Career transitions may be proactive and voluntary when you have reached a point where you feel ready to explore a new career or take up a new role. It may also be involuntary, where you are faced with redundancy or outplacement.
Are you facing redundancy or some other form of outplacement?
Over the past 20 years we have worked with hundreds of employees facing redundancy or being out-placed and we fully understand how stressful it can be. It can be hard to think clearly if you are feeling lost and not sure of what steps to take. Job loss can understandably create feelings of anxiousness, self-doubt and low self-esteem.
In these situations, we will work with you to rebuild your confidence and skills and help you to source potential opportunities. We will then work with you through all the stages of the recruitment process, to help you to make the best version of yourself, whether you want to establish a new career path or re-connect to your chosen profession.
Have you decided it is time to make a move? Perhaps you are:
- Seeking to advance to a more senior role and require clarity on the steps and skill development required, to raise your chances of getting promoted to the next level
- Feeling dissatisfied or insecure in your job, but really don’t know what you want to do next
- Looking for a more challenging and demanding role
- Thinking about using your existing skills and experience in a different industry
- Thinking of embarking on a completely new career and choosing between different options
- Thinking of starting your own business / service / consulting / partnership
- Looking at taking up contract work to enable you to explore a variety of organisations with different jobs and perhaps more personal freedom
- Generally trying to achieve a better work / life balance
Whether this is the first time you have been faced with having to change your career, or are proactively deciding to transition to a new career, having a source of expert and objective advice can be of real value in helping you to make the right decisions. You now have a unique opportunity to consider and learn from the choices you have made in the past and take the time to plan for your future. Whatever your circumstances we will help you to really take charge of your own progression, so that you can exploit the opportunities available.
The important thing to remember is that no matter what the reason is for your career transition, your environment and future job market hold the same wide selection of challenges and opportunities.
What we will do for you
Our goal is to get your career journey moving back on track, in a direction that will give you the best range of future opportunities and job satisfaction. Our practical support and coaching will get you started on this journey and make you feel more confident, as you take the next steps in your career transition. Our flexible and comprehensive service will initially help you identify what it is you want to do and then help you to capitalise on the available opportunities.
Apart from our scheduled meetings you will also receive ongoing confidential phone and email advice and guidance to help you work through the process.
Working with organisations
We work with both corporate and private clients providing several of Irelands largest organisations with career transition and outplacement support services. We provide targeted career coaching for all levels of employees, from entry-level up to CEO positions. As well as equipping individuals with the confidence and skills to transfer to new roles, we focus on protecting the reputation of the organisation. Our personalised and comprehensive approach ensures the most positive outcomes for departing employees, employees who remain and the overall reputation of the organisation.
We will work with you to:
1. Develop greater levels of self-awareness of your perspective at present and your future potential
2. Develop criteria to compare career options and form a basis for decision making
3. Review the changing work environment, job market, job search techniques and employer profiles
4. Develop your resources and skills to enable you to network and market yourself effectively and succeed in the recruitment and interview process
Having helped you to clarify career direction, identify potential employers and / or agencies, we will then focus on job application, interview preparation and performing at interviews. As we have extensive experience in all aspects of the recruitment and interview process, we can guide and coach you through all of the relevant skills and techniques to help you display the best version of yourself. We will cover:
- Creating a relevant, polished and professional CV
- Writing memorable covering letters
- How to develop a networking plan
- Employers’ recruitment and selection processes
- Completing Psychometrics tests
- Displaying the best version of yourself at interviews
- How to perform effectively at assessment centres
Please review the services that we offer below and call us for a free consultation to decide how we can help you.
1. Developing greater levels of self-awareness and understanding of your future potential using the Birkman Career Plus Method
You will complete the online Birkman Career Plus questionnaire and then receive comprehensive one to one feedback on your profile. The goal is to match your interests, skills and needs against the many career options out there. The profile will:
- Identify your personal qualities and skills, highlighting strengths & emphasising the positives
- Identify the skills you would like to develop
- Come up with ideas for further learning activities to assist your career progression
- Explore your likes and dislikes, personal supports and barriers
- Explain your personal needs and desired work environments
- Provide suggestions about the specific job categories and roles where you are most likely to flourish
At the end of the session, you will have new ideas and insights on the next steps to advance your career.
2. Develop criteria to rank and compare career options and form a basis for decision making
Before exploring your options, it is worth taking time to consider just exactly what is of most importance to you. The criterion may include:
- How your skills, qualification and experiences relate to the different roles or professions
- What you would like to do, what you are passionate about, based on your interest, needs, behaviours and preferred work environment. What did you most enjoy about your previous roles?
- The options the position/s presents for your longer term career advancement
- Your goal in terms of work life balance
- Forecast of the relevance or importance of the role, profession or industry in tomorrow’s world
- Rewards, benefits and personal development opportunities
- The culture and management style of the organisation
- Location, travel opportunities, desired or not
Having this list of criteria (and others) established will make it much easier to weigh and compare different options, rank and list preferences and to make well informed decisions on job choices.
3. A review of the changing work environment, job market and employer profiles
In this world of accelerated change it is crucial to be aware of how the job market and the value of different roles within it, are changing and will change in the future. We will provide advice on:
- How different professions and jobs are being recalibrated
- What job sectors are diminishing or growing in the future
- What qualifications, knowledge, skill sets and abilities will be in most demand in the future
- Specific advice on the current Irish jobs and employment markets
- A review of the range of career routes available
- Professions and specific job roles that align with your experience, skill sets and qualifications
- Pros and cons of taking roles that leverage the experience and knowledge you’ve already built up, versus making a radical change in career direction to follow a new interest or need
The criteria rating form mentioned above will help to compare, rank and list preferences between various professions and job opportunities.
4. Developing your skill sets and techniques to succeed in the recruitment and interview process
Creating an impactful CV
We will provide you with a range of useful CV templates and work with you to:
- Ensure your CV conveys the relevant points about you in a clear, concise and accessible way
- Market your achievements in a concise, purposeful, targeted and evidence-based manner
- Ensure your CV objective portion resonates with the position being applied for
- Ensure that it easy for the reader to find exactly what they are looking for
- Learn how to interpret the reader’s core requirements and ensure your CV sends a relevant and customised message, directly addressing their current needs
- Incorporate the right keywords to ensure your CV passes through the H.R. tracking system
The importance of a well-crafted cover letter
A cover letter introduces and markets you effectively by highlighting your relevant strengths and motivations rather than listing all the things that can already be seen on your CV. We will help you to construct a letter that:
- Gives you scope to showcase your interests and motivations
- Displays your enthusiasm for the organisation and the role
- Enables you to align yourself with the organisation’s strengths, values and culture
- Highlights in a targeted way your knowledge and your strongest, most relevant skills for the position; what makes you different and makes you the right fit for the role
Your CV and cover letter lets you project your professional brand so that it makes sense and is relevant to your new target audience of recruiters. You have to make it obvious and easy for them to see why you are a good fit for the role and why they need to talk to you.
Developing a networking plan
There’s no best way to manage each of the different professional relationships you’ll cultivate over the years. However, it’s important to keep up communication to build a strong community of contacts you can call on when you’re in need. We will advise you how to collate your existing contacts and gradually build up a list of future contacts to enhance your options for career progression. This will include:
- Reviewing all of your relevant professional, LinkedIn and relevant social contacts
- Developing memberships of mutually supporting group: it is a two-way process
- Understanding factors that help to sustain long term professional relationships
- Establishing criteria for networking with the right people
- Selecting the key networking business or industry events
- Tips for virtual networking
- Looking after your network: Tips on the ”Dos & Don’ts”
Completing Psychometric tests
Psychometric testing has become an integral part of the recruitment process over the past 20 years. It represents an objective, standard, and scientific method used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural style. It is then able to evaluate how these match those required to perform the role. The characteristics measured are also used to predict a candidates’ future potential. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to identify the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a face-to-face interview.
Paddy Mahon has over 25 years of experience administering, interpreting and giving feedback on a suite of psychometric tests. Evidence has shown that when clients become familiar with various personality and aptitude tests and have practiced completing them, they have greater success getting through the recruitment process. Like in everything else, practicing gives you an advantage.
In addition to completing the Birkman profiler as part of the self-awareness process, you can practice completing a range of the most popular personality and reasoning tests. You will also be coached in some general guidelines to cover:
- Tips on how to approach verbal and numerical reasoning tests
- Tips on managing your time to greatest effect
- Recognising questions on social desirability that are used to spot people who fake answers
- Understanding the key personality traits that are most important to your recruiter
- Tips on avoiding mental fatigue
- Ensuring consistency in your answers
- Learning what the “Big 5” measures are and recognising the relevant questions
Performing well at interviews starts off with good preparation
Think of how it would feel like to walk into an interview being more confident because you know you are well prepared. By knowing exactly how your key skills, strengths and experience match the requirements of the role and by being prepared to answer key questions, you can promote yourself to prospective employers with confidence and conviction.
We will help you to design a preparation process that covers:
- Key research items on the Organisation. What would they expect you to know?
- Research on the role you are applying for in terms of context, job description and deliverables
- How to develop well researched questions to demonstrate your interest and level of knowledge
- Answers to questions that your CV will probably generate and other “classic” questions to consider
- Planning answers for competency based (S.T.A.R.) questions to show you can perform the role
- How the interviewer may differentiate between what is essential and what is desirable
- Any current affairs that are relevant to the specific profession or general employment sector
- What you need to clean up in your social media
- Items of preparation that are specific to telephone or internet- based interviews
The interview. What are the core skills and behaviours that you need to demonstrate to get hired?
Apart from asking you to expand on your CV, interviewers will want to see how you handle situations and how you will generally get along with people. What will you be like to work with? The interview is your chance to promote your key skills and behaviours that demonstrate why you are the right fit!
We will work with you to help you to display the best version of yourself by providing coaching and performing interview role plays to cover: ·
- The key to building engagement and displaying empathy
- Creating a positive first impression through appropriate dress and initial greeting
- Tips on effective body language and use of voice pitch, pace and tone
- Using effective communication to display clarity, energy, confidence and good listening
- How to recognise and answer competency based questions using the S.T.A.R. model
- Answering the “tricky” questions in a genuine and open fashion
- How to introduce examples of your most positive and relevant achievements
- Tips on giving effective presentations
- Tips on effective telephone interview techniques
- Additional considerations for internet based interviews
- Key items to avoid during interviews
- Leaving with a confident and positive expression
- Options on how and when to follow up after the interview
- Common reasons why many candidates fail at the follow up interview
Assessment Centre Process
Many organisations use assessment centres as their preferred method of recruitment. The main advantage is that you can assess and make live comparisons between 8 to 12 candidates at a time. The team of assessors is usually comprised of H.R. and the successful candidates’ future line-managers. The assessment team will base their selection decisions on a predetermined, agreed set of criteria. These are used to score and compare the candidates as they work through the various exercises and interviews. Apart from assessing candidates during activities, the assessors will also have opportunities during breaks and lunch to get to know the candidates. Activities usually include:
- A series of psychometric assessments covering personality and reasoning
- A team based, problem solving activity to enable assessors measure evidence of competencies in a live setting
- A structured interview
- Opportunity to structure and deliver a presentation to sell, influence, or make a proposal
Over the past 20 years, we have delivered hundreds of assessment centres and have trained many recruiting managers in the building and implementation of assessment centres. That makes us ideally placed to provide you with expert coaching to enable you perform at your best. We will cover:
- How to display effective networking skills at initial introductions and throughout the day
- Tips on completing “pencil & paper” psychometric tests during an assessment centre
- What behaviours and skills assessors are looking for in group-based activities
- Tips for the planning and delivery of joint presentations with other candidates
- Additional questions that may be put to you at interviews during assessment centres
- Ensuring consistency of your answers at multiple interviews or presentations
- Specific behaviours to avoid during assessment centres
- Leaving with a confident and positive expression
You will also have the option and opportunity for follow-up coaching to help you take the next logical steps in the hiring process.
Please contact us today for your free initial consultation and find out what MK Career Guidance and Coaching can do for you.