What Is a Career Coach?
Do you feel stuck in your career? Are you unhappy with the direction that it’s going in, but don't see a way forward or know how to change anything? What if we told you that there was an expert who could help get things back on track for you?
“Who is it? Tell me,” we hear you say.
We’ll save you the rush to beat down our door for the answer. That person really does exist; enter the career coach!
The reality is, a lot of people spend a significant amount of money on gym memberships and personal trainers to get the body they want. When they need to navigate a rough patch in their personal life, it’s commonplace to enlist the help of a therapist or counselor. But when it comes to facing difficulties with their career or getting in optimum shape to hit some of those professional goals, for many, the idea of hiring a career coach doesn’t even enter their heads.
The reason? There seems to be a lot of confusion around what exactly a career coach is and how they can help. We get it. And it’s easy to get lost in the swirl of information that there is out there. But, it doesn’t need to be complicated, so the confusion stops here. Agreed? Fabulous!
So, let’s explore some of the basics and answer some common questions to see if hiring a career coach could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What is a career coach?
In a nutshell, a career coach is like a personal trainer for your professional life; they work one-on-one with a client to help them achieve their professional goals. Typically, these professionals have experience in a range of industries, and they can use this knowledge to provide insights into how you should approach your job search or deal with specific challenges at work. Sound good so far? Let’s go a little deeper...
At whatever stage of your professional life you find yourself in, it’s likely a career coach can help. At one end of the spectrum, a career coach can help guide and support your job search and make sure that your resume, LinkedIn profile, and interview skills are up-to-date. This can make all the difference between just being another faceless applicant for an opening versus becoming a true contender with real hope at landing your ideal position. A career coach will help you navigate the tricky waters of interviews with an expert eye on presenting yourself as a qualified candidate, while also highlighting gaps that might need attention before moving forward in the process or asking for more money when negotiating salary. At the other end of the spectrum, they can coach you through tough conversations like addressing performance issues at work, or figuring out whether it's time to leave your current company altogether.
Many times, people get stuck in a job they hate and continue in that role for years. It’s all too common for people to lose any sense of ambition and end up no longer knowing what their professional aspirations are.
Even worse is when we see people who have worked tirelessly for years and reached the very top of their profession only to realize that their whole professional life has been unfulfilling. Instead of finding what should be satisfaction, happiness, and a sense of pride at the top, they're met with disappointment and regret. We’ve all heard the famous saying, “Many a man gets to the top of the ladder, and then finds out it has been leaning against the wrong wall.” It’s sad but true!
If you’re feeling stuck in a similar position and don’t know where to start, a career coach (a.k.a. professional job coach) will work with you to help identify your professional goals, develop an action plan that aligns with those goals, and then offer support along the way.
The career coaching process begins with identifying where your interests lie and exploring the opportunities that exist. The next step is to develop a tailored goals plan for achieving your specific professional goals.
What are the main benefits of working with a career coach?
Here are some specific ways a career coach can help you get to where you want to be when it comes to smashing some of those professional goals:
- Help you discover what your goals are and pinpoint the right career path for you
- Help to increase self-awareness of your skills and strengths
- Help build confidence by instilling motivation and providing reassurance when it's needed most
- Help you to be more efficient and confident in your job search
- Give insight on discovering solutions for any challenges that might be stopping you from finding a new position
- Help to solve challenges that may be in the way of getting the job you really want or growing within your current company
- Create action plans to help you achieve your career goals
- Show you how to work with the skills you already have so you can build your own self-confidence when it comes time to take a risk and apply for jobs that may previously have seemed out of reach due to a lack of self-belief
- Provide the accountability needed to ensure you take action
We've covered a lot of ground in this post. We’ve looked at what a career coach is, what they actually do for people, and why they are worth having in your corner as you explore new opportunities. Hopefully, that’s helped you.
If you’re at a crossroads in your career journey, or your head is buzzing with all things job-related, and you could do with a neutral sounding board. Reach out to the Bossibly team for career coaching services.