Image of beautiful young woman in interview from Shutterstock.
If you’re having trouble identifying your career goals, why not try speaking with someone who specializes in the industry you want to pursue? No, not a mentor – a career counsellor! S/he can advise you on potential jobs in your area of interest, and recommend you to employers where there is a right fit. Michelle Bogle explains.
Job loss is a real punch in the gut. It’s a feeling that I remember quite well when my career came to a grinding halt after my long-tenured position was eliminated. It was a tough time filled with a range of raw emotions – shock, disbelief, outward anger, inner self-criticism and fear. My self-confidence took a hit and my wheels were spinning when it came time to shift my job search into gear.
That’s when I decided to hire a career counsellor – and I’m so glad that I did!
By definition, a career counsellor or coach helps individuals reach their personal career goals. As I learned, they just don’t help people navigate job loss. Rather, they also work with individuals who lack enjoyment in their current career or don’t feel like they are meeting their own professional goals and expectations.
Counsellors work with a range of people in all age groups and at different stages of their careers to help them explore options based on their education, experience, skills and interests. They also stand in your corner to provide confidence, insight, encouragement and inspiration to what may feel like a confusing and difficult time.
Here are seven ways that a career coach can help reinvigorate your job hunt or provide support during a major work-life transition:
Learn more about yourself
Even if you have a solid grasp on knowing who you are, there is always room for growth. With career counselling, you gain valuable awareness and self-knowledge about your interests, abilities, values, personality and transferable skills, and how they relate back to your career choices and passions.
Gain clarity and focus
It’s normal to feel confused or overwhelmed when trying to decide what profession or career path to choose. With so many options available today, a career counsellor can provide a much-needed dose of focus and clarity to help you pick your next career path.
Become a better decision maker
A career counsellor provides you with the support that you need to make decisions based on your values, needs and inner beliefs. Not only will this help you be clearer in your expectations, but it will also help you take action in a way that alleviates anxiety and indecisiveness.
Goal setting for stronger results
An important aspect of career counselling is goal setting. Together with your coach, you will outline your specific career goals and the required steps to achieve these endeavors.
Partnering with a professional career counsellor can help you uncover hidden passions and interests, define your career path and help you realize your goals and expectations.
The entire process is designed to arm you with a plan of action to ensure better results for each milestone.
Working with a career coach is a great way to regain your power and self-confidence. They partner with you to challenge any disempowering beliefs or barriers that may be limiting your career progression or hindering your growth.
Define healthy work-related boundaries and strategies
Oftentimes, an unhealthy work/life balance can translate to an unhappy career. A counsellor can help you develop strategies that promote a healthy balance and manage potential stressors or work-life conflicts. Armed with this information, you can approach your future with enthusiasm, optimism and poise.
Conduct a job search
A career coach can help optimize your job hunt by providing you with strategies, tactical information and suggestions to ensure your success. This includes help with your professional image, drafting your resume and cover letter, creating a portfolio, researching and applying for opportunities, interviewing, networking, salary negotiations and more. They are in your corner to provide you with support and advice along the way.
At the end of the day, finding happiness in your current career or landing your next perfect job goes well beyond just perfecting your resume. Partnering with a professional career counsellor can help you uncover hidden passions and interests, define your career path and help you realize your goals and expectations.
If your current employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), see if career counselling is part of the service offering. If not, seek referrals from friends and peers who have worked with a career coach and interview a few to find the best one for you. Your province or region may also offer career counselling services through their employment resource centres – hop online and do some research!
Have you ever worked with a career coach? What did you find most valuable about the process? We’d love to hear from you to learn more! Leave a comment in the section below.
Michelle is a Freelance Copywriter based outside of Toronto. She has a thing for strong coffee, bingeing on podcasts and proclaiming her love to the world’s most versatile punctuation mark – the em dash.