Our client action plans for careers and beyond take shape during a close partnership with a senior consultant based on the results of a client’s personal assessment. Plan development is also spurred by our comprehensive research resources, the networking power of our community and the expert guidance of our staff on topics from personal marketing to closing a deal with a new organization.
While each individual’s plan is unique, the process of creating one at New Directions is similar for most clients. Here are the key steps:
Because a solid knowledge of ourselves is the key to a successful portfolio plan, an in-depth personal assessment is the first step. Clients identify or redefine skills and talents, personal styles, values, and dreams. They may awaken long dormant dreams or recognize new interests. Assessment helps to clarify short- and long-term goals, sharpening the opportunity search. Financial and family needs are considered, but the focus in this stage is intrinsic personal assets. It’s about what energizes and calls us, and the times when we feel most alive.
Our process is comprehensive and includes private conversation with a staff psychologist, the perspectives and views of outside personal advisers chosen by the client, incisive analysis of questionnaires, personal focus groups, and helpful intuitive ways of “listening to your life.” Assessment helps us get to know our clients quickly, accelerating our ability to provide customized guidance.
Each action plan is created with the support and advice of a senior staff consultant, who serves as the client’s personal coach and mentor. Our individually assigned consultants help clients turn the insights gained from assessment into a personal mission statement and opportunity road map. They make progress checks, help fine-tune strategies and provide an understanding ear, and are completely available to clients throughout the process, One-on-one meetings are also available with New Directions staff members and specialists. Visits can be arranged to meet with clients who cannot easily come to Boston. Telephone and email coaching are also available as needed.
Clients utilize our extensive research capabilities to identity and learn about individuals, organizations, and opportunities. Resources include our professional research library with access to subscription-based business, news and industry databases. Our password-protected client website gives ready access to portfolio and job opportunities, weekly bulletins, and staff, client, and alumni directories. Our full-time research staff provides guidance in searching print and digital business publications and other sources for news, trends, and opportunities. They will also help with individualized data mining to identify leads and decision maker contacts.
Planning and Implementation
New Directions can help you put it all together and execute your plan. Our senior staff members share the benefits of their substantial real-world experience and lead workshops designed to improve skills in areas including researching, planning, interviewing, and writing business plans. They also help clients develop personal marketing or media strategies, showing them how to write opinion pieces, obtain news coverage and secure speaking engagements to build credibility as an expert. New Directions also helps clients assess whether an opportunity is a good fit, how to pursue it and, if successful, how to negotiate the most advantageous relationship with a prospective company or organization or structure a business partnership. Outside experts and notable speakers offer practical advice or inspiration through our regular series, Harborside Chats, and at other events held in our common areas.
Our clients are able to merge three powerful networks of high-level contacts in diverse business and professional communities – those cultivated by our own senior staff over the years, those of our highly placed alumni, and those of other New Directions clients. A staff expert also guides clients in building, expanding and effectively capitalizing on their own personal networks. Forty percent of clients land their next opportunity through New Directions contacts.
New Directions places great importance on the role of families in our clients' transitions and beyond. Clients' spouses/partners are encouraged to participate. We offer them transition counseling as well. We also provide our First Directions® program to the adult children of New Directions clients and alumni. These services include one-to-one counsel and training in networking and resume preparation to help them launch their professional and business careers.