Career direction or career change (4-5 sessions) – To identify a career direction we start by exploring your interests, values, skills, motivations and other influences. This is done using focused discussion as well as online, written and card-based career-building assessments, enabling us to gain an understanding of the type of work tasks and industries that best suit you. We identify options and career styles you are most likely to enjoy and succeed in, then work with you to develop an action plan to clarify your path to a fulfilling career. We use the purpose-driven career model which integrates all of these important aspects of career and life to generate a career path that gives you meaning and fulfils your purpose in life. For example, see ‘A career change for Paula’ below. Career counselling (2-3+ sessions)
Career counselling (2-3+ sessions)- Sometimes it is important to be able to talk-through work issues that you may be having with your current career or workplace. If you are not looking at changing career, and just want to be happier in the job you are in, you may benefit from stress-management or psychological resilience training to increase your job satisfaction.
Job interview training or CV optimisation (1-2 sessions) – if would like further training on presenting yourself well, even a single coaching session could help you considerably. If you are looking to improve your CV or cover-letters, we are experts at helping craft documents with high impact and focus.
Job-search optimisation (1-3 sessions) - If you are between jobs and looking for work, we can assist you to identify and create job opportunities, optimise use of your network and explore occupational options outside of the box.
A career-change for Paula
Career-direction exploration is one of the most common motivations for people attending Careerology services. What follows is an outline of how this typically progresses using the example of a recent client, Paula. The exact topics covered vary from person to person based on particular career needs but can usually be covered over 4-5 sessions.
CASE-STUDY: Paula was a 35 year-old woman who had been working for the past 5 years as an events manager. Over the past few years she had been developing an increasing sense of dissatisfaction with her job and came to careers consultation wanting to explore different options.
Session 1 - To start off with, Paula was given an explanation of the ‘purpose-driven career’ model to provide her with an overview and understanding of the career exploration process. The remainder of the first session was a structured interview exploring factors that influenced her career decisions up to that point. This was important in identifying an issue that was impeding her decision-making, namely, significant loss of self-confidence following the cultural shock of moving to NZ from the UK. We also identified influential events and responsibilities, core beliefs, and values in her life. Paula was given a SDS-CP work-interests inventory and a Myers-Briggs personality assessment to complete at home and bring back to the next session a week later.
Session 2 - The second session focussed on identifying occupation options. We consulted occupation tables based on her work-interests typology identifying several possibilities that appealed to Paula. We then discussed the results of the Myers-Briggs assessment and how her personality affects career decisions – this also directed us to further tables matching her personality to specific occupation possibilities. Paula was given information about each of the occupations she identified and was instructed on how to comprehensively research occupations. She was tasked with finding out specific details about Human Resource managers, Health Promoters and Interior Decorators.
Session 3 - In session 3, Paula arrived quite excited about Health Promotion as an occupation, having uncovered a lot of appealing aspects about this area. However, she was still not sure whether it was the best choice for her and agreed to examine this and other options more closely. A preferred skills assessment identified what skills she was good at and enjoyed using and informed us of the skills she should avoid having to use. A discussion about purpose and meaning in work arose allowing us to determine that lack of meaning in her current work was the major contributor to her dissatisfaction. She identified a strong need to help and support people more directly. In the last part of the session we completed a work-values assessment and a life-values assessment to expand her understanding of the particular factors important in her career-direction choice.
Paula was asked to complete a Character Strengths assessment online at home for us to discuss at the following session, this further helped Paula to understand her strengths and weaknesses.
Session 4 - The ‘purpose-driven career’ model uses a Career Matrix, an in-session exercise that brings together all the information gathered from the previous sessions. The Career Matrix is extremely useful in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each career option and summarises important aspects of your career decision. Paula completed the matrix and the resultant calculation revealed that Health Promotion would fulfil her career needs significantly more compared to her current job and the other alternatives. Just as importantly, the matrix showed us why it was a better option based on fulfilling particular needs and values. Finally, career action plans ‘A’ and ‘B’ were generated with short-term, medium-term and long-term goals. Paula was also given information about academic courses that would help her to become a Health Promoter. She was also advised about the NZ health industry and how best to develop job opportunities in that area.
Session 5 - Specific barriers or constraints that we identify along the way may impede decision-making or motivation. A further session is sometimes useful to identify some techniques/strategies to manage these hurdles remembering that, “they are not IN the way, they are ON the way” to your next career step. For Paula, her self-confidence issue required a further session to assist her in boosting her courage to take the step out from being an Event manager and into Health Promoter. Over this session, we covered some cognitive therapy techniques to improve her confidence and resilience which left her feeling much stronger in her belief that she could make the change.
A few weeks later, Paula had enrolled herself for the next intake to study a diploma in health promotion, arranged an internship with Diabetes NZ, and began discussions with her employer about part-time work.
1. What is a Career coach?
A Career coach is a specialist Counsellor who is expert in working with people wanting to improve their work satisfaction, change jobs, or make a career change. They are skilled in interviewing and counselling, and have specialist knowledge of the complex cognitive processes involved with making decisions about work choices and how to sustain resilience. They are mature individuals, with the most effective coaches having experience in different careers themselves. In New Zealand, the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ) is the organisation professional career practitioners belong to.
2. The career coach will:
- Try to find out your life/work values, your purpose in life and identify careers which are aligned with this. The closer your job is to these critical values, the happier and more satisfied you will feel.
- Help you recognize what jobs you are suited for based on your talents, education, personality and ambition. These can be detected through structured discussion, assessment and probing questions. The best coaches are very honest and will tell you what you can aspire to and what your limitations are likely to be.
- Assist you to clarify your long term career goals and assist you to create an action plan to achieve them.
- Structure your job search, help with your application documents as well as coach you to present well in job interviews.
3. The career coach won’t:
- Make decisions for you. Research indicates that decisions made by individuals themselves result in far higher levels of personal satisfaction and motivation to persist with them. The coach’s purpose is to assist your decision-making by helping you understand what are your values, raise your awareness of the important subconscious factors that may repeatedly cause problems with decision making, and help you identify & overcome any barriers to obtaining a career that fulfils your life purpose.
- Give you ‘pep’ talks or try to make you believe you can do anything. Career coaches are realistic professionals who will help you strive for the best you can achieve but not try to make you be someone who you are not.
4. What specialised tools does a career coach provide that may help me?
A career coach can deliver computer-based or paper-based assessment tools that can classify your personality style, ideal career options and/or work strength/weaknesses. These tools have been researched to be accurate and relevant.
5. How many times do I need to see a career coach?
On average clients attend 4-5 sessions, usually a week a part, but some find an ongoing coaching relationship is extremely valuable and desire to continue training with their coach for up to several years. Some clients may find that just 1 or 2 sessions are sufficient for their purposes.
6. What results can you expect from good career coaching?
After receiving coaching, you should have one or more of these outcomes:
- Enhanced self-awareness and direction
- Clarity of career and job-search goals
- Increased career management skills
- Overall improvement of your quality of life
7. Should I see a career coach?
Maybe. The determining question here is: Do you know what you want to do and how to get there? If so, do it yourself. If you are unsure about what career direction to take, if you have little idea of how to get somewhere – speak to a coach and see what they can do for you.