Career coaching helps people enter the workforce, change careers, or jump-start their existing career. People at every stage of their career can benefit from coaching. This includes entry-level workers, mid-career professionals, managers, executives, recent graduates and those re-entering the workforce after time away.
Many people seek the help of a career coach to find a new job, explore future career options, change jobs, improve leadership skills, create a healthier work-life balance and enhance their experience in the position.
Not everyone needs to hire a Career Coach. If you have a written plan and are making daily progress towards your goal, great. If you’re at an impasse and are totally unsure how to get yourself un-stuck, I would stop immediately and hire a professional.
5 Times when you should hire a professional:
- You’re getting nowhere in your job search – Worse yet, you do not know how to get going, what the next step might be, or even who to talk to. A Career Coach can be the answer to get you back on track. Services at this stage can include assessments to understand what fields of work you might enjoy and/or would fit your experience. If you already have experience in a field, a coach can help you formulate a job search strategy. That includes what methods you will use, how many hours each week you will work in each area and how you will balance this with family and friends. The right coach can help you establish a schedule that even allows time for yourself. This gives you permission to do different things other than spending 24/7 job searching, while still being effective.
- You Have Sent Out 143 Resumes without Success – If you have taken the “Spray and Pray” approach to landing a new job, you will be very disappointed. I work with many clients who subscribe to that. They would send out 20 to 35 resumes each day, to any position that was even remotely related to the positions they were qualified for. And then they were disappointed when they did not hear back, even after praying.
- You’re Trying a Major Career Pivot – Any job shift can be challenging. Going in a completely new direction can be daunting to even the most organized. A coach can help you navigate your ideas and evaluate how realistic the move may be. Then he or she can help you devise a plan to achieve your goal. This may include additional education, a new resume, or a step back into a job in the new field that will lead to your dream job.
- Just the Thought of Interviewing Paralyzes You – If you are making it to the face-to-face interview, then you are doing many things right. But if you would rather have a tooth pulled than interview, the result will not be good. I work with my clients to envision a conversation between two people. You have had conversations with people. Everyone has done that. In this case, the other person wants to learn if you are a good fit for the position they have open. And you should want to learn if you would like to work there.
If you’re nervous about seeing the hiring manager, this is a sign you need a professional. They will walk you through the process, help you handle red flag issues, and give you the tools you need to be confident and relaxed.
In the end, we all have butterflies. Your coach will just help you get them to fly in formation.
- You are more afraid of Networking than Public Speaking – And the thought of getting up to speak in front of an audience scares the … well, you get it. Most people do not Network well. Many people avoid it and justify not doing it by putting more energy into posting on-line applications.
In 1991, I had sold my vending business very unexpectedly. It was then I realized I had a wife, three small children, a mortgage, and NO JOB. The methods and strategy I used that Spring are the same methods and strategies I teach today, Now, some of the tools have changed: Smartphones vs. Rotary dial landlines, the Internet vs. the Classified Ads in the Sunday paper, and online apps vs. 3 X 5 cards.
In the end, I had five job offers within nine weeks, three of which I considered at the same time. The position I ended up taking, I learned about through NETWORKING. This is still the best way to land your new job.
In the end, the primary reason to hire a coach is to improve your chances to compete effectively for the positions that most interest you. The fact is, very few people enjoy — or are particularly adept at — marketing themselves. As a result, many people endure job searches that are longer than necessary.
At what point in the job search process does it make sense to hire a coach?
The right time varies from person to person. Some don’t realize they need a coach until they find themselves struggling to get past the initial interviews. Other people hire a coach the minute they realize they aren’t getting the results from their cover letters, resumes, or networking. Still others engage a career coach at the very beginning to do a self-assessment and help put a targeted resume together.
In general, it is far better to hire a career coach early in the process. The longer you wait, the more your job search can escalate into a stressful, emotionally charged, or even desperate situation.
To better prepare my clients, I spent six months, 24 classroom hours, 120 online hours and 30 hours on my independent study project, earning the title of Global Career Development Facilitator from the NCDA, the National Career Development Association.
I took the course and graduated this Spring to better serve my clients. Many of my clients have found value in having their hand held. By this I mean that they know what they want and appreciate having a career coach, in this case me, walk them through the steps. This way they do not miss anything and are always prepared for the next step in the process.
All of us have some anxiety about marketing ourselves. We may look great on paper, have a terrific career, and everything that goes with it … but when it comes to sharing our successes with a future employer, we minimize our contributions.
We are not being fair to ourselves and are not giving the Hiring Manager a true picture of our abilities. No wonder people’s job searches often go into extra innings.
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