Career Consulting Firms: A Reason Why Asians Can’t Get Jobs

This is a true story that happened last week. I recounted the conversation as much as I could remember word for word. The name of the consultant has been changed.

I lean back in my chair, delighted at having just finished writing my latest blog post in my favourite corner of my room. I stare outside my bedroom window to my left. It is a sunny mid-autumn day in Melbourne, the sky a crystal clear blue and the leaves on the trees outside still bright green. A happy, uplifting sight.

Bzzz bzzz. My handphone rings, vibrates and jerks about on the table, the sharp ringtone shattering the tranquility of this relaxing afternoon at home.

I pick it up. “Hello?”

“Hi, is this Madel?” a male voice on the other end asks.

“Do you mean May-bel?” I pronounce slowly. People always fail to pronounce my name correctly.

“Yes, Mabel. Hi Mabel. This is Jason calling from XYZ Careers. Have you heard about us before?”

“No, I haven’t.”

Happy student/graduate. But most of the time job-seeking is a laborious, demoralising process. Photo: Mabel KwongHappy student/graduate. But most of the time job-seeking is a laborious, demoralising process. Photo: Mabel Kwong

“We are a consulting firm located on Collins Street in the CBD, near the Parliament Station end. We specialise in assisting graduates in gaining employment in Australia,” Jason explains. “Are you currently working?”

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Career Consulting Firms: Treating Asian Clients As Cash Cows?

This is a true story that happened a few weeks ago. At times, it really is worth wondering whether career consulting firms really do genuinely aim to help their clients who are seeking work to land a job or just swindle away their money. All names have been changed.

She steps into the lift at 11.50am on a cloudy January summer’s day. It whooshes upwards just seconds after she presses the button for the floor where the career consulting firm is located in the sky-high Melbourne CBD office building. Decked out in black pants and a spiffy blue jacket with her straight dark brown hair neatly flowing down her back, she looks just like – and is – any other ordinary short Asian girl in her late teens-early twenties.

Just a few days ago, she answered her ringing handphone to a chirpy career consultant called Mindy who probably wrangled her number from one of the career mailing lists she signed up for a year ago. Over the phone, Mindy offered to help her gain employment in the field of HR.

Some people employ the services career consulting firms in hope of securing a job. But there really is no guarantee they will land a job. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

The petite girl had no interest in buying the services of this firm. After all, she wasn’t sold by those a similar firm offered her face-to-face two years ago. But she is an open-minded person who likes to keep her options open.

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