No matter what stage you’re at in your career, there are going to be periods when you just feel safe or uncertain about what your next move should be. Especially during the COVID era, seeking out some professional guidance can only be a benefit to you personally. When that happens, career counseling can help alleviate at least some of the stress related to your job hunt. Whether you’re seeking to land a new job, update your resume, practice your interviewing skills or nurture your career in a general sense, having an expert by your side can’t be bad.
You might want to think of a career coach as a therapist for your professional well-being i.e. an individual solely responsible for boosting your confidence and who also counsels you through big life changing decisions. Most career coaches charge between $75 and $250 per hour, depending on their years of experience and training certifications.
Keep reading below to follow the recommended five steps in order to successfully find and utilize a great coach.
First of all, you want to find a coach that you can easily connect with. To find the right fit, take the time to interview several career coaches if you can.
These questions can help you find the right coach for your specific needs:
- Describe your coaching style.
- How many people have you coached in my particular industry and role?
- Can you walk me through a time when you worked with someone who had similar challenges?
- How will you be tracking my progress while we work together?
- What tools and exercises do you use to coach your clients?
- What do you believe are your top strengths as a career coach?
Secondly, you will want to set goals for yourself. You need to strategize beforehand and think about how you’re going to get the top job of your choice. A career coach can certainly help steer you in the right direction, but you can also save some time by brainstorming on your own.
Knowing more or less what you want to get out of working with a career coach is essential. This involves identifying goals with your coach that you can collaborate on and work toward together as a team. Are you looking to get into a more fulfilling line of work? A promotion at your current company? A stronger sense of confidence when it comes to being a leader and a well respected manager? Contemplate what you might be ultimately seeking out of the project.
Thirdly, you have to show up and do the work! Though career coaches are available to guide you throughout the job search and all that it entails, there are limits to what they are capable of. In the same way, a coach can’t serve you a job offer or solidify you getting that much wanted promotion that you’ve been chasing. Keep in mind that you are in the driver’s seat and steering your career in the direction that you best see fit.
Be honest and upfront with yourself and with your coach. Fed up with no response from hiring managers and recruiters? Had it up to here with your boss? Express these exact sentiments to your coach so they are aware of what you’re going through. After all, career counseling sessions give you the necessary space in order to express what you’re really struggling with on a professional level. The more your coach knows, the more effective they can be, so you’re better off not hiding pertinent information from them.Last but not least, you must be open to critique and feedback. Part of your career coach’s job is to be your advocate as well as a source of motivation, but their role also requires providing you with negative feedback at times. Your role requires that you as the client be receptive to this constructive criticism. This can definitely be challenging for some i.e. hearing that your resume needs a complete rewrite, your LinkedIn profile doesn’t properly display your background, etc. After all, you are seeking career coaching in order to learn where you have areas of improvement and then the rest is on you to put in the work and fix them.