Be Your Clients’ Champion
By Lori Jazvac.
Many clients I work with talk about being behind in the plans they have for their lives. They tell me that they harbour regrets about not being able to achieve their cherished dreams and goals in what they view as the optimal timeframe. Yet, sometimes external circumstances such as industry changes, labour market trends, employer expectations, individual or team conflicts, and many other factors can impact our goals. Unanticipated life and career-related events can cause carefully made plans to careen off in trajectories completely different than expected.
We grow up with certain perceptions that impact how we see the world, how we function in it, and how we make choices and decisions. These perceptions may also impact our ability to move forward in a purposeful manner – or not – in times of adversity. For example, I have found that many people apply a comparative approach to the way they define success rather than assessing it through a personalized lens.
Do you ever hear your clients say the following?
- “I am not achieving my goals fast enough.”
- “My colleague is way further ahead than I am in my career.”
- “I really need to get this job, or else…”
- “If I don’t get this promotion, I will disappoint my loved ones.”
- “I am getting nowhere fast. I feel like a failure. I wish I knew what to do.”
- “I can’t achieve my personal goals until I learn how to do my job properly.”
The above statements are not uncommon. Our clients come from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds, upbringings, and schools of thought. Each has his or her own set of personal values. But one common trait I often observe in clients is that they feel an urgent need to achieve their goals. This urgency frequently causes them to dismiss the need for establishing a clear focus or plan.
Help Clients Embrace a New Horizon
When I see job-seeking clients place limits on their future prospects, I strive to help them unleash their potential and embrace a new horizon. Rejection and disappointment can erode self-esteem and impact goal attainment in one’s career. Yet, setbacks can often prove to be blessings in disguise. They can be catalysts for learning powerful lessons that lead to significant, positive transformations.
For instance, I work with many international clients who often talk about their high-level credentials not always being fully accepted in North America. While this means starting over again, I’m most impressed by the clients who are determined to bridge the gap by capitalizing on their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses; in this case, the lack of Canadian educational credentials.
I believe that “success” must continually be redefined according to different life situations and perspectives.
As career practitioners, we must strive to help our clients see the big picture, adapt to changes, re-evaluate their strengths and goals, and focus on a fresh horizon.
Find ways to help clients attain new goals by breaking them out into realistic, manageable steps. Then become your clients’ champion and cheerleader, encouraging them to remain focused on achieving their goals. Remember, it’s not about quantity or speed, but quality.
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill
Provide Clients With Motivational Inspiration
A motivational video by Jay Shetty highlights this important message: forward is forward – no matter how slow.
Here is the moral of the story and a lesson I’ve learned in my life:
“Don’t compare your beginning to some else’s middle.” Jon Acuff
Some famous and highly successful people such as Richard Branson, Steve Carell, and Morgan Freeman got their big breaks later in life.
The central message that Jay Shetty delivers as he speaks to young students is this:
“Everything in life happens according to our own time, our own clock. Everything happens according to our own pace.” Jay Shetty
Eight Strategies for Empowering Clients
- Help your clients to identify their personal values and to ensure those values are honoured as they set life and career goals.
- Encourage your clients to redefine their concept of success, challenge old ways of thinking, and embrace fresh perspectives.
- Champion your clients to understand how far they really have come in their lives and note the strategies they have used to achieve their goals. All achievements or milestones count, whether big or small.
- Motivate your clients to avoid judging themselves or others. Success means something different for everyone. This definition changes from time to time, too.
- Remind your clients to keep track of their milestones in a log or journal.
- Encourage clients to keep a vision board.
- Acknowledge and celebrate achievements with your clients.
- Support your clients in driving change and continuous improvement.
This year, enroll in courses with Career Professionals of Canada and empower your clients to achieve their next milestone. Remember every client is unique and every achievement is noteworthy!
“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted truly counts.” Albert Einstein