Benefits of Career Coaching: What It Can (and Can’t) Do

benefits of career coaching
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February 11, 2022
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Sometimes being trapped in a work environment that has lost its appeal can feel a bit like running on an incline on the treadmill – you put in the hard work and a lot of energy but still don’t really go anywhere!

Most people experience some professional instability – be it coming to an absolute standstill at a job, just settling for whatever work is offered, mid-career crisis, demotivation due to work monotony, confusion about whether one is in the right industry, being overlooked for that deserving promotion, unsuccessful job searches, and in dire cases even job loss.  In such cases, getting professional advice, guidance and support from a well-qualified expert can prove to be the much-required leg up your career urgently needs.

Expert career coaching, via a methodical & organised process, can help individuals who are struggling with their jobs to better understand their stronger & weaker areas, their true interests and work inclinations, identify barriers – both psychological and social – that are blocking their professional advancement, zero in on the right opportunities, and prepare a step-by-step plan to achieve their professional objectives.

A skilled career coach can collaborate with a client to improve their job performance, devise effective job search strategies, identify the best fit jobs and workplaces, brainstorm novel ideas to come up with a plan that can deliver positive impact to their client’s career.

Read on to find out all the varied benefits of career coaching and how it can play a solution-oriented role and encourage an individual to take concrete steps on their journey to attaining professional goals.

Benefits of career coaching

a. Understand professional value

The important step towards taking charge or effecting a change in the professional life is to honestly recognize individual strengths, limitations, talents and knowledge as well as their actual application in the real work environment. Career coaching can help an individual have a clear grasp of the professional value that they offer their employers which can be a tremendous asset while refining job searches and also while negotiating remuneration packages.

b. Establish a personalized, executable career plan

Career coaching plays a significant role in helping an individual understand their current professional situation as well as their future career aspirations. It helps identify where they are and where they want to be. An expert career coach can provide guidance to direct the job search towards industries and workplaces that will best fit their talents & requirements. Further, career coaching can also get that individual out of their comfort zone to expand their horizon to previously unknown career options and also help overcome mental & behavioral barriers that stall progress. Career coaching helps recognize capabilities and options to chart out a practical, customized career plan that can bring individuals closer to attaining their career goals.

c. Develop new skills, upgrade existing abilities & boost confidence

To remain rooted in the fast-changing work scenario, it is necessary to constantly improve existing skills and learn newer technologies that will help individuals stay relevant in the job market and position them for professional success. Career coaches are qualified experts who are adept at guiding their clients in identifying prospective employers, how to stand out among peers in the fiercely competitive job market, and how to be positive and present all your best qualities in a confident manner. Confidence in one’s skills and understanding of one’s professional value are essentials to do well in any career.

d. Navigate through difficult career choices

There comes a stage, in most people’s careers when they are faced with a make-or-break situation or a critical career move that can have serious repercussions down the road or even a complex issue at work (which impacts the individual’s employment) that needs to be handled in a rational, mature manner. In such instances, sound advice and support are necessary to guide that individual in making the right decision. Rather than approaching a close friend or family member, who may be too close to the individual to offer impartial and frank counsel, a qualified career coach is the best choice to seek guidance from as they can assess a situation from a position of experience through multiple angles and give unbiased, constructive advice that can lead to a satisfactory solution.

e. Steer through career transitions effectively

So many people just go through the motion in their profession, remaining stuck at unfulfilling jobs, but never end up doing anything about it simply due to the fear of change and the burden of financial responsibilities. Career coaching can help individuals who are at professional crossroads by guiding them to find work that best aligns with their interests, skills, and values.

For those who have already made the leap and switched to a career of their choice, career coaching can help make the transition smoother by helping them understand the challenges of their new field and what extra skills they will need to incorporate to be successful at their new job.

Those who wish to pursue a different career but don’t want to make a drastic change, a qualified career coach can suggest starting out with small steps such as getting into supervisory roles or working part-time as a freelancer in the chosen industry to get a feel for that sector before making a complete switch.

f. Assume accountability for professional growth

There are many benefits of career coaching, but it can work only when the individual who seeks coaching wants it to work. It is necessary that the individual is prepared to put in the required hard work to achieve professional growth. A career coach doesn’t just help prepare an action plan but also ensures that the individual accepts accountability for executing the recommended steps and completing the tasks before the next session. A career coach helps the individual go deeper to understand their ambitions, tracks their progress, regularly checks in with the individual about the status of assigned tasks, etc. – all to ensure that the individual doesn’t stray from their intended professional goals and sticks to the path of achieving career objectives.

g. Stay motivated, reduce work anxiety & stress 

Job search or switch in today’s ultra-competitive world is neither easy nor tension-free. People send in hundreds of resumes without getting any response, face multiple rejections, reach the last round of interviews only to lose out on that coveted job to another candidate. All this can be crushing to the self-esteem, not to mention the amount of stress and anxiety that it puts on the mental health of that individual.

In such instances a career coach can act as a solid sounding board, an empathetic listener and also as an experienced voice that keeps the individual motivated despite setbacks and offers genuine advice that can help them overcome problems and keep trying for professional advancement instead of giving up.

h. Get unbiased, frank but constructive feedback

It’s human nature to want to hear only good things; hardly anyone truly wants criticism, even if it is constructive feedback that is essential to bring about change. If an individual is looking for professional growth, it is vital that they keep an open mind to honest, frank feedback. Career coaches offer advice from the position of a neutral third-party position who only have the best interests of their client. They help the individual identify strengths and weaknesses with eyes wide open, make them aware if their career goals are not ground in reality, prevent them from repeating previously-made mistakes and support them to find practical answers to their career challenges.

i. Utilize tools & resources, build personal brand 

An individual may have top-notch qualifications but if they are not presented well, they may fail to make an impact. Career coaching helps individuals utilize multiple tools and techniques at their disposal in a smart, efficient manner to get the best out of them. Career coaches can also help clients build a stand-out resume that highlights all the positives or create impressive cover letters, email signatures, and more.

Tools for Success

Our repository of online coaching tools will help you help your clients fast-track their goals!

Creating a strong personal brand is necessary for career advancement so that the individual stands out distinctly from their competitors. Impactful online presence, good communication and oratory skills, poise & confidence while engaging with prospective employers all create an impression and opinion about the individual’s job suitability. This does not mean on need to pretend to be someone they are not; presenting a polished version of the good qualities would help further their chances in the job market. 

j. Ace the job interview 

Sending out superbly worded resumes can only help a job seeker land an interview, not the job. The real make or break here is the all-important interview. How an individual presents themselves (grooming, dressing, oration, poise), how smartly they answer questions are as important as the qualifications and the experience they bring to the table.

A career coach can be the best person to seek out in this case as they can help the individual prepare thoroughly before the interview by providing professional insight into what to expect during an interview. Conducting mock interviews, listing out questions that are likely to be asked during the real one, guiding the individual on how to best respond to those questions to create a favorable impression, projecting a calm & confident persona, how to dress up appropriately for the work environment – all these things add up to giving the individual an edge over the competition and help their chances of getting the job.

What career coaching won’t do 

The benefits of career coaching are numerous and we’ve seen what impact expert career coaching can have on an individual’s career graph. But at the same time a career coach is not a magician who can work wonders at the snap of their fingers or make all the issues disappear with the wave of a wand. There are some things that career coaches will not (or should not) do:

a. Drop that dream job in your lap 

Many people operate under the impression, ‘hire a career coach and land your dream job’. Well, reality doesn’t work that way. A career coach can only provide the best support, guidance, tools and advice to an individual to maximize their chances of career growth, but the effort and time has to be put in by that individual to get a job of their liking.

b. Do the work for you 

Any career coaching program will only work when the coachee accomplishes the tasks given to them. To take the next step in the coaching process the previous one has to be completed satisfactorily. A career coach may work with you, but they will not do the work for you!

c. Be your therapist/life counsellor 

Don’t mistake career coaching for career counselling, they are not the same. A career coach will chart out a solution-based program to help the individual achieve professional aims but they will not help alleviate any depression/mental health issues or personal problems nor will they tell them how to live their life.

d. Agree with you all the time 

If an individual is looking for a coach whose ideas, strategies, and decisions they’ll hundred percent be in agreement with, then they are looking at the wrong professional. While an experienced, qualified and truly invested career coach will praise any strong points or suggestions that their client makes, they, at the same time, will have no hesitation at all to point out discrepancies or issues that they are noticing with their client that is coming in the way of their career progress.

e. Deliver instantaneous professional turnaround 

Professional growth or career transitions are not like instant ready-to-eat packaged foods that are ready to be delivered in two minutes. Any serious professional change or turnaround is a systematic, long-term process that happens with a lot of effort, planning and dedication from both the career coach and coachee. Although some smaller changes may become visible in lesser time, no individual should realistically expect career coaching to deliver immediate shifting of attitudes, overcoming of long-held mental barriers, or complete professional growth.

There are numerous benefits of career coaching that can help individuals who are looking to add significant value to their professional graph. Career coaching is a valuable service that can make all the difference between having a good career and a great one!

FAQs 

1. How can one benefit from career coaching?

Career coaching can benefit individuals who are seeking to further their careers, are ambitious & want to get ahead in their professional lives in multiple ways by helping them boost their confidence, understand their professional value, make informed professional choices, develop relevant skills, set practical objectives and chart out road maps to fulfill them, accept accountability for their career progression, and prepare themselves in an all-round manner by utilizing available tools and techniques (resumes, cover letters, interviews, job sites, networking) to get closer to attaining their goals.

2. Why is career coaching important?

Career coaching helps an individual boost their self-confidence, identify best-fit jobs and industries that are compatible with their talent and qualifications, recognize their present reality and future aspirations, help establish realistic goals, develop strategic action plans, find solutions to problems that hinder professional growth, and inspire and motivate them to give their best and not quit in their quest for career development.

3. What is the impact of career coaching?

Career coaching can provide a process & result-oriented learning for individuals seeking professional development. Career coaching can deliver measurable impact with improved attitudes and mindsets, better adaptability to change, high performance and productivity, sound decision making, more fulfilling & meaningful jobs and a high ratio of healthy, confident, professionally happy workforce!

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