Career coaching is new to many people so let’s go over the process and approach career coaches take when working with you.
The career coaching process
A good career coach starts with a thorough understanding of your situation and helps you define a specific outcome (or series of outcomes) that you want. You and your coach then produce goals and a clear path for achieving them. You will also discuss and work through barriers and obstacles (both internal and external) keeping you from achieving your goals.
Depending on the size of your goal, you will break down your action plan into reasonable steps for each week. You and your coach will typically meet on a weekly basis to assess your progress, share research and provide guidance on next weeks’ objectives.
Coaching can be delivered in many different ways but the most effective is one-on-one coaching where you are in a relaxed, private environment. This can be done in-person or remotely over the phone or internet.
What makes a good career coach?
Good career coaches have certifications and specialized training. Relevant work experience he or she collected before becoming a coach is also desirable. Most importantly, a good career coach must have an established, tested methodology that your coach uses to guide you through the different stages of your career.
Will my coach tell me what to do?
It’s important for you to understand that coaches do not tell you what to do. Rather, coaches guide, educate and support you in taking the steps necessary to realize positive outcomes and put a check mark next to your goals. There are two very important reasons coaches do not cross this line with you.
First is so you realize that you and only you are responsible for your career. You took a big step just by reading this page which means you are ready to own your career, make informed decisions and reap the rewards of your hard work. You are the expert on you. Second is so you learn how to manage your career not only tomorrow but also for the rest of your career. Your coach should be teaching you lifelong skills that you can apply time and time again to your career.
Your coach will also act as your accountability partner, educate you on the process you are following, monitor the progress you are making, and provide the support and feedback that you count on from someone who genuinely cares about your success.
What does “own your career” mean?
Owning your career means taking an active role in defining and achieving your short-term and long-term career goals. In other words, you have a deliberate career plan that you are constantly aware of and working towards. Your career development isn’t in the hands of your boss or employer nor left to chance. Your career goals will likely change over time. When you take ownership of your career, you will be able to pivot and adjust as your career goals change.
Here’s a suggestion if you’d like to understand more about the career coaching process: schedule a free consultation with a few coaching companies. Prepare questions, read about their coaching staff, methodology and values. Then go in, listen and follow your instincts. Good luck!