5 Most Common Questions…And Answers!
Note from the author: COVID has us all working in unchartered territory. To learn more about what it’s like having to job search during a global pandemic, I sat down for a frank conversation with Kelly Bidon – Career Coach. Kelly has, over the course of her 25-year career, worked with thousands of employers and displaced workers – supporting employers with the many considerations regarding termination and for the affected employee(s), the many considerations required to prepare for their next career.
Noted futurist, Rohit Talwar has stated that children today can expect to hold 40 different jobs in ten completely different career paths throughout their life. Employers now more than ever, are hiring for a piece of work – six-months, two years, or if we’re lucky, five years or longer. So, when I’m working with a client who has been recently displaced from their job, I work alongside them to ensure they have the necessary job search tools, strategies, and techniques to navigate a job search in the 2020’s.
These are five of the most common career transition questions I hear from clients:
1. How are you going to help me? Really, what is the benefit of receiving career transition services?
“I can do it myself” – I hear that often. Having that confidence will serve you well and you will likely have/had some success with your own job search. Hiring a trained, experienced Career Coach has proven results. Consider programming your computer, filling a cavity – could you “do it yourself”? When I first meet someone, their focus is their resume and cover letter. Although we pay special attention to different resume formats, we also strategize career assessments; transferable skills analysis; effective interviews; LinkedIn/social media; networking; the hidden job market; ‘warm’ calling; references; negotiations; and working with Recruiters/Placement firms to name a few.
2. Am I too old to make a career change?
It’s said that it’s easier to find a job when you have a job. However, when you’ve been terminated, that option no longer exists for you. Many of the clients I work with are 40+, have children, a mortgage, and many bills. I’m often told, “I’m too old to start all over”. The truth is, employers have the choice of hiring a new graduate, who is eager to learn but may not have mastered the world of work outside of what they have done in an entry-level job and/or on a part–time basis. Employers are often choosing to hire someone who is a bit ‘older’, knows how to work, knows how to effectively communicate in person and electronically, and conduct themselves in meetings (not to say that younger people don’t but ‘mastery’ often comes with experience). The result – employers are choosing from both demographics for different reasons. Ageism does happen, but it can happen for both younger and older workers. What’s important to remember is that it’s never too late to start something new, or to reinvent yourself. Whether that’s a new job, self employment, or retraining for a new career.
3. Where am I going to find another job that pays my current wage/salary?
Let’s talk money. As a Career Coach, I conduct labour market research and labour market analysis – local, Provincial, and Federally compiled statistics that tell us about a particular job/industry in a specific geographic location in Ontario or Canada as it pertains to skills, education, job prospects, and low, median, and high wages/salaries. Labour market research/analysis give you an idea of the job ‘market’ and thus what you should be saying in response to “what are your wage/salary expectations?” What I often say is don’t count yourself out until you’ve done the research – and truly know the ‘going rate’.
4. When my next interviewer asks why I left my previous job, what do I say?
Whether you’ve been terminated, laid off, or the company moved to another part of the world, the number one question I get is “how do I respond to the interview question – why did you leave your last job?” Regardless of the specifics of why you are no longer working with your former employer, the key word is ‘restructuring’ – whether the employer or you ‘restructured’ yourself out. I will add that if an interview question feels uncomfortable, keep your answers tight – concise, so you don’t disclose too many unnecessary details. Do not overshare with what might seem to be awkward question … answer. A big part of my role is to assist clients with the wording so that when that this, or other potentially challenging interview questions come up (and they will), they don’t freeze, panic, or say too much which will ultimately negatively impact the entire interview.
5. I feel I need career change – it that possible?
In the 25 years I’ve worked for Agilec, I think about the drastic changes that have occurred in the manufacturing industry in North America – the LARGE number of people I/Agilec have assisted make a monumental career change. This is one of many situations where it’s been necessary to take a worker’s skills and acquired knowledge and transfer it to another career. This is one of many examples of people who’ve had to reinvent themselves to showcase their transferable skills to a new work environment – because they’ve had to. There are numerous other examples of people who have transferred their skills, values, and personal attributes to a new job/industry … because they wanted to. Cliché but true – ‘do we work to live or live to work?’ Agilec conducts numerous individualized career assessments that help people to identify interests, aptitudes, skills, and personal qualities – ultimately identifying suitable job/career/industry options. Are you considering a career change? You have options!
Every client I have worked with has found a job – that I guarantee. Your next job may not tick every box on your wish list; however, everyone is capable of rebranding and repackaging themselves with success – yes that includes you.