Career Pathways (July, 2012)
July 1, 2012Hire A Career Coach? Yes, No?
Why should you consider working with a career coach? And if you decide to hire one, how do you choose one that is best for you – that is can provide a service that matches your needs and interests? Prior to contacting prospective career coaches, get clear about your reasons for working with a professional, your expectations of how coaching sessions can help you, and the ideal outcomes.
Career Coaches can be beneficial to:
- People who are unfulfilled in their present career and feel a need to change but do not know in what direction they should go. They want some self-assessment tests, identify their skills and expertise, and/or set priorities and goals.
- Older workers whose skills are no longer marketable and need to learn how to reposition themselves to get back to work in a new occupation or vocation.
- Middle, senior and executive level professionals who are currently or are soon to be engaged in a job search due to a layoff, desire to change positions, or retired/about ready to retire, but still need to work.
- Individuals who know the type of positions they would like to look for but need help to develop a focused, targeted and up-dated resume and job search strategy.
- Mid-stage and late career changers and executives who desire to learn how to continue to move up a career ladder and face new challenges.
Career coaches, just like any other professional, come in many shapes and types, specialties, have different work approaches and philosophies, and can play a various number of roles in working with their clients. You need to find a career coach that you feel will be a good match for your needs, personality, and work style.
Some steps you should consider taking before selecting a candidate:
- Develop a list of 3-4 coaches to contact and interview. Ask people in your network for recommendations. Go to the websites of associations such as: Association of Career Professionals International, International Coach Federation or National Career Development Association and look for coach who specializes in your interested areas.
- Contact the people on your list. Most coaches will provide a free consult, either by phone or in person. Ask them about their specialties, fees, how long sessions are, work styles and methods, etc.
- Check credentials and (optional) references. Ask about training, education, experience and types of clients with whom they work. Gather information that will give you a sense of their reliability, qualifications, attentiveness, and effectiveness.
- Look for a connection. Do you feel comfortable with talking to the coach? Do you feel you can trust this person? It is very important that you feel that there is good chemistry between the two of you that will work.
Annabelle Reitman Ed.D., a career management consultant and author who has over 30 years experience in career coaching/counseling and is a member of the TTN-Washington DC Chapter. She specializes in clients experiencing transition as they undergo a career change or shift. Her tag line, “Possibilities without Assumptions” summarizes her philosophy and approach to working with people. She can be reached at: email@example.com or 703-370-6966 or view her profile on www.linkedin.com.