So, you need help getting your career on track but you had no idea Career Coaching was a thing? Welp, it IS a thing. And it’s a thing TOTALLY not related to your weird little high school counselor. You know, the one with the tiny office who always had a half-eaten cup of applesauce on her desk for some reason?
So what is career coaching all about exactly, and who does it benefit?
I might be biased but I think everyone, YES, everyone could benefit from a career coach. "Why?" You may be asking after you’ve finished making that pppthbbbhththht sound.
Because no matter your gig, stay-at-home parent or oil rig worker - you NEED a plan. A career plan allows you to strategically go after growth and opportunity. It allows you to see the big picture of where you want to go and how you want to travel that path.
A career coach won’t tell you what to do (you gotta do you) but a coach will work with you to determine what you want your career to be, what goals you wanna crush and how you want to go about doing the thing. While they can do this in all sorts of ways and all coaches are different:
A career coach can:
Help you design a career plan
Help you with organize & prep for a job search
Help you assess your strengths
Help you prepare for career growth
Help you define and achieve goals
Help you learn what work is meaningful for you
Help you find focus
A career coach can’t:
Do the work for you
Get you a job
Tell you what you should be when you grow up
Decide what will be meaningful to you
Change your life in one session
Keep setbacks from popping up in your career
Any career change is an ongoing process. We coaches wish there was a magic wand that only shot out sparkly farts of glittery job happiness - but there isn’t. You need to put in the work, the time, and the honest self-reflection to make the whole thing do it’s thing. Results vary based on just what you put into the process and what you want to get out of the process and what your coach’s process is.
Some coaches focus on networking, resume help and interview prep. Others on mindset issues around confidence, leadership and outlook. While others on skills and strengths. There are as many ways to attack career coaching as there are people who need career help so find one who focuses on what you want to focus on.
No matter what they focus on, all coaches specialize in constructive, objective feedback (unlike your sister who just wants you to make more money so you’ll buy more clothes she can pilfer from your closet).
Yes, hiring a career coach will cost you a few bucks but a) studies have shown that the more you invest in coaching - the more you are committed to it and b) the long-term benefits often mean you recoup those costs sooner than expected. This is definitely a case of ‘investing in yourself.’ After all - you spend the bulk of your waking hours on the clock - shouldn’t they be hours you find fulfilling?
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