Career planning for career entry and transition: That's what the employment agency does

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Opinions about the employment counseling of the employment agencies vary widely: some consultants are very committed and offer your clients above-average support, which can also cover several meetings. Others do duty according to regulations. Special cases must remain outside. What many do not know: you can even choose your professional consultant! Career planning for career entry and transition: The Employment Agency Employment Agency

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Give suggestions, initiate initiate

How does a professional counseling work at the employment agency? The consultants clarify the counseling goals with the counselor, and they usually do what they can and can not do. They respond to the wishes of the person seeking advice, justify every step in their approach and finally summarize the results.

In addition, the consultants give specific instructions, such as: "Until next time, write 20 applications", so that the client can also develop between sessions.

Innovative consulting method

The consultants, however, do not make any decisions or influence their clients' decisions, so that the person seeking advice leaves them motivated and leaves the consultation with stronger self-initiative.

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There are also consultants who offer their clients innovative group consulting or seminars, using the latest methods and consulting techniques.


The work agency Bielefeld organizes LifeWorkPlanning seminars. Thanks to this method, which is still relatively new in Germany and originates from the USA, Casting and networking, you do not have to be satisfied with the available job offers, but can systematically develop your own profile and then look for the right employer. The approach is not based on the existing possibilities on the labor market, but on the abilities of the individual.

  • In step 1 one should be clear about his goals, wishes and abilities in writing. Because the more precisely you know what you want, the sooner you will find it.
  • In step 2 is considered how one can bring one's own interests into a job.
  • In step 3, active searches for contacts are made by targeting people who have a place that is interesting. This is not yet the job search, but only the gathering of information and the comparison between personal representation and reality. If you go to others without too many hindrances, you will discover that many people are looking forward to an honest interest.

Career advice in the Warentest Foundation

But, unfortunately, not all professional consultants work the same at the employment agencies. 2007 sent the Foundation Warentest 66 test persons to the professional advice of the employment agencies. The result is only a satisfactory picture:

44 percent of the counselors reported that their own comments and interests had not been taken into account, often clients only received general information on study, training and further education opportunities and little help in the specific case, or the consultants simply gave them the information material in their hands.

One in five was affected

One in five test subjects faced an attempt to influence, in some cases the consultants wanted to excuse the client's established job objective because the labor market was bad in this area.

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For often, the job center is supposed to focus on safe occupational fields. A summary of the discussion results and concrete action agreements remained the exception.

No time for special cases

The reasons for these discrepancies are manifold. Even if there is a fundamental need to address the interests and desires of the client: the consultants have to take on administrative tasks more and more through the internal restructuring of the past and thus have less time for the consultation.

In addition, not all employment agencies are equally busy, and every consultant has to handle a large number of inquiries every day, since the work agencies are open to everyone - so it is no wonder that practically no time remains with special cases and that standard responses are given.

If chemistry is not right

Sometimes the chemistry between the consultant and the client is not right. And, of course, the employment agencies, which also understand themselves as insurance for workers, have a natural interest in their clients pursuing a career path that promises a safe employment.

No wonder that I was out of place with my question about the “dream job of a freelance journalist” at the employment agency. Anyone who is unsatisfied with the advice from the employment agency does not have to go straight to a commercial career advice service.

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Consultant you can change!

What many do not know: It is possible to change the advisor at the employment agency. However, this is problematic for some employment agencies because of the high workload. But: If you only want to be advised, but do not want to apply for cash, you can also go to a completely different work agency.

The Stifung Warentest has posted a detailed checklist of many additional pieces of information that can help make career counseling by the Employment Agency a success.

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  1. Laura

    Very nice page for career starters, thank you!

  2. Eric Vanderhoof

    This whole career planning discussion is based too much on the question "How do you become successful?" Isn't it much more important what personal success means?

  3. Barbara

    I am a freelancer and regularly read your very helpful articles. Again and again I realize how frighteningly unclear the ideas of many people are. A big thank you for this series!

  4. Holger

    The whole employment agency is a single crap and belongs abolished!

  5. Competencepartner

    Series - Help with Career Planning: Part 3 - How Good is the Employment Agency Really ?: The M ...

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