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How would you like to feel more fulfilled at work, advance your current position, or even change careers entirely? Not sure where to start or what steps to take? What you’re really trying to figure out is how to find a career coach, a qualified professional who specializes in coaching others on their careers.

With a myriad of career coaching services available, it's important to make sure you're working with a reputable coach who you feel comfortable with and who you can trust implicitly. But how do you find the right career coach? Is hiring a career coach worth the investment?

Whether you're returning to the workforce or seeking career advancement, here's how to make sure you find the right coach to help you achieve your career goals.

Learn how to build goals that make sense for you and your career when you  download Bossibly’s Setting SMART Goals Action Sheets. →

What is a career coach?

A career coach is, as the title suggests, a coach for your professional life. They can help you clarify what it is that you want out of your career, and help you build a personalized action plan to achieve those goals. They will work with you to determine what motivates and excites you. as well as what skill sets are necessary for achieving success in the workplace. A career coach helps you identify potential careers that match up with these criteria and assist you in the job search process.

You can get help with everything from career planning and job search strategies to developing your professional profile and resume building.

When you're making a career change, a coach can advise on how to comfortably adjust from your old work life to your new one. They can also offer assistance when returning to the workforce after a hiatus.

If your career is stagnating or if you're having a hard time finding work, consider hiring a coach to help with a resume makeover or to help you hone your interviewing skills. And for those who are struggling to find their niche or plot out a course of action due to confusion, lack of direction, or self-doubt, a career coach is invaluable.

What questions should you ask a potential career coach?

It's always worth talking to more than one prospective career coach. You can find out how they work, what their coaching process is, and what your expectations should be on both sides of the relationship.

It's important to have a frank discussion with your potential career coach about what you hope to get out of the relationship. Prior to sitting down with them, determine what you need help with to ensure you find the best person to work with for your specific needs.

Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential career coach during your first meeting:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many clients do you typically handle at once?
  • What qualifications and certifications do you have?
  • How can I contact past clients to ask about their experiences working with you?
  • How much do your services cost and how is payment made?
  • How often should sessions take place?
  • How long are the sessions typically?
  • How many sessions should I expect? 
  • How much time will be dedicated to researching potential careers that match my skillsets and interests?
  • What is your coaching process like? 

These are all questions that will help you make an informed decision and determine if this is the best career coach for your needs.

It's important to feel comfortable with your coach and a sense of rapport is important, so it's ideal if you can speak face-to-face during coaching interviews whenever possible.

Learn how to build goals that make sense for you and your career when you  download Bossibly’s Setting SMART Goals Action Sheets. →

Is hiring a career coach worth the investment?

When it comes to the need for better employee engagement and increased job satisfaction, it appears there’s room for improvement.

Gallup’s most recent employee engagement study in 2017 found that only 8% of respondents were engaged at work. What’s more, a 2019 survey conducted by Gartner reported that just 21% of highly engaged employees said they had a “high-quality work-life experience.”

A career coach can help you re-engage at work, but is the investment worth it?

A good coach will always be impartial and can offer guidance on the best course to take in any given situation. But remember, a coach is there to ‘coach’ you, not to give you all the answers and do the work for you. Once your career path is determined and your action plan is in place, it's up to you to put in the time and effort necessary for success.

There are no guarantees and results vary with each client depending on what they’re trying to achieve and the amount of work they are prepared to put in, but for those who follow through with the plan and are committed to the process, the benefits of career coaching promise to outweigh the costs.

Hiring a career coach should be viewed as an investment in your future. It’s not just a financial investment but also requires you to invest your time and energy into your future success. Likewise, the return on investment is not simply a monetary one. Although a financial return is of course a key factor, there are other considerations when determining your true return on investment when hiring a career coach.

The benefits of hiring a career coach include: 

  • A good coach will have connections that can help you land interviews with companies that might otherwise be out of your reach
  • A coach will also make sure that you're prepared for any interview and know exactly what to say so that you don't find yourself at a loss when an opportunity arises
  • A coach will help you develop networking skills and teach them how to become acquainted with others in their industry

A study by Lominger, a career management company, showed that only 29% of workers who hired coaches were unemployed. Success rates for those with coaching are higher than the national average - 80%. Of these people, 71% found their job through networking and not from reading classified ads or applying to jobs online.

Career Coaching in Action

To illustrate the benefits of career coaching, let’s look at a couple of examples ...

Charlie reached out to ask Bossibly to see if we could help resolve her challenges at work. Working together, Charlie and her Bossibly career coach devised a five-point action plan for Charlie’s upcoming performance review to help her negotiate what she wanted and needed from her job going forward. 

Charlie aimed to get three of her five goals. but she ended up nailing all five. The final results were: 

  • A salary increase 
  • A promotion
  • An intern to assist her 
  • An out clause in one years’ time
  • More support from the VP of the organization 

Not only did her performance review go amazingly well, but the VP was delighted by her initiative as well as her five-point action plan! Charlie was understandably thrilled with such a great return on her investment. Read Charlie’s story and learn more about her results here.

Bossibly worked with another client, Katie, after she was repeatedly overlooked for a promotion. After three months working with a Bossibly career coach and creating a gap analysis, Katie secured the promotion that had eluded her for the past three years and received an 8% increase in income. 

Can you see how hiring a career coach might be an investment worth making? Want to work with a  career expert who can get you on the right path to achieving some of those career goals in the shortest time possible? Explore Bossibly career coaching and reach out today!

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