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How To Find A Career Coach

Achieving Goals, Career Discovery, Career Enrichment, Career Transitions, Life Coaching, Self Awareness
05/13/24 - Laura McFadden
woman looking at computer writing down notes in her journal

Let’s face it, no one ever teaches you how to navigate your career. At best, we get half-hearted questions like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “Do you know what you’re going to do when you finish school?”

From there, you can try to find a mentor or hope for a great boss who might help you get promoted or otherwise grow in your career, but that’s not always a given.

A coach is someone specially trained to help you navigate your entire career journey. They can help you decide what career you want, create a career plan, and even navigate getting a new job or making a larger career change.

But finding the right person to help you along the way can feel daunting. That’s why we’re here to help you understand how to choose the right one for you!

First, though, let’s go back to basics.

What is a Career Coach?

Two people sitting next to each other and smiling and talking

A career coach is a seasoned professional dedicated to guiding individuals through their careers. They are different from mentors.

Instead of telling you what to do or giving advice from their own background, coaches will help you find the best solution for yourself for whatever you’re facing in your work life.

Whether you’re at a crossroads or seeking advancement, they can provide invaluable support tailored to your unique aspirations and challenges.

What Do They Do?

Coaches share their wealth of knowledge to help you figure out your career path. If you’re feeling stuck in your current role or seeking to advance, they can empower you to take action towards your goals.

They assist in making sense of your professional aspirations and  guide you through potential career changes. Specifically, they offer support in resume crafting, job negotiation, and exploring new opportunities to ensure progress in your career journey.

Ultimately, working with this type of coach helps you to unlock your full potential in making informed decisions and achieving your desired level of success. Check out this article to identify what you want a coach to help you with.

How to Find a Career Coach

Navigating the process of finding a career coach can seem intimidating, but with the right approach, it becomes a rewarding investment in your professional growth.

Search Online

Indeed suggests that you start by exploring online platforms where coaches often showcase their expertise through detailed profiles.

Most coaches maintain professional websites or profiles on coaching directories, offering insights into their background, specialties, and client testimonials. Take the time to research each potential coach, examining their qualifications, experience, and coaching approach to ensure alignment with your needs.

LinkedIn can be particularly useful for finding career coaches, as you can browse through their profiles, recommendations, and connections to gauge credibility and compatibility.

The goal of researching is to find a coach whose profiles resonate. Once you do find that coach, ask for a consultation to clarify any questions you might have and determine if they are the right person for guiding your career journey.

Close up of computer with blurred man in the foreground

Ask Your Employer for Resources, Benefits, and Funding

It’s valuable to tap into resources provided by your employer, as they often prioritize job satisfaction and professional growth. Explore your company’s benefits package or HR department to uncover assistance programs geared toward enhancing job performance and satisfaction.

Many employers offer funding or reimbursement for coaching services, recognizing the helpful role coaches play in supporting employees’ job progression. And, if they don’t currently offer funding, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Want some help? Use this AI tool to to help you draft an email to ask for funding of your coaching.

HR departments may maintain lists of approved career coaches, making it easy to access valuable support tailored to your job-related needs.

Ask Your Network or Therapist for Referrals

Another great place to consider as you search is to tap into your network of family, friends and colleagues, as they can offer valuable recommendations based on their own experiences.

Talk with people that you trust, discussing your career goals and aspirations, and ask if they can recommend any reputable coaches.

Additionally, if you’re currently seeing a therapist, they may also be a helpful resource.

Close up of journal with hands holding pen

What to Consider

Choosing the right coach is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your professional journey. In this section, we’ll explore key factors to consider when evaluating potential coaches to ensure they align with your needs and goals.

Their Approach and Style

When hiring a coach, consider their approach and style, as this can greatly impact your coaching experience.

Look for coaches who offer a structured process, providing a clear roadmap for achieving your goals. Additionally, this structured process needs to be tailored to align with your unique needs and preferences.

Some individuals may thrive under a “tough love” coaching style, where challenges are presented directly, while others may prefer a more supportive “cheerleader” approach, emphasizing encouragement and positivity.

In this article you can learn more about different approaches and tools that might be helpful in a coaching engagement.

Regardless of the style, expect your coach to create a supportive yet challenging environment that motivates you to succeed.

Two women talking by a window. One is typing on a computer.

Their Areas of Expertise

It’s a common misconception that a career coach must have specific industry experience to be effective.

In reality, coaching is about guiding individuals through challenges and helping them achieve their goals, regardless of the industry.

However, there are instances where having a coach who specializes in your industry can be beneficial, particularly if you’re navigating highly specialized roles or seeking industry-specific insights. In such cases, a coach with relevant industry experience can offer nuanced advice and deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities unique to your field.

Overall, a skilled coach is adept at understanding the underlying issues clients may be struggling with, regardless of the specific problem or situation. Their role is not to provide industry-specific advice, but rather to hone in on transferable skills and strategies that can be applied across various fields.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of a career coach lies in their ability to facilitate personal and professional growth, irrespective of the industry in which their client operates.

Their Additional Service Offerings

Another consideration is to assess their additional service offerings beyond traditional 1:1 coaching.

Some coaches may provide group coaching sessions, offering the opportunity to learn and grow alongside peers facing similar career challenges. Additionally, explore whether they offer self-guided programming or online courses, providing flexibility for individuals who prefer independent learning.

Understanding the range of services available can help you determine if the coach’s offerings support your needs and preferences.

How Much Does Coaching Cost, and is it Worth it?

Woman listening to music with headphones and writing in journal on couch.

While the cost varies depending on factors such as experience, services offered, and geographic location, it’s essential to recognize the value they bring to your professional development journey.

Investing money in a career coach is akin to investing in your future success and fulfillment. By paying for the expertise and guidance, you’re gaining access to personalized support tailored to your specific goals and challenges.

A coach can help you navigate career transitions, overcome obstacles, and accelerate your progress in ways that may not be achievable on your own. In this article, a coach shares how small mistakes can have huge impacts on job offers and promotions.

Furthermore, the benefits of working with a coach often extend far beyond immediate career advancements, as described by one career coach, and can impact your long-term earning potential and job satisfaction.

In essence, the value derived from the insights, strategies, and support provided by a coach can far outweigh the monetary cost, making it a wise investment in your professional growth and success. Considering how many hours you spend at work, ensuring you are loving your work life is important.

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you understand the transformative power of career coaching, it’s time to take the next step towards unlocking your full potential. From finding the right coach to assessing their approach and value, you have the tools to embark on a rewarding journey of professional growth. Don’t hesitate to sign up for a free consultation with an Ama La Vida coach today and start shaping your future success.

Additional Resources

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