Meet CPC Member Michelle Precourt
By Cathy Milton.
During this gift-giving season, I’ve heard from many friends and family members that they will be giving gifts of genetic and ancestry testing, such as offered by companies like 23andMe.
Michelle Precourt, one of the contributors to the podcast, has the same surname as my paternal great-grandmother. This caught my attention so I thought I’d reach out to Michelle and get to know a little about her.
Can you tell us about your career history, including the decision to launch your own business?
I started my career in the field of human resources about 15 years ago, first in health care and then in aviation. Over the years I had the opportunity to work in all aspects of HR, but recruitment was and is my specialty. I recruited for all types of positions including nursing, air traffic control, IT, finance, administration, engineering, and senior management. What I enjoyed most about recruitment was connecting with people and hearing their stories. I learned much of what I know about business through my years of working for others.
It was in this past year that I decided to branch out on my own, launching my practice, Recruitment Coaching by Michelle Precourt. I wanted to shift my work to a place where I had the flexibility to choose what I do and how I do it. Working for myself, I have the ability to create my business in a way that is authentic to who I am.
How did you learn about Career Professionals of Canada and what made you decide to join?
I researched a number of professional organizations that I thought might be helpful in my private practice. CPC is Canadian-based, which said to me that members would understand the Canadian job market. I offer my services internationally, but my core work comes from Canadian clients. I also spoke to another career practitioner who received her Certified Résumé Strategist (CRS) credential through CPC. Having access to this kind of learning is important to me.
Finally, when I contacted CPC, I very quickly heard back from Sharon Graham, Executive Director of CPC. That was positive. Sharon shared her knowledge and I was readily able to see all that CPC has to offer.
What services do you offer your clients?
My core offerings are:
- Mindfulness & Meditation Techniques for Job Seekers
- Personal Branding & LinkedIn Profiles
- Interview Preparation & Negotiation Skills
- Résumé Writing
In addition to these offerings, I have also created tailored coaching packages for specific client needs.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
Definitely, it is the change and progress I see in my clients as we work together. Some job seekers come to me tired and frustrated in their pursuit of finding new employment. Together, we shift their thinking, enabling them to see their strengths. I enjoy seeing a re-energized and rejuvenated job seeker who can’t wait to get back into an active job search.
What are some of the challenges of being in private practice?
Because I work from home, a big challenge is the lack of social connection, which is something that can help to generate ideas. I have to seek out ways to connect and ensure my creativity continues to be stimulated. I regularly find myself looking to CPC members and my LinkedIn connections. There is a wealth of knowledge available by tapping into these resources.
I also look for in-person networking opportunities and, if I feel an immediate need for social interaction, I take my laptop to a local coffee shop for a few hours.
Another challenge is that I am every department! When I was an employee, I would have called IT to fix my computer or finance to support me with my budget. Now, I am the doer of all! This can be tricky and in my first year of business, I am trying to be smart about where I invest my money. For example, I decided to use Squarespace for my website. I am NOT a web designer, but it was fairly easy to maneuver. I am glad I spent the time to learn this myself.
At some point, I have to decide what is worth my time and what is better outsourced. I am still navigating this challenge!
What do you envision for the future of your business?
I am enhancing the meditation and mindfulness component of my work. Job seekers need a solid résumé and they need to be fully prepared for an interview, but many suffer from anxiety associated with the selection process. I want to provide a service that offers support and provides tangible ways of mitigating those feelings.
Do you have words of wisdom to share with readers who may be considering launching a private career practice?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Having a strong support system around me has been the biggest benefit of being in private practice. I know I am doing good work based on the feedback I get from my clients. I also have the support of my family and friends, but my online support system has been great, too. CPC members, for example, are always available when I have questions about business, a client, or a new career practitioner trend.
What do you do to relax?
Sometimes I meditate when I walk. If you see me swinging my arms or tapping my fingers while walking, I am likely meditating. I try to find ways to meditate every day even if I can only commit for 5 minutes. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged in a serene space. That is the idea that many people have, but it doesn’t have to be like that. I will meditate in public places like on the bus or on a plane, and while sitting waiting to see my dentist or doctor. Meditation brings me peace. It calms my nervous system. It helps me focus.
Author’s Footnote: I have a hunch that I’m being gifted with an ancestry testing kit soon. I’m looking forward to discovering whether or not Michelle and I share a family connection!
Photography by Shamit Tushakiran