’ Experience

“My son Alister went to see Gloria early in year 12. I was aware of the work Gloria was doing and also knew her personally so I was confident the experience for Alister would be a positive one. And it was positive! Alister moved from having no plan or even ideas for his future to having a shortlist of options which he felt ownership of. By the time he was in Year 13 he knew exactly what to apply for and how to move forward with his tertiary plans. Alister is now half-way through his first year of the National Diploma of Surveying at Unitec in Auckland. He's learning in a course he loves and having fun with a whole new group of friends and flatmates.”

Sue Hawkins, Adult / Community Educator,
Mt Maunganui

‥Career Decisions was referred to us by friends who had been very happy with the results for their teenage children. Martin, for a variety of reasons lost his way and belief in himself in year 12. After two sessions with Gloria we now have a son who is focussed on his school work and sees a career / future ahead for himself. Suffice to say we are happy with the result and would recommend the Career Decisions service to any parent.”

Martin’s Father, Businessman, Rotorua
Tertiary Students

Tertiary Students

As a tertiary student you can use Career Decisions services to help you to get on the right track or to get back on track. You may have lost your focus or feel stuck. You may want to change direction but don’t know where to start. Tertiary study can be expensive and it’s important to make sure your qualification assists you to get the job you want.

If you’re planning to undertake study or you’ve already started at Polytechnic or University you will benefit from meeting with a professional career consultant to develop a clear, well researched plan. It will reduce any worries you may have and give you greater certainty about your choices.

A definite course of action, firm goals and a study plan can be real assets for students. These are tools that help you to stay focused and motivated.

The Career Decisions programme for tertiary students involves clearly identifying the type of work / study that suits you best. Careful assessment is made of your strengths, talents aspirations, personality type, motivators, values and personal circumstances. Options are generated and researched. Gloria works alongside you to make decisions that suit you best.

“I found the sessions with Gloria to be one of the best things I have done in a long time. I was feeling very frustrated with progress in my University study when I contacted Career Decisions. My first year at University felt like a failure. I’d fallen into the trap of doing what others felt would suit me best. A career consultation with Gloria led me to make career decisions that excites me!”

Shannon Bennett, Student AUT

“I found the career consultation sessions with Gloria very helpful not just professionally, but personally as well. I guess it sort of opened my eyes to the kind of person I am. It’s also confirmed for me that what I am doing is going to suit me to a tee, which in turn gives me a lot of motivation to do really well at my course instead of floating through. I’d be willing to refer Gloria’s services to friends of mine without a second thought. She does a fantastic job.”

Adam Miller, Business Studies student,
Massey University
Job Satisfaction


Job Satisfaction

We spend a good proportion of our lives at work so it is not surprising that many people seeking career advice are driven by a need to find satisfying work. They want to be happier in their jobs because they know that people who are happy in their work are healthier, more productive and that their ‘happiness’ is likely to spill over into their home lives. They are better to be around as happiness is contagious. So if you are happy in your work it’s likely that others around you are likely to be happy too.

When you’re in a job that you find satisfying you’re more eager to begin work each day and you feel appreciated for your contribution. You probably respect your manager and enjoy your workmates or colleagues. It’s also likely that you speak with pride and appreciation about the organisation to others. A satisfying work life can improve your general well-being and positively influence other parts of your life.

Factors which contribute to your feelings of job satisfaction and their relative importance are based on the things you value, your goals and what motivates you in the first place. Nurses for example may gain personal rewards from helping others. They may enjoy hospital work because management hierarchies and pay structures are clearly defined. A sales person on the other hand, may be motivated by the thrill of the chase to clinch a deal and the adrenalin rush that follows. They may be driven by incentive bonuses and promotion possibilities.

Different people gain job satisfaction from different job settings but most people want work that is true to them as individuals and makes them feel good about themselves. Some may choose a portfolio career allowing them to work in a range of jobs and satisfy multiple needs. A portfolio career may for example consist of a combination of: volunteer work (as Secretary on the Board of Trustees at the local school); an income producing activity in which they are highly skilled (Legal Executive) and a lower income area in which they are highly challenged (producing and selling their art work).

Some people thrive when they go into business for themselves. It can mean freedom to do the work they love; escaping difficult bosses and reaping the rewards of their own efforts. Self-employment can offer flexibility to spend more time with family and improve their lifestyle. However the size of the step from employment to self-employment can be underestimated and some may find themselves caught in a situation that is quite unexpected. They feel isolated from their colleagues and find most of their time taken up with tasks they don’t enjoy. They may lack the essential skills for business development and maintenance such as: administration, marketing, active selling and managing the finance. On one hand self-employment can open a world of untapped potential on the other it can remove people from the aspects of working life that were the basic rewards of their work scene.

You may choose to stay where you are if your work is more or less a good match and allows you to satisfy other needs. Rather than changing jobs you can change your work in some way and make it a better match. You might for example look for projects in-house that extend your skills; make a contribution to something you care about or participate in a conference. Finding a strategy that stretches you but still allows time for a personal life can allow you to advance your career and improve your level of satisfaction without moving on.

This ’tweak‚ approach is often what works best. You make no big changes; instead you look at what really motivates you and how you can keep that in your working life. It’s the net effect of your work on your life that is the key.

Dealing with Redundancy


Dealing with Redundancy

Redundancy is, to a business, the result of changing direction or needing to reduce costs. To a person being made redundant, it cuts to the core of how they feel about themselves. To some, it means their work experience and abilities are redundant, out of date and unnecessary. Others may be able to look past the immediate turmoil and see that this as a chance to make really good decisions for their future.

It’s very common for people to experience actual grief as they come to terms with the loss of their jobs. It’s often followed by a cascade of further effects as the loss of income begins a trail of uncertainty. If you find yourself unemployed and things seem to be out of control you may feel a flood of emotions: anger, embarrassment, disbelief and shame. These feelings are normal. At this point it is really important to give yourself time to adjust and absorb the situation.

You may feel very uncertain about the changes ahead and anxious about finances. There’s no shame in losing your job. It happens to people at all levels. It’s what you do about it that matters. Try to use it as an opportunity to review your career history and build wider options.

While you may be experiencing job loss as painful, remember people do come through redundancy. Over time we adapt well to all types of life changes and challenging circumstances. There are things you can do and strategies you can adopt that will help you to get through the initial set back and start working on some options that you couldn’t see while you were busy in the job.


When Amy first became my client she was full of concern for her future. Recently the focus of the job had changed from customer relations to sales, sales, sales. Amy had been unable to meet growing sales targets despite winning sales awards in the past. With a restructure she’d been ’let go‚ while other younger and less experienced sales staff had held their jobs.

Amy had been dealing with customers; winning their respect and loyalty for 20 years. Customers sought her out if they had a problem. She knew how to network, develop and maintain relationships. It came as second nature to her. She’d felt intensely frustrated with the changed focus of her role and at a loss to understand how she’d lost her job when she’d been ticking all the success boxes and looking out for the well being of the company.

She needed to step back and look at her circumstances; her skills; her significant network and start realising that she had choices outside her previous job. We considered what was needed to help her to accept the changes and develop a positive mindset. We paid attention to her interpretation of events and developed a ‘leaving story’ with a positive spin. A story she could share with conviction.

I reminded Amy to enlist support from her family and friends. Their encouragement and reassurance during this difficult period would help her to bounce back. I emphasised the need for her to keep active and take time to do things she enjoyed to help reduce stress.

We embarked on an in depth self-assessment programme to build Amy’s work profile. She became clear about three types of roles that would be rewarding: Customer Service Development Officer; Retail Manager and Budget Advice Officer.

Realistic goals were developed within specific timeframes. The job search process was chunked down into manageable steps and she began to take decisive action.

Amy emailed me two months after our final meeting. She’d won a position as Sales Manager for a medium sized business. The new job entailed travelling longer distances to work and occasionally doing longer hours than she had anticipated. She explained that she was prepared to accept these factors as ’trade-offs‚ because the new organisation valued the skills and experience she brought to this position.

Amy found she had choices. She was able to apply her transferable skills in quite a different setting. Her exceptional interpersonal skills enabled her to adopt a management role with ease and she’s benefiting from extra in-house training. Amy now looks back on this episode of job loss and uncertainty, as a huge leap forward.

Keeping Study Costs Down


Minimising the Cost of Tertiary Education

Many students come to University or Polytechnic with a tight budget. If you’re a tertiary student or about to become one you need a financial plan. Be smart! Avoid the very large student loans that can severely restrict your future hopes and dreams. Put effort into creating a financial plan early so that you maximise your chances of sticking to a budget.

This article outlines some important strategies to help you: minimize costs; get the best deal and make the most of the financial assistance that’s available while studying for your tertiary qualification.

Student Loans & Allowances

Student Allowances:

To minimise your up-front costs, check to see if you are eligible for the student allowance. It’s a weekly payment that doesn’t have to be paid back and helps with living expenses while you study full-time.

Student Loan Scheme:

As a full time tertiary student you can borrow money from the government to help pay for your tertiary study. This loan has to be paid back and this is done by government deducting money from your pay once you are over a certain amount. These loans can easily get to $30,000.00 or more over the 3 or 4 years of study.

To find out more and if you qualify, contact StudyLink. This is a service set up by the Ministry of Social Development to provide you with support and information about student loans and allowances.

Tip: Borrow only what you need because anything you borrow you have to pay back.


Numerous scholarships are available to students. A scholarship is a grant of money that is given to you to that you don’t need to pay back. The money is designated to pay for fees, associated course costs and / or living costs. The amount of money gifted is decided by the organisation giving it.

Not all scholarships are aimed at top scholars or high achieving sports people. Winning a scholarship depends on a wide range of criteria such as your: region, needs, academic abilities, cultural background, sporting background, school, future plans and subject areas.

The Career Service web-site provides excellent information on this topic. Check your eligibility through the Scholarships office on your tertiary provider web-site. Some community service clubs, Government agencies and industry bodies provide scholarships. Access the ’Breakout Database‚. It holds information on thousands of funding schemes that include study.

Tip: Search the scholarship funding sites thoroughly and put in some applications.

Part-time Work

Any type of earning can reduce the need for borrowing.

It is commonplace for students to find work for five, ten or more hours a week in fast food or retail outlets. It is far easier to earn $60.00 to $100 weekly while studying, than repaying it years later with interest. Holidays can be a better time to get work as you can do more hours and earn more. Use Student Job Search. It’s set up to help.

Special focus: For holiday work many have found that they used this opportunity to work in a field that fitted their study. Placements relevant to your course of study can give you a practical experience of your academic learning as well as enabling you to earn valuable dollars.

Employers’ greatest issue with fresh graduates is that they lack professional experience. Internships can help you to develop a network of contacts and a range of essential work skills that make you more employable.

Smart placements in businesses that you would hope to gain long term employment give you both experience and visibility at these work places. Occasionally students have gone on to internships and eventually employment in the organisation where they did holiday work.

Tip: Minimise borrowing by getting part-time work.

Study Location

It seems great to get away from home to live and study. When making the decision on where to study, think this one through.

Living in the family home can halve student loan debt for some borrowers. By choosing to study local you can dramatically reduce living costs. While Halls of Residence provide safe havens for students when they first leave the nest, it comes at a financial cost. Flatting is usually a lot more expensive than living at home. Save on transport costs by choosing to live handy to your place of study. Use a cycle or public transport instead of buying a car.

Tip: Study local if you can.

Student Discounts

Reduce costs by finding out what services are available from your institution’s Student Union. They are the best source of information for how to gain access to student discounted / free services. At the Waikato University in Tauranga, for example, students benefit from free visits with a Health Nurse and $10.00 visits to see a G.P. The Waikato Student Association (W.S.A.) helps students with financial difficulties. They offer a ’no judgement service‚. This may include some budgeting advice and food pack help. The W.S.A. also helps students in their communication with IRD, WINZ and Studylink. The Auckland University Student Association can assist with hardship grants and emergency food packages.

If you’re entitled to student allowance you will qualify for a Community Services card that can help to reduce some costs. Student I.D. cards provide reduced entry charges to various entertainment outlets and access to a myriad of discounts, bargains and freebies. Banks offer fee-free tertiary accounts to students (but be wary of the bank; the more indebted you become, the more money the bank makes from you).

Tip: Check out what your Student Union offers.

Programme Choice

A key strategy in making the most of tertiary study is to get assistance in choosing the most suitable areas of study. The most expensive aspect of tertiary study occurs when students change direction or course in their second or third year. This inevitably adds more time to gaining a qualification. Papers / courses already achieved can be eliminated in the count towards the final.

If you’re unclear about career direction get professional help from a Career Consultant. Establish a career plan with them that gives you the best possible chance of success. Select a programme that suits you and leads you towards long term satisfying employment.

Tip: If you’re uncertain about your career direction, get help from a career professional.

Advice for Parents


Advice for Parents

Help your son / daughter make the ‘right’ career decision.

Many people are anxious about making the right career decision. How do I know which work suits me? How do I choose the right career? What am I going to study?

Teenagers and students are not the only groups prone to career confusion and indecision but they are particularly vulnerable. University education makes demands on parents at a time when they can least afford it. The pressure is on teens to make the ’right‚ decision.

For young people with little work / life experience this is easier said than done. Making career decisions can present a real challenge. ‘How do I know I’ll like it if I haven’t done it?’ Anxiety may lead them to either follow the career path of their parents or their friends, whether or not they are suited to it.

Don’t be too concerned. If your teenage son or daughter has no idea what they want to do, that’s normal! Many successful adults I know have managed some self-doubt while they tried to find the right field. There is no one ‘right career’ and there is no one formula for finding the ‘right career’. It’s not a one-shot deal, it’s a process.

As a parent you can, however, have considerable influence over your teenage son/daughter’s career choices. Here are some ideas to help provide them with direction and focus as they approach the decision-making stage.

  • Start career conversations by letting go of your dreams of what might be. This may interfere with the realities and aspirations of your off-spring. Instead offer them a chance to dream. Dreams can be starting points for possibilities.
  • Help them to gain experience and develop work skills by taking a hoilday or parttime job. This can give them an ideal introduction to the world of work. Even a dull or boring job can hold valuable learning. Volunteering or work experience are excellent ways to learn skills, gain understanding of specific careers and develop a sound network of contacts.
  • Discuss your teen’s natural abilities with them — their people skills, their handiness with tools, their facility with numbers and /or their creative flair. Explore skills they may have developed on the sport’s field, netball court, in youth groups or kapahaka. Pay attention to skills which can be transferred to work situations for example, good communication skills, the ability to organize, lead others and find information.
  • Ask about their attitudes toward work. What would they want from work, apart from earning money? What do they think they would need in a working environment to feel truly engaged? Be open to discussing the pitfalls and successes you’ve experienced in your own career.
  • Help them pinpoint their major interests as these may become the basis for an appropriate career.
  • As career options open up ask exploratory questions and listen actively. Once teens have a clear picture of themselves and their unique abilities, realistic career options can be discussed.

Today’s workplace is constantly changing. More jobs and career fields are being created which has created more choices. Parents who are aware of these changes and actively engage with their teenagers in a career decision process will help them make better career and educational decisions.

Starting Your CV


Getting Started on your CV

A CV is a sale’s document. It can win you an interview. Your CV sells you as the product or resource. It should tell the employer what you can do and how well you can do it.

It is common for people to feel a bit awkward about the idea of ’selling themselves‚ in this way - spelling out their achievements and talents to the world at large. However this is exactly what is needed. Don’t be modest. Through your CV you need to clearly demonstrate that you have exactly the skills and attributes that the employer seeks and you are very keen to win this position.

Here are 10 pointers to help you to get your CV underway.

  1. Say the minimum powerfully. Stick to facts but give emphasis where justified e.g. A special talent for... Highly competent in...
  2. Make your unique selling points (u.s.p.s) obvious.
  3. Format carefully. Align text. Use plenty of white space.
  4. Describe your key competencies and add examples to give them validity.
  5. Let your skills and achievements speak for themselves. Unless you are going for a design position, keep additional design features subtle with the aim of adding character to your CV and helping it to stand out.
  6. Don’t exceed 4 pages.
  7. Include your interests. They give a bit of an insight into your personality.
  8. As a general rule, include information from the last 10 - 15 years only.
  9. Fashion your CV to suit the position. Use the language that is used in the ad.
  10. Expect CV development to take time. It explains the course of your working life. Give it the attention it deserves.


Please get in touch by using contact information or this form below. Fields marked * are required.

We will use these contact details for following up on your request. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organisation.
Our Privacy Policy.