Empower Your Career Choices
Career by Coincidence or Coordination?
As you think back on your own work history, did you have someone to help you intentionally identify your career choices so you could consciously create your career path? Did you have a mentor or boss who helped guide you along the way and act as a career coach for you?
Today, many people seek the help of a career coach as a means to invest in their future. At certain times in their careers, leaders at all levels can benefit from talking with a career coach to step back, take a look at where they’re at and where they want to be, and craft a plan to move forward.
What Is A Career Coach?
Career coaching is actually an outgrowth of the field of career counseling and is often quicker than career counseling. When you're wanting to go somewhere and you don't quite know how to do it, career coaching help you sort it out by partnering with you (either in one conversation or over a series of conversations).
A Career Coach Might Help with Situations Such As:
- “I have a job that I'm looking at, and I would like some help on skills building around interviewing, around presenting myself."
- “I have trouble with one of my employees." – Is this a skill you want to have in your career, working with difficult employees?
- “My organization is re-organizing and I may have to look at other opportunities – inside and outside the organization.”
- “I'm going to have a promotion and I don't know what to do or how to think about it.”
- “I'm getting really burned out here. And, I got to make a decision."
- “My job isn’t a fit, but I don’t know how to start fixing the situation.”
- I’m ready to think about retiring and I’m not sure what would be next.”
Food for thought – here's a great HBR article: 5 Strategies for Reinventing Your Career in Uncertain Times
Professional Career Coaches Help You Navigate
At a broader level, a career coach might look at the whole of a person in relation to his or her life roles, stages, ages, and work life as a backdrop for considering the current career decisions. It depends on the type of coaching services needed and available.
What is a Career Counselor?
Counseling is an older profession than career coaching. Counseling and psychology are older professions in terms of standards and criteria and licenses. Career counseling actually is something that was an outgrowth of counseling. Traditionally speaking, career counseling looked at how you fit into work based on who you are, your personality, your traits, your aptitudes. The two fields overlap, with counseling falling more into the psychology realm.
Career Coaching for Peace of Mind
What Does A Career Coach Do?
The coaching engagement can be one conversation or a series of conversations and activities as part of an overarching coaching process. In either event, the career coach and client are focusing on the work life of the client and how to make it more, better or different according to desired outcomes. Below are just a few examples of focus areas.
- Broader Picture Conversations
The coach might partner with the client to look at the whole constellation of his or her life, of which career is a part. It can be a deeper examination of path, purpose and contributions he or she is making (or wants to make).
A career coach can help the client look at his or her current competency set vs. what’s needed for their next role (gap analysis), as well as career interests.
- Job Search
Landing a job can take time, lots of energy and persistence. A career coach partners with clients along the way, and help clients to look at the what, where, when, how – the logistics involved in a job search to formulate a job search strategy and action plan.
Presentation is important to land that next role, coaches might help with things such as: cover letters, resumes, interview skills, and utilizing social media (e.g., via LinkedIn profile).
How Can A Career Coach Help Mid-Level Leaders?
There are several areas a career coach might help mid-level leaders. Do any of these resonate with you?
- Feeling some level of disengagement, dissatisfaction or discouragement?
- Not feeling at that same level of connection or fulfillment with your work as you once did?
- Need a refresher to find new ways of being in the same place/same role?
- Could you benefit from new perspectives on the work that you're already doing?
- Need to make a more significant change or move or somehow change what you're currently doing (role, tasks, functions, place)?
- Wanting to feel more satisfaction and purpose in your work?
- Looking to move up?
Ongoing Career Management
- When people (boss, recruiters, interviewers) ask what it is you do (or have done), are you able to answer with great clarity?
- Are you clear on your “why” for what you’re doing career-wise?
- Is your work aligned with your values, purpose, skills?
- How are you doing on your performance evaluations?
Developing Staff – Providing Career Guidance
- How are you coaching and developing your staff relative to their careers?
- Need to help high performing employees move up to the next level in their careers?
How Can A Career Coach Help Senior Leaders And Executives?
Some of the senior leaders and executives we work with ask themselves these questions. Might any of these resonate with you?
- Do I want to go to SES or to a Senior Executive position?
- Do I want to make a bigger move?
- What are the factors that are really important to me? What's essential?
- What are the barriers? What are my blind spots around that?
- What’s my next goal? What are my longer-term goals?
- What roles do I still have ahead of me?
- What is my legacy?
- I have done all this work. What does it mean?
- If I'm considering that I'm nearing the end of this career, what do I want?
- What do I still have left to do?
When looking for a career coach, consider his or her years of experience.
- What roles and scope of impact has he or she had?
- Can you work with this person?
- Do you believe he or she can help you?
- How well does the coach listen versus sharing stories of their own?
Reach Your Career Potential