Maybe you’ve thought about hiring a career professional, but you keep hesitating because you wonder, “Is this really going to help? Am I going to get suckered?”
It’s an unfortunate reality that some folks who seek out help end up getting a raw deal. Of course, this happens in pretty much all industries, and it’s fairly easy to paint everyone with the same brush when a negative story is heard.
So what can help you know that you’re talking to a professional who will help you? I’ve based this list off of a few points from this post written for businesses hiring consultants.
You’ll know you’re talking with a great career professional when s/he says:
“I don’t know, but let’s find out.” I know it seems counterintuitive to put your trust in someone who says this. After all, this person is supposed to be the expert! But really — do any of us know everything about our specific fields? If we’re being honest, the answer is “no.” There’s always something new created or a process that is modified due to a technological advance of some sort or a different approach that’s called for to reach an ever-changing target audience.
The same holds true for the career industry. Changes are happening all the time, so if the career professional you are talking with is willing to say that they have something more to learn, you know the person isn’t satisfied with the status quo. Plus, they are giving you the level of honesty you need when going through this process.
“I can’t do it all for you.” Some folks may think that hiring a career professional will magically get them that next great job. If anyone takes claims that you just have to sit back and wait, run away! Working with a career professional is a team effort — your career is your own unique story, and it can’t be properly told without your involvement.
To gain a clear understanding of your experiences and interests, to craft a great résumé, to develop stories from your career that clearly demonstrate your accomplishments and knowledge — all of it requires information that only you can provide. And then, once you have your materials in place, you need to put in the time to network online and offline, to prepare for interviews, and to appropriately follow up. While you have hired someone to work with on your job search, you still need to be in charge of your career! The time you put into the process will be evident by what you get out of it.
“You don’t need me to do that.” Once in a while, I get a client who comes to me requesting a service they don’t really need. Maybe they are asking for an update to their résumé, but the résumé is rather strong. Clients deserve to know the truth — if I think a résumé is good except for a couple typos, I’ll say that. Anyone who would fabricate a need when there isn’t one is not helping you; they are just bilking you out of money.
“No.” That’s not a word customers like to hear. In this case, however, you are hiring a career professional because of his/her expertise in navigating the job hunt. You want this person to share their knowledge of the industry with you and guide you in the right direction. If the person you hire simply executes what you ask for without providing any context for what may or may not work, you might end up with a finished product that won’t help you.
What do all of these items have in common? They’re not anything you would hear from someone who is a yes person. This is really a good thing because it means that you have found someone who is authentic and honest with you. While that might take you aback initially because it is not what you are expecting, it will end up serving you well in the long run because you are getting the best from them.
What are some other indicators that show you have made a good choice?
Image courtesy of Tim Green
Does this article resonate with you? Imagine what could happen if I was working for you and your career!