The 5 "not so common"​ things to look for in a career transition/change professional

I got reminded today, that often in our industry what we offer can be "all the same". A senior executive, who had been in the industry for 15 years, said “if you can slap a different name on it and it is just the same material” then nothing is different!

Proven provider, professional, practical. Safe, secure, reliable. Aren't these just a given? It's the same as an applicant saying to a prospective employer I am honest, reliable and trustworthy. Nothing really surprising there!

 So what can you look for that is different?

I asked a client, who is the HR manager of a 200+ person organisation here in Wellington what they looked for. After all, why pick a dynamic, nimble, smaller firm - over a pick player?

1/ Great connections

New Zealand, and particularly Wellington, is a village. With 60% of roles not being advertised, being able to connect clients to opportunity (or people that know about opportunity) is huge.

VALUE: being able to teach people how to fish PLUS helping them find the fish

2/ Excellent Communication

I have heard of providers winning the business and then almost falling down a hole in terms of providing communication how they are going with who they are working with. Providing feedback on the results is key - how many people found new roles, moved into new opportunity, started doing extra training.

VALUE: you know what the return on investment is and also the wins!!

A few more to keep an eye out for!

3/ Being able to remove the roadblocks (faulty thinking) first

Very few professionals work from the “inside-out”, working on the clients thinking first... and then working on the tools and techniques (e.g. CV, cover letter, LinkedIn).

I remember being in a room full of salespeople and asked them how many had a "positive connotation around the word sales". Less than 20% did. Reframing what it meant and removing the roadblocks was critical to do first up, rather than jumping straight into the training and tools.  

4/ Pizzazz

I have heard from participants that the material being used was uninspiring. We live in a time where you can download 100 different CV templates by dinner time. So how do you embed change? Passion and perspective are crucial (and some new thinking).

I get my passion from having through redundancy twice. I wish someone had told me what to do sooner.

Value: Enthusiasm is infectious and inspires participants to move forward.

There is only one thing more infectious - lack of enthusiasm.

5/ The quals - if you ever wanted to check

Yes those pieces of paper that say - hey this person know what they are talking about.

Now I know a degree or professional affiliation doesn’t guarantee the person is amazing - but it does show that the persons takes it seriously. Check out for the professional body in careers and what being a professional member involves.

Imagine going to a surgeon, trusting them while you went under the knife to discover - hey they never went to medical school and did a qual!!!

 Value: Confidence and risk-management for you that the person doing is relevant, updated and has credibility

Keen to chat about career change or supporting others through it ? Email me or contact me via

grant verhoeven