Are you feeling stuck in your career? If your career is a little lackluster, a career consultant can help you get it back on track.
A career consultant is a worthwhile investment of time and money if you need some help moving forward, but naturally you want to choose the right consultant to make sure you get a return on that investment.
So how can you do just that?
Follow these four tips to help find the right career consultant for you.
- Know Your Goals
A career consultant can help you find what you want to do, gain clarity and narrow down your options. However, they will be much better able to help you if you start off with a clear idea of your aim.
Are you looking for a complete change of career or are you more interested in moving forward in your current field? Do you have specific goals regarding earning more money or being able to work from home?
It’s ok to have a lot of unanswered questions – that’s why you’re hiring a career consultant – but try to start out with an idea of your overall aims. That way, you’ll be better placed to choose a consultant whose methods and track record are well suited to those aims.
- Research Their Credentials
As the article “How to Find the Right Career Consultant for You” points out, anyone can set themselves up as a career consultant.
The lack of consistent accreditation can make finding the right consultant seem like a minefield, but don’t worry.
There are other ways to find out how well qualified your career consultant is:
- Search engines. By searching for their name, you can see what others have said about them online;
- Professional references. Ask if they can provide you with professional references to follow up;
- Find out if they have previous clients who would be willing to talk with you;
- A good consultant will usually have some level of visibility, such as books, papers, social media or speaking engagements.
- Make the Most of Your Consultation
Any career consultant worth your time will be happy to offer you a free initial consultation, either in person or by phone or email. This helps you both assess one another and figure out if you’d be a good fit.
Prepare some questions before hand to learn more about how they work and what exactly they can help you to achieve.
The consultation is also a good opportunity to see if there’s chemistry between you. Do you feel you could work well with this person?
A career consultant doesn’t occupy the same place in your life as a friend, but a certain level of rapport and ease of conversation is a must.
- Assess Their Methods
Every career consultant works differently.
Some are more hands on than others. Some lean more towards “tough love” while some are more holistic. All good consultants will help you with goal setting, but some will have a more formal approach than others, and some will set very specific homework.
As well as getting a feel for how they work and what kind of success they’ve had with those methods, finding out more about how they approach coaching will help you to decide if their methods are right for you.
Everyone is different, so be honest with yourself about which methods are most likely to motivate you.
A career consultant can help you turn your career around and guide you in the best direction for you.
Of course you’ll still be responsible for the work needed to get there, but the right consultant will act as your trail guide, showing you the best routes and helping you avoid the rocky ground.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, career consultants and changing careers.