When you think of a coach, you might think of someone with a headset on the sidelines of a field, with the job of guiding the plays, not making them. How fast players run or how many points the team scores is ultimately up to the players. While the coach will draw up and give them the game plan, the players must execute.
To know whether you need a career coach, it is important to understand what a career coach actually does. A career coach is similar to that sports coach, in that they share their experience, offer advice, and guide decision making. While they are not going to land the job for you, they will oversee your efforts to ensure that you focus on what matters, gain clarity, and bring your best self forward.
A career coach goes beyond the tactics of resume writing and strategies for interviewing best practices. They focus on the Why behind your motivations and help create an action plan on what to do and how to achieve it.
To determine whether now is the right time to hire a coach, answer the following questions:
- Are you looking for growth and self-improvement? Accelerating your career often begins from within. Landing a new position, especially one that is a step-up from your current role, requires clarity as well as dedicating time and effort to the search process. A coach will walk you through the process, help you gain insight about yourself and why you do what you do.
- Are you presenting the best version of yourself? Your success in a job search is directly related to how you present yourself, your past experiences, and the skills you have to offer. In addition to coaching services to solidify your resume and cover letters, and honing in on your interview skills, a coach guides you to create the right first impression, one that will translate into greater job prospects. Additionally, a coach will help you articulate why you would be a good fit for a company, and how you can create impact.
- Are your goals clear and actionable?: The first step in career progression is understanding what your trajectory is. A career coach helps you focus on what you enjoy and which career choice gives you the greatest fulfillment. It’s just as important to identify what you don’t want to do, or no longer are passionate about. A coach helps create an action plan to forge a path forward to your next destination.
- Are you unclear what to do next? When you know what you want but do not know how to make it come to fruition, that is a good time to connect with a coach. Perhaps you are changing directions in your career, or your industry is in a decline and you are forced to pivot into a new industry or venture into a different field of work. A career coach will ask the tough questions to help you discover your strengths and put them to work for you. Working with a coach often means an initial exertion of even greater effort and time than previously to fully take into account the advice you are receiving.
Working with a coach is a process that will take several sessions and is not a fast-track to getting hired instantly. Rather, it’s an opportunity to hone in on who you are, what you value, and how to put your strengths to work. It’s just as important to show hiring managers how you can impact their business, and why you are an inspired hire. A coach helps you get better.
Great athletes have coaches, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have coaches, singers, and actors have coaches to become better at their craft. Why shouldn’t you?