Have you ever thought about hiring a career coach but then thought… no.
Perhaps memories of your school career counsellor came to mind.
The truth is, many people have never sought the services of a career coach. That’s either because it just wasn’t something they felt they needed or because they didn’t consider it.
In fact, most people only consider hiring a career coach when they’re making a major change in their career, relocating or when their career isn’t working out. Or if they’re desperate for a job but can’t get one.
However, there's more to it than that .
If you’re frustrated in your career and feeling stuck, under-used, overworked or underpaid, now could be the time to find out what a career coach does and more importantly, how they can help you.
Very simply, a career coach helps you clarify the work you want to do and find the roles you’re looking for. A career coach does this by working with you to discover your underlying life purpose so you can find work that's fulfilling and motivating. That means a career coach can suggest careers you might not have considered before and help you find satisfying work you’re aligned with.
By assessing your personality and skills through various tests, a career coach can give you a different perspective on who you are so you have a better understanding about why your current role or career isn’t working for you. Through asking questions and discussions you can work with your coach to clarify your long-term career goals and create a career plan that will achieve them.
Finally, once you're clear about what you want, your career coach will help you structure your job search, put together job applications and coach you through the interview process.
Your ideal career will help you make the most of your greatest strengths, tap into your passions, and offer you the right balance of personal satisfaction, financial compensation, creative challenge, and time flexibility so you can enjoy your life.
Some careers pathways are easy to discern but others are not. An experienced career coach will help you design a career plan that will get you where you want to go, even when the steps aren’t obvious.
If you’ve done a wide range of jobs or worked in more than one industry, your CV can come across as incoherent. That makes it difficult for an employer to understand what you can offer. And if that’s the case, you’re unlikely to get interviews. An objective assessment of you will allow you to tie together your career story to create a compelling narrative that will communicate what you have to offer to any recruiter.
This is possibly the biggest reason to use a career coach.
Unless you just want to be part of the herd, you need to uncover what you may not know you have. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re satisfied realizing only part of your professional potential or want to push the envelope and show the world what you are really capable of doing.
If you’re a student, you may be wondering whether career coaching is right for you, especially if you’re still only part way through your course. But even if you have only a vague idea of what you want to do, a career coach can help you assess your options.
Try this career coaching exercise to get a feel for what career coaching could do for you. It will help you see where you’re struggling and where you need help most.
With the help of a career coach, you’ll be able to figure what you want and how to get it, which will mean you can get your first job faster and feel confident it’s the right thing for you.
Career counsellors and career coaches have unique approaches to helping clients. The main difference is in the approach each coach and counsellor takes.
You can choose to work with a career coach at any point in your career, but there are specific times when getting help will be especially helpful.
Those include times when you need a job fast, when you’re frustrated with your career progression and when you’ve reached the end of the line with your current choices. But mostly, you need help with your career when your work is having a significant negative impact on you and your life.
For example, if you’ve started to suffer with depression, you’re exhausted all the time, when your days feel like months, and you realise you’re living for weekends and holiday ... that's when it's time for a change.
Finding a new role can also become a priority if you’re being bullied at work and have no redress, if your boss is making unrealistic demands or when you’ve been applying for roles and not getting any of them.
There’s nothing to be gained by being miserable, frustrated or stuck in your career. You’re just losing ground and missing out on what life has to offer. Simply taking a career choice profile can open up your mind to new possibilities.
Once you realise there’s always something better out there for you, taking the decision to work with a career coach will become simple.
Like any service, career coaching can cost the earth or be very affordable. It depends on how much and what kind of help you need and what you’re willing to pay for it.
While individual career coaching is the ideal, there are many other ways to get the help you need. These include career workshops, online career coaching and distance learning options so it’s worth checking out all the possibilities. Then you'll know what’s possible and what you’re getting.
This is a more affordable option than you might think. You may choose to combine personal career coaching with online or distance learning options so you have the best of both worlds.
Online career advice has many benefits, including the fact your money isn’t paying for swish city offices. Working online means you can still get the help and advice you need but can do so where and when it suits you. You can do assessments and exercises when you’re comfortable. Online career options are likely to offer more and cost less than one-to-one consultations. Combined with personal coaching, this option can maximise flexibility with the benefits of personal attention.
Career coaching and distance learning are a great option if you’re busy with a demanding job and busy life. Like online career coaching, you can work at your own pace both where and when you want to do the work. Again, you could combine distance learning with one-to-one or group calls to keep costs down while still getting the help you need.
The best way to answer this question is to consider where you’ve got so far in your career and what would be different if you achieved your career goals. Only you know whether what you can achieve is worth the cost.
Think of it this way: a good career coach will more than likely have a positive impact on you and your career, which means it’s almost definitely worth investigating and trying out.
Selecting a career coach isn’t easy. You need to find someone with the right skills, the experience and the range of services you need. But how do you know if they’re right for you? This checklist will help you choose the right person for you. Be as vigilant in your search for a coach as you would for job hunting.
If you’re ready to get started with changing your job or career, take our FREE Career Choice Profile Test and begin clarifying which careers are likely to be right for you. Not only will it shift your mind-set, it will also get you thinking about what you want from your career so you can make positive work and life changes.
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