When we’re confronting change or struggling where we are, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish what we want from what we need. Particularly when it comes to your career, you might know what you want to accomplish; but what you need is help to get there. The person trained to deliver exactly the help you need is a career coach.
Marlo Lyons’ HBR article Do You Need a Career Coach? in the Harvard Business Review, skillfully answers that question by identifying the five signs to look out for that indicate hiring a career coach should be your next move.
- Does one of the statements below describe where you are?
- You don’t know what you want to do next
- You aren’t sure how to make your resume simple, but substantive
- You aren’t over your ex — ex-job, that is
- You’ve been interviewing but haven’t landed the job you want
- You’re not moving up in your career
If you don’t know what you want to do next, or if you do know what you want to do, but are not finding that target job, a coach can help you widen your lens to think more broadly about potential career paths to pursue based on your interests, rather than solely your past experience. This is especially helpful if you’re considering a career pivot.
Career pivots can be especially difficult to accomplish alone, when past job experience is not necessarily related or similar to jobs in the new desired field. Coaches work with you on your resume and your professional profile to showcase transferable skills and narrow down experiences that are relevant to the potential role you’re targeting.
A career coach also helps evolve your thinking about your career and broader goals for yourself by helping you look back on past jobs, and think deliberately about your strengths, learning opportunities and your long term career evolution consistent with your personal and non-professional goals. The retrospective can be helpful especially if you had a negative job experience in the past, that’s affecting your confidence or ability to perform in a current job. Developing a deeper understanding of what’s worked well and less well for you in the past can help you ensure you’re positioning yourself to succeed and feel fulfilled in your next role.
A coach’s outside perspective and thought partnership is also critical to help you understand why you might not be getting offered jobs you interviewed for, or advancing as you want to at your current company. A coach helps you create a roadmap to achieve your goals, by creating a practical plan to reach achievable goals, while undoing self-sabotaging behaviors or psychologies that might be an impediment.
If any of the 5 signs you need a career coach resonates with you, how do you go about finding the right coach for yourself? First, find a coach through a trusted intermediary. At ideamix coaching, every coach is vetted, high quality and experienced – that’s why our clients know they’re guaranteed a high-quality coaching experience with us.
Second, use these five steps to find and hire a career coach:
- Trusted platform: Find a trusted coaching platform that matches you with coaches based on your career coaching needs.
- Know your needs: Know what elements of career readiness you need and be open to things you don’t know you need.
- Meet coaches: Try sample sessions with at least two, ideally three, coaches to find the right one for you.
- Compare coaches: Learn about coaches’ training, certifications, and experience so you can compare them.
- Balance cost and cadence: Consider cost and cadence and leave wiggle room in your schedule and budget in case you need more sessions with your career coach than you anticipate.