16 Things I’ve Learned In 16 Years of Career Counselling

16 Things I’ve Learned In 16 Years of Career Counselling

I’m lucky to have a job where people open up to me. It’s an honour. I’m rarely surprised by anything anyone tells me anymore though. Even when people expect me to be shocked, I’m not. It’s funny how we all think our problems are unique and that somehow our challenges are special when really, we are all more the same than we are different. I think it would help us all as a society to better understand this. I hope by sharing these 16 things I’ve learned in 16 years of career counselling it will help someone feel a little less alone.

1. Many people are one missed paycheck away from financial disaster.

2. Anxiety and depression are rampant among job seekers.

3. Many job seekers have a hidden disability they are afraid to disclose.

4. There are a lot of highly skilled people working in jobs that don’t utilize them. It is a colossal waste of resources.

5. Most people are very grateful to be given a chance and will rise to meet even the most difficult challenges when someone believes in them.

6. More people are honest to a fault than dishonest when it comes to job searching.

7. Many job seekers only apply to posted job openings and conduct their search in isolation. They experience frequent rejection or hear nothing back but crickets from the hundreds of resumes they’ve sent out. This. Hurts.

8. A large portion of people I’ve worked with previously spent more time researching the type of toaster to buy than what career to go into.

9. A large majority of my clients feel like they might never be able to retire.

10. Many people earn much less money than you would think, given their lifestyle.

11. Some people are relieved to get fired or laid off from their job. More people than you think. That’s how much they hated their job even though losing it meant a sharp reduction in their standard of living.

12. Most people are completely unprepared for a job loss. They haven’t considered a back-up plan, they don’t have a resume or the first idea of where to begin to find another job.

13. I’ve worked with a significant number of people who were within a few years of retirement when their employer went out of business. This is beyond heartbreaking.

14. I’ve witnessed employers try to fire employees because they had a disability or they were considered “too old”.

15. I’ve witnessed people with significant pain and injury refuse to let that stop them from getting up and going to work every day with a smile on their face.

16. I’ve seen employers so loyal to their employees that I’ve been brought to tears by their integrity, kindness and generosity.

*Please note, these are findings of my own gathered over the last 16 years I’ve been in practice. They are my observations only and not necessarily all supported by science :) During this time I’ve remained passionate in my studies related to behavioural change, personal and professional transition and what motivates people. You can find me at www.startwithsmall.com