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  • Success Stories

    How our clients benefitted from the Career Guidance Process

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Success Stories

Do I Go for it or Stay Where I am?

At 42 this client held a senior position in a Multinational company. He was offered a position on the Board. This was a major promotion and meant a large increase in salary. On reading his CV this client seemed the perfect person for the job; he was an expert in his area with excellent experience and qualifications.

So what was the problem? Why was he here?

“I don’t know. I don’t know why I am just not going for this.”

His career interest inventory displayed a real passion for the area he was in. The personality profile outlined the strong social skills which made him excellent as a manager. One factor which was totally surprising was a low score in self confidence. He explored this in depth with the Career Counsellor. Why, with so much success, would his confidence have been low?

He explained that he had started off a very small arm of this large multi-national. In a small space of time, this small business grew exponentially. With a minimum staff and little advertising, this team had done so well.

“Yet now it is all falling apart. We started off so well, but now I am loosing a grip on things” the client explained.

His team had been promised promotion and high salary increases if this venture took off. However, the team did not get anything like the salary increases they were promised and the promotion was only nominal. This client saw this as his failing. He had promised the rewards to his team and then he had to tell them they were not getting them. He had argued their case with Senior Management but had not succeeded. It was now his job to break the bad news. He felt that he had asked his team to do something, they did this, and more, and now they were not getting the reward that he promised them.

Suddenly, and not surprisingly, the morale in his team plummeted. This client felt that he had lost his Management skills. So what was in his power to do? He decided that he would make a presentation to the Board. He did not have the power of decision but he did have the possibility of making a presentation. The client was well aware that, if the Board did not like this move, he was risking all future promotion.

A decision was not given straight away. The client experienced anxiety in the intervening days, but also said that he felt relief that he had “done the right thing”. The Board appreciated his commitment and his thoroughness. The small Department did not get all they were looking for, but their situation was greatly improved over a phased period.

This client’s promotion took a little longer than originally planned, but when he did accept it, he did it with confidence and a clear heart.

To speak to Andrée, please call 01-2788013 or email info@andreeharpur.com. You can also Skype her at andree.harpur.


I Don’t think I am Good at Anything

This 39 year old Mother explained that she had been at home for 15 years. Her children were now older. She was thinking of doing something outside her home. However, once she began to think of taking up any sort of job outside the home, her confidence deserted her completely.

“I don’t know why I am here. I was always useless at school so I don’t think there is anything I can do well”

The career counsellor reassured her that much career choice is based on intelligence which was never measured in school. This client did not do well academically in school. It was going to be a challenge to shift this perception. However the counsellor was confident that the process would uncover skills and subtle intelligences that this client may never have been given credit for in school.

The process indicated that this client’s greatest gift was her ability to stay calm in a crisis. Even though her surface confidence was not high, the profile indicated that she a very calm, grounded woman. This gift was coupled with an ability to multi-task – she could seem as if she was giving her undivided attention to one person and yet be aware of others waiting in a queue or of a phone ringing. When these gifts were revealed to the client, she remained totally unimpressed.

“Sure, I always knew I could do that. Can’t everyone? So what? So I go into someone and say ‘I am calm and can do loads of things at once’ – this is going to get me a job!?”

The counsellor took this very good question and explored it with the client. Eventually, the client focused on the area of customer care, dealing with customer queries and complaints. She found a position in a large Department Store. The Store was offering part-time training on the job.

She submitted a CV and the counsellor ran her through intensive interview training. To her astonishment, she was offered the job. Suddenly her dream was becoming a reality – now it was time to commit. Finally, at the very last minute, she decided that it was now or never, if she did not do it now, she never would.

At the beginning, the client faced major obstacles- she found the training difficult. She had to figure out the cash register…. She kept in touch with the counsellor and so many times she considered leaving. However, gradually, they had less contact. She began little by little to appreciate her gift – she could stay calm, no matter how difficult a client was.

After three months she felt comfortable and actually wondered what she had found so difficult in the first place!

To get Andrée’s expert help, please call 01-2788013 or email info@andreeharpur.com. You can also Skype her at andree.harpur.


Is this all there is?

At 36 this client had been in his job for 10 years. It was an area he really never intended to stay in. He informed the counsellor that this was not a career decision – “I just fell into it” Ten years later, he was married with a family. His job was getting more and more difficult for him. Every day seemed the same. He had the impression that he went to work, came home, slept and went to work again the following day.

“Is this all there is? “he asked.

He had not informed his wife, or anyone else, that he was coming for career guidance.

“We have kids. I have obligations and bills to pay. I can’t just drift off and satisfy this whim of mine and allow my family suffer.”

This client took his role as family provider very seriously. If he changed his job in any way, he would feel guilty and think that he let his family down. The counsellor explored the possibility of the client informing his wife of this situation and telling her that he was attending career guidance.

“I just couldn’t do that. She is under enough pressure with the kids at the moment – this would be the last straw for her”.

However, through discussion, the client remembered that they had faced many difficulties as a couple. He needed to trust that he would have her support on this too. At the next session, the client explained how he had talked to his wife. She not only supported his new move, but said she had known for years that he was so unhappy in his job. She was actually delighted that he was addressing this issue at last.

He explained to her that he may do further study, that this would mean that he would be around far less to help her with the children. She replied that, even though he was around now, he was very often tired and in bad form. She would much rather see him happy, and spend less time with him, than to continue on the way they were.

This client decided to change very little in his current job so that he could continue to provide for his family financially. However, he started a night time degree course. He said for the first time in years he felt excited. He had discovered that he was good at something. He was now doing something, not because he had to, but because he chose to. Even though he knew that his new training would take two years, he was quite willing to wait – he now saw that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

His wife said that, even though she saw far less of him, that she was gradually getting back the happy man she married.

To get Andrée’s expert help, please call 01-2788013 or email info@andreeharpur.com. You can also Skype her at andree.harpur.


Let’s Start Again!

The 66 year old man travelled a long distance to come to our meeting. He explained that he had retired the previous year and, since the house had been totally repainted, the garden perfect and the dog walked to the point of sheer exhaustion – he was looking for something else to do.

The client explained that he had come from a large family of few resources. He had always liked school and his parents made many sacrifices to make sure that he did his Leaving Cert. He made sure that he got a job as quickly as possible to “pay them back”. It mattered little what he did and he took the first stable job he found.

He had always loved to read. When he was young, he often got into trouble with his father when he was found reading rather that doing his chores on the farm. His job involved office work and numbers. He knew it never really suited him, but it allowed him to support his parents and later to provide for his family.

The client completed a full psychometric assessment. It revealed that, not only had he an interest in literature, he was also very verbally intelligent. The Interest Inventory also revealed a passion for teaching. A plan was gradually formed. He would complete a “Return to Learning” course at the University with a view to eventually completing an Arts Degree in English.

“Ah, it’s all very well to say all that in here, but if I said that to ‘The Missus’, she would think I was pure daft. Anyway, I would have to spend the week up here – she would get too lonely.”

“The Missus”, however, took an entirely different view. She had listened for years to her husband saying how he would have loved to have the opportunities that the young people have today. Now he had them, so it was up to him to make the most of it. As for her being lonely – she had made so many plans with “the girls” that she would not have a spare minute!

Now it was all up to him – and all of his worst fears came up! He was far too old – all the rest of the students would be teenagers. What would he do afterwards – he would never get a job teaching. He would be over 70 when he qualified. What would he do all week? He knew no-one in the city. It was a big and very courageous step to take.

And he took it. He astonished himself how well he did academically. The rest of the students were much younger, but they suddenly got a new “granddad” – he was also the one some students could come to if they needed an extra hand. He finally got to do what he always wanted to do – read without anyone telling him to stop!

He graduated, came home, started to give grinds and instilled a love of English in many a student in his vicinity.

To get Andrée’s expert help, please call 01-2788013 or email info@andreeharpur.com. You can also Skype her at andree.harpur.