10 Tips for Supporting Clients in Career Transition During the Holidays
The autumn season is coming to a close and the holidays are just around the corner. For clients in career transition, especially those facing unemployment, the holidays can be challenging. As career professionals, we can champion our clients to make the most of the holidays by thinking purposefully and positively — and taking initiative. Here are 10 tips for supporting your career-transitioning clients during the holidays:
1. Encourage your client to see every chance event as a ripe opportunity for success.
Whether it is an informal or formal gathering, or a virtual meet-up, any holiday event provides an opportunity for networking. Help your client to get involved and to learn more about what others are interested in and what they do as this will open the gateway to new and exciting opportunities. The key: say “yes!” to invitations to company parties, social gatherings, and end-of-year professional association events.
2. Support your client in formulating concrete professional goals.
If your client is aiming to transition into a totally different career, this might be a great time to set up some informational interviews. These interviews can be critical to success, especially if the application requirements are rigorous and unique to the field, such as when making the change from private to public sector employment. Researching the field, industry, and environment will help your client set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals.
3. Motivate your client to change their perspective about job search during the holidays.
Employers hire throughout the year. Now is the time for your client to take stock of their career roadmap and start an active job search. Encourage your client to avoid putting their search on hold until January. Your client can:
- Keep a success journal and record and update their accomplishments.
- Decide where they want to go. What does their goal look like? Spell it out in detail: job responsibilities, desired salary, environment, company culture, etc.
- Develop a game plan to reach their goal. What do they need to do to get from where they are now to where they want to be?
- Brainstorm a specific list of steps to take to execute their game plan.
- Enlist an accountability partner to help them achieve their goal.
- Conduct a monthly or quarterly “checkup” to review their plan and make any necessary changes.
4. Invest in a complete brand marketing portfolio.
5. Inspire your client to make a difference through community leadership.
Volunteerism in the community is great way to extend the client’s network, build the résumé, and make valuable contacts while contributing to the goals of a meaningful charity.
6. Help your client make someone else’s holiday brighter.
Champion your client to serve as a mentor and become involved in a professional association or community group. Supporting others will help your client to channel their energies in an empowering direction while achieving important goals that involve knowledge sharing, skill building, team collaboration, and leadership.
7. Remind your client to reconnect with old friends and colleagues.
Sending a holiday card to previous co-workers and supervisors, academic peers, or former neighbours is a nice way to let them know that your client is thinking about them and to keep the lines of communication open. Opportunities abound through nurturing networks and keeping in touch.
8. Prompt your client to stay visible and reachable during the holidays.
Remind your client to keep their phone fully charged and to carry it with them. They should make it a habit to check their email and voicemail regularly to keep on top of important calls and potential opportunities.
9. Research the company in detail before applying to any position.
The holidays are a good time to do some foundational planning. This includes:
- Review the company’s website, Google them, check out their social media presence, and see if they are profiled on Glassdoor.ca.
- Secure the name of the hiring manager or the interviewer.
- Conduct a Google search on the interviewer and review their profile on LinkedIn.
- Refine interviewing skills through interview coaching.
10. Mind online reputation management.
Coach your client about the importance of conducting a Google search on themselves and setting up a Google Alert to receive email notifications about any online content that includes their name. This helps to maintain a solid online reputation, which affects job search. Ensure that your client has a top-ranking LinkedIn profile that shows up in Google search results. Remind them to set up accounts on popular social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Counteract any negative information found online by posting positive content and requesting removal or correction of inappropriate information.
The holidays can be memorable and productive, both personally and professionally, even in a time of career transition. To help your clients gain a competitive advantage, enrol in CPC’s Employment Consulting course or work towards your CDP certification by completing the Career Development Practitioner Program.
Lori Jazvac is a passionate, award-winning Master Certified Résumé Strategist and Certified Employment Strategist through Career Professionals of Canada. As a multi-certified Master Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Coach, she specializes in helping clients navigate challenging career transitions. In 2013, an empowering vision inspired Lori to launch Creative Horizons Communications, a holistic career services firm where she virtually supports jobseekers around the globe to embrace their next career milestone. In her spare time, Lori enjoys dance, blogging, watching comedies and reality shows, yoga, and taking long walks in nature.