Career Planning for Career Start and Change: Commercial Advice - Pros and Cons

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Also in the commercial consultation (as well as at the employment agency) applies: consultant is not equal advisor. Because not all consultants work with the same method and therefore not every consultant fits optimally to every customer. This must be clarified in advance.

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Private Consultants: What do you do?

There are alternatives to the employment agency: namely, commercial career advices, the 60-100 Euro for a consulting hour or several hundred euros for a complete service package. The question now is: are the commercial really better than the consultations of the employment agency?

The Stiftung Warentest thinks so - but it has also tested only three providers who have clarified the concerns of customers and offered in comparison with the consultations with the employment agencies strikingly good help.

To respond more intensively to wishes

The private consultants have therefore dealt more intensively with the wishes and interests of the counselor and have shown in detail the available possibilities.

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This is the great advantage of commercial advice. Because the private consultants often have fewer clients than the professional advisors of the employment agencies and therefore more time to meet their wishes individually.

Unbiased and neutral advice

In addition, they are usually completely independent and give an overview of the various possibilities without any interest. Moreover, they are not bound by any statistics.

And commercial consultants understand themselves as service providers: Since they get a majority of their customers through word-of-mouth propaganda, any dissatisfied customer is catastrophe.

The customer should be satisfied

Many commercial consultants are therefore making the greatest effort to satisfy their customers, for example, by always making further proposals for studies, training and further education.

With flat rates, this goes on until the customer has found his desired education or training, the desired study place or the dream job - depending on what was previously defined as a consulting goal.

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When is a commercial career advice useful?

  • You have lost track of the jungle of possibilities and need a pilot
  • The free offers of employment agencies are not enough
  • They do not manage to produce the necessary self-initiative themselves
  • They want a very intensive care
  • The customer is king - and you want to be that king

Knowledge-based or psychological?

Some consultations work rather knowledge-based. This means that they are researching information on the basis of the wishes and interests of you as customers and provide you with various possibilities.

These consultants are then suitable for you if you already have an idea of ​​what you want to do, but still need information or decide between several alternatives. If you would like to have very detailed information, it is advisable to make an extensive individual consultation.

If, on the other hand, you have problems deciding or do not know what you want to do, then psychologically oriented individual counseling is necessary. You should be aware of this when choosing.

Lump sum or hourly rate?

It is usually cheaper here if you book a complete service package, the remuneration after individual hours can quickly get into the money. If, on the other hand, you only need a few thoughts, some short sessions will suffice, the whole package will be too expensive.

However, if you want to get just a few tips and suggestions, a group consultation or the participation in a workshop can be useful, as you here from other participants Feedback get.

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How do knowledge-based consultants work?

Consultants with knowledge-based approaches should be well-versed in the industry or field they are consulting (eg student advisors in higher education).


Client C. wants to do a training in the field of economics. In a workshop, he has already got some clues, but now he wants to go into more detail and get an overview of all possibilities, because he is not sure whether the offers he has obtained are conducive to career planning. It makes sense for him a complete range of services at a flat rate: A knowledge-based consultant will show him the various options including degrees and the associated career prospects. However, he is not psychologically questioning why C. wants to take this path.

How do psychological counselors work?

Other providers have a stronger focus on the psychological area and help with the basic orientation. If you are not absolutely sure where to go, or if you are unsure whether the path is right for you and if the consultant wants you to help with self-reflection, then you are probably better served here a purely knowledge-based consultation.

These advisors help you to become clear about yourself with appropriate techniques such as test procedures or observation tasks. These consultations are mostly processes that take place over a longer period of time, so coaching, which is developed in individual sessions over several weeks, makes sense. In addition, it is important in this case that the counselor has a corresponding psychological training!

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  1. Christopher

    Skilled labor shortage is an important issue for many companies, so it would be good if more companies invested in outplacement consulting.

  2. Myriam

    Many companies simply expect too much from their employees - and the requirements are getting higher and higher: But of course, with such a massive oversupply - all work has long been outsourced to Cina, including development activities - you can afford it, the companies say.

  3. Andreas

    Fantastic, just yesterday we discussed Xing, how career guidance can support the career entry and now I find this post!

  4. Ron Peete

    With everything that goes wrong in Germany, it is no wonder that more and more highly qualified people are leaving. Nevertheless, I find your efforts to inform your readers admirable.

  5. Tanja Handl

    Thanks for the good overview.
    In my experience, holistic counseling offers with a psychological and knowledge-based approach are worthwhile for most people - but I have to fully agree with you: It is important to be clear to yourself about what point you need more help. Only then can you choose the right advisor. And the investment should ultimately be worthwhile.

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