Are you looking for a job? Is that job within the professional services industry at a mid-range to executive level? Then chances are good that you might want to hire a career coach. Although the recession has ushered in a new crop of career coaches that may or may not be effective, the basic principles behind a career coach are actually very sound. You will need to stop and think about a wide variety of issues around the subject, but there are a few general points that can be agreed upon.
First and foremost, career coaches use their own personal experience as well as specific training to make sure that you increase your chances of getting your foot in the door of a company. This could be anything from rewriting your resume, to walking you through an effective interview. You’re going to pay a premium for a great career coach, but if you haven’t been in the job search hunt in several years (even a decade or two), and then their value could be more than what you expected.
You see, when you haven’t had to look for a job in a while, you won’t have any idea about the job market. Compare this to a career coach that lives and breathes this subject for a living.
Does that mean that all career coaches are equal? Definitely not. You will want to look for a career coach with not only experience, but good references. Look and see what results they’ve produced for their clients. Be a bit suspicious about a career coach that guarantees you’ll get a job, or even a certain salary. There are no guarantees in the job search game, and a career coach that’s willing to fill your head with incorrect information isn’t one that’s going to have your best interests in mind.
By the same token, a career coach is suspect if they don’t have references, or they refuse to give them to you. The average job search is roughly 25 weeks, which means that you need all of the help you can get, as fast as you can get it. You might find that career coaching helps get you in the right frame of mind to actually look for work. Many people tend up sliding into a depression when they get fired or laid off from work, and this can make it difficult to actually get things done.
You will also want to make sure that you sit down with the career coach that you ultimately want to hire and make sure that they will work with you. Some career coaches only work with executive level clients, so if you’re not in that category you will want to find another coach immediately. There’s no reason to lie about where you are in your career. Even though coaching is more or less targeted at mid-range and executive level professionals, there are career coaches that now work with people entering the entry level part of their careers, or trying to transition into middle management.
Constructive criticism is also the name of the game. You aren’t hiring a coach to tell you about how wonderful you are — you’re hiring a career coach to be able to support you through just about anything and everything that you can think of with respect to your career. To do anything less wouldn’t be to have your best interests in mind. Don’t be shy about talking about your goals, but don’t be shy to take good advice either. If you could do it all yourself, you wouldn’t have hired the career coach in the first place.
Overall, should you really hire a career coach? If you have some savings lined up and can hire a career coach without breaking your budget, then it’s definitely a good idea. If it’s going to be a struggle to get a career coach in your corner, you might want to look into free information online until you can get a coach to help you out.