Are You a Voice of Inspiration for Your Clients?
By Lori Jazvac.
I was browsing through some good reads the other day when I came across “Voices of Inspiration: Real Life Wisdom for Living Your Best Life” by Marlon Smith. The book is the third volume in the Success By Choice, Inc. Series and was an Amazon #1 bestseller when it was published in 2015. What drew me to this book were the amazing stories of turnarounds and transformations experienced by people from around the world. The strategies used to overcome obstacles were truly inspired and inspiring.
Serve as a Supportive Change Advocate for Your Clients
As career professionals, we strive to be advocates for change and sources of inspiration to our clients who are in the midst of challenging career transitions. The strategies we use can impact our clients’ career choices and decision-making. Recently, I’ve talked with clients who wanted to transition their career from the entrepreneurial sector back into the corporate world. Interestingly, going the entrepreneurial route was the ideal choice for some of these clients just a few years back.
I’ve learned from both personal and professional experience that there aren’t always clear, methodical processes telling us what path to take or what choices to make. Sometimes, the winds of change force us to face new horizons. During such times, we must trust in our core strengths and instincts. Clients facing obstacles in a career path must be encouraged to embrace the opportunity for growth and transformation.
Helping Clients Navigate Their Career Journey
Guiding clients along their career journey involves asking the right questions, identifying themes, fine-tuning existing strategies to align with goals, encouraging due diligence, and leveraging networks while being grateful for progress made, no matter how small. The career journey involves never dwelling on past mistakes but learning from those experiences. The book “Voices of Inspiration” states that by knowing how to leverage their networks, people are often just one step away from securing the job of their dreams.
Therefore, it is important for career professionals to help clients see their career not as a linear path with a start and end point, but rather as a journey of progressive learning experiences involving growth and relationship building. We can help by gently guiding clients to refine their career stories, putting pieces of the career puzzle together so that forward-thinking solutions are uncovered.
Consider asking your clients these helpful coaching questions:
- What is most important to you in life? In your career?
- What does “success” look like to you?
- What values really matter to you?
- Is there something you’ve found yourself doing repeatedly while expecting different results?
- If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
- Who are the individuals who inspire you and support your goals and your journey? How might you approach these individuals to ask if they’d play a role in your development?
I’ve observed that asking clients these questions empowers them. The answers they come up with provide a sense of independence and control because they’re making their own decisions. When our clients are accountable for their decisions, they are more likely to take ownership of their goals and futures.
My A-B-C-D Method
I utilize a holistic career coaching strategy with clients called the ABCD Method: Affirm, Brainstorm, Create, and Discover. This step-by-step approach guides clients in understanding their unique value and in making inspired career decisions.
A – Affirm your career goals, needs, and values. Be assertive, detailed, and focused.
B – Brainstorm the creative possibilities. Be open-minded, bold, and flexible. Think outside the box.
C – Create exciting prospects and cultivate new networking opportunities. Leverage innovative career tools and resources. Construct a bridge using existing assets in order to devise creative solutions. Courageously explore the hidden job market.
D – Discover a new career horizon. Defog your vision and drive your purpose. Dispel self-limiting myths and beliefs. Do your due diligence.
More Inspirational Wisdom
Here are three valuable pieces of inspirational wisdom from “Voices of Inspiration”:
- “Keep moving forward and believe that anything is possible.”
- “You have an excellent chance of creating the life of your dreams when you have clarity regarding what you really love.”
- “Trust that even when you can’t see a way forward, there is a way and it will be shown to you so definitely pay attention.”
Here’s my own piece of wisdom:
In the face of great uncertainty, there is only one certainty – knowing, valuing, and articulating what sets you apart from others. Honour and maintain your unique Value Proposition.
Invest in your professional development this summer and enroll in courses in résumé, employment, or career transition consulting strategy. Please feel free to share some pieces of inspirational wisdom that you’ve found helpful, either in your own career or when working with clients.