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Norm standing in front of a Plymouth marina




The careers adviser is the face of The National Careers Service. The link to the public. These aren’t faceless officials. They are highly qualified and experienced advisers, who’s role is to understand a person’s specific circumstances and advise them on their options.

Norman Blandford is a Careers Adviser, based in Plymouth. Everyone calls him ‘Norm’. He shared his approach with customers: “My focus when meeting customers is to make them feel comfortable, show interest, and build their confidence. I do this by treating them as an important person. Once they’re happy with my approach I show them what their options are, to move their chosen careers forward, even if it’s in small steps,”

A careers adviser can help in several ways; each person they see is different.

Norm continued: “There is no typical day, it’s a very varied role. We work at Job Centres, and we work in training organisations. That could be supporting someone not in work and if someone’s in work and they want to progress their career we can help them too.”

A range of options

A careers adviser can help anyone over the age of 18, in or out of work. They can assess someone’s skills and show them what their options are. An adviser can find suitable courses, show someone how to search for jobs effectively and how to put together a persuasive CV, tailored to the role someone is applying for.

Norm added: “We try to build a person’s confidence. When someone is given advice from a source they trust, very often, they begin to feel more confident about the whole job application process.

“We can help with interview skills. The dos and don’ts and then run through some mock interviews to put it all into practice. It’s something that people don’t connect us with. There’s a lot more to us than writing a CV.”



Redundancy and career change

A careers adviser can also provide valuable support to organisations going through a redundancy process. They can visit a business and provide advice and support to people identified as being ‘at risk’ of redundancy.

Anyone who is employed and thinking about a change in career direction, can also arrange to speak to a careers adviser. This is especially useful helping someone identify their transferable skills and what steps may be needed to secure that career switch.

Norm concluded, “There’s loads of ways we can help and advise people on their next career step but most importantly we can help people to believe in their own ability.”

If you would like to speak to someone like Norm, for support and guidance with your next career move, call us on 0800 100 900 or visit




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