Career coaching can be an extremely valuable tool for job seekers, but there are vast differences in quality and experience. To find a good coach, you should know what you can expect from a coach in terms of scope, time, and cost; as well as what to look for in a good coaching fit.
What do career coaches do for you?
A career coach will focus on specific problems you are having in your career or job search and give you solutions for those problems. Some coaches may try to figure out why you believe/behave the way you do so that you can change your behavior and actions going forward. Others will give you straightforward ‘how to’ advice to overcome your particular issues.
Career coaches are can help you with any career-related issue: creating or refining your ‘brand,’ marketing yourself in the job search, resume writing, interviewing, getting promotions, raising your profile within your organization for long-term growth, negotiating salary or compensation packages, building your confidence, and even refining your speech habits so that you can inspire confidence from others.
What can you NOT expect from a career coach?
A career coach may suggest a career path where you would be marketable as a candidate based on your experience, but typically won’t help you determine your ‘dream job’ based on personality tests and the like.
A coach won’t provide you with job listings or submit you for jobs—but they can show you how to find jobs that are a good fit for you, and how to speak to employers when you present yourself.
How do career coaching sessions work?
You don’t have to rely only on coaches in your immediate geographical area. Most coaching is done over the phone, although some coaches can work through online meeting programs or online video chats.
Coaches typically schedule clients by the hour, but often are willing to break up that time into smaller segments so you can get some information or strategy, leave and implement it, and then come back to discuss or get the next step.
When you meet with the coach, they’ll want to know what it is that you want out of this experience. What problems are you having? What is your goal?
How much does career coaching cost?
Rates vary by coach and level of experience. Typically, coaches charge by the hour (from $150 - $400 and up), and some coaches offer packages.
How do you find the right career coach for you?
You can research career coaches online, and ask others for recommendations. Read everything the coach publishes (in terms of how their coaching works and any other topic articles). You’re looking for someone with experience in your problem area, with coaching experience. You may want to either speak with a coach to see if you have a personality fit, or you may purchase a small amount of time from them to sort of ‘test drive’ them before you commit to a larger amount.
To help you find the right coach, Career Confidential has put together a handpicked list of experienced, talented coaches from a variety of fields / industries.