As a coach for The Next Step project at Manpower, I’m interested in an individual’s prior education and their intentions, talents and ambitions for their career in the Netherlands. Part of the process is working to validate the prior learning of refugees; also for those who do not have degrees. I meet with my candidates in person, and together we draft a personal development plan to map their career opportunities and integration ambitions. I supplement the personal development plan with guidance and coaching for a period of six months to ensure that their goals are reached.
“It’s My Personal Drive to Empower Others Who Have Potential”
It feels good to help others. Seeing the appreciation and fulfilment in my candidates during the process, that’s what keeps me going, and gives me a good feeling. I myself have a background as a refugee from Sierra Leone, I know how difficult it can be to carve out your space in a new setting. My background is in international communication management, but I am also involved in community development initiatives, I have volunteer roles – I am always trying to get involved. But I also like to help others to get involved, it’s my personal drive to empower others who have potential. Sometimes people just need guidance, or a role model to find their space.
Some candidates already know where they want to work, and are confident with their existing skills and education; but like anyone, you still need to be flexible, to persevere and to know what you want if you want to succeed in the job market. I work with refugees to help them to navigate the path to employment, but in the end, the candidate has to secure the job him/herself- they are the ones who will be going to the job interview!
For Manpower, I think the project is a way of contributing to developing people. It’s an interesting project to be a part of.