We’ve all had coaches in our lives.
Some of us have been on athletic teams or involved in individual sports; some of us have had had personal fitness trainers; others have had private music or art lessons; politicians typically have public speaking coaches. In each of these situations, the coach has assessed our skills and abilities and developed plans and strategies that will enable us to achieve our goals. Now we have life coaches, personal coaches, health coaches, relationship coaches, and, as the title implies, career coaches.
Who Uses a Career Coach?
If we think of the original term “coach,” it was a transport method by which an individual got from one place to the next. In that respect, career coaching can be quite similar, empowering people to move forward in their current careers or to strike out into all new terrain.
Typically, there are 4 types of individuals who can benefit from career coaching:
- Someone who has become unemployed
- Someone who feels “stuck” in his/her current position and really wants to make a change
- Someone who wants to move up within his current company or organization
Each of these individuals is in a unique situation, but each could use some assistance in moving forward, and that is the task of a career coach.
What a Career Coach Does and Does Not Do
First and foremost, a career coach is not a career placement specialist. If you are simply looking for a new job or a career change, you need to get the required education and/or training or hook up with a “headhunter” in your current career field.
If, on the other hand, you are not certain where you want to go and what options you may have, then you could benefit from the help of a career coach. Here are the things you can expect from a series of sessions with your coach:
- Greater Self-Awareness: While this term is sometimes the brunt of jokes and ridicule (“He hasn’t found a job yet, because he is busy becoming self-aware”), it is, in fact, a critical component of ultimate success and satisfaction in a career. Through coaching sessions, the client identifies his own strengths and weaknesses, and is coached into developing strategies to overcome or eliminate those weaknesses as well as to use strengths to advantage.
The other aspect of self-awareness is in determining career goals based upon those things for which the client has a passion – those things that excite him/her. A few years ago, a friend who was an aeronautical engineer completed career coaching sessions and developed a sound strategy to leave his career for real estate investment. Today, he is wildly successful and is excited to face the new challenges of each day.
- The Building of Self-Responsibility: It is easy for us all to get into the “victim” rut. We’re staying in a job because there are no other options; we lost a job because of company politics; it’s too late to begin anew; the new task responsibilities we face are simply beyond us. A good career coach will empower people to take responsibility for their own career paths and to take pro-active steps that they devise with their coach’s assistance.
- The Discovery of Internal Limitations: Years ago a tennis coach named Timothy Gallway wrote a book titled, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” In it, he stated that a game of tennis is not so much played against an opponent as it is played against the limitations you have set up in your head. A good job coach will ask the right questions that will bring out your mental limitations and help with strategies to remove them from your thinking.
Career coaching is a great resource for anyone in the three categories listed above or anyone facing a career challenge with some anxiety. Finding the right coach may take some interviewing and checking of references, but if you find one with whom you establish quick rapport, the sessions will be well worth it.
About the author: Having a Master’s degree in Journalism and love for travelling, Julie Ellis is financed by her freelance writing to investigate and explore exotic places of the world. Being a Chief Editor at Premier Essay she, as well, features articles for journals and magazines around the world.