Perhaps you are considering seeking the services of a professional career coach, but are not sure what to expect for the return of your investment. "How can a career coach help me?" you may be asking. "What is the value added, and what are the skills and tools I can acquire from working with one?" As a trained and certificated professional coach, I can tell you the benefits are numerous. The following are just a handful of them. Keep in mind that a quality coach will tailor their approach for each client, according to their specific needs. However, the services of a career coach do tend to fall into these general categories:
1) Job Hunting Assistance
All things related to improving and refining one's resume, applications, interviewing skills, networking tactics, and negotiating. I call these the Nuts and Bolts of finding a job. It always helps to have an extra pair of eyes and ears to notice ways in which you can improve yourself so you are able to put your best foot forward. Usually, many applicants are vying for the same position, and any advantage you can attain over your competition can be well worth the effort. I will note that career coaches should not be confused with recruiters, or "head-hunters". The basic difference between the two is that coaches help and empower their clients to act on behalf of themselves, while recruiters aim to match job-seekers with employers.
2) Strengths-Based Assessments
A high-quality coach will help a client to discover, recognize, and apply personal and professional attributes to a given situation. Examples of exercises a professional coach may use include increasing a client's awareness of values, motivations, systems, and assumptions. I usually introduce a personality assessment to my clients during the course of our sessions, as this opens the door to empowering them to use the tool as a means for self-growth. For example, a client may identify strongly with tendencies toward helping others. I will then leverage that information to help him or her to explore related attributes, such as communication styles, leadership styles, and suggest exercises to counterbalance potential pitfalls. This is also the category of coaching that best lends itself to helping a client to consider more long-term career pathways, as opposed to shorter-term jobs.
3) A Mentor and Advocate to Walk with You on Your Journey
Whether you are near the beginning, middle, or last leg of your career, a trusted confidant to accompany you can be invaluable. Let's face it, job and career transitions are tough. Why go it alone when you can enjoy the advantages of a guide who can help you navigate these challenging waters? A mentor speaks to someone with the ability to assist another, based on experience. In my practice, I incorporate a healthy mix of challenging my clients to persevere and achieve more beyond their comfort zones with championing, or reminding my clients of their potential and the possibilities that exist just beyond the current doubt they may be experiencing.
As someone who has both gained from the services of a career coach and provided career coaching I can tell you the benefits can be extraordinary. If you would like to explore a relationship with a trained, certificated, and professional coach I invite you to contact me for a complimentary 30-minute design session.
Chuck Sheron, AELC
Reimagine Success Coaching, LLC