What Really is a Career Coach?

What does a career coach actually do?

Well, pretty much the same thing all other coaches do – coach!

What do coaches do? They help their players improve. They work with each individual to get better in an area or areas of deficiency and then equip them to continue the process with skill and competence.

Career coaches have a wide range of areas they are proficient in. Overall, career coaches should be able to give insight and “coaching” to those who have hired them. A trained eye to see where there is a gap in performance.

Who can benefit from services?

Anyone.

We all want to be the best we can be right? A career coach is great to be able to support someone who is in the workforce either at the beginning of their career, in the middle, or rising to the top.

What to expect from a career coach.

Sessions

If you do decide to hire a coach, don’t expect it to be a one session and done sort of deal. It will take a minimum of 8 hours, or 4 sessions total to get some groundwork. Do not lured in by quick fixes and unrealistic promises.

You should expect to be confronted with a series questions and interviews. Your coach will need to get to know you.

  • What are your frustrations?
  • What is your current situation and why are you dissatisfied?
  • What are your goals?
  • What do you hope to gain from a career coach?

Questions

Expect to answer some tough questions and give honest answers. Don’t tell your coach what sounds good or what you think they want to hear, give them information that will be helpful to you and your future. And have some questions ready yourself. Ask questions that can’t be answered by Google; questions that will help guide your coach and you in the right direction.

Homework

Just as athletic coaches require their students to exercise and run drills, so does a career coach, maybe just not as physically demanding. Simply put, if your actions were producing positive results, you wouldn’t need a coach. You hired them to help you work through challenges, so expect them to push you. Expect to get uncomfortable but also, expect great things to come.

What will the results be?

Motivation. Confidence. Skills.

Your coach isn’t going to get you the job you want, only you can do that. What your coach will do is equip you with the motivation, confidence, and direction to go out there and achieve your goals.

The time spent with your coach will help you understand your strengths and how to use them for your career and your future aspirations. You will be equipped with the correct tools to follow a path that leads to fulfillment.

Remember, this isn’t a one-time event. Along the way you might need to revisit what you learned with your coach or reach back out for further guidance. Never feel like you can’t make a change.


We are here to help. Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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Hiring an Image Consultant and Why You Should

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What is an image consultant?

Image consulting is a professional field which aims to improve the image of the client personally or professionally through appearance, behavior and communication.

Why Hire an Image Consultant?

Image consultants help individuals with more than just personal appearance. As stated in the definition, an image consultant helps in the areas such as appearance, body language, behavior, and communication. They are there to help evaluate, improve, and/or enhance.

Clarks Consulting elevates our clients to the next level. We provide the tools needed to make effective improvements often overlooked or missed.

Common areas that are often overlooked:

  • Professional appearance
  • Body language
  • Inconsistent behavior
  • Effective communication
  • Online presence

Most people are unaware of these how these areas can affect their image, but the good news is they are all coachable. Recognizing one or more than one of these areas needing improvement is a great step in the right direction, but what next?

What are the Next Steps?

First you must find the right consultant.

You want to select a consultant that understands your goals but also one that you enjoy working with.

Most consultants offer a complimentary meeting which usually is 30 minutes and consists of the basic questions that help them get to know you better.

  1. Concerns you have and what you would like to accomplish
  2. Answer any questions you might have
  3. Review of services and fees
  4. What you can expect and next steps

Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure you ask the right questions – for you and your business.

Next is the contract agreement.

Once you have found the right consultant, you will need to discuss the contract agreement.

Thoroughly read through the entire contract agreement and ask any questions you have.  Make sure you understand all verbiage and expectations.

Consulting timeline.

The timeline goes together with the agreement.

A skilled consultant knows how to map out a reasonable timeline. Do not be fooled by unrealistic promises or quick fixes.

Based on the timeline presented, this should give you a good understanding of what to expect and the process.

There is no one size fits all, so making sure you are both in agreement of what the expectations are and a time frame in which to achieve those is important.

What to Expect from Your Image Consultant?

What you can expect from your consultant is a thorough gathering of information based on your needs and wants. This is usually in the form of a questionnaire or profile evaluation so the consultant can get a better idea of who you are.

Next is a list of recommendations that will fit your lifestyle. Your consultant will go through what is working and what needs to be altered.

Based on the area you hired a consultant for, they should develop a plan that you can easily follow and the tools to continue with confidence.


We would love to work with you. You can contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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Personal Branding Matters

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Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.

What does that mean?

So, we gave you the definition from Wikipedia, but what does that really mean?

Note the word “practice.” This means that personal branding is ongoing, continually evolving. You do not need to change who you are, but you do need to evolve. The difference – change suggests becoming something entirely different whereas evolve means to develop.

You should always be wanting to improve – to always be evolving.

And how does personal branding fit into all of this?

As you progress through life and your career, you will always have with you your core values, but, through the process of evolving, you will enhance those values and become a brand.

What is your brand?

Do you wonder what your personal brand is?

Ask yourself a few of these questions:

  • What makes you stand out from the rest?
  • Can people trust you?
  • What do you think people say about you when you are not in the room?
  • What you stand for? What are your values?
  • What your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your goals?
  • What’s your story?

These are questions you can ask yourself and come up with answers on your own. A more complex experiment of discovering your personal brand is to seek feedback from those around you.

Alex Freund, author at Personal Branding Blog, sent a request to some of his friends asking them to send him three words that came to mind when they thought of him. This a good idea, but make sure you allow others to feel comfortable giving you candid feedback AND you are open to listening to it all.

Building your personal brand.

You are a brand. A walking advertisement.

You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”? Be very careful here. Do not replace fake with authentic. There is some truth to “faking” confidence or optimism. Some people can create a turnaround in their lives and truly become confident and optimistic. But faking for the sake of being an imposter is not suggested. Eventually the truth comes out.

If you want to be perceived in a certain way, discover ways to make that happen.

  1. Be intentional.
  2. Educate yourself, constantly.
  3. Find your niche.
  4. Become the expert in your field so that when others think of whom to call, you are top of that list.
  5. Build credibility.
  6. Be authentic.
  7. Consistency!

Was this helpful for you? How can we help? Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com or connect with us on social media! We look forward to hearing from you.

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You Don’t Have to Settle for a Job. Here’s What You Can Do.

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Job shaming.

Job shaming is real. People complain about their jobs on a daily basis and it’s not thought to be abnormal.

There are some who are very fortunate to be doing what they love to do. But don’t neglect their hard work. The perfect job doesn’t just fall into your lap, and even if it did, you must put forth effort every day to keep yourself on the correct path.

You see, successful people don’t coast along. There are many early mornings and late nights. There are failures along the way. There are doubts. But the point is, they keep going. They don’t give up. They don’t say “I can’t.” And neither should you.

You are not stuck in your current situation. Your mind is stuck. Change your mindset.

“If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t…you’re right.” -Henry Ford

Don’t believe us?

J.K. Rowling – Before becoming the world’s first billionaire author, J.K. Rowling’s literature was rejected several times. She was a divorced, single mother on welfare. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. She didn’t surrender to her situations, she persisted.

Madonna – A college dropout, she moved to New York with $35 in her pocket. It was her first plane ride and first time ever in a taxi. She worked as a waitress at Dunkin’ Donuts while she actively engaged in singing and dancing gigs on the side. She faced challenges head on and didn’t give up.

Ursula Burns – Ursula was raised by a single mother in a housing project in Manhattan. Both of her parents were Panamanian immigrants. She didn’t let her circumstances dictate her future, she made her future.

Mediocre is good enough.

Most individuals choose mediocre over pursuit of fulfillment for many reasons. Fear of the unknown, embarrassed to fail, or the most common, comfort and convenience.

So even though their current job is satisfactory at best, most people will opt for staying rather than making the changes necessary to lead a more gratifying life.

“If you’re too comfortable, it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re on the right track.” -Susan Fales-Hill

People fear what they don’t know, so they decide to stay at a job simply because there is no risk, however, we all know that a job can come and go in the blink of an eye. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. Be afraid of becoming complacent and having no backup plan.

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow.” -Marissa Mayer

Is it really that easy?

Yes and no.

No because it requires change and we all know change is not easy. There is a good article written by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. about why we don’t like change. Basically, subconsciously people associate change with unreliable.

We get it. When you have people relying on you and your paycheck to feed them, changing careers is a scary thought. When you are barely making ends meet, the very idea of starting over is the last thing you can handle.

But…what if on the other side of those fears lies a better life for you? We humans spend a lot of time at our place of employment. The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. Don’t you think you should spend that time doing something you find enjoyment out of? Life is not meant to live for your next day off.

And now the yes part. Yes, it is really that easy. You replace the word “can’t” with will. You will find a way to make it happen. You will come out on top. You will be happy. Once again, mindset.

Easier said than done? Not necessarily.

The only thing that is difficult is changing your belief. That is what you will have to break through. We are not licensed psychologists, so we are not going to even start getting into how to train your brain to start thinking differently. What we are is experienced. We have learned many lessons along the way and want to share some successes with you.

Here are 5 tips we find helpful when you are ready for more:

  1. Replace the negative. We are focusing on those who are influencing your world. You become like the 5 people you spend time with. Pay attention to their outlook, how they speak, what they think. Replace the negative with logical encouragement.
  2. Know what you want. Don’t just say you want a job with perks, define what those perks are. Know exactly what you want and write it down.
  3. Never stop learning. Ever. Never ever. Did we mention never?
  4. Baby steps. If you aren’t ready to take the full plunge, start small. Get yourself some small wins under your belt. Keep going.
  5. Embrace failure. We will leave this last step in the hands of Ekaterina.

It seems that failure tends to be more public than success. Or at least that’s what we perceive it to be. We fret it, we try to avoid it, and we question ourselves every time we have unconventional ideas. But the simple truth is – no great success was ever achieved without failure. It may be one epic failure. Or a series of failures – such as Edison’s 10,000 attempts to create a light bulb or Dyson’s 5,126 attempts to invent a bagless vacuum cleaner. But, whether we like it or not, failure is a necessary stepping stone to achieving our dreams. –Ekaterina Walter

Don’t just wish your career was better and continue typing away in your cubicle. Your situation won’t change due to good luck and fortune. You must make things happen.

So, what are you doing about it?


Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com.

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Constructive Criticism is Great! Here is What You Can Learn.

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Constructive criticism: helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive)

Why is constructive criticism hard to hear, even when you ask for it?

Maybe because deep down, you secretly wish others would say you are perfect and doing everything right.

Being made aware of faults is tough but trust us, the alternative isn’t all that glamorous. If you aren’t being given feedback, that isn’t a sign that you’re perfect, that is a sign of much bigger problems.

Respect those who give radical candor – they want you to improve and succeed.

In an article written by Amber Shiflett, she made some great points about receiving constructive criticism. She mentioned how it increases insight and perspective and how it can cultivate a trustworthy workplace, all of which are true.

There needs to be a mindset shift. Criticism is inevitable. So instead of becoming defensive, use it as an opportunity to learn. Chances are you have received feedback before that was unpleasant but necessary. And chances are that feedback helped you make improvements. So, what can you learn now?

There is benefit in receiving feedback.

As noted above, there is benefit in receiving feedback. You gain insight and perspective you didn’t have before. You see situations with new lenses. You become stronger and more confident. When feedback in the right form is given, the opportunity for unbound development is invaluable. Think of it as adding gains to your portfolio.

What to do when you receive constructive criticism:

  1. Relax. Relax and listen respectfully. View the feedback as an opportunity for improvement. Remember, there is benefit in getting feedback.
  2. Don’t take it personally. A common reaction is to become defensive or emotional. Radical candor is meant to help, not harm. Realize those speaking with you only want you to achieve success.
  3. Take time. Allow yourself time to process the evaluation you received. Give yourself time to reflect and digest the information.
  4. Ask questions. Take notes during the conversation and follow up with questions so you can fully understand what was discussed. Ask for specifics and make sure you understand what was communicated.
  5. Thank you. Thank those individuals for taking time to discuss these items with you. Be appreciative for their time and candor.
  6. Solicit help. How do you use the information provided to make necessary improvements? Ask for recommendations on what your next steps should be.
  7. Follow up. Follow up matters. Use the suggestions given to make the necessary changes and be consistent.

What’s next?

Now it is time to put it into practice.

Have a list of the areas you need to focus on and arm yourself with tools to achieve success. For example, if you were told that your approach to email communication is lacking a respectful tone, make the necessary changes. Learn from others how they compose respectful emails. Use the power of the Internet and find examples of properly composed messages. Continue to seek feedback and guidance. Be consistent.

Knowing your strengths and areas needing change is immensely helpful. Keep a list in your planner, save notes on your hard drive, write down reminders on a sticky note, find ways that work best for you to achieve success.

This is your path, you are in control.


For more suggestions or comments, email us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com. We look forward to working with you.

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Self-Awareness – Why It Matters and What Steps You Can Take

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What does it mean?

NOUN

conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

Do not confuse this with confidence. Confidence is a feeling or belief; self-awareness is being aware of those feelings and beliefs and why.

Why does it matter?

Many people throughout life have been told to “trust their instincts” and act on a gut feeling. While trusting your gut is an important intuition to have, allowing feelings to overcome logic is not always the best route.

Just because a feeling is strong, that doesn’t mean it is correct. The key is to step back, assess the situation, examine yourself, and determine if what you are thinking, and feeling is logical.

Being self-aware matters because it allows you to evaluate your current situation and what adjustments can be made to improve – and you should want to make improvements. Chances are, there is an area in your life that could use an adjustment. Being self-aware gives you the opportunity to correct misguided courses and realign yourself with your goals.

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We want to remind you, this is not a once and done sort of practice. It is a continual and learn as you go process. The important part is that you make the choice to evaluate regularly and make changes necessary. Please note, changes might not always be easy, but incredibly significant.

What next?

As mentioned, this is not something that is done overnight or once and done. Self-awareness is a continual check-up. The wonderful thing is it can be done at any stage in your life and at any time.

Finding out what makes you tick will always be powerful. There are countless personality tests out there that can help you find your areas of strengths and weaknesses but those are only tools and a small piece of the puzzle. There are many other steps to start (or continue) the journey.

Most common suggestions are:

  1. Start now!
  2. Write down goals
  3. Seek feedback
  4. Discover destructive impulses and successful best practices
  5. Practice and repeat

Let us know what you think and if you have anything you would like to add. Comment or contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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