We humans are a weird bunch, especially when it comes to our careers. If we want to lose weight or get in shape, then we get a gym membership and hire a personal trainer. If we go through a difficult time in our lives, then we hire a therapist for guidance. However, if we need help in our careers, we hardly ever think to hire a career coach – but why? Read on to find out why having a career coach on your side can make all the difference in your career.
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What Is Career Coaching?
Career coaching is part coaching and part counseling, certified career coach Donna Sweidan tells Forbes.
“The goal [of career coaching] is to support people in making informed decisions about their career development and trajectory,” says Sweidan. It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, either, she says, because “career coaching can be helpful at every point of someone’s professional path.”
Who Needs Career Coaching?
Hiring a career coach isn’t cheap, but for professionals who feel stuck or just confused about what the next step should be, a coach can be an invaluable resource.
For instance, college students nearing graduation could definitely benefit from having the guidance and expertise of a career coach to help launch their careers. Likewise, seasoned professionals moving up the ranks could benefit from the counseling and reassurance of a career coach to help them successfully advance. Professionals looking to switch careers could also use the advice and support of a career coach to help them make a seamless transition into a more suitable and satisfying career.
So, whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or nearing the end of your career, here are five ways hiring a career coach is beneficial for your short- and long-term career success.
1. Help You Recognize Your Value as a Professional
A huge part of a career coach’s job is to identify your strengths and weaknesses, as a professional and an individual. In doing so, you will gain insight into the combination of skills and abilities that you (and no one else) bring to the table. Knowing your worth as a professional will help you tremendously during the job searching process, as well as when it comes time to negotiate a salary that is fitting for your skills set. (Find out what you’re worth on the job market, here.)
2. Help You Establish a Career Path, Not Just a Job
Career coaches are trained to get to know you as an individual first, then a professional second. The reason for this is because many people choose their careers based on earning potential, discovering later on that they are unhappy, unfulfilled, and miserable. A career coach is there to take your personality, qualifications, and passions, then help you to find a career that is challenging, promising, and fulfilling.
3. Build Your Confidence in Your Career and Yourself
In order to have a successful career, you absolutely must have confidence in yourself and your abilities, which is why recognizing your value (No. 1 above) is so crucial in your career. By hiring a career coach, you’re able to get an outsider’s perspective on how and why you stand out from your peers (a.k.a. the rest of the competition). Moreover, by having a better understanding of what you want out of your career (No. 2 above), you will be more confident in asking for help to get you where you want to be, now and later.
4. Keep You Accountable and Motivated
Like a good personal trainer, a good career coach wants you to reach your full potential and attain your goals. Therefore, a career coach will be there to motivate you, track your progress, and check in on you to ensure that you’re doing what you should be doing to get where you want and need to be in your career. By having that accountability, you are less likely to stray from your intended career path and more likely to work harder to reach your intended goals. (Up for a promotion or raise, or simply want to get hired or improve your skills? Check out this tool to help you achieve your goals.)
5. Help You Navigate Through Difficult Career Decisions
It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter at least one huge, make-or-break situation in your career and want someone trustworthy to help you navigate through the decision-making process. Can you guess who that might be? You’ve got it: a career coach.
Asking your friends and loved ones about monumental career decisions isn’t always the best option, mainly because they’re biased and probably going to tell you what you want to hear. A career coach, on the other hand, will have your best interests in mind and give you advice accordingly.
Interested in learning more? This article offers a good overview of the qualifications to look for in a potential coach, as well as how much you can expect to pay for their services. And, if you’re curious as to where your current career could lead you, check out PayScale’s Career Path Explorer.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have a career coach? If so, tell us how your coach has helped you in your career. Share your story with our community on Twitter, or leave a comment below.