Here’s something that you must understand if you are going to ask for the help that is available from a Job Coach or an Employment Counsellor: You’re not the center of their universe. When you ask for assistance in your job search from a Career Advisor, Mentor, Coach or Counsellor with respect to employment, that’s a real sign of strength and courage.
You’ll get empathic support, and these folks will really go out of their way to help you out because quite frankly they want you to succeed. It’s what turns them on, and it gives them tremendous happiness. They’ll set up a plan for you that if you follow it, will move you closer to your next job. Generally speaking, you’ll identify together a number of strengths, weaknesses, and activities to change those weaknesses into positives to improve your job searching.
But….at some point…..they will give up on you. Evey single one of them, (and I’m one of them) will give you lip service, do very little, and stop working hard to land you that next job. So how come? After all, isn’t that why all those folks get paid in the first place? What nerve! So how can you know if your Advisor has packed it in and passed you by?
Well first of all, there are a number of these folks reading this blog right now who are wondering where I’m going with this blog, and they’ve got the reply button under the cursor ready to fire back a volley that disagrees with me. Read on.
First of all, you aren’t the only person out there that your Employment Counsellor is working with. You probably had that figured out when you first met that professional. So sure they gave you their undivided attention during that first half hour or hour meeting. They might have asked you to do some homework, like work up a resume, go to a workshop, etc. So let’s assume you did, because in the beginning you see some hope here and you’re starting fresh with this person. You might have even done the homework, gone to the workshop, and have completed the resume in the time allocated. Great for you. The Employment Counsellor is still working with you.
Time goes by though. No results. Nothings changed. You’re doubting again, falling into old patterns of behaviour. You’re sleeping in at 10:00a.m. when they call you to see how things are going. The first silent alarm goes off on their radar. So they remind themself to call you in a couple of days. Your cell phone is out of minutes and they can’t leave a message – neither can employers. Serious doubting creeps in. There’s a conversation you two have, and your given some money to buy some minutes on the phone. Next day, your roommate answers the phone and says you aren’t home because your up north at a friends cottage for a few days. Alarm bells are ringing.
Keep this scenario going and you’ll see that the precious time that the Employment Counsellor has for you and all those other clients is going to shift away from you more and more. Why? You don’t appear serious and committed anymore. Those leads and job openings that cross the desk aren’t going to be given to you even though you first appeared right for the job. Nope. Those job leads are going to others on the caseload who may not have the same skills as you do, but they do have more of a positive attitude and are DEMONSTRATING their commitment to the job search.
Your Employment Counsellor has temporarily given up on you. You are no longer on the must call list. You’re dangerously close to being dropped as a client of theirs, and going back to job searching alone. Your actions in this case outweighed your words, and you have proven yourself to be not worth the effort. You see the Employment Counsellor is also forging relationships and networking. They speak daily with employers and try to land opportunities for their clients. When an employer agrees to contact the Employment Counsellor first, that person naturally wants to fill the spot with someone who will make a good impression so more referrals come in. You have ceased to make that good impression.
The good news is you can control to a great degree the level of interest and commitment a Job Advisor or Career Counsellor gives you. How? Follow through on your homework. Stay in contact with your Employment Coach and tell them what you are doing on a regular basis. Ask for feedback and be receptive to getting it. Do what you are told. Keep to the plan you came up with together on your goals and steps. Look neat when you meet and make sure you keep appointments. Be honest about challenges and problems but don’t dwell on your misery.
“I’ve given up on you”, isn’t something you want to hear so don’t act in a way that gives someone any justification for cutting you loose. If you aren’t really ready to job search because or things going on in your personal life, take care of those things and get them out-of-the-way. Sure ‘life’ comes up and gives you challenges. Did you think you were special? Everybody has setbacks, things to deal with, deaths and births in the family, money woes, etc. Get help if you can’t move on, but otherwise get back to your committed job search. Then my friends, no one will give up on you.