How to Find a Career Coach? A Definitive Guide
We know of career coaching as a relatively new category within the coaching industry, introduced in the 1990s. However, its footprints date back to 1907 when Frank Parsons’ idea of matching people to specific jobs.
Over the years since these ideas would continue to refine. In 1933, Carl Boll, who also led the Thursday Night Club to assist Harvard Business School graduates, came up with “You are one man in a hundred.” This message was to empower employees and to have them understand that each individual needs to market their abilities for a job.
Ever since then, career coaching has seen a fair share of innovation and exposure, from books to career coaching groups and firms.
In 1990, Frank Fox and Jay Block started the first association for resume writers and career coaches, which went on to hence formalize career coaching as an industry.
Today, despite the misconceptions, career coaching is widely sought after. In this guide, we will look at understanding career coaching and how to find the right one.
What is Career Coaching?
Career coaching is a form of coaching which helps empower professionals to find and improve the career paths they are on.
Career coaching helps with making informed decisions when it comes to your career.
Career coaching is helpful in all stages – whether you have recently graduated, looking to fix up your resume, or have had a successful career for two decades.
Benefits of Career Coaching
1. A Holistic Approach: It Is Not Just About A Job
Career coaching is not just about one job.
Career coaching takes a holistic approach towards your entire career, whether you are starting, or have had a decade long career.
This holistic approach takes a personalized look at your career focusing on your strengths and your weaknesses. The career coach will then utilize this information to help steer your career in the direction you want it to go in.
Essentially, this advice and guidance will help you understand your worth along with the methods you should use to move up the ranks in your industry.
2. Build Your Confidence
It can often be the case when you find yourself lacking the confidence to approach your dream job. At times, depending on the environments we work in, we may underestimate our abilities.
A career coach is someone well aware of what industries and businesses seek today. However, although, you may have all the necessary skills, personality, and drive to succeed, you may think otherwise.
Hence, as a result, career coaching assists in regaining that confidence you need preventing you from underselling yourself, and not working where you may deserve.
3. Take Difficult Career Decisions
At times, we may find ourselves in a critical situation, where one decision can change our entire careers. Whether it is about how much you get paid, where you work, who you work for, and how you work. We are always taking impactful decisions in our careers.
In this uncertainty, career coaches can evaluate your career and help you identify the areas you should be focusing on, and eventually leading you to make the best decision.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Hiring a Career Coach
Before you start searching for career coaches, it is important to ask yourself the right questions. Coaching is not a one-session deal. Coaching is a process that you go through to ensure you reach the goals you set yourself. It could take a couple of sessions, or it can take several weeks.
So, before you start, here are some questions to answer.
1. What am I looking to achieve?
At times it is possible that if we put some focus on our careers, we may find several answers. Answers which you may not need a career coach for. For example, if your ultimate goal is to update your resume, then you may be able to do that by researching only and finding some time to dedicate to your resume building.
However, if your goal is to make a drastic change in your career but are unsure of the risks, it is advisable to seek out a career coach.
2. Are you open to change?
Some of the things you will discover during your career coaching sessions may be surprisingly new. And many of these new things may require you to make drastic changes. At times, we may not necessarily be ready to change. However, being prepared early for possible changes is a great idea.
3. Can you commit to coaching?
Although this sounds more like a question for coaches, it is an equally important question for you, the client, as well. Like we mentioned earlier, coaching is a process, and it requires a commitment from both ends.
When coaches bring forth action-items, they also require you to implement those.
If you have a weekly session, and you and your question have discussed to implement certain changes or complete tasks, then would you be able to complete them in time?
How to Find A Career Coach?
As surprising as it may be, there is no official licensing agency for career coaches. There are coaching certifications that most coaches may have, however, the process of finding a career coach is rigorous and requires a lot of vetting.
1. Certification Platforms
Platforms like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARCC) both certify career coaches, and their lists of career coaches are readily available online.
Browsing through these lists, you would be able to find reviews, historic work, and the coaches’ personal websites to get some more details.
2. Search Online
Another resource for finding career coaches is to search the web and various search engines. Although your search may generate millions of results, it is a matter of which coach has been able to market their coaching services right, to appear in the top results.
As a result, it is always a good practice to conduct thorough research on search engines to find the right career coach for you.
As career coaching becomes popular among professionals, the chances of knowing individuals who have worked with career coaches are increasing as well.
References are a great source to find career coaches. This would mean that a peer you trust has a career coach you can work with as well. If the feedback from your friend, family, or colleague is a positive one, you can go ahead and schedule a discovery call with the career coach if possible.
4. Online Coaching Marketplaces
As the coaching industry booms, online coaching has become a norm. With many online coaching directories, there are also innovative coaching marketplaces available online.
Finding career coaches on Koachee or similar marketplaces is not only convenient but reliable as well. For instance, at Koachee, you can find a career coach based on their profile, reviews, and NPS Score.
As a result of this system, you get more of an initial insight than you would otherwise.
As a completely online coaching model, Koachee also has escrow payments available. You can browse career coaches on Koachee, here.
5. Social Media
Over the years, coaches have become very active on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Today coaches put in conscious efforts towards their social media profiles and platforms. As someone looking for a career coach, you can find several reviews on these platforms, and get a head start in learning about these coaches.
4 Questions to Ask a Career Coach Before Hiring Them
Whenever you hire anyone, whether, for your business, or yourself, you are likely to have questions. Questions that clarify why professional is the best fit for your needs.
Similarly, you would have questions for coaches as well.
However, if you are confused about what you should ask a coach, here is a great list to start with.
1. What qualifications and certifications do you have?
As we mentioned earlier, there is no licensing agency for career coaching, however, coaches with certifications and experience may be a better fit for your needs as opposed to those just starting.
2. Is your practice current?
Coaching has been around for decades, but with that, it has also changed. Today, coaches need to deal with new scenarios and markets. Similarly, career coaches also need to know how the market is evolving for your particular industry.
Coaches can, or should, have a large pool of professionals who assist them in learning new things, along with extensive research and knowledge.
3. What kind of goals do your clients have?
Now, this is a broad question. Every client has their own set of expectations and goals when it comes to coaching. However, this information is likely to help you find yourself on the right track, and also whether the coach addresses similar situations like yours.
4. Can I trust you with your feedback?
You are hiring a career coach for their honest feedback, and their guidance will be crucial. Ensuring that you can trust their guidance, and asking the question up front, will only clarify the hire for you.
Career coaching is an effective way to get ahead in your career and make impactful decisions. Career coaching helps us understand how we can help build a career and sustain growth.
However, when it comes to finding the right career coach, it is important to keep your options open, and only hire when you are convinced regarding the coach’s abilities.
Finding a career coach can be a lengthy process, but when you find the right coach, the results can be tremendous.