The importance of trust

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Trust is present is all aspects of our lives. From the purchases we make online, to the people we share our workspaces with, to the professionals who care for and educate our children, we put trust in people on a daily basis. As Career Consultants, we are entrusted with peoples’ career choices – and they put trust in us to deliver the best outcomes for them. For example, Career Consultants are given a trusted role when asked to support an employee with outplacement and it’s essential that we render results that will make a difference. So, in my latest blog, I’m considering what ingredients make a good outplacement consultant?

A broad skillset

As a Career Consultant, it’s important to consider what are the attributes that will make a success of the role. What aspects of my personality are strengths in my role and which are less so. When I think about my own experiences of being a Consultant, I think I have a broad skillset that stands me in good stead when it comes to interacting and assessing people. I need the balance of empathy and knowledge, experience and intuition, so that I can find out and ascertain what makes my clients tick.

When I work with people, I always have their best interests at heart. I personally place great emphasis on one-to-one support, either on Teams/Zoom or in-person where possible. To enable our clients to handle change effectively, I must be able to identify their key strengths and values, as well as their core skills and attributes. In this way, I can guide my clients through the outplacement process.

Putting myself in your shoes

I also put a lot of myself into the process, so that aspects such as empathy and knowledge are used by me as well. It’s also important, I think, to have interests outside work – such as reading, sports, travelling or walking – so you can relate to clients on other levels too. I find that being able to talk knowledgeably about a range of subjects will make them relax and aid the process of me ‘getting to know’ them – and the real them, not just the ‘work’ or ‘public’ persona.

My colleagues have different sets of skills to me, which provides an even broader range of options for clients. My colleagues and I will ensure that the type of personality required is matched to their client’s needs. We provide friendly face-to-face consultancy support and my own personality very much goes into my work persona. There’s no mask or facade when talking to clients. Although we also provide email and telephone support, the interpersonal skills important in a one-to-one situation are very much to the fore. In this way, rapport and trust are built in the relationship, and confidence is built.

As Career Consultants, we make a strong commitment to our clients. We put our trust in them too, which will reap rewards in the long run. Ultimately the only person who can find a new role is the client themselves. But it’s my job to guide them in any way I can, by using my experience and rationale, to define their ambitions and identify their career path.