There are coaches and advisors available to assist with every imaginable predicament life throws us. There are relationship counsellors, debt management advisors; even weight loss coaches. Unsurprisingly, there are also career advisors and career counselling services.
Whether it’s identifying a role you’ll thrive in, earning a higher salary or starting your own business, these mentors will help you find the right path to success. There are however some circumstantial situations in one’s career where an advisor also isn’t the ideal solution. Here are reasons when using a career advisor will pay serious dividends, and when you might be best to explore other options.
When are they required?
There are a range of situations and unknowns you might face in your professional journey that warrant the assistance of a career advisor:
You want to break into a new role or industry
This is a perfect situation in which to enlist the help and expertise of an advisor. They have knowledge about a large volume of roles, the skills required to break into new and diverse fields, have far-reaching networks and can provide you with the assurance and confidence often demanded by a change in career.
You’ve been made redundant
Redundancies can affect even the most confident and accomplished candidates, leaving them feeling confused, anxious and unsure about the future. Redundancy rarely reflects incompetence and can in fact have many positive outcomes, including providing the opportunity to study, volunteer or start anew. Career counselling can help you focus on these positives and provide the assurance that you’re capable of finding another role you love.
You need a change
Career counselling can give you a fresh perspective on your skills and the jobs they’re best suited to, especially if you’re feeling stagnant or directionless. Maybe you’re in a job where your experience isn’t being fully utilised? Perhaps your goals have become muddied and unclear? Consultation with a career advisor who has extensive knowledge of the candidate experience and job market can be extremely valuable. They are also a source of objective but customised information that can be difficult to find elsewhere.
You’re rebuilding your resume
It’s one thing to update and edit your resume for job applications, but it’s another thing all together to rebuild and transform it, and a career advisor can definitely assist with this. Drawing on extensive experience and networks, they can provide you with high-level detail on how to tailor and target your resume to specific industries and organisations, even to specific employers. The fresh perspective of a career counsellor may also help you better define and articulate skills you’ve failed to recognise as worthy of inclusion in your resume, making your resume truly reflective of your unique capabilities and accomplishments.
When don’t you need a career advisor?
While advisors and counselling can assist with a range of issues that arise in your professional life, it’s a big and often costly commitment. Here are several scenarios in which you should seek out other resources to further your career and resolve the challenges you’re facing:
Conflict with your manager or colleagues
While a career advisor could provide support and general information on how to manage conflict at your workplace, it’s also important this is raised and addressed internally. If there’s a systemic issue at your company with staff or management than it’s critical that HR participate in resolving it, so that it can be quickly and effectively addressed in the future.
If you’re unsure
If you’re going to spend time and money using the services of trained professionals, then it’s worth knowing exactly what you want to achieve from the relationship. Write down a list of career problems you’re experiencing, goals you want to achieve but might be struggling to articulate, or areas of you resume you want to transform to be adequately prepared for your sessions. This way, you can be sure you’ll get the most out of career counselling.
When you’re not seeing any benefits, or the relationship is taxing
If you’re not getting along with your career advisor, if their advice is leading you further astray, or worse, is visibly detrimental to your personal and professional well-being, then sever the relationship and look elsewhere for a more suitable advisor. A great advisor should share your professional vision, understand and respect your values, and be acutely aware of your work-related needs.
Should you decide you do want career counselling, don’t be afraid to shop around for the perfect career advisor, using a range of different resources to find them. Seek out advisors who have a history of success and positive reputations to ensure that you work as a team, propelling your career forward.
Take a look at our career development hub for more career tips and advice.