If you don‘t break your client‘s employment plan goals down, into small, achievable steps, you may be setting them up to fail.
If the goal is too big of a stretch, your client may give up because it seems too hard to achieve. When setting goals with your clients, think about the goal from an ‘ease and convenience’ point-of-view. How easy is this step for my client to take? Is this step simple enough and convenient for them to achieve?
If the small steps towards the end goal are easy to achieve, your clients are more likely to follow through. And when a client follows through and achieves things (no matter how small), they become more confident.
When getting clients to plan for their employment goals, it is important to break the tasks up into easy steps they can complete, which will keep them motivated towards their big employment goal.
Psychologists suggest that when setting goals, we use the ‘Zone of Proximal Development‘ – set goals in proximity of what they can do, and in proximity of next growth steps.
It’s about setting small challenges that stretch your clients’ ability to grow, and builds their confidence along the way. The Zone of Proximal Development is based on the belief “If I can do this, then I can learn to do that!”
Setting goals and chunking it is a growth mindset in action.
Finding a job can feel overwhelming for some clients, and they may not know where to start. Re-assure them that together, you will work through a simple and clear plan that they can follow easily. Building the steps within the plan takes the focus away from the ‘big end goal,’ and makes the process feel much more manageable.
If you have read through the blog on values and beliefs, you should know how to find out what’s important for your client when it comes to employment. And if you’ve been using Bounce Online with your clients, you will have gathered loads of information about their skills, strengths and personal qualities and employment preferences. When you start developing an employment plan with your clients, you should have a great base to work from.
Here’s how you could break the steps down for your clients:
- Review and make sure their resume is ready – here’s a link to our very BEST resume templates that really do work!
- The second step could be putting them in a program where they can learn how to write an application letter.
- Applying for one job a week and then, over time, build them up to applying for 2-4 jobs a week.
- Practise interview techniques to help build their confidence.
It may not be as simple as this, and the approach will be different for each client. For example, you may need to encourage clients to take even smaller steps depending on their confidence levels and abilities. But if you find you have a client who fails to follow through on their agreements or their job plan, take some time to assess whether the task was too big for them, and work with the client to get the steps down to a more comfortable level.
If you’re not using Bounce Online with your clients, you’re missing an opportunity to make the goal-setting process incredibly easy. The program has a whole module dedicated to setting goals and working towards them in a small, manageable way. Find out more about Bounce Online here.
The most important thing is to see movement towards employment goals and not away from employment goals. It could be one easy fix that will make a world of difference.
Become a certified Job Coach
The Way Finders Academy is where you go to become a certified Bounce Job Coach. The course is delivered through our expertly-developed learning platform inside the Academy. Bounce Job Coach Certification is the must-have training for anyone working in employment services.