How To Choose A Career Coach

  • You have probably read the books but somehow you are no further forward in search for a career that makes you happy. Perhaps it is now time to find a specialist career coach to help you. Research shows that people who are most satisfied and motivated in their careers are people who have a career that reflects their values, interests, skills, and abilities, plus what they want out of life, their ideal working environment.If you are not happy in your work, a career coach may be able to help you, to unforgettable the right career for you.
  • There are many people offering career coaching, counseling and advice. Life coaches may be good in supporting you to achieve goals and step through your fear, but do they have sufficient specialist knowledge? You may prefer to work with a specialist psychologist or careers advisor. It can appear cheaper to opt for a group program, but you will make greater progress by working one to one with personal attention. Over the past few years the number of coaches has exploded and many of these are now offering career coaching, so how can you choose between them?
  • Speak to at least 3 coaches and find out about both their backgrounds. Who did they train with, what specific training and experience do they have to have a career coach? Coaches can set them selves up as a career coach with just a days training or even less – training programs are available for $ 99, is that sufficient background for you?
  • As you talk to them see if you have rapport. To get the best from the service you will need to be open and honest, so make sure you feel at ease with them. Find out about their coaching style. Some may follow a tried and tested program, others may be more open ended. Do you work best with structure or would you rather it be free flowing. Make sure the coaches style matches with your preference.
  • Find out about costs. Some coaches will offer a program at a set fee, others will charge by the month and so the overall cost may be more than you anticipated. Some people who think a program at £ 600 is too much, find themselves paying for 5 months at £ 200 per month which is obviously more.
  • Check out levels of experience – you will make far greater progress with an experienced expert than someone newly moving into this area. Be careful over the assessments offered, they need to be recognized by the British Psychological Society, and should offer a combination of assessing abilities, interests and personality. Interests or personality alone will never be sufficient to make a choice. Just because you are interested in something does not mean you are any good at something, and do not expect a skilled coach to wave a wand and you find you your ideal job, you will have to do some work too!
  • You will learn about yourself and be supported to find out about careers, but you need to do work yourself! Using a professional may seem expensive, but measure it in terms of your increased likelihood of making a good career decision, and it starts to look more like investment than a cost.

To contact Denise Taylor, Chartered Occupational Psychologist and Career Expert