Career conversation with clients. How should I start? What should be my approach?
These are a few questions that come to mind when a career counsellor starts counselling a new client. Although they do their research and try to smoothen the first conversation. However, still, they need assistance and expert advice to begin the conversation.
Here, we have listed some common questions asked by career counsellors on how to start a career conversation with clients and the best suitable answers.
Start Career Conversation with Clients: Advice From Expert Career Counsellors
How do you let your clients know that you are a career counsellor who is skilled enough to guide the kids?
This is a big challenge. The reason, people already know you in your area and now they see you as a career counsellor but this will not generate any lead for you. Meaning, people who already know you will take you for granted and feel, oh yes!! He is also now into career counselling!!!
It may also happen that they may not even contact you in case of their need. Thus, you will not be able to generate leads from people who are familiar with you.
You will need to take up niche marketing to establish yourself as a career counsellor in your own region. To do so, you can try out the following:
- Share occasional messages to them on WhatsApp or on your FB wall that you are now a trained career counsellor and have the necessary skills for career-related counselling.
- Share about what skills you have achieved by being a trained career counsellor.
- Build a network of known and unknown people and regularly post news about career selection and changes in the career field.
- Share with them on an occasional basis about different disciplines and careers that a child can select.
- Write blogs on career counselling and share with them and invite them to comment or suggest the same.
- Conduct webinars or short meetings with friends and families who you think may need career counselling for their child. Give them some goodies for complimentary stuff that they can carry after the meet. Keep such meets short, say around half an hour to 45 min.
- Visit your nearby school or coaching centres to share a talk with the students.
- Prepare your own short videos where you motivate a child to seek better careers and float them in your network.
- Try to fetch more and more new contacts where you can share your ideas related to careers and then call them for a paid counselling session.
- Keep free camps for different career-related information and fetch data and then share updates on emails or mobile about career information.
- These are suggestions just to initiate a thought process with you about how you can market for yourself. I am sure you would have better options yourself as well. If so then pls share in the comments section.
How do you create a psychological connection with your clients?
I firmly believe that career choices cannot be based on academic proficiency alone, it has to be an assimilation of awareness of the student’s skills, personality, aptitude, attitude and interests.
This is the basic pretext of the conversations I start with a client; whether they are leads, referrals, potential clients or the actual client (student and parents/guardians ie. stakeholders included). This helps in building the initial connection. Also creating the element of trust in the student wherein he/she feels connected to me and is open to sharing personal details and aspirations, considering that I offer a non-judgemental space for them to open up.
I use various coaching and assessment tools that are reflective and introspective in nature and that helps in enabling setting short term, midterm and long term goals.
Recommended Read: 5 Reasons Why Career Counselling is the Best Profession?
How do you start talking about alternative careers (as many people are not familiar with various career options) to your clients?
As a coach, it is important for me to have an open mind and keep researching and reading about alternative careers that are global and growing.
It is important to first understand your audience before suggesting an alternative career path. Understanding your student’s interests and strengths are extremely important, not everyone is open or interested in alternative careers. As a coach, it is my responsibility to present the pros and cons of a career and provide substantial information to my clients/students, in order for them to make an informed decision when narrowing down their career options.
Another way of talking about alternative careers is by sharing success stories. I introduce my students to professionals who have been successful in an alternative career which gives them an opportunity to understand their journey. This truly gives the student a personal and first-hand perspective of the career. They get an opportunity to find out what are the skills, education requirements, responsibilities, growth and opportunities for that specific career. I encourage them to try seeking out a part-time job in the field of their interest, grow their talent by practising the necessary skills to keep upgrading and researching about the career to get a global perspective of it.
In some scenarios, my students are already engaged in a profession that is mainstream, based on a college degree that they have acquired. I ask them to jot down a list of possible alternative career options should they ever be in a ‘pandemic like situation’. Their chosen profession could be a full-time occupation engaging them for long hours of work that require specific skills for that particular position. An alternative option could include an occupation that grows out of their favourite hobby, passion or their innate talents and skills.
According to Adrian Granzella Larssen who writes for Themuse, “Choosing an alternative career requires one to do some work, some networking, some skill-building, and maybe seek some professional help to position one’s transferable skills”.
How to start a conversation with introverted students and make them feel comfortable?
As a counsellor, I interact with different people in my profession ranging from adults ie parents to children of different grades and backgrounds, and not to forget all have different personalities and each one they are not the same, As I said, I speak to different age groups and personalities all unique in themselves, I have experienced difficulties with people who are “INTROVERTS” and I am sure most of you find it difficult too. Let me help you understand more about INTROVERT people and how to start a conversation with them.
According to Studies done by psychologist Jonathan check at Wellesley college, there are four types of introverts.
- Social- Are the ones who are not shy or timid but like to interact with people they know rather than stay in a large group of unknown people.
- Anxious- These types of people purposefully isolate themselves from social spotlights, especially with unfamiliar ones
- Thinking- Are people who are often in deep thoughts, wondering about life and analysing oneself.
- Restrained- These are the type of people “Who think before they speak”
Introverts according to psychology means – “A person who tends to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts.”
This means that they have a limited amount of energy to spend on socializing and do not enjoy small talks. No matter what kind of introvert you come across, here are some ways you can start up a conversation with an introvert.
- Ask about their family like how many members, who they like the most, what their family routine etc.
- You can talk about recent places visited or travel. Why did they go there or what did they like about those places.
- Anything food-related, what kind of food is cooked in their house Bengali, Maharashtrian. What is their favourite dessert or dish? etc.
- Ask them if they like Music and if yes what kind of music, favourite musician, singer.
- Ask if they like dancing, what form of dancing, any favourite dancers.
- Any other favourite Movie, Books and other media.
- What are the activities or Hobbies they like to do during their free time.
- You can also ask them originally which place they belong to.
- You can talk to them about their pets or any animal they like.
- Ask about the craziest, happiest, awesome, fearful, anxious moments of their life.
- Any cool places to visit in town.
- What is their biggest dream like what are they working towards, their goals plans, etc.
- You can start with ice-breaking activities like giving them some tricks or intellectual problems to solve.
- Ask what they like talking about history, politics, sports, culture, logic.
These are some of the conversational starts that you can utilize while talking to an introvert and putting them at ease with you. This will also help you to gain their trust and it will also allow them to open up freely to you about themselves.
These are some tips by experienced career counsellors on how to start career conversation with clients. Hope this helps. If you are struggling with this question the best ways to start career conversation with clients, follow these tips.
Do let us in the comment section how you start your career conversation with clients?
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