By: a Transitions candidate
Coaching can make a crucial difference to a refugee professional’s chances of finding a skilled job in the UK. Before coming to the UK as a refugee I studied and worked in IT, but after receiving my refugee status and permission to work I struggled to find employment related to my field, and worked in retail. I’m now in a permanent role working in IT support for a large multi-national business. Below I offer some thoughts about how coaching can help other people from a similar background.
It can be difficult for refugee professionals who have just entered a new society to understand the world of work in the UK. How do you identify the right role? How do you make the transition into that role? How can you learn what your potential might be in a new environment? What information do you need about the job market? What are the organisational processes you need to be aware of?
These are all areas that a coach can help with. There are many different kinds of coaches. Some give career counselling support and charge for their services. Others offer coaching support related to specific issues, and on a voluntary basis. Transitions aims to match refugee professionals with a volunteer coach who is employed, and who has a similar career background. In some cases the coach will have experienced similar challenges related to being a refugee, and be able to share tips from their own experience.
Examples of the support a coach can offer include:
- Assessing your current skills, requirement and experience
- Explore the different career options in the new environment and make a clear and realistic action plan
- Help you to overcome barriers such as language, cultural differences by introducing appropriate channels like training institutes or train you personally
- Marketing your skills to internal and external recruiters, some major decision-makers or simply uncover some available opportunities
- Give you support to improve your employability for the future
To sum up, it is essential for refugee professional to receive coaching services in the new society in which they have arrived. Refugee professionals, just like anyone else, need help to be able to work in their relevant job field. That’s why organisations like Transitions London are offering a free range of coaching services to help refugees to overcome this issue and I think it is a great idea to get assistance from previous successful Transitions candidates to help the newcomers. They have already passed the same path, experienced all the ups and downs and can use this experience to assist new candidates.