With career counselling, Karen follows contemporary theories with a focus on narrative, attention to metaphors, body language and unconditional positive regard, in order to build a strong level of trust with those she is guiding. When using psychometric assessments and other career counselling resources, Karen only uses tools that are up-to-date and relevant to the location and the individual. This is an important part of an effective approach, shaping discussions in a way that will be of most benefit.
It is common for career coaches to offer short, 15–20-minute interviews after testing with psychometrics. This can lead to confusion and frustration, as the results may not be clearly interpreted. In addition, sufficient time must be spent in helping the client to use the report to its full potential. It is essential to discuss the results of any psychometric testing in a timely follow-up, providing clients with the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the report’s findings. Discussion is such an important part of career coaching, which is why active listening, keeping an open mind and not making assumptions is vital.
KAREN’S COMMITMENT TO ONGOING LEARNING
The more Karen learns and expands her knowledge as a career counsellor, the better career coaching support she can provide. Career coaching has always been more than a profession for Karen. Regularly committing to furthering training and development ensures that clients gain the best support possible. Meanwhile, by reading academic publications and networking with industry professionals, Karen’s approach is constantly improving so that she can offer the best career coaching experience.
In 2020, Karen worked with a surgical specialist who was applying for a fellowship. Part of the application involved a timed panel interview covering procedural, technical and even behavioural questions. Many surgeons seek out a professional medical mentor to support them in preparation for the interview. Karen’s role was to work on performance technique, timings, vocal clarity and more. The client identified that answering the questions within the allotted time, without speaking too quickly, or becoming repetitious, could potentially be an area of difficulty.
As this client was required to conduct the interview online, Karen’s coaching focused on video interviews. Karen took extra care to assess the client’s overall video setup, ensuring that he had an appropriate backdrop and set-up to conduct a professional interview. Following this, Karen assisted the client with timed mock interview sessions, offering feedback on his responses. Out of several hundred applicants, the client was successful in gaining one of the eight scholarships.