Thank You Employment Counsellors

If you are an Employment Counsellor I want to extend my personal nod of thanks in your direction for the help you have given over 2014 to either the unemployed or those seeking work-related changes in their lives.

You may have helped build a social media profile, a resume, prepped someone for a job interview, given another career insights and direction, lent an ear, been there when someone lost their job, their self-esteem or maybe their sense of purpose; in short, you gave someone hope. And of course, the previous sentence speaks to the singular when in fact you undoubtedly helped multitudes of people and played some role in turning around the lives of those you touched. Well done.

I don’t really mind that some readers will see this post as a gratuitous pat on the back. What is wrong with acknowlding the work of others, especially if they inspire and help? And some might say, “Well that’s your job and you’re getting paid to do it – so do it!”, but it never hurts in my opinion to just say a small thank you.

I suppose it’s because I’m an Employment Counsellor myself that I’m aware of the impact of kind words in a job that brings us into contact with others who deal with frustration and sometimes anger when in the process of a prolonged job search. Thank you for giving of your time to let people vent their frustration, express their anxieties and unburden themselves. Thanks for taking over, if only temporarily, some of their load and then replacing what you took with a little optimism.

The work Employment Counsellors do is important work. Do it poorly, and people may experience unemployment for a longer period of time and grow colder towards other people. Do our jobs well and we have the power to help people transform their lives, earn higher incomes, walk with greater self-esteem and see the brighter side of life.

There are those that have an erroneous understanding of what an Employment Counsellor does. Employment Counsellors don’t get jobs for people. When someone says, “Can you get me a job?”, or “It’s your job to get me a job”, I remind myself first and foremost that while an Employment Counsellor can advocate for a client, show them a job posting, or coach them through the process, only the person themselves can truly do what is required to land a job. And keeping a job? Ah, now that is something much more challenging that getting a job.

As Employment Counsellors, I thank you for taking the time to get to know your clients. Understanding their strengths and limitations and tactfully pointing out what sometimes they need rather than want to hear is a skill that is perhaps one of the more valuable in our tool box. And speaking of skills, I hope you continue to grow your skills, learn new ones, and come to appreciate in others.

I have enjoyed networking through social media such as LinkedIn again in 2014. Around the globe I have met some wonderful connections, strengthened some relationships, formed some new ones, and even helped out a few people as I sure have you. We are so fortunate to live in this time when we can converse, share, help and assist our peers. Learning from each other our best practices, reaching out across continents and oceans for advice ourselves, helping hands, friendship and feedback is something only a generation ago would have been unthinkable.

So what does the new year have in store for us as Employment Counsellors? If we are honest, we will have times of frustration, consternation, conflict and remorse. We won’t be able to help everyone we come into contact with achieve their goals and some might not think kindly on us for their own lack of success. On the other hand, we will take great pride in having played a small part in the lives of those who reach their goals of financial independence obtained through employment. Those who get promotions and full-time work instead of part-time might do so because we spent some time preparing them for job interviews, editing resumes and cover letters, or coaching them through the entire application process.

Some of us might meet face-to-face at training events and conferences. When we do, it might be as if we are meeting someone we’ve known for years and admired greatly even thought we see them for the first time. Whether through LinkedIn, the blogs we write, making comments when in on-line discussion groups or skyping, we’re getting closer and closer to each other.

We all have connections and on-line friends that we seldom if ever actually interact with directly. While some people connect with us, get our help and then seldom if ever speak to us unless it is in times of need, others connect and nurture those relationships, adding as well as taking. And if you are someone who others only seem to take from rather than give of themselves to, be thankful that you are the person others think of first and turn to when they need help. That’s a gift.

So thank you Employment Counsellors everywhere. There are many people doing good work but this time it’s just for you that I extend my personal thanks. I raise a glass in your good name and wish you continued success.

I’m proud to be counted among you.


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