Futures Model

Build a future worth protecting

Mini Modules - Navigating College Administrations
Mini Modules - Navigating College Administrations

Job Search

A core belief at Causeway is the impact that meaningful work can have on a young man’s self-concept and health. Although finding a job presents its own set of hurdles, particularly for a client who struggles with executive functioning, the job search process also offers a fruitful avenue for developing the communication, organization, and time management skills that a client will need to be successful in the workforce. As an executive functioning coach supporting a client in the job search process, your focus should be on helping the client develop a replicable process for seeking out and securing a new job. You will also likely be providing spot checks and more localized support with regard to professional communication, resume building, and interview preparation. 

Week 1: Initial Assessment and Values Work

How is the client currently approaching the job search? What are his existing obligations and commitments?


  • Client will better understand how his values either coincide or contradict the way in which he spends his time
  • Client will consider how to be more efficient with his time and more productive with his daily activities
  • Client will develop a clear picture of his current academic commitments and upcoming assignments
  • Client will identify any outstanding assignments and plan out specific dates for catching up

What information will you need to guide future sessions?

  • Explore what sorts of jobs might be interesting to this client based on his interests. Use MI to prompt deeper reflection from the client on how his current schedule matches up with his professed interests
  • Investigate the strategies (if any) the client is currently using in his job search. If the client has not yet started, probe to get a sense of how the client plans or would plan to approach the process.
  • Ask open-ended questions and engage in exercises that promote curiosity around preferences, beliefs, and interests

 What can you do in session to emphasize or reinforce key learnings?


  • Create discrepancy between how the client wants to ideally spend time and the actual ways in which the client is allocating time presently. 
  • Gather numerical data and represent visually to highlight disparity in time allocation   
Week 2-3 (1.5 hours): Crafting a Resume

What will the client walk away from session feeling? What tangible product will he have produced?


  • Client will create a resume template to be updated as he obtains more professional experience in the future
  • Client will be able to relate his achievements and accomplishments to date by identifying past work experiences, leadership activities, and volunteering efforts
  • Client will be able to identify attributes he wishes to highlight and feel a greater sense of pride in himself

What experiences or attributes will you spotlight for the client to include in his resume?


  • Consider whether there is any missing information that can be gathered by parents or other 3rd party members that would make the profile more rich or comprehensive
  • Reflect on the workflow and coaching style that the client seems to respond best to
  • Explore the client’s sense of self-worth and accomplishment; does he downplay experiences that may have value for his current search?
  • Prepare a few example resumes to provide a clearer picture of the finished product
  • Create separation between the brainstorming process and the actual writing of the resume to encourage open communication.
Week 3-4 (1.5 hours): Writing a Cover Letter
How will the client tell his story to potential employers?

  • Client will experience greater clarity around his personal narrative and sense of ownership over the job process
  • Client will be able to articulate his qualifications and reasons for seeking employment clearly and concisely
  • Client will develop a sense of the story that he will represent to employers in both the job application and the interview process
  • Client will produce an effective cover letter template that can be adapted to different positions the he might apply to in the future
 What do you need to know to help the client craft the best cover letter possible?

  • Are there holes in the broader application that need to be addressed as a part of the cover letter component?
  • Does the client have any unique skills or talents that might not be reflected in a traditional resume?
  • Refer to (Causeway Resource) for information on effective cover letters
 What will you do to facilitate the writing process?

  • Assist client in drafting a tangible tool that aids in narrative work and interview prep, such as a bank of common interview questions or a rehearsed elevator pitch
  • Ask the client to describe an experience he has had at work or in school verbally, then use notes from the provider or voice recordings to transcribe the anecdote
  • Provide a few different examples of successful cover letters to help the client visualize the end result. Provide compelling reasons why a cover letter is important in differentiating the client from other applicants
Week 5: Creating a Job Search Worksheet
How will the client keep track of his applications and prioritize his time?

  • Client will create a spreadsheet to track key job application metrics, like the status of his application materials, any updates on his candidacy, and any important logistics
  • Client will feel more engaged and less overwhelmed based upon having a clear and structured system to store information related to job acquisition process
  • Client will set a tangible and realistic goal for his next session, such as applying for a job or reaching out to a prospective employer 
What do you need to know about this client to effectively advise him throughout his search?

  • Familiarize the client with a few references of existing job search trackers to help him identify a format that makes sense. Note the features he prioritizes and compare with your observations of the client’s working style
  • Consider how best to convey to client information around the structure and format of the document to increase ease of use
  • Determine what volume of independent work that is appropriate to assign or expect post-session based on the client’s progress to date

 At this stage, the client should be applying for jobs and beginning to implement a consistent job search routine. Weeks 6-8 will emphasize the job search itself and delve deeper into what that process should actually look like. If the client is struggling to identify jobs that interest him or expresses resistance to sending out applications, it may be worth revisiting values-based sessions from earlier on to gauge the source of his challenges. 

Week 6: Job Search - Effective Habits

How will the client develop an effective job search routine?


  • Client will gain confidence in his professional communication by learning about formatting, tone, and appropriate language in emails through modeling exercise
  • Client will identify time in his week that he can dedicate to his job search
  • Client will develop a clearer understanding of expectations for ambiguous or unwritten social rules around job search processes such as returning calls, leaving voicemails, and following up on communications

 Where is this client at in terms of his communication skills?


  • Assess how comfortable the client is speaking on the phone, in person, and via writing to determine his strengths and challenges. Engage the client in practice calls and writing prompts to gauge his baseline aptitude
  • Help the client make connections between his weekly schedule and the ultimate goal that he is working towards
Week 7: Job Search - Interview Preparation

How will this client prepare for interviews, both for the current search and in the future?


  • Client will feel more confident in his knowledge of what to expect from an interview, what sorts of questions he is likely to encounter, and what experiences or stories from his life make for good topics to discuss
  • Client will use role playing exercises to develop notes on effective interviewing that can be studied outside of session
  • Client will develop greater organizational command of his personal narrative through practicing his interview approach

What can you learn about this client from his interviewing style?

  • Experiment with different mock interview “personas” to determine the sorts of questions and conversation styles that draw out the best responses from this client
  • Consider how the client’s body language, personal appearance, and speaking style may impact his performance
  • Are there questions that the client should be prepared to answer based on any disciplinary, behavioral, or medical issues that he has encountered?
  • Conduct 2-3 mock interviews with the client and provide strengths-based feedback after each instance
  • Engage colleagues to offer a mock interview in a semi-novel environment for clients who have yet to book an interview or experience significant stress around the prospect of interviewing
  • Develop a bank of common interview questions and specific anecdotes or experiences that the client can apply to multiple scenarios
Week 8: Job Search - “Life Admin”

 How will the client ensure that nothing is falling through the cracks in his search?


  • Client will take time to catch up on any backlogs in emails, scheduling, or thank-you notes
  • Client will work with his coach to identify any potential gaps in his process that might require troubleshooting by reviewing communications and timelines
  • Client will be motivated to self-organize and repeat process initiatives. If the client has obtained a job, client

What will you do to help the client stay organized and maintain a strong foundation for his search?


  • Help the client identify and categorize all information related to his job process using tools like email tags and scheduled reminders in addition to updating his job search master doc.
  • Strategize around how and when to follow up on all leads to increase chances of being hired
  • Consider areas in which client is stronger, and encourage follow up through those preferred modes of communication

Take this opportunity to evaluate the initial returns on the client’s search. If the client is getting callbacks, booking interviews, and experiencing success, move on to the next stage to help the client begin thinking about his career interests. If the client’s applications are not being met with success, take a step back to consider the client’s qualifications for the positions for which is applying. For a client still in high school looking for his first job, make sure to keep expectations realistic and tailored to the client’s present abilities - his first job won’t be his last! This is also a great opportunity to engage the family by providing an honest assessment of the client’s progress and what the next steps will be. 

Week 9: SDS and Career Brainstorming

 How will the client use the SDS to gain greater self-awareness?


  • Client will have a better understanding of the value of longer term career planning. Client should feel curiosity about the scope of future possibilities that exist for him to examine 
  • Client will understand how to access the SDS, interpret the report, and incorporate into longer-term self-knowledge
  • Client will review the summary report outside of session in advance of his next meeting. Client can begin to work on the +/- exercise for homework

How will you introduce the SDS to the client and guide him through the assessment process?


  • Provide an overview of the SDS to further understand the value of the process. Co-conduct in-depth research on summary report to increase the utility of the document.
  • Help client better understand likes, dislikes, and preferences to set table for reviewing SDS and clarify longer term career vision
  • Use the initial results of the report to tailor job or career suggestions in future sessions
Week 10: Planning for the Future

What steps will the client take to develop or clarify a long-term plan?


  • Client will begin to think about future possibilities with guidance from his coach, considering how he wants his life to look at different time intervals
  • Client will complete the +/- exercise if he has not already done so, identifying 3-5 top choices that align with his interests and profile
  • Client will complete the Role/Title exercise to rank positions that may align with his vision for the future
  • Client will practice “reverse-engineering” to examine the necessary steps in pursuit of a given outcome based on his desired lifestyle or line of work
  • Client will develop a quarterly, yearly, and three-year plan depending on what time frame he is ready to engage with; younger clients may have more difficulty imagining longer time horizons

 How far into the future is this client able to forecast? 


  • Based on previous sessions, how likely is it that you will encounter client pushback to thinking about the medium or long-term future? Arrive with a plan or strategy for “rolling with resistance.”
  • Consider how realistic the client’s plan might be, but stay supportive. For younger clients, even an unrealistic plan can provide a useful starting point or temporary guide as he clarifies his vision
  • What sorts of evidence and affirmations of his capacity does the client respond best to? Has his self-concept evolved since the start of sessions?
Week 11: Action Steps and Walk Out Plan

 What will the client plan on doing in order to bridge the gap between his present and his future?


  • Client will begin researching a school, trade, or different job, outlining a pro-con list of his chosen focus for that week
  • Client will engage in a white board session with his coach to map out the duration, cost, location, and rationale for his chosen long-term goal to prepare for feedback from his parents. Client should be able to answer significant personal questions, i.e. cost or duration, that stood as impediments to plan in past 
  • Client will be able to speak to contingency plans (within reason) should issues occur in enacting the identified plan

What should you prepare for the session in order to best support the client

  • Conduct research on schools, trade programs, or entry-level roles that align with the client’s goals
  • Prepare a preliminary list of pros and cons for each option within to provide the client with a jumping off point


What will you do in the session to facilitate the client’s brainstorming?


  • Clarify the client’s chosen pathway through a full white board session, answering specifics around duration, cost, location that the client may not be able to determine on his own
  • Invite the client to expand on pro con lists, rank different options, and identify specific job titles that he might want to hold in the future
Week 12: Plan Delivery and Wrap-Up

How will the client get ready to present his plan of action to his family?


  • Clients should be able to speak to parental reservations around future plan and overcome prospective objections
  • Client should be able to personalize the plan, speaking to why it suits his needs specifically 
  • Client should feel increasing preparedness to speak to parents around the features and benefits of the longer term future plan
  • Client should be able to speak to the rationale behind the plan as well as the long-term vision that is informing his goals

What information about his audience does this client need to be successful?


  • Consider the approach based on your knowledge of the family; what sorts of evidence or approaches are likely to be most persuasive?
  • Is there any information missing in the client’s plan? How can you guide the client towards a more effective pitch?
  • Budget time for rehearsal and refinement to help the client become maximally comfortable in tone and delivery

How will you help the client prepare to present his plan to his family?


  • Role play and work to overcome objections related to execution and implementation of plan
  • Develop a takeaway packet and/or summary report to aid in the client’s presentation of his plan

At the conclusion of this module, the client should feel accomplished based on the work he has completed, confident in his vision for the future, and comfortable speaking about his ideas. The module should conclude with a review of the work done and a takeaway packet or folder capturing the written tools and notes developed over the twelve weeks. Consider the summary report and takeaway packets as both resources for the client and references for his family as they continue to support him in accomplishing his goal.