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Your Client’s Career Transition in the Current Economy

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By Lori Jazvac.

With Canada’s economy waning, fears of a looming recession are resurfacing. As the labour market tightens and employer expectations intensify, career professionals need to be poised to empower clients. CPC Mastermind, Lori Jazvac, provides practitioners with steps to plan their career transition.

Economic indicators are showing a consistent decline in the last few months.  6,500 jobs have been already lost in Canada in the month of June alone. Every sector is being hit, especially the oil and gas industry in Alberta, with prices plummeting.

The labour force is also showing signs of stress. Employment is down in some provinces such as Quebec and New Brunswick. Workers are facing downsizings once again and many are finding only low-paying jobs available. Young graduates are among the most challenged and many are not being able to pay off their debts.

While employer expectations are increasing, career practitioners are being faced with finding more empowering ways to support clients in difficult transitions.

If we have learned anything from the last recession is to be creative, think innovatively, and be fully prepared for career changes. This means taking matters into our own hands.

Consider these steps to build a strategic plan that addresses your client’s future:

  • Listen to your client’s perspective. Learn all the facts about his or her current employment situation. Strive to understand how the client’s role and the organization is being affected by the changes in the economy.
  • Encourage your client to stay loyal to the organization. Suggest taking on extra projects while keeping options open.
  • Help your client to stay calm, alert, and proactive. Employers value employees that remain calm and cool under pressure. Advise your client to avoid making rash decisions or indulging in office gossip.
  • Assist your client with identifying a desired niche. Ensure that the targeted role and environment that aligns with your client’s values and interests.
  • Assess marketable skills. Assist your client with identifying strengths and weaknesses.  Building on his or her marketable skill set will help your client maintain employability.
  • Help your client create an actionable plan.  Set short term and long term career goals and timelines with the client. Visualize the goal and take small manageable steps to work towards it.
  • Work with your client to develop a value proposition. In this competitive market, it is imperative for your client to know, communicate, and demonstrate unique offerings in the resume, interview, and at work.
  • Help your client to understand the labour market. Labour market trends and developments will impact your client’s career growth and prospects.
  • Suggest the road not taken. If your client is impacted by a layoff, consider researching entrepreneurial opportunities, especially if they enjoy being creative and independent.
  • Ask your client to conduct informational interviews for valuable information. Inspire your client to connect with like-minded professionals to share stories and experiences for personal growth.
  • Evaluate your client’s resume and portfolio. Offer a detailed critique of the resume. A fully customized achievement-based resume along with an evidence-based portfolio of documents is typically most effective.
  • Encourage your client to document successes. It’s important for your client to survey and log achievements and any important milestones in detail. This will build confidence.
  • Recommend active networking and volunteerism. Keep updated with professional references and contacts. Access local career centres, career seminars, professional events, and support groups.
  • Build an inspiring brand externally. Develop a targeted online presence in a high-demand area. Recommend that your client showcase skills and acumen through blogging or websites.
  • Project optimism. Many clients will stop job hunting when the going gets tough. Encourage them to remain confident, persistent, and to research every job lead and follow up.

Work towards your certification with Career Professionals of Canada so that you can enhance your client support services. Get inspired and take your career and business to a whole new level!

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