How to Know If – or When – You Need a Career Coach

Have you ever felt stuck or unmotivated in your career? Are you looking for help navigating your next move? Maybe you just want someone to bounce a few ideas off–regardless of the reason, a career coach may just be the right solution.

Career coaches come in many different forms, from mentors and guides, to motivators and essentially partners in your career. While they’re not a one-size-fits-all service, a career coach could help you in your professional life. So how can you tell if, or when, you need one? 

Keep reading as the Guide to Graduate team helps you navigate the decision to hire a career coach, starting with the basics…  

What is a Career Coach?

A career coach is not a cookie cutter role, and often involves a bit of creativity and collaboration to help you identify your long term vision and how to get there. Their role is to be your personal expert in all things career planning. Consider them a partner in helping you maximize your potential and growth.

From resume building and job negotiation, to ongoing coaching and motivation, a career coach can help make you more successful in all areas of your professional life. What’s most important is to ensure that you find a career coach with prior experience and expertise in the specific area you’re seeking help. That way, you can be sure you’re on the right track toward an experience that’s valuable to you. 

When to Invest in a Career Coach

The job market can be grueling, so to gain a competitive edge, it can help to have someone on your side to help and advocate for you along the way. Whether you’re experiencing job angst, or just ready to take on a new challenge or industry, career coaches can help throughout every part of the process. 

From tips on professional communications (like cover letters), to tapping their network and connections to help you land an otherwise unadvertised position, investing in a career coach could be the edge you need to stand out amongst a sea of job applicants.

But career coaches don’t have to be reserved for seeking new roles or opportunities. As trained professionals, coaches can offer guidance in everything from goal setting to identifying your career passions and purpose. 

If nothing else, anyone can benefit from having a sounding board to bounce ideas off, and an expert to listen and advise throughout your career. For some of us here at Guide to Graduate, that’s the sole reason we have a career coach in our lives. However, for some, it’s not always the best option.

When to Test Alternative Solutions

A career coach is not a small investment, and doesn’t suit everyone’s personal needs or desires. 

If you want a fast decision or outcome, a career coach may not be the right fit for you. They can be hard to comeby, and usually operate by referrals only. However, with a little homework via google search or social media, you’ll likely identify someone you can trust with your professional wellbeing. 

Whatsmore, the most effective coaches know it takes more than one session to achieve long-term success. So, with hourly rates averaging anywhere from $125 to $500 per hour, it’s certainly an investment you’ll want to think about first.  

If you aren’t ready to bring a career coach on just yet, but are seeking advice on your career path, job interviewing, or professional development, sites like Masterclass, YouTube, and blogs (like ours!) are a great place to start. 

And don’t forget about conferences and events! Industry niches, especially, offer year-round networking events, conferences, workshops, and virtual opportunities to grow and expand your skill set. 

Do you have a career coach? Why or why not? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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