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Posts from September 2018

TCareer counselling is different from careers development and advisory services, Career counselling is about trying to understand you and not advising on the “best” career options. There are a number of factors we might wish to consider in developing a better understanding of what one’s needs are. 
 
1. Making appropriate occupational decisions requires sensitive and skilled counselling skills in order to reach a point where rational career choices can be made, issues such as managing relationships, coping with loss and change from damaged self-esteem need to be addressed. 
 
2. A job for life is no longer a realistic aim, so developing decision making skills adequate to the challenges of lifelong learning, the issues this will raise and the demands this will place upon decision making need to be developed 
 
3. Employers require their employees to take an increasingly flexible approach in managing their own development to meet their changing commercial and general work environment, coupled with the recognition that individuals move through cycles in their working lives. 
 
4. Making decision is very much a matter of taking personal responsibility a counselling approach empowers individuals to do just that, where they not the counsellor are the experts. 
 
The career counsellor like all other counsellors provides time, support, attention, skill and a structure which enables clients to become more aware of their own resources in order to lead a more satisfying life. Career counselling is a process enabling people to recognise and utilise their resources to make career related decisions and manage career related problems. Career counselling focuses upon the worked-related aspects of a person’s life but also takes into consideration the interdependence of career and non-career considerations. 
 
Though there are clear overlaps with other forms of help career counselling is very different is that advise if not its purpose, the role of career counselling is to empower the person enable them to get to a point where they can make choices based upon decisions they have made. Confusingly some practitioners call themselves counsellors when they do not subscribe to the counselling philosophy of have any training in counselling skills. 
 
At the heart of career counselling is self-understanding and developing a process of enabling clients to address questions such as “who am I?”, “what do I want?” and “what is stopping me?” and assists with promoting new energies or a change in attitude. Many people find themselves “blocked” or unable to move away from or out of their working lives and practices, career counselling wants to help individuals recognise these “blocks” and find ways in which to change that are appropriate for them.his content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it. 
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Retire Retirement 
 
Recently the government announced that those current under the age of 47 would not be able to draw their state pension until they were 68 years old. The age at which you can draw your state pension has for many years also been associated with retirement, i.e. the point at which you can stop working and earning and receive money from the state to support, usually a modest life style. The conflation of state pensionable age and retirement is understandable but also misleading as many people retire before their state pensionable age and live off other assets, saving, downsizing part time employment and so on. There are many reasons for this but the main ones are illness, being made redundant, work no longer provides satisfaction, freedom to pursue other interests and not being able to find suitable employment. 
In the main the vast majority of people do not want to stop doing something, wishing to remain active and involved in meaningful activity so long as they are able to. Indeed stopping work is not what most people want, they would like to continue and even find new challenges and things to do allowing them to remain both physically and psychologically active. It is widely recognised that remaining involved in employment or working in the community supports better health outcomes for longer, which helps increase individual contentment and reduce pressure on healthcare services. 
This desire to remain actively involved in the community comes against a backdrop in which many advanced industrial nations find their pool of labour declining; the Harvard Business review writes; 
“The general population is aging and, with it, the labour pool. People are living longer, healthier lives, and the birth-rate is at a historic low” 
In the next 15 years nearly 80% of the native born work-forces of many advanced industrial countries will be in the over 50 cohort. When someone retires their experience leaves with them, and with fewer people coming along with the right levels of technical skills, knowledge and experience many roles will remain unfilled for longer. Areas such as Engineering in which I work are already suffering major pressures in filling roles particularly at the experienced end. This however is replicated across many other sector, healthcare, Finance and IT stand out as sectors under pressure to fill roles. 
Against this back drop employers are largely under engaged in trying to manage and remedy their skills gap. Harvard Review Harvard Business Review writes 
“Despite irrefutable evidence of workforce aging, many managers may be marching their companies straight off a demographic cliff. According to a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, two-thirds of employers don’t actively recruit older workers. Furthermore, more than half do not actively attempt to retain key ones; 80% do not offer any special provisions (such as flexible work arrangements) to appeal to the concerns of mature workers; and 60% of CEOs say their companies don’t account for workforce aging in their long-term business plans. Instead, relying on the mistaken assumption that the future will be populated by a growing pool of talented and loyal young workers, companies are systemically offering older workers the “package” and skimming people out of the labour force from the top age brackets down” 
How do you start to manage these skills shortages and the aspiration of many people who one would normally be expected to retire? We need to start by re-conceptualising a century old idea that working life comes to an end at a certain age. In Pre industrial times work came to an end when you died or become too infirm to carry on and this was usually well before our nominal retirement age of 65. And haven’t we all come across 80 years olds more active and engaged than some 40 year olds. By making the idea of retirement redundant you can begin to introduce the idea that working age is any age up until which you either decide to do something else or you become in some way unable to do the work or activity you are engaged with, and anyway as Lee Iacocco says; 
“it takes you until about 50 to know what the hell is going on in the world.” 
Candidates are people and are as different from each other as pebbles on a beach, yet recruitment processes tend to homogenise candidates and treat them as if they were in fact identical. Take screening questions which are usually around 8 to 10 formulaic sentences looking for the same information usually around the requirement of the clients job description, salary, skills, experience and so on. Yet at least half of what will make your candidate successful is not generally assessed, i.e. who they are as a person, they dynamics and approach to life, how positive and proactive they are, social skills like being able to work both in a team and independently. 
 
Of course many of our clients do not require us to assess these less observable and not easily assessed aspects of a candidate however consider the added value these assessments might bring to your recruitment processes and how they could be used to build a more in depth and professional relationship with your clients and what a way to justify those fees. Clients in general do not engage recruiters to provide them with psychometric profiling abilities, however they do want recruiters to have an understanding of their businesses, their working environment and practices and to give some thought to whether the candidates they are submitting are potentially a match not just in skills and experience but also personality too. 
 
This can also provide a means to differentiate your recruitment services from the growing number of me-too agencies that are flooding all sectors of industry and commerce and in some ways undermining both services and fee levels. Do not get me wrong competition is healthy and important in driving innovation and change but equally service saturation can drive service levels down and more importantly perceptions of the recruitment sector making it harder to engage our clients in what we are trying to do.This content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it. 
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