What is Career Coaching?
Working with a career coach has many benefits. From the tactical aspects of finding and landing a job, to the importance of feeling fulfilled in a role that is a reflection of your core values.
With today’s quickly pivoting global workforce, aligning who you are with what you want to do can be a challenge.
Not to mention the added pressure of actually landing job interviews, excelling in job interviews and crafting a LinkedIn profile and resume which is competitive and compelling.
It goes without saying that career growth is highly personal. With that in mind, so is career coaching. So, what exactly is career coaching and what does a career coach do?
Career coaching is a bi-lateral process which includes a client and a coach. Together, they help formulate clarity around career goals and aspirations, core values, career purpose, preferred skills, ideal positions, industry specific requirements and the job search strategy.
In addition, creating career documents such as a resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile. Lastly, helping the client prepare for and excel in job interviews and negotiate better salaries.
Because every career journey is unique, a coach should customize their approach to help the needs of their client. According to the July 2022 International Coaching Federation report, there are more than 44,000 certified coaches working worldwide.
Career coaches are trained to cover a range related topics. With that in mind let’s answer the question, what does a career coach do?
A person’s career path is like DNA— no two journeys are the same. But when we look at the key responsibilities of a career coach, there are some similarities. At Top Prospect Careers we cover the following topics of career growth and development.
Here are some things a career coach does:
● Navigate career transitions
● Provide career advice
● Help improve job interview skills (including practicing mock interviews)
● Help to set career goals and long-term professional goals
● Explore new career options and opportunities
● Advise on how to build your personal brand
● Find work-life balance by settings boundaries and examining priorities
● Assist in the job search process
● Find footing in a new role or new job
● Explore ways to upskill or re skill in a current job
● Craft expert career documents like a resume and cover letter
● Optimize your presence on LinkedIn
● Identify new strategies to enhance career development.
At the end of the day, a career coach helps you find a job that is a best match for your skills and personal aspirations. Sometimes, this involves finding a new position in the same industry or it can also involve up-skilling or re-skilling into a new industry.
Either way, a career coach is there to help you find clarity and make the right decisions in the direction of your intended career path.
Who can benefit from career coaching?
In reality, everyone can benefit from coaching. Given the range of topics it can cover and the variety of ways it can help, there is an opportunity to be had for any professional to seek out some kind of coaching at one point during their career. This is because everyone has the ability to dig deeper to reach their full potential.
Below are 6 signs that investing in career coaching might be right for you.
1. You feel stuck
If you’re feeling stuck, you’re not alone. If your current career feels stagnant, coaching can help. Also, if you’re in a career transition and need a solid cover letter, resume, LinkedIn and job interview skills, coaching can be of great benefit to you.
2. You’re not sure if you’re in the right career
It’s common to go to school, study a subject that feels right at the time, then enter a field of work that kind of matches that major. It is sort of the “Standard Model” of career development. But as life evolves, people change and realize far more about who they are. We realize through experience that certain things resonate with us and certain things do not. To this end, we should respect and honor these realizations and explore what is right for us. Coaching can equip us with the mindsets and the practical skills to do just that.
3. You want better work-life balance and overall well-being
The global workforce is on the brink of a burnout crisis. It turns out that the top driver of life satisfaction is job satisfaction. Not surprising given that we spend more than one-third of our lives at work.
Much of this is due to high expectations, volatility, demands, and people working a job they don’t really enjoy and is not in alignment with their core values. It’s really important to be working in a position that is a right fit for you and gives you an opportunity to utilize those skills which bring you the most joy.
4. You want to improve your job search
There is no hiding that the job search can be laborious, frustrating and de-motivating. This is especially the case when your candidacy is not optimized. Having a good job search strategy is really important to improving your prospects of finding that ideal job. A coach can help greatly with this and also hold you accountable to high levels of performance.
5. You want better career documents and branding
There is no question that an ATS optimized resume and cover letter are crucial to helping you stand out and land a job interview. In addition, a properly written and articulated LinkedIn is equally as important in today’s job market. You don’t want to get these wrong and a qualified coach can help you create winning documents.
6. You’d like to excel in job interviews
We just cannot see our own blindsides. Often, we may think we are doing great in interviews but the reality is we are not. Or, there are certain ways we should be answering questions that we are just not aware of. A career coach can help you significantly improve your job interview skills and increase your confidence and ability to communicate your value. This will not only help you in job interviews but also in all professional endeavors.
How does it compare to other types coaching?
There is no shortage of coaches or types of coaching in the world today. Often, career counseling services can overlap with other coaching services and of course it also has its unique tracks of coaching. Let’s break down some common types of coaching and the key differences.
Life coaching is a more holistic approach to examining the quality of a person’s life. While some career coaches are also trained in life coaching (this is always an advantage) some focus exclusively on aspects of career development. Career coaches specialize in ways to further a person’s career journey. Of course, this can (and should) also improve aspects of someone’s personal life.
Executive and leadership coaching
This kind of coaching predominantly focuses on developing C-suite level professionals and aspiring or developing leaders. Oftentimes, executive coaching prepares professionals for high-level leadership positions. Leadership coaching is more broadly available to any leader in the company. It’s an accessible, in-demand need for any organization.
Career, leadership, and executive coaching have plenty of overlap, especially when it comes to skills development.
What to expect from a coaching session
It’s common before a coaching session to take one or more assessments to help your coach (and you) determine behavioral preferences, career aptitude and general well-being.
Expect to talk about both long- and short-term goals. Your coach will want to understand what your goals are, what is a priority and how they can best serve you. For some, this may be very practical and tactical help, such as job interview skills or crafting a resume.
Others may need a lot of help around getting clarity on their next steps, finding a career that improves their happiness or understanding what their career purpose is. With all that in mind, a coach is also there to help you create and craft these goals. Even if you just talk about the skills and capabilities you’d like to build, that can help get you started.
Anticipate discussing challenges or obstacles in your current career, career transition or job search. There’s likely some sort of obstacle or obstacles you’re currently facing. Think about your current obstacles. It’s likely something that you can expect to discuss in your first session.
How to prepare for a coaching session
Reflection is really important. You want to have somewhat of an idea of WHY you signed up for coaching to begin with. In addition, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of your career journey so far and how it has contributed to where you are now. This is important for helping you evaluate your current state.
A growth mindset goes a long way with any kind of growth and this is especially true of career coaching.
Coaching, at the end of the day is about change. It takes intention, willingness and action to make meaningful mindset and behavior changes. It’s likely that your coach will challenge you to get outside of your comfort zone, expand your thinking and challenge your limiting beliefs. This is a good thing and is to be expected.
Lastly, commit to the work. This is going to take awareness, intention, commitment, and attention. Going through various exercises, challenging yourself and being willing to try new things is a must for maximum results.
Career coaching is a valuable investment that can help you improve your job prospects, career path and overall well-being. A good coach will be able to assist you in both the practical more abstract aspects, such as clarity, purpose and aspirations. Investment in career coaching will not only help you find a job that is right for you, but aid in living a better life.
Want to Learn About Our Coaching Program?
If you are looking for help with resume writing or cover letter writing or finding the right career to fit your current skills and experience, our talented team of reverse recruiters at Top Prospect Careers will help point you in the right direction, so that you can become the top prospect for the career of your dreams!