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50 YEARS

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LIFE-CHANGING CAREERS ADVICE

50 years in careers advice

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Case Studies

Case Study - The Lewis Family

Henry Lewis has been extolling the virtues of Career Analysts for decades, sending through eight members of his family or friends to benefit from our life-changing careers advice.

It started when he himself was profiled by a management review company, and was astonished by the effect it had on his career goals. Knowing his own personality objectively meant that he could plan his career path over time.

When one of his sons then faced issues with his career, he urged him to visit Career Analysts, and was so pleased with the results he has then sent each of his children and then grandchildren as and when they were looking to start on their career path, or were looking for a career change.

Henry says; "They may go in thinking they know themselves and what they want to do for a career; but then they are confronted with a matrix of their skills and personality. It's a much more constructive process when you have that information."

"You must know what you are bad at, so you don't keep making the same mistakes. Even if the results of the session do not match their dream career or goal, they then have to argue their case. It changes the dialogue from hope to an actual agenda.”

His daughter will be the most recent to benefit from a visit to Career Analysts. She is hoping for a career change after seven years of teaching children with disabilities. Although she now hopes to make a business out of her sorbet-making hobby or working with disadvantaged children in another area; going to see an experienced career advisor and using the insights gained from the psychometric tests will assist her in committing to making that change, or not.

"A session with Career Analysts makes you face reality. Talking to the careers advisers helps you think through your business and career plans. We’ve all learnt from it - it's finding out who you are and how you work."

Case Study - Laura 21

Laura Hewitt was in the middle of her degree in English & American literature and uncertain about her career choices after graduation.

Career Analysts helped her choose a path that suited both her personality and her aspirations. "I wanted to know what were the realistic chances of getting a job when I finished my degree and what kind of areas I should look at, The career advice I received at University was not brilliant so I wanted to get some professional advice from someone who is in the know and could confirm what I'd heard about the current job climate." "Career analysts were recommended by a family friend who had been in the same position. They confirmed that her idea of law as a career was a good choice. She has just finished her law conversion and has already found employment.

"Interesting and fun" I really enjoyed the preliminary work that Career Analysts sent me; it was challenging but interesting and fun. I put quite a lot of time into it and it was really rewarding writing about what I was interested in, what I'd done in my spare time, my past education and my previous experiences in employment. It wasn't immediately apparent why some of the questions were relevant - I had to trust Career Analysts - but when I met them the initial questionnaire actually brought up a lot about my personality.

"Welcoming and hospitable" When it actually came to my day at the Career Analysts offices I found them really welcoming and hospitable. The tests in the morning were challenging but in a good way. It sometimes seemed very abstract and not directly relevant but you later realise they are assessing different skills and abilities that are relevant to your choice of career." "There were certain careers such as journalism or publishing that I had considered but had reservations about. On the day we were really able to question those reservations and see whether they held up. My abilities showed that I was an all-rounder, which wasn't really that helpful in making a decision in itself, but the results also highlighted what my personality was like. It became apparent that journalism or publishing was not really a suitable career as they are both very competitive and I'm not a very competitive person - I tend to like routine and helping others.

"Different and challenging" In the afternoon I met with the careers advisor, Jenny, who was really generous with her time. She had reviewed my personal history and online questionnaire, and was clearly very experienced. We discussed previous office work that I'd done and Jenny helped me realise that any other office-based jobs would be very similar, especially early in my career. I wanted to take more of a chance and do something different and more challenging.

"Heading in the right direction with confidence" Jenny helped confirm that my ideas about teaching, either in further training with a PGCE or further studies for an MA and Doctorate, were definitely in the right direction, and that, of these, my passions were more centred on further education." "It was really helpful advice. It feels like we're in quite an insecure time and before I came to Career Analysts my career choices were looking very wide and ambiguous. I feel very confident now that I'm going in the right direction."

Case study - Lynne, 23

Boredom, lack of satisfaction and a desire for direction led Lynne to seek the help of Career Analysts. Her creativity and her enjoyment of the visual arts led her to study architecture, and having graduated from university with an excellent degree, she set off on the employment road as a designer for a local practice. Though she enjoyed the artistic side of her work, she felt that her job did not challenge her, nor did it offer her what she had expected.

"I'd describe my work as monotonous and repetitive," she said to our consultant. "There's no distinct career path for promotion or remuneration, and I have no interest in going on with the further diploma that's expected of me. I feel trapped." Lynne knew that a career in architecture was not for her, but had no idea what she could be doing instead. "I want to be a success, but my knowledge of the job market is limited," she explained. "I want to meet more people and increase my earning potential with a more active, creative and social career."

Working with our consultant, Lynne discovered that she had previously-unrecognised strengths and talents. Having examined her personality and her goals, the consultant's comprehensive written report suggested that Lynne could consider a role in marketing, where her enterprising abilities and her creative skills could be combined. Six months on, and Lynne has undergone a complete career change - she is indeed working in marketing, for a multi-national corporation, and has never been happier. "With the guidance of Career Analysts, I am on a path I'd never before considered - and loving every minute of it," she smiles. "I'm challenged and fulfilled, and I'm finally enjoying going to work every day."

Case study - Mark 32

Mark was in his late twenties when he came to Career Analysts. He was working in the head office of a major food retailer as part of a two-year graduate scheme, and, having realised that the industry was not for him, declined job offers from the retailer and its competitors. He wanted to move on to a new and fresh challenge, and sought guidance on how best to achieve that. Three years on, he runs a leading online hotel booking agency, generating a healthy profit every year. "I wanted to run my own business in a sector that interested me," says Mark, "and my consultation with the occupational psychologist gave me the confidence that I would be able to do that."

After his first consultation, he spent most of the following year researching his business ideas, then trading internet stocks, before taking the plunge and starting up his own business. "Going to Career Analysts was a major turning point for me," he adds. "The tests and the review session enlightened me about myself, my motivations, my goals and the way I am. "I feel that I'm now being courageous again with my life, and have set myself more challenges, both short and long-term, to enable me to get the best from myself, my time and my career."

Case study - Joe 25

Deciding what A-level subjects to take is a difficult time in every student's life. As a 15-year-old, Joe wanted guidance in choosing between four science-based A-levels and a broader range of subjects. On a friend's recommendation, he came to Career Analysts. At his meeting with the consultant psychologist, Joe took a range of psychometric tests, assessing his aptitude, personality and skills. He says now, "I had been concerned that four science subjects would prove too limiting for me. Then my profile showed that those A-levels would suit me well, and the consultation helped me reaffirm my real choices." After taking his A-levels and receiving top marks for all of them, Joe was accepted to a prestigious university, where he was awarded a first-class honours degree in Natural Sciences.

At this stage, he decided that a career in law was the path for him, and applied for a law degree conversion course. He says, "I was invited for an interview for a scholarship to fund my Graduate Diploma in Law. These scholarships are always heavily over-subscribed and I was determined to secure one of the two fully-funded places. That's when I turned again to Career Analysts, to examine and hone my interview and presentation skills." Joe and the consultant worked on interview and interpersonal techniques to prepare him for the panel. "There were no tests this time - just a lot of talking, and even a mock interview just so I knew what kind of questions would await me." Joe was awarded a full scholarship, completed his diploma and will start bar school shortly. He says, "When I was a teenager, Career Analysts helped me clarify my thinking; now as an adult they have assisted me in developing a set of skills that are essential for working life."

Case study - Susan 33

Susan, a Politics graduate with an MBA from Yale, had gained a full post-graduate accountancy qualification. Her career began in local government, where she was appointed Principal Accountant for a County Council at the age of only 26. Following her US MBA she joined a major US accountancy firm - one of the ‘big five' - as an Associate specialising in Organisation Development and Change Management. In 2004 Susan wished to return to the UK. Her firm allowed her a sabbatical to reflect. When she spoke to Career Analysts, she was concerned about a range of aspects of her work as a consultant; the work/life balance, the internal politics of the consultancy, and opportunities for promotion. Susan wanted to take a step back and consider whether the world of consultancy was for her. Susan embarked on a career management programme. We reviewed her strengths and competency areas, and matched these to her preferences.

We developed a theme for her preferred role, as ‘working with and through others to solve problems creatively and recommending solutions based on thorough analysis'. We then worked on identifying the preferred subject areas within any future role, and the sectors in which these might occur. Next, we agreed the culture, values and style of the target organisation, and Susan's needs for intellectual stimulus, a non-aggressive organisation providing mutual support and a caring, reflective style came to the fore. We homed in on a short-list of ideal sectors, and these included accounting, legal, financial services, consulting, local government and health trusts. We eventually concluded that consultancy remained Susan's prime career focus and set about researching and identifying those consulting practices which much better satisfied her organisational culture and values requirements. Having done this, we tidied up Susan's CV, developed interview techniques and identified a range of job opportunities through networking. Susan is now much happier, and is working as a senior organisation development consultant with a major and highly-regarded accountancy practice.

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