5 things you need to know about your clients (before you talk to them about finding a job)!

The first question you might be tempted to ask a new client is “What type of job do you want?”

But before you launch into asking them about their work goals, you need to dive in and understand who your clients are in the world. 

Because when you have a deep understanding of their values, beliefs, strengths and goals – you can help them move towards better outcomes in both work and overall wellbeing.

So often, appointments with clients are focused on getting them a job.

This is an important step in the process, but it’s one of the last steps on the journey. Not the first.

There are five important things you need to know about your clients.

And you need to help them learn these things about themselves so they have confidence and clarity around their goals.

  1. Unpack those unresourceful beliefs

What do your clients believe about themselves?

If your clients have unresourceful beliefs about themselves and their ability to find a job they will love, they may struggle to overcome them. They may believe they are
‘too old’, or ‘they don’t have enough experience.

It helps to think about where beliefs come from. Often, they come from our past experiences or from people in our lives that we look up to or respect. We need to explore the origins of these beliefs to put them into context.

You can help your clients overcome their unresourceful beliefs by asking different questions such as:

“Is there are different meaning your could on this belief?”

“What evidence do you have that validates this belief?”

Here’s a list of great questions you can ask to help you clients overcome their limiting beliefs. 

2. Value their values 

Values are probably the most important things you need to know about your clients. And your clients must have clarity around their values too. Our values drive our lives – they help us move towards what we want and away from what we want to avoid.

We can make informed decisions when we understand what’s important to us.
Avoid stopping at ‘the things’ when unpacking values with your clients.

For example, if you ask your clients,
‘What’s important to you about having a job?’ – they may say money or a car or a house. These are what we call ‘means values’ and don’t represent a feeling or emotion.

We want to unpack your clients ‘end values’ – or the feeling they get from having the thing. For example – money might give them a feeling of security or achievement. A car might provide them with a feeling of freedom or adventure. There are some simple strategies you can use to understand your clients values. 

3. Enter their Model of the World

Engaging with your clients may be challenging if you don’t build rapport and trust.

When you meet them, pay attention to their body language, tone of voice and the keywords they use. You can calibrate them by subtly matching and mirroring and pacing these key elements. This helps you gracefully enter their model of the world.

Understand how they like to communicate and be communicated to. They could be auditory, visual or kinaesthetic communicators – knowing their dominant representational system will help you build a deeper connection.

When you enter your clients’ model of the world, you will build a deeper connection and have a higher level of rapport. They will then trust you as someone who is there to support them on their journey.

4. Spot their strengths

When your clients understand their strengths, they feel confident and empowered. Strengths help your clients to see their potential and are an important tool to help them understand what type of work would be a good fit.

If you’re working in a job that doesn’t play to your strengths, you’ll feel de-energised and find the work less fulfilling.

When you’re working in your strengths, you can complete tasks quickly and easily and feel energised. Strengths help your clients develop confidence in their abilities, and there are three simple ways to uncover your clients strengths. 

5. Take action around outcomes

Setting goals – and this could be any type of goal – large or small, is important. For some clients, the idea of ‘setting goals’ might feel hard to do, or even unachievable. It might be helpful to reframe goals to become outcomes with your clients. 

So instead of “What is the goal you want to achieve today?” it becomes “What outcome would you like from today’s meeting?”

Accountability and integrity will help your clients stay motivated and engaged on their journey, but you need to make outcomes achievable. 

Small changes in actions or behaviours are a good starting point – things like drinking more water, walking to appointments. What little changes could they make?

Can you make it easy and convenient? Any changes must be intrinsic, meaning your clients want it for themselves. Their outcomes must be theirs – not your outcomes for them.

Here’s a goal/outcome setting template that you use to help you clients on their way to achieving anything they want. 

Job Coach Certification

Our Job Coach Certification Course helps you to understand more about the beliefs we hold about ourselves and how they can impact our ability to coach our clients towards better employment outcomes. Find out more about becoming a certified Bounce Job Coach.


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