Do career coaches hold the key to unlocking your career happiness?

9:37 PM

Editors note:culled from
Career coaches come in all shapes and sizes. Just as you might shop around to find the right hairdresser or beautician, so now you can find a career coach to suit you and your career needs…
Perhaps you need support in writing a CV, a covering letter or learning interview techniques? You may want support after redundancy, maternity leave or a career break. You may have reached a career crossroads, and want advice on your next step whether it’s going for a promotion, a new job or a total change of career.  Whatever your requirement, it seems that these days there’s a career coach out there who will be able to offer you the right assistance.
“There are different reasons why someone might go to see a career coach,” agrees Denise Taylor of Career discovery is one, where we help people work out what they should do; we also help people with their job search to find a job; and we also help people already employed to get the best out of their job.” 
It could be that you just want some impartial advice. You’ve bored all your friends and family senseless with your job worries and now you need to move forward, but listening to the opinions of your nearest and dearest has paralysed you into inaction. Taking advice from those near to us can be destabilising as friends and family will always have their own take on what they think you should do. “A career coach will capture all the important key information objectively,” says Michelle Bayley of “You need to understand what you want from life before you can be happy in a job. We help to discover what motivates you, what your values are, who you are when you’re being at your very best and what strengths you like using.”
Many of us will have been in the situation where we moan about our job but never quite get on and do anything about it. A career coach can offer motivation and incentivise you to at least think about, if not act upon, your career frustrations. “I equate it to going to the gym,” says Denise. “If you meet a personal trainer every week, you’ll achieve your results much faster than if you worked out on your own.” Indeed, a study by outplacement firm Lee, Hecht, Harrison discovered that individuals who used a career coach found a job 46% faster than working alone.
When it comes to finding the right career coach for you, Michelle advises that you look at the International Coach Federation. This is an organisation that is helping to regulate coaching by setting high standards and establishing a professional code of ethics. You can search the database for a credentialed coach who seems to have empathy with your needs. Look at their qualifications, experience and track record. Talk to the coach about the methods he or she will use to help you find what you are looking for. Denise advises that you draw up a shortlist of three coaches with whom you have a connection and feel comfortable talking to and make your selection from there.
Hopefully, by working together you and your career coach will solve your career worries, or at least set you on the right track to take control of your career. It’s important to remember though, that a career coach is not going to do the work for you – whether it’s writing a new CV, facing an interview panel or asking for a promotion, there’s only so far a career coach can take you. It’s then up to you to make the final part of the journey on your own!
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