Why a career consultant
Success, secure income, satisfaction - that is what most people want from their job. Because this is not always easy to achieve, career counselors or coaches promise relief. Especially in the study and career choice more and more insecure parents try to help their children with advice on the jumps.
But the promise of “advice on a dream job” can seem like an all-round carefree package to some. I go for advice and I am helped. Is it really that simple? Or is the dream job against cash an unrealistic promise, an eyewash? 10 tips on how to find the best advisor.
Stiftung Warentest is testing consultants
Regularly, but not as often as it would need, the Stiftung Warentest tests further training and consulting offers of commercial consultants. In the past, she also compared her with the offers of the Federal Agency for Employment, for example with regard to career counseling. The commercial consultants were consistently better off, charlatans were not at work here. However, the consultation was also correspondingly expensive:
60-100 Euro for a consulting hour or several hundred Euro for a complete service package the customers had to pay here. For this, you have been given individual support tailored to your own needs in career planning or career selection. Are career advisors a worthwhile investment?
Problem: Choosing the right consultant
The problem is choosing the right advisor: Because there is no ranking and no checklist that can be used to select the right advisor according to specific criteria. There is also no country-wide training as a career or career counselor and the job title is not protected by law. However, many counselors are specially trained, have completed training in psychology, human resources or education, or at least completed a university degree successfully.
But: Each consultant has its own thematic focus and its own method. Therefore, not every consultant fits every customer and it is not enough to look in the yellow pages or simply to take the cheapest or most expensive consultant. Whoever is looking for a career consultant should rather define exactly what he expects from counseling. Then one should clarify with different consultants exactly whether the expectations are realistic. It is important to discuss in advance exactly what tasks the consultant will assume. In addition, your professional adviser should explain to you the method to be used or the various methods you choose.
Objective quality criteria
In addition, there are some objective quality criteria - for example membership in a professional association such as the German Association for Vocational and Educational Counseling (DVB) or the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance (IVSBB). These require from your members the adherence to high quality standards such as appropriate training, methodical knowledge and constant further education.
For example, the members of DVB have to regularly evaluate their advice, ie to ask customers about their satisfaction. Consultants who meet the relevant criteria can be found in DVB's professional advisory board.
10 Tips: How to Find the Right Career Consultant
The agony of choice is easier for you if you know where and how you can look for the right consultant. Therefore, some tips.
- Understand what you want from a consultant: For example, gather information about your career so far to show yourself and the counselor what you are all about.
- Talk to the consultant: Does the consultant know about the industry or the area? Does the consultant regularly discuss his / her focus and is his / her knowledge up-to-date? A good consultant should be on a regular basis, continually update his expertise and develop and improve his methodology and consultation.
- What are the qualifications of the consultant? Has the consultant completed a university degree? Does he have an education, eg in aptitude diagnostics, coaching, psychology, pedagogy, human resources or any other relevant area?
- Are there any references? Is the consultant regularly to meet at trade fairs, does he engage in a different way, eg honorary, or is there regularly in the press posts about him? Is the consultant a member of a network or an association whose members have to provide certain quality standards? Can you already consult clients for reference?
- Clarify the process of the consultation: How will the consultation process take place? What methods, procedures and materials are used? How many consultations will be held and how long will the talks take place?
- Talk about the services: What happens in the event of missed appointments? Are cancellations possible? How short-term? Do you still incur fees? Is agreed in writing exactly what services and ancillary services (eg aptitude tests and expert opinions or research) should provide the consultant.
- What about financing? What is the cost of the consultation? Are the costs of the consultation made transparent? Is there a written agreement on costs and lines?
- Clarify the payment modalities: What happens if you want to cancel the consultation before all the agreed call dates have been carried out? Are all costs still incurred? Do you have to pay for everything at once or in installments? Do you need to make an advance payment?
- Outcomes: Determine whether the counseling sessions and outcomes are documented in writing and edited so that you can always understand what came out of the counseling.
- Data protection: Make it clear that the content and results of the consultation are only accessible to you and are not passed on to third parties.
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