It’s no secret that the job market is quite challenging — both for people who are entirely without work as well for those who have jobs but not the dream careers that they desire. During the last two years, Covid-19 has also contributed to massive changes in the job market across various sectors. The WFH scenario and virtual meetings mean that people are figuring out new ways of approaching their career, challenges, and job transitions.
Another significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is the concentration of job growth in high-wage occupations and decline in low-wage occupations. This means that the scale and nature of workforce transitions required in the years ahead will be challenging. Across the eight focus countries featured in the study, which includes more than 100 million workers (or 1 in 16 people) will need to find a different occupation by 2030 in our post-Covid-19 scenario.
All this means that people looking for new careers or wanting to grow their existing careers might have to look for new avenues. Yes, that is tricky, and that is why a career coach can be a valuable tool for people looking to make their careers more fulfilling and in line with the requirements of the current era. Career coaching is a highly sought-after profession where skilled, knowledgeable career coaches support and guide their clients to focus on their current situation, help assess their professional strengths and limitations, identify their future career goals and create a systematic road map to achieve them with minimal disruptions to their overall life. Read on to know about career coaching and how it can help a person to reach their career goals.
1. Career coaching is for everyone
While family and friends can be great sounding boards for a person’s career woes, the primary mission of a career coach is to help people get on and stay on track regarding their career. That is why a career coach is an excellent investment for any professional – whether they are looking to get started on their career or want to upgrade themselves to the next stage of their professional growth. One of the primary responsibilities of a career coach is to understand the skills and interests of the coachee as this helps in finding the right path for them.
A career coach will help their clients figure out if there are different ways to advance in their chosen path or if a complete career change is what is needed to feel ‘unstuck’ and excited about their future. Another alternative situation can be when a person starts working in a field after college and later realizes that they do not like what that industry entails. In such a scenario, a career coach can analyze their skillset and interests to help them understand which field could be a better fit and draw a plan to help them reach there.
2. Career coaching is different from career counselling
There is a remarkable difference between the role of a career coach and a career counsellor. The ICF defines coaches in the following manner: “Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.” With that in mind, below are the main differences between a career coach and a counsellor.
- Career coaches focus on the current situation and often create action goals to move the client forward. On the other hand, career counsellors may look for past experiences or barriers that may be causing the current challenges in a person’s career.
- Career coaches may have certifications from an accredited body like International Coaches Federation (ICF). On the other hand, career counsellors are often required to have a formal license (e.g. Licensed Professional Counsellor, LPC) to practice in their profession.
- A counselling approach may take a holistic view. For example, a coaching counsellor may ask a person about what they wanted to be when they were younger. On the other hand, a career coach may start with an assessment to understand the client’s preferences and skill base. They will help their clients plan a career that closely aligns with their natural ability and the goals they have defined.
3. Hiring a career coach is worth the investment
An article on Gettysburg College’s website states that the average person will spend one-third or 90,000 hours working. When you consider that breathtaking statistic, why wouldn’t you seek expert advice on making that time count?
Career coaches can help a person land the job they have always wanted, get a promotion or even start their own business. Their expertise and unbiased attention will help a person get the results they have been hoping for, often in a fraction of the time it would take if they were to continue on a hit & trial method. The biggest pro of hiring a career coach is that they can help people learn from others’ mistakes – data that may not be available to a regular individual.
4. A career coach can’t do the work for you
While a career coach can provide a person with the tools and resources necessary to make their job search successful, a coach cannot do the work for them. It’s entirely up to the person to take what they learn in a session and use it for their career advancement. That means being willing to put aside dedicated time to practice interviewing skills or improve their resume or practice exercises suggested by the coach like writing a journal on what their ideal workday looks like to them. As with most things, the more effort a person puts into the work that their career coach suggests, the higher their chances of success.
5. Career coaching can help a person get a raise they deserve
Almost everyone has been here at some point: You like or love your job and have put in a lot of time towards it, but you have not gotten that well-deserved paycheck. A career coach can help in this regard. Everyone wants the recognition and compensation that a promotion usually brings, but it’s not always obvious how one can achieve it. Career coaching can help a person achieve the necessary goals to build a strong case for promotion and help them navigate office dynamics and prepare for performance reviews and compensation discussions.
6. Career coaching can help professionals become better at their job
When the career of an individual is stuck or a promotion doesn’t seem to be in the cards soon, it can get frustrating. If a person feels that their career has plateaued, a career coach can help them change that situation. Whether a person lacks options to move up the company ladder, either in the management hierarchy or pay-scale, a career coach can help them figure out creative ways to advance their career. They can also help a person to look for a job elsewhere if that is what they need to feel ‘unstuck’ and excited about their future. A career coach can help clarify a person’s professional situation by looking at ways they can improve in their current role or help them assess whether the best move is to move in a different direction.
7. Career coaches can help clients be happier at work
Perhaps the most obvious sign that a person needs a career coach is that they are not happy in their workplace. Of course, they never intended to become negative. But somehow everything seems to bother them and it often turns out to be due to job dissatisfaction. And if there’s no advancement in a person’s career, a career coach can help them upgrade their skills & interests, so that they can learn to become better at their job.
So, if a person finds themselves dreading Mondays and hating the alarm clock, it may be time for them to explore a new career transition with the help of a career coach!
1. What makes a good career coach?
A career coach can be a tremendous asset for any person at a professional crossroad. Whether a person is just starting and unsure which career path to take, or whether they are hoping to find a new passion, or they are ready to move to the next level, getting an outside perspective from a professional can be extremely helpful. Below, we list a few things that make a career coach genuinely extraordinary:
- Listening intently: As Steven Covey says, “Seek to understand, then be understood”; good coaches spend most of their time trying to understand the motivations, drives, dreams as well as the insecurities of their coachees.
- Being flexible: Everyone works in different ways and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Skilled career coaches need to work with clients and understand how they respond to people and situations. Are they self-driven or do they need to be given specific actions to see progress? Do they prefer ambiguous direction or need details? A career coach needs to be able to adapt to idiosyncrasies.
- Focusing on the positive: We all have flaws. Career coaches are more interested in people’s strengths and understand how they can help create a competitive advantage for their clients.
- Thrives on challenges: A great career coach does not accept excuses. They may understand the drivers behind the reasons but do not accept them. Instead, they challenge the client, pushing them towards areas where they can leverage their strengths and get success.
2. What are the must-know things about career coaching?
A career coach works as a facilitator. Their job is to help their clients brainstorm ideas, look for patterns, research, ponder over & piece all the information together, and help them stay motivated until they reach a point in their career that they are satisfied with.
Here is a quick rundown of what a career coach can do:
- Properly assess a person’s interests and direction in terms of their career
- Guide a person to relevant positions that fit their career goals and interests
- Make sure a person’s resume and LinkedIn profile is formatted properly and error-free
- Help a person expand their professional network, prepare for interviews, and grow their skills
- Help a person navigate through their job offer or remuneration package