Finding the right career coach can be a game-changer in achieving your professional goals and fulfilling your career. With the guidance and support of a skilled professional, you can gain valuable insights, clarity, and actionable strategies to navigate the ever-evolving job market and make informed decisions for your career.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of hiring a career coach, the investment they require, and the best resources where you can get started with your research. If you’re ready to unlock your true potential in your career, read on to find out how you can find the perfect career coach for your aspirations.
So… What Exactly Does A Career Coach Do?
A career coach is a professional who can help you find out what the ideal career is for you, transition to a different career, or advance in the field you’re already in. Career coaches can help you advance in your career by teaching you strategies to land a promotion, get new clients, or achieve other professional aspirations you might have in mind.
They can do this in a number of different ways, including:
- Having you fill out assessments to gain more clarity on your career objectives
- Teaching you goal-setting strategies
- Educating you on strategies for job search, interviews, and salary negotiation
- Guiding you through the process of developing new skills necessary for your career
- Helping you develop a career plan for your immediate and long-term future
- Giving you career advice on how you can expand your professional network
- Helping you maintain a better work-life balance
- Keeping you accountable for achieving your professional goals
If you’re interested in what a career coach does and how you can benefit from working with them, here’s an article where we lead you through it in more detail.
Is It Worth Getting A Career Coach?
Ultimately, hiring a career coach depends on your specific needs, goals, and circumstances. Here are some pros and cons you can consider to decide whether investing in a career coach right now is worth it for you.
- Finding more fulfillment in your career: We spend most of our waking hours at work, and it is fundamental to our happiness that our work is something we like to return to every day. A career coach can help you clarify your ideal work-life and how you can achieve it.
- Getting personalized guidance on your goals: There’s only so much you can Google about advancing your career. At the end of the day, our personal growth is specific to our goals and circumstances.
- Learning expert strategies: A career coach can teach you how to prepare for job interviews, help with resume building, and choose the job that fits you best. They can offer tips on standing out with your unique skill set.
- Staying motivated through challenges: Navigating our careers isn’t always easy, and we’re bound to hit roadblocks occasionally. A career coach can remind you why you started in the first place and keep you accountable so that you can progress toward your goals even in the face of adversity.
- It requires financial investment: Although there are plenty of benefits to hiring a career coach, you need to consider your budget and financial situation first. It might take time for your investment in your career advancement to pay off, so make sure you only hire a professional if you have the funds available.
- It will affect your schedule: To get what you expect from a coaching relationship, you must put in the time and work. You may need to complete some homework assignments or research between the sessions, which can sometimes be time-intensive.
- It needs to be a personal fit: Finding a career coach who understands your needs and aligns with your values can take a while. You may need to evaluate multiple coaches before finding the one you’re comfortable working with.
- Results may vary: As with any personal growth tool, there are no guaranteed results when it comes to coaching. It depends on your openness to career change, willingness to take action, as well as the expertise of your coach. It’s a collaborative process, and it will require your active participation.
How Do You Approach A Career Coach?
If this is the first time you approach a coach, you might wonder what the right way is to reach out to them. Here’s a step-by-step process you can follow to find your perfect match.
- Run your research: Start by looking around for career coaches who specialize in themes that you’re interested in. Make sure they have experience in the specific challenges you’re facing and, perhaps, some testimonials from past clients they have helped.
- Time to reach out: Contact them through email or shoot them a message on social media to inquire about their availability. Let them know what areas you need help with and the goals you want to achieve.
- Set up an initial consultation: Most coaches offer a free discovery session to new clients to get to know them and their needs. This is the perfect time to ask any questions from your potential coach about their services, process, and fees before you commit to working with them.
- Evaluate your options: It’s worth exploring multiple options before you decide who you’d like to work with. Consider whether you can match schedules with your potential coach and if their fees are something you’re comfortable paying.
- Get started: Once you feel strongly about a professional, it’s time to commit to their process and sign an agreement with them. Be ready to invest the time and effort to make the most out of the partnership.
How Often Should You Meet With Your Career Coach?
The frequency of meetings with your career coach usually depends on their approach and your career goals. Initially, you may benefit from seeing your coach more often (weekly or biweekly) to establish rapport with them and explore the themes you want to work on deeper. Later on, as the changes in your career gain momentum, you can transition to monthly or even bi-monthly sessions for ongoing accountability and support.
You can always adjust the frequency of your sessions based on your changing circumstances and objectives. Just communicate your preferences to your coach to find common ground in what works for both of you.
How Much Does A Career Coach Cost?
The fees of career coaches vary based on their experience level and location. They often charge an hourly rate or offer packages with multiple sessions and other services offered, such as chat support or additional materials. Signing up for a package is a great way to save on hourly session fees and commit to a more extensive process with your coach.
Hourly coaching rates can range from around $100 to $300 or more, while package rates can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Make sure you inquire with different career coaches to understand their pricing structure and decide what aligns with your budget. Remember that investing in a career coach can be a valuable investment in your professional growth and long-term career success.
Where To Find A Career Coach
There are several ways you can find a career coach who best works for your needs. Here are a few you can get started with.
Look Up Some Online Directories
Online directories specialize in connecting people with coaches and they are usually free of charge. Here are a few you can use for your research:
- CoachCompare: CoachCompare is a free directory of vetted coaching profiles. You can find professionals in all specializations here, including career coaches and even more niche profiles such as Emotional Intelligence Coaches or ADHD coaches. Running your research on CoachCompare is super easy, using the tags under each coaching profile to narrow down your search. You will find details about the background and qualifications of each coach on their profiles as well as the link to their websites.
- International Coach Federation (ICF) Directory: The ICF is a renowned organization for professional coaching. Their directory allows you to search for certified career coaches based on their location, specialization, and credentials.
- National Career Development Association (NCDA): The NCDA is a professional association dedicated to career development. They have a directory of career coaches and counselors that can help you find professionals in the field.
- Noomii: Noomii is an online directory that connects individuals with life and career coaches. They also offer custom solutions for organizational coaching for companies.
- Thumbtack: Thumbtack is an app that connects professionals with service providers, including career coaches. You can use Thumbtack to search for career coaches in your area and read previous reviews and ratings from clients.
Browse Professional Networks
Professional networks are another great way to get recommendations for career coaches. Beyond just reaching out to your colleagues, you can get recommendations from people in your field who have worked with career coaches in the past and ask for their recommendations. Here are a few networks you can use for your research.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking platforms. You can use the search function to find career coaches and explore their profiles and recommendations. Joining relevant LinkedIn groups or engaging in career-related discussions is also a great way to connect with career coaches.
- Professional Associations: Many professional associations have online platforms that list career coaches within their respective fields. For example, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for HR professionals or the American Marketing Association (AMA) for marketers.
- Career centers: Local career centers and universities often have resources and connections to career coaches. These centers may even offer their own career coaching services or provide recommendations to reputable coaches in the area.
Utilize Your Network
Sometimes you don’t have to look too far to find a coach best for your needs. See who you already have in your network with experience working with a career coach.
- Referrals: Reach out to your friends and family and see if they have any previous experience with career coaching process. Personal recommendations always come in handy when looking for a professional who suits your specific needs and preferences.
- Alumni Networks: If you attended a university or professional training, consider contacting your alumni network. They often provide resources and connections to career coaches who specialize in assisting alumni with their career development.
Finding the right career coach for your professional aspirations might just be the most important decision you make this year. Although you need to invest some time, effort, and money in a coaching relationship to work, it will pay off in the long run. You might look back a few years from now and see how committing to your growth was essential to reaching the professional goals you have right now.
All you need to do right now is to take the first step and find some potential coaches you’d like to work with. The personalized support, insights, and accountability they offer will surely become a transformative step in your professional journey and empower you to take the leap toward your dreams.