In 18 years of coaching people who are "between jobs", career and outplacement coach Alisa Bartholomew says it's those who've worked hard on identifying their core values who are most satisfied in their work.
"We firstly need to really drill down to the values that are important to them in terms of where they work – because when those values don't match, that's when we tend to see people quite unhappy in their workplace and maybe wanting something else."
Identifying those values means, she says, that such people are able to aim themselves at new jobs which encompass the things they love doing.
"Through Covid-19, I've definitely seen [outplacement coaching] grow. Employers do want to look after their staff on the whole.
"There's been a lot of fear from displaced people around what the job market looks like and how quickly they will find work. But actually, as a country, we're not employing the same amount of people from overseas, so the clients I'm working with are finding work much faster."
Bartholomew credits the Kiwi can-do attitude for people pivoting well and working hard to put themselves out there despite that fear.
"It's stressful for these people to go through a restructure. To do that through Covid-19, which again causes a lot of anxiety, people have been amazing – they are applying for roles, they're doing entire recruitment processes via Zoom and online… and they're getting jobs."
While online interviewing and skill assessment tools are here to stay, Bartholomew says it's the individual human-to-human coaching that can help people identify their next move.
"Even prior to Covid-19, when you apply for a job with some of the bigger organisations, your CV goes through a software package and – if it has the right keywords – you get put through to the next stage. Then those organisations will send an email and in that email is a link – to a video questionnaire.
"The benefit of meeting with me and debriefing around that is gaining more insight into what the results actually mean.
"Just because [an online tool] says you're going to be a rocket scientist and a pilot and a doctor, it doesn't mean that all three of those will actually be suitable. So it's good to sit down and talk to somebody and work out what are the parts of being a rocket scientist that look appealing to me, what could some of the challenges be and what do I need to do to research that career further?"
While part of being a coach is to help people navigate their next move, it's also about bringing back confidence and identifying if a client is still on the right path.
Often, she says, people in their 40s and 50s have taken promotions but haven't thought about whether it's the right move for them.
"Suddenly they're in a position where either they absolutely hate the job they're in or they've been restructured out of it. They're taking a step back and saying: "What is it I actually want to do now and how do I get this next job?"
Bartholomew cautions that changing careers or finding a new job can take time. It comes down to individual responsibility and using coaching services and connections like networking.
"I say this to everyone: Don't expect to get the first job that you apply for, you will not get it, you will be applying for 10, 20, 30 maybe 40 roles even to get a couple of interviews. Don't expect to get it."
"I see so many people coming through the other side and getting those roles in the end that I know that the clients I work with will eventually get there, it's just that process [that is needed] first."
Providing people with outsourcing support after they have lost a job gives people the confidence to move on to their next role.
See link to listen to podcast: Ep. 5 How a Career Coach helps after a job loss