The particular gentleman that I worked with, who I'm going to call Gary, was able to provide technical advice in the following job search areas:
- self and career analysis,
- job search techniques (e.g. gaining access to unadvertised roles),
- standing out from the crowd,
- company research,
- interviewing and
- contract negotiations.
For those of you who for whatever reason, don't have access to a career coach, you'll be pleased to know that perhaps even more important than the technical advice he provided, was the feedback, coaching and emotional support that Gary gave. Any family member or friend of yours, could provide you with the same support.
What worked for me, was arranging to meet up with Gary at his office, at a predetermined time each week so we could bounce ideas off each other. (Note: meeting at a cafe or local library would likely have worked just as well). This weekly meeting forced me to go outside, which was of course refreshing and to stick to an agreed schedule.
When we met each week, we would go over what I had done since our last meeting. Gary would then ask me questions designed to challenge my job search approach and to get me thinking of alternative actions that I could be taking. For example:
- "What have you done this week?"
- "What worked well?"
- "What could have gone better?"
- "What would you do differently next time?"
- "What have you learned?"
- "Who have you spoken with?"
- "Who else could help?"
- "Aside from all that you're doing, what else could you do?"
- "What specifically will you this week?".
Gary would then give me his view on one or two things he thought I should do, as well as telling me what he thought I was doing well.
Obviously this weekly meeting kept me on track with my job search and while it may seem like a small thing, the words of encouragement that Gary gave, really boosted my spirits each week, which is important for anyone searching for a job.
So if you don't already have a career coach or a friend/family member who fills the role, I highly recommend that you find one as the benefits are enormous!