Advice On How to Choose A Career Coach

Advice On How to Choose A Career Coach

Tips on How to Choose A Career Coach


how to choose a career coachCareer Coaches can be an invaluable ally at many stages throughout your career. The trick is finding a career coach who is going to be right for you. Like a therapist, it’s all about the relationship and how comfortable you feel with your career coach. Here are some of my own suggestions on how to choose a career coach who is going to be right for you.

1. Recognise What A Career Coach Can Do For You

A career coach can help you:

  • When you are starting out and need some direction
  • Deal with feelings of unhappiness in your work
  • If you are feeling bored and unmotivated
  • With mid-life career change
  • When you want to find a more meaningful career
  • If you want to go for that promotion
  • Create a plan to get noticed at work
  • If you feel you are self-sabotaging yourself in the workplace

…and plenty more.  Identifying that a career coach may be able to help you is the first step.

2. Identify Your Own Needs

Your own needs may be identified above, but you also need to take into account what type of support you will need…or indeed want. What type of career coach will suit you? Do you want someone who is very “Ra ra ra, you can do it,” to support and motivate you? Or perhaps you would prefer someone very grounded, who focuses on creating a strategy you can put into action? Do you want someone who has been through a mid-life career change if that’s where you are? Or someone with children who might understand the demands studying for a professional qualification with raising a family and can support you from a place of understanding. Maybe you want a “celebrity” career coach; someone who has worked with big name companies. But you could just as easily be looking for someone a little offbeat, who gets your edgy personality. Maybe you need someone who understands the psychology behind career change, and who has the skills to help you investigate why you always rebel when you are told what to do (great career sabotage tactic).

Many coaches will have at least some of these bases covered, but they won’t cover all of them. We all have niches and clients with whom we work best. As a career psychologist and coach, I love to use psychometrics and exercises to help my clients really understand what they have to offer. Equally, we also look into what parts of their personality and behaviours may be holding them back. I also enjoy working with people who are looking to change career, considering going back to University, or are searching for a job with more meaning. Having done all three myself I have a lot to share.

3. Research

You can find a career coach through referrals, directories, Google searches and sometimes even your own workplace or HR department. You might want to make a short-list, or you may be drawn to someone straight away.  Take a look around their website to see if their views on life, work and careers appeals to you. Check out their testimonials, either on their website or LinkedIn page. Get a feel for them.

4. Make Contact and See If You Hit it Off

You don’t have to be laughing at each other jokes within minutes,  but one call should help you assess whether you two have rapport. Different coaches call these different things: clarity calls, introduction calls or just chats. You may be nervous of them, thinking of them as a sales technique, and of course there are coaches who may use them this way. However,  it’s also a wonderful opportunity for you to test out if you want to work with this person. It works both ways too. A coach can use this call to decide if they would like the persona as a client; if they feel they would work well together. This isn’t about feeling friendship, but recognising that this person and their approach can help you.

If you would like to arrange a chat with me to see if we would work well together, do contact me here to arrange a time.


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