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July 28, 2015

What do you need a career coach for?

Jumpstart your careerIf you’re in career transition there are many ways a good career coach/job search coach can help you get the job you want, faster than you would on your own.

How can you use a career coach?

The following are ways that hiring an expert can help.

Overcome your unique job search challenges.

Nearly everyone faces some kind of difficulty in their job search. Are you:

  • Trying to break into a new line of work?
  • Struggling to overcome an unusual or uneven work history?
  • An older worker concerned about age discrimination?
  • Reentering the job market after being a stay-at-home parent?
  • Downshifting out of the fast lane into an encore career?
  • Just not getting results?

A coach can help you strategize your path forward and position yourself powerfully in the eyes of employers.

Ensure your job search strategy and techniques are up to date and effective.

Applying to openings you find on job boards isn’t enough. You need to know how to do a proactive campaign, and most of us aren’t born knowing how to network effectively. including networking and social media (definitely LinkedIn, and maybe others). A good coach knows how to cut through the clutter and focus your efforts on what really works.

Make networking less stressful and more effective.

Most people experience a big disconnect about networking: We’ve all heard that it’s the best way to get a job. But in “real life” it doesn’t seem to work, or it’s so uncomfortable it isn’t worth the stress. The problem is that there’s more to it than you think. Most people don’t know the best practices that make networking easier and more effective. A coach can help you revise your strategies for better results and less stress.

Optimize your resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile and other materials.

You may be able to write effective job search materials on your own, but at the very least it’s a good idea to have them reviewed by a pro.

Learn to interview effectively.

Job interviewing doesn’t come naturally – it’s a learned skill, and once learned it will serve you for the rest of your working life. A coach can provide mock interviewing and expert feedback to help you present yourself in a way that is both authentic and strategic.

How to choose the right career coach.

Ask around, do a search on LinkedIn, read Yelp reviews. Look for a coach with training, experience and an obvious commitment to the field. Read their website. Then have a conversation, ask questions, and get a sense of whether this person is approachable, knowledgeable and helpful.

Of course, the most important part of coaching is what you do after the session: acting on what you learn and plan in the session. If you’ve got the right career coach, you should come out of each meeting well informed, energized and ready to take specific steps that will get you the job you want.

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