In Summary - Advice Worker
Advice Workers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Advice Worker- from: Youtube Search
The Work - Advice Worker
Advice centre workers help people to cope with a variety of problems and to find out what their rights and responsibilities are. They respond to the requests for help from members of the public.
Being an advice worker involves a lot more than just handing out information. It means thinking about a person's problems and helping them to approach a solution from a variety of angles, using all the available information to make the best decision. Advice centre workers do find information for their clients, but they are likely to spend time explaining the information fully, and helping the client to think about how best to use it. The work involved falls into categories such as, information, advice, referral, mediation and representation.
Members of the public may need advice on a wide variety of issues, including employment rights, social welfare benefits, tenant's rights and consumer law. They can go to a centre to get free, impartial advice and information. It is also very important that this advice is confidential; advice centre workers handle sensitive issues. They keep accurate records of each client case.
Unlike counselling, where the client works with one counsellor, many different advice workers may deal with one case. It is therefore very important that each advice worker can find up-to-date, accurate and data protected notes on each client, which their colleagues have put together.
Face-to-face interviews are very important to advice giving. However, centre workers also reply to written enquiries. Increasingly, workers give advice over the telephone, and some advice organisations are moving towards setting up call centres to increase the amount of advice they give over the telephone. Technology is also increasingly important; some clients can seek advice through email and the Internet.
Some clients need advice and support over a long period of time. In mediation, advice workers act on their client's behalf, for example, by writing letters or making telephone calls. In representation, advice centre workers present their client's case in court or at a tribunal. For example, they may be involved in legal disputes between landlords and tenants, clients' appeals against unfair dismissal from employment, or cases brought against companies that are accused of selling faulty
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Keep records or prepare reports for owner or management concerning visits with clients.
- Provide information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance.
- Visit individuals in homes or attend group meetings to provide information on agency services, requirements, or procedures.
- Interview individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history.
- Submit reports and review reports or problems with superior.
- Advise clients regarding food stamps, child care, food, money management, sanitation, or housekeeping.
- Consult with supervisor concerning programs for individual families.
- Oversee day-to-day group activities of residents in institution.
- Assist in locating housing for displaced individuals.
- Transport and accompany clients to shopping areas or to appointments, using automobile.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Interests - Advice Worker
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
As an advice centre worker, you must be committed to helping people solve their problems and achieve social justice. You must be able to empathise with clients but at the same time be able to give clear, impartial and objective advice.
You must be non-judgemental and avoid imposing solutions. Instead, you should have a patient, open-minded approach, helping clients to work through all the available information and options.
Good communication skills are very important. You must be able to listen carefully, and ask the right questions to find out more about the client's problems. You must be articulate and have the confidence to represent clients' cases in court or at a tribunal.
In mediation, you will need strong written skills to write letters on clients' behalf.
Advice centre workers should have good number skills, for example, to help clients understand benefit entitlements.
You will need to develop a thorough knowledge of current legislation, including social welfare benefits, equal opportunities legislation and consumer law. Advice work can be very varied, so you must be well organised and able to deal with several on-going cases at the same time.
Tact and diplomacy are very important, because you will handle sensitive issues. People who seek advice may be distressed, so you must be able to calm and reassure them.
You will need the ability to work as part of a team and to be involved in liaison with other professionals and organisations., for example, social workers and solicitors.
Entry Requirements - Advice Worker
There are no formal educational requirements for this job role, although a degree or relevant qualification in areas such as social studies, social work, community work or law, among others, may be an advantage.
Voluntary work experience is an excellent way to find out more about this career area. Volunteering often helps applicants with accessing vacancies.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Advice Worker
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 40k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.