Career consulting is a young direction of consulting that is actively developing.
Globally, the task of consulting is to develop a culture of job search so that candidates find work more easily and “integrate” into the system, and employers consider potential in candidates and spend less time and resources on searching. Also, consulting solves the issue of the right choice of employers.
In simpler words, a consultant helps a person achieve career goals, whether it is a job search, work with burnout, retraining or career growth.
The convenience of working with a career consultant:
This is a client-side specialist. The consultant is not tied to the company and is not limited to the interests of companies, and therefore is interested in the success of the client. The consultant owns market information and knows where to look for it. He understands the principles of personnel management processes in companies. It can guide the client’s behavior so that it harmoniously fits with the expectations of employers.
What tasks does career consulting work with:
- Work searches;
- Loss of meaning / professional burnout;
- Career guidance (finding a job to your liking);
- Change of profession (career transitions) at different stages of a career;
- Career development (career growth);
- Making important career decisions (e.g. leave or stay with the company).
Based on the tasks that the client sets himself, it is worth choosing a consultant who specializes in such requests. Many consultants specialize in areas or industries. Most often they are divided by branches in which they worked before, or by directions that are interesting. For example, there are consultants in IT, consultants who specialize in career consulting, or those who help plan career transitions for adults.
Career Consulting can have different formats:
- One-time meeting (solving one issue);
- Meetings until a result is achieved (for example, before a client receives a job offer or reaches his career goal);
- The provision of individual services (for example, writing a cover letter or editing a resume).
Career consulting is different from career coaching. If in coaching, the coach leads the client to a decision by asking questions, then in consulting, the consultant gives the client practices, tools or ready-made answers (where possible).
Also, do not confuse the services of consultants with the services of recruitment agencies. Consultants do not “sell” candidates to companies, but help to find work on their own. This can be compared with the work of a fitness trainer who does not perform exercises for the client, but selects a suitable program for him and controls the execution. Therefore, the responsibility for the results of work with a consultant lies with the client.
So what kind of services do career consultants provide?
- Job search consulting. Analysis of customer actions and isolating errors. Analysis and recommendations for resumes and cover letters. Development of a job search strategy and customer support in the process of its implementation;
- Drawing up resumes and cover letters to order. This service is most relevant for candidates who have not looked for work for a long time and have lost the ability to “sell themselves”. Some consultants compose themselves, some do it in the format of consultations with the client, where he composes;
- Developing a job search strategy after a long break;
- Development of a job search strategy after leaving the decree;
- Developing a job search strategy for people over the age of 50;
- Labor market assessment (analytics by industry, company, salary);
- Career coaching;
- Work with self-esteem and confidence in finding a job;
- Making important career decisions (leave or stay)
- Professional crises and their overcoming (loss of meaning in work, change of values, burnout).
- Career guidance and “entry” into a new profession.
What is the result of working with a career consultant?
- Job search plan, according to which the client can act independently.
- Achievement by a client of a specific career goal or adjusted goal.
- Client’s understanding of its strengths, achievements, and advantages.
- Increasing confidence in their actions to achieve a career goal.
- Understanding of your mistakes that were blocking the path to achieving the goal.
Who can be a career consultant?
Like any profession, the career consulting profession requires careful preparation. This can be special training, as well as personal consulting practice and, of course, the results of the work. Many clients are not interested in publicizing their work with a consultant, and therefore you should not focus on the number of reviews about the consultant as the only guideline.
For career consulting, work experience as a recruiter or HR is required, at least 2 years old. It is this experience that gives an understanding of the labor market and the laws that govern the selection of candidates and career growth in companies. Ideally, if the consultant worked in both large and small companies and understands the principles of work of both.
How to choose a career consultant:
Pay attention to the content that the consultant provides. Does he write articles and is their content informative for you, give an interview, speak at relevant conferences, do webinars or courses take place.
Of course, the main criterion should be the quality of knowledge shared by the consultant. Its content should be understandable, interesting and informative to you. The person himself must be pleasant because with him you will communicate on fairly personal topics and discuss your experiences. And accordingly, it should inspire confidence in you.
The number of reviews is not a measure of consultant performance. Not all people want to advertise work with consultants. But the quality of reviews says a lot – what people say, what they focus on, how much you believe what was said.
Ethics of work career consultants:
Information received from customers is confidential. This means that consultants do not discuss it with anyone other than the client himself.
Consultants should not make promises that are not dependent on them and which are not able to fulfill. If you are promised employment after one consultation, getting straight to TOP positions, moving to radically different positions without losing your salary, or “developing the skill to manage your boss” – you communicate in a trickster. There is no magic in career consulting. The consultant acts as your guide and gives you information, but you need to complete the steps towards the goal yourself. In a career, as in life, there is no quick result and you need to work hard to achieve the goal.
The consultant’s task is to provide reliable information for the client and an objective assessment of his request. It is not ethical to give customers only a positive assessment, silent about real pitfalls and weaknesses.