Career Coach – Do You Really Need One?

In 2008, the US Department of Labor published a study entitled, "Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth among Youngest Baby Boomers." This study indicated that younger baby boomers held an average of 10.5 jobs from the ages of 18-40. This study further reported that these young baby boomers also experienced an average of 4.9 spells of unemployment between the ages of 18-40. These studies also show that, the younger you are, the easier it will be for you to re-enter the workforce. Unfortunately, ageism is alive and well and is unlikely to go away any time soon. Although the soon-to-retire baby-boomer may free up some jobs sometime in the future, the reality is that you need a job today.

Part of getting a job today also requires serious thought and an effective job search. To job search more effectively, you will also need to consider if you are interested in an actual career or just a job. Not surprisingly, at some point during your working career, you will also need to decide if it would be in your best interest to hire a career management specialist.

The first thing you need to know about the industry of career management is that there is no regulatory board to which the so-called 'professionals' in the industry report. It should further be noted that, there are tonnes of unscrupulous people out there who have no issue with misrepresenting themselves as long as it puts money in their pockets. Factually speaking, anyone can print up some business cards and start advertising themselves as a career / employment counsellor, career development facilitator, career / job coach, etc.

Although income vs. outgo is a very real issue for those who are living paycheque-to-paycheque, companies that advertise to the recently downsized senior executive of major companies often look forward to billing those senior executives thousands of dollars for job search services. If you are not one who has been recently downsized to the unemployment line, you will most likely fall into one of two categories. Either you will seek the services provided by the government that can be accessed when you become eligible for Employment Insurance, or, you will not choose to or qualify for using the services that are typically found at government sponsored employment resource centers.

Regardless of the category within which you fall, you will always need a résumé in order to facilitate your job search. It should be noted that all of the government resource centers are equipped to provide their clients with the most basic of services. Once in the system, these clients can get free advice on exploring different careers, have free access to Internet for their job search, the opportunity to join job search clubs, be able to take advantage of job search coaching via employment counsellors, and get help constructing a basic résumé from a template.

If you do not qualify for, or chose not to use, the services provided at these resource centers, then you will have to find another way to get the job of finding a new job done efficiently. There is no harm in getting help from the many reputable recruiting firms out there. Recruiting companies work by charging a fee to the companies who are looking to fill positions. PLEASE NOTE: If the recruiting company wants to charge you for access to, or listing in, their database, RUN. Run like the wind!

On the subject of reputable recruiters, there is also no reason for you as a suitable candidate for a number of positions, to restrict yourself to the database of only one recruiter. Effective job searching is often a numbers game, therefore, the more recruitment firms that you are registered with, the better off you will be.

On the subject of recruitment firms, you need to know that you will need a decent résumé even to get an interview with a recruiter. Recruitment firms get tonnes of unsolicited résumés sent to them on a daily basis so they can afford to be fussy about the candidates they choose to represent. Professional recruiters will often comment and will give candidates' tips on how to improve or enhance their résumés once received, but rarely do they actually sit down with a candidate and help them create or polish candidate résumés.

The good news is that plenty of resources are available to help create and customize résumé just for you. You can begin your search via the Internet and looking and searching for writers who specialize in creating or polishing résumés. If you are not particularly Internet search savvy, Craigslist has a 'writing / editing / translating' [write / ed / tr8] where you can find help for a fee. If cost is a barrier, check the more popular job search boards like CareerBuilder, Monster, or Workopolis. These websites will give you all kinds of free advice on everything from résumé building to interview skills.

In closing, remember that your résumé is YOUR résumé. A résumé is a marketing tool that needs to represent you in the best possible light. Take the time, make the effort and put in the resources to make your résumé the best that it can be. Your future depends upon it.

© Salvino 012009-EA