The ultimate outcomes of any life changing process vary significantly by person, given our different needs, skills, limitations and experience. But there are some basic things that you can expect from a career coach whether in or outside of our practice.
Career coaching is a partnership that is designed to help people assess their options and is a place where they can also make important decisions about the direction of their career. A career coach starts by asking a series of questions designed to address skills, abilities, job experiences and goals. These questions are also used to determine qualifications for potential positions, and to understand the personality of the client. After recording the answers and thinking about them, it is a career coach’s job to talk to the client about his or her strengths and weaknesses, and discusses the desired goals.
Sometimes a career coaching client comes in knowing exactly what field they want to enter. Other times clients have no idea what they want to do. In other situations, clients want to continue what they are doing, but want to do better, move into leadership roles or improve their work-life balance. Career coaching is designed to be flexible and is able to adjust for all of these scenarios.
The coach is the primary motivator and encourager, providing clients with mentoring, motivation and accountability and fills two needs for an individual. One is the experience and knowledge they have in finding new careers. The second is to personally motivate an individual and keep him/her on track.
The client should set one or more goals, ranging from goals climbing the corporate ladder to attaining a position with more authority to a goal of pursuing higher education. These goals are intended to ultimately place the client in a career which he or she genuinely enjoys, and they often include a variety of assessment tests to determine personality and aptitudes. Once the goals are set, client and coach talk about a time line for achieving them, and the partnership moves to the next stage. The career coach’s job is to offer encouragement and advice by providing tips on the best way to apply for specific positions and hold mock interviews to relax and prepare the client.
Through expertise in career development and labor markets, the coach get the most out of people’s qualifications, experience, strengths and weakness into a broad perspective taking into consideration their desired salary, personal hobbies and interests, location, job market and educational possibilities.
Among a lot of other things, a career coach can administer and interpret assessments and inventories to assess work values, interests, skills and competencies and help identify alternative career options for people in transition that capitalize on individual knowledge, skill and ability profiles. Coaches and clients also collaborate to help develop specific career paths with experience, knowledge, abilities, and skills defined. Coaches can also help clients overcome issues such as lack of self-confidence, and their fears of success/failure and work with the client to create career development plans to help employees grow and learn.
A career coach’s job is, ultimately, to be a knowledgeable, unbiased and objective partner to the client who wants to change or is experiencing job stress, job loss or transition for other reasons.