Career coaches are the therapists of the job world.
Are you slaving away in a dead-end job shortly after graduating from University?
I was — and I didn’t feel “successful”.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, you get used to hearing “do you want to be a Psychologist?” as the only suggested direction for your career. After a few frustrating conversations about why you don’t want to work with mental health concerns every day, you aren’t sure where to turn for help.
Luckily for me, my Dad had been studying my passions for years and was committed to guiding me towards a fulfilling career (even when I didn’t want to listen to him… which was often). He guided me towards my current career path as a recruiter. Ironically, I now coach people with their careers daily.
If I had known about career coaches sooner it would have been a smoother journey to this point.
If you have seen a great therapist, you’ll understand the value of hiring a coach.
Meeting with a therapist is a big step towards managing a range of mental health events. To maximize the money spent you need to be ready to work through the problem. Successful therapy is a result of preparedness, relational match, and vulnerability. Without those factors, it is likely to fail.
Career Transition Coaching is similar. They support you through career events throughout your life. The blend of preparedness, compatibility, and openness is just as critical. A great coach will guide you as you work towards your individual career goals.
Unrewarding careers have physical, emotional and mental health implications. Seeking the support of a Career Transition Coach may help you avoid the need for future therapy.
What are Career Coaches?
Career coaches are the therapists of the job world.
They often have backgrounds in recruiting or HR, along with extensive industry and hiring trend knowledge. They leverage their backgrounds to help clients progress towards their long term career goals.
An effective career coach forms an alliance with their clients. They are a teacher, a cheerleader, a crash test dummy, a document editor, and a listening ear as needed.
They provide an unbiased perspective to navigate the twists and turns of the “career maze”.
And in the 21st Century, the maze is like the one in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where the walls change and the routes close-in at random.
When your career path is uncertain, it helps to have someone with you to walk through it step-by-step.
Whether you are seeking to grow your leadership skills, expand your network, or land a new position, they are fountains of knowledge that can be leveraged for your success.
If you desire change, Career Transition Coaches are right for you.
As the name suggests, Career Transition Coaches work with clients that are ready to make changes to their job. Recruitment professionals are excellent Career Transition Coaches (since this is the daily scenario that they encounter).
You Know that Career Transition Coaching is for You When:
- you feel “stuck” and “uncertain” about your current career path.
- you want to make a change, but are unsure the best way to do so.
- you are seeking promotions at work but are consistently overlooked.
- you have been actively pursuing new opportunities but none have come to pass.
If You Are in 1 of these 5 Scenarios, Hire One!
1. Transitioning out of University or College into the professional world
This is a big change! Finding your first “professional” job is a stressful experience for most. After all the work that you put in, you want to achieve the success that you were promised when you began. Not to mention meeting the expectations of your family members.
Unfortunately, only 27% of graduates find a job that aligns with their degree topic. And many of the “lucky” ones discover that the job is not what they had hoped it would be.
Landing your first post-graduate position is more of an art than a science. At this stage you have limited knowledge of the local job market and are unsure of how to market your skills. Your career transition coach will help you to select career paths that will align with your long term aspirations.
They will support you through the nuances of the hiring cycle improving the overall likelihood that you land a job offer.
Your first job has an undeniable impact on your career progression, and the skills that you learn from your coach will be transferable throughout your career. Having a Career Coach in this phase of your life provides a solid baseline on which to build.
2. Pursuing a better work environment
This is a pressing topic for many young professionals. In fact, “workplace culture” has become a millennial buzzword!
Battling through weeks of work in a culture that does not align with your values significantly impacts your health.
Low office morale can cause psychological injury resulting in low performance and decreased motivation. The sooner you separate yourself from toxicity, the less impact it has on your quality of life.
It is helpful to connect with a career coach before the situation becomes urgent.
In other words, proactively seeking support will reduce your suffering.
To improve your working experience, Career Transition Coaches consult about the changes you can make within your current role. If the situation is beyond repair, they will support you to find other companies in which to thrive.
3. Relocating from one job market to another
This is unfortunately one of the most challenging parts of immigrating to another company as a professional. Your experience does not always translate from one market to another.
It is a story that I hear from so many of the clients in my recruiting practice. They are often frustrated by the discrediting of their international experiences when they are overlooked during the recruitment process.
A Career Transition Coach is able to provide expertise on the work culture of the region that you have moved to. If you are new to a region, assuming that the nuances of the hiring process are the same across countries can be costly. Coaches will bring awareness to a wide variety of things from resume formatting nuances, marketing your skills, to how to address your boss. These are the things that my clients wish they had known before they moved. And in many cases, seeing a Career Transition Coach or talking to a local recruiter sooner would have eased their hiring experiences.
4. Climbing the career ladder towards your “dream role”
At some point, you are likely to get comfortable in your current role. In career-motivated individuals, this comfort can begin to feel like stagnation. The desire to climb to the next rung of the corporate ladder is a great time to hire a Career Transition Coach.
Career Transition Coaches walk through your long term goals and aspirations to reverse engineer your next steps. Since they have a broad knowledge base, that can advise which direction to pursue your job search to elevate your experience.
The most critical skill that they teach in these scenarios is networking. A strong Career Transition Coach will connect you to their professional network, and encourage you to build a network of your own. Your expanding connections will become referral points for your future career moves.
5. Making a drastic shift from one industry to another
Are you ready to make a drastic career change? If you know what industry you would like to work in, a coach will take your goal and help you market your skills to that. You will use their knowledge of a variety of industries to understand how your expertise can apply across fields. A Career Transition Coach will teach you how to prove the relevance of your skills to your new industry.
They will recommend any “up-skilling” that is necessary to elevate your skills and position yourself for success in a new industry.
Is Coaching Worth the Investment?
The range of fees for a 1-hour career coaching session is drastic. I’ve seen quotes ranging from $75/hour up to $500/hour depending on the experience of the coach.
A seasoned and ICF certified coach is more expensive than a coach with the work experience alone. Each coach will have different capabilities and service offerings. And although certification is valuable, it is not the most important factor when considering coaching.
Picking a Coach? Consider This
If you go to visit a psychologist, you expect individualized treatment based on your symptoms and background. Expect the same from your Career Transition Coach.
When you invest in a Career Transition Coach you should receive professional, trustworthy, and respectful recommendations based on your individual goal.
Do not accept a “one-size fits all” solution to your career!
Your coach should support you towards your career goals. Without any judgment of them. Your sessions should not feel like you are being squeezed into a prescribed process led by the coach.
After all, you are the greatest expert on your own aspirations.
Coaches will have a range of service offerings that can be tailored to your individual needs. They can provide one-off sessions to work on a specific skill, or long term support through the duration of a job search.
Unfortunately, there are no consistent metrics to track the success of career counseling. And you won’t be able to find a “Rate-My Career Transition Coach” website on which to base your decision either! If you are selecting a coach, ask them to provide testimonials and reviews from previous clients so that you know if they are the “real deal”! But even with great reviews, you can’t guarantee a perfect experience!
The greatest predictor of a positive coaching experience is the match and commitment between the client and the coach.
Most coaches offer a free consultation to ensure that there will be a match. Don’t be afraid to meet with a few before you determine if they will be the right fit for your career.
TL;DR Career Transition Coaches Are Worth It
Since finding purpose in your work is a critical piece of the adult experience, invest in the support you need from a committed professional. Moving from stability to discomfort in the pursuit of something new is a risk that is easier managed with the support of others.
The right coach can make all the difference.