You're standing at a crossroads on your career path, and you don't know which way to turn. Should you hire a career coach? If you're feeling stagnated, you might gain a second wind from professional advice. A knowledgeable, forward-thinking career coach could help you advance in your present job or assist you with embarking upon an entirely new career.
Do Your Homework
Career coaches cost money, so do your homework before committing yourself. In many states, anybody can hang out a shingle and claim to be a career coach. Make sure the coach you choose has experience in his or her field. Some career coaches are members of the International Coach Federation or the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches. These organizations are good places to do research on career coaching and coaches.
Clarify Your Goals
If you're spinning your wheels on your current career path, it's a sign that you need to clarify your goals. Do you need to build new skills to improve your current job situation? Is there another career path to which you feel pulled towards? Perhaps you dream of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business, but you're nervous about making the leap. In any of these situations, a career coach can help you figure out what you want from a career, including feet-on-the-ground considerations like salary, benefits and working conditions. He or she can then help you build a launch pad to your dreams.
Identify and Hone Your Skills
Perhaps you've been laid off, and jobs like the one you lost are increasingly hard to come by. Or perhaps you want to enhance your opportunities for advancement in your current job. In either case, you could benefit from the guidance of a career coach. He or she can help you identify and hone your skills, talents, and abilities. Your coach can also help you pinpoint your weaknesses and show you how to overcome them.
Develop a Plan for Improvement
Once a career coach has helped you clarify your goals and hone your skills, he or she can then help you find prospective new employers. Many career coaches have a background in human resources. Good career coaches are familiar with a wide range of employment opportunities that suit all kinds of skill sets. Because a career coach will help you identify your strengths, you'll be better able to confidently articulate those strengths in job interviews. If you desire to improve your current job situation, then a career coach can work with you to develop a plan for improvement, whether by helping you learn to communicate more effectively or to become more assertive. Perhaps the greatest thing a career coach can do for you is to foster and encourage a positive attitude. Development and maintenance of a good attitude is the surest way to solidly place your feet on a path to career satisfaction and success. If your answer to the question “Should you hire a career coach?” is a resounding yes, then begin your search for a good coach today.