Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deciding Whether You Need a Career Coach

If you are looking for some help with your job search, you might want to consider engaging the services of a career coach. A career coach can help you identify your professional skills and competencies, quantify your strengths, pinpoint your transferable skills, define how best to reposition yourself in the job market, and work with you to establish career goals and a plan. What a career coach can’t do is guarantee you a job.

Finding a Career Coach

It is important to keep in mind that there is not an official licensing organization for the career coaching profession; however, there are professional associations that offer career coaching certification and that could serve as excellent resources in searching for a career coach. These associations include the International Coaches Federation (ICF), Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC), and the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC).

Selecting a Career Coach

Selecting a career coach is a very personal decision. Your decision may be based upon whether you perceive the individual as being capable of helping you achieve your immediate career goal (whether to find a job, change careers, or advance in your career), but should also factor in your overall comfort level with a prospective career coach.

Below are a few items to consider and questions to ask before selecting a career coach:

Identify the reason why you are hiring the coach and keep this in mind as you interview various coaches.

Use the internet to research prospective career coaches in order to identify their involvement in their field and level of subject matter expertise. For example, identifying whether they are members of career coaching associations; are being quoted in the media as a career coach expert; served as a guest speaker at career coaching conferences, etc.

Ask questions about how they keep themselves current on labor market, industry and career trends. Do they actively seek out new information and education that can help them better serve their clients?

Ask about their approach to career counseling. Will they create a coaching plan that will serve as the basis for direction and activities? Will your coaching sessions be conducted over the phone, in-person, through email or a combination of all?

Expect, but confirm, that the initial consultation should be free (whether in-person or on the phone).

Ask about their fees and how long you might expect to be working together. Fees vary but generally range from $50 to $300 per hour. Coaching services can span anywhere from 3 months to 6 months, and some sources state up to a year.

It will take due diligence to determine whether a career coach is a wise investment for you. If you do decide to hire a career coach, establish specific and realistic career coaching goals and then set your mind to achieving these goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment