It’s important when clients work with a career coach that they have an accurate expectation of what to expect. Career counseling is so much more than helping someone find a job. A Career Coach works with clients to help them get clear about what they really want from life and their career. This may look like establishing what the client’s values are and then making sure they are selecting jobs from a place that aligns with their core values.
Career coaches help you identify and overcome fears. Sometimes we may say we want a new job or a new beginning, but our actions show something different. Our actions can be heavily rooted in fear, causing us to hold ourselves back from what we really desire. It can be fear of responsibility, fear of the unknown, fear of not being prepared. Whatever the fear a career coach can help you get to the root of the problem and face it head on with courage, so you can accomplish your goals.
Career Coach Accountability
Career coaches hold you accountable even when it makes you uncomfortable. Especially when it makes you uncomfortable. Why? Comfort is the enemy of change. If you wanted to stay the same, you wouldn’t consider hiring a career coach and we know that. A career coaches’ job is not to always tell you what you want to hear but to be honest with you when you’re not trying hard enough, when you’re making excuses, when you’re not putting action behind your words, when you’re letting fear and outside chatter hold you back. These are the times when you need an objective person in your life that will help you reach the best version of yourself and career. A career coach can help you achieve that goal.
A Professional Career Coach Creates Plans of Action
Career coaches create plans. We not only explore what you want and what’s been getting in your way, but we give you a plan to overcome obstacles when they come up and strategy to help you tackle your goals. For example, if you have negative self-talk that gets in the way when you job search, a career coach can help you see how that is preventing you from landing new job, how it projects negativity and limits you in an interview. Then the coach would work with you to adopt new mindsets that support your goals and a concrete strategy to help you succeed. Let’s say you identified that interviewing is a weakness you have, but you really need to land a new job. The career coach will go over your strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to interviewing and the two of you will determine how you can showcase more of your strengths and work on your weaknesses. The coaches plan would look like also going over interview questions that make you nervous and practicing numerous times the correct way to answer them with confidence.
Does My Career Coach Fit My Needs?
The great thing about working with a career coach is that we don’t take a one size fits all approach. Every client has different needs therefore this is no one set way to help a client. The biggest thing that people should evaluate when they talk to a career coach is does this person connect with me, do they understand my problems, do they have experience and training, do I feel valued when I engage with them and do I trust they can help me bring about the results I want in my life. These are tough but honest questions to ask yourself as you will likely spend a nice amount of time working with this career coach. It’s important to make sure it’s a good fit.
Career Coach Helps With Career Transition
Career coaches offer career counseling to those in career transition whether they are employed, unemployed, entrepreneurs or looking to make an internal move. Employed people may want help finding another job while they keep their current job. This may look like:
identifying new positions
making an exit plan
getting a grip on their strengths
improving their networking skills
practicing mock interviews
Unemployed people can find themselves needing a reminder of their strengths and abilities and some emotional encouragement if they experienced job loss. Others may be ready to jump right in identifying target companies, creating a networking pitch and plan and executing an aggressive job search. Entrepreneurs come to a career coach because they may be considering transitioning out of their business back into the job market. Other times entrepreneurs may be considering a business idea but just needs some guidance on how to get started. They may explore writing a business plan, connecting with the right target market and how to market the idea.
Making an Internal Career Move
When individuals are employed within an organization and they want to make an internal career move or interdepartmental career move they many times consider hiring a career coach who can keep their search private. There is a sensitivity to making an internal career move. You may not want your peers to know, you very likely may not want your manager to know unless they are extremely supportive. A career coach will help you identify ways to network within the company, provide a competitive application and provide you with insight on how to position yourself for a successful internal move.
Choosing a Career Coach
When you select a career coach, spend time getting to know them and allow them the time to get to know you. I would suggest not jumping right in and getting straight to business. It’s important that they know what you value and your expectations, so they can deliver the best quality of work. Career coaches want to feel like you trust them so spend time asking them questions about why they became interested in this work and what do they notice about you so that you can build rapport and trust. The relationship is much more likely to be productive if it starts out with a warm collaboration.
The Career Coach and You: A Collaborative Process
Speaking of collaboration. When you work with a career coach it’s a collaborative process. Don’t expect them to do all the work for you. Meaning, you have to show up having some idea of what you want and be willing to work the plan you both come up with together. The coach is not going to tell you what to do but will give you some industry advice and expects that you will come to an agreement on what’s best for you. It’s important to trust the coach when it comes to industry knowledge- knowing how to job search, etc. But when it comes to matters of the heart, you have to trust yourself and be willing to say I really feel moving in this direction is best for me. The coach will respect that giving both pros and cons of certain career decisions.
When you land the job of your dreams, nail the interview or start your new business, be sure to let your career coach know so they can celebrate with you. When you win, we win!