As the famous old saying goes, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. But reality can be very different for many professionals, considering the complex (and sometimes toxic) work culture that has become the norm for many organizations across industries. Many career challenges might seem insurmountable, from low salary packages to feeling trapped in a job. So then, what is the solution? Career coaching is one possible solution. Career coaches are qualified experts who support and guide individuals to focus on their current situation, help understand their professional strengths & limitations, recognize their future aspirations and chart a path to help them achieve their goals and objectives.
Career coaches are skilled professionals who have the knowledge and expertise to guide their clients along their self-discovery journey, especially regarding their passions and interests. Can the coach share their knowledge? Absolutely. But the coach is not the one who gives advice, but the one who leads a coachee to find their own way. To identify goals, a coach’s general purpose is to help their coachee reflect on their career so far, what they found most rewarding or challenging, and where they felt most energized or frustrated.
Additionally, the current employment fluidity and the increased desire of people to find careers that fit their lives and values better means that career coaches have a golden opportunity to help their clients figure out their next steps. Ahead are some of the incredible benefits of career coaching that one can expect, in order to help a person unlock their true potential in the career space.
Lao Tzu once famously said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The first step in career coaching is helping your client become more self-aware of their own career goals and aspirations. When the client knows their career objectives, it becomes easier to guide them along the path. After all, no one can change what they do not know.
Understanding the client’s values (what defines your client and how they relate to the outside world and other people) is a critical element of the coaching process and the primary focus of the journey. A career coach can not only act as the thinking partner for the client but also a trusted accountability partner. They can hold the client accountable for their goals and focused actions that they lay down for themselves and challenge them to step outside of their comfort zone.
Help with Job Search & Career Changes
The process of finding a new job in times of a pandemic is entirely different from what they were two years ago. In an era before Covid-19, the share of opportunities sometimes outnumbered the share of people looking for work, and going through an utterly virtual hiring process was far from the norm. However, landing a new job today can be pretty complex, which is where career coaches can step in to offer clients an opportunity to narrow down their focus, make the right connections, and ace their job interviews.
Plan Long-Term Career Objectives
Careers last the entire professional life of an individual. And if a person is going to spend a considerable amount of their lives pursuing a goal, they need to plan for it, and plan well. Long-term career goals are critical as they help a person achieve the dream job that they want and ensure that they are on the right trajectory.
In this situation, a career coach can help their clients review their long & short-term goals by evaluating their current position and assessing how realistic their goals are. If necessary, they can also help their clients adjust their career paths to align with their current and future expectations.
Gain Greater Job (and Life) Satisfaction
We have all been there, where we feel overwhelmed by how work seeps into our personal lives. Soon we are taking phone calls at family dinners, spending all our extra time at work and missing out on significant milestones of our lives. All this commonly results in burnout, loss of productivity at work and a lack of connection to our personal lives
An experienced career coach can help clients determine their core values and what fulfilment means to them in the larger sense. This is the foundation to determine long-term work-life balance. Once the client is clear about their important life goals, a coach can help them identify what adjustments they may need to make to create a sustainable plan for implementing those changes. Further, a career coach may also provide clients with the skills, tools, and confidence required to execute their plan for greater work-life balance. This will include multiple skills such as communication, time and resource management, emotional intelligence for personal effectiveness, visualization, strength & weakness identification, and more.
These elements will help clients put in place a solid foundation for achieving work-life balance, which will help them find greater fulfilment in their careers and personal lives.
Prepare Clients for Interviews
An interview is a critical factor in helping a person secure their dream job, and a career coach can evaluate the client’s resume to ensure it stands out in the crowd. While everyone wants to create a great resume, the most crucial factor to keep in mind is to ensure that there are no typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, outdated fonts or unappealing formatting.
A coach can ensure that the resume contains quantified examples of the individual’s impact on their previous jobs instead of just focusing on what their tasks & responsibilities were. They can also help their clients evaluate their current resume based on the above factors and help improve it to stand out and garner more attention from job recruiters.
Provide Honest & Unbiased Feedback
Sometimes, it is possible that despite constantly applying for jobs, a person might not be successful in securing a job of their choice. In such a scenario, a career coach can give the person unbiased feedback from the outside, and provide them with insights about what they may be doing right/wrong, and what they could do to improve their chances of success.
For instance, if a person has had a series of bad interviews, a career coach will be able to talk with them to determine why the discussions have been going poorly. With unbiased feedback, their job search could be more effective in the future. Also, a coach will provide their knowledge & experience and help develop strategies, so that the person can optimize their job search for maximum effectiveness.
Create a Personalized Career Plan
Even if two people follow the same profession, their aspirations, goals and job expectations could be very different. If a person requires a personalized career plan aligned to their own goals and aspirations, a career coach can be a helpful guide.
To create a personalized career plan, a career coach will first need to determine their client’s strengths & weaknesses and ascertain their values, goals & motivations. During their sessions with the client, a career coach will try to understand why they are unhappy with their job and help look for options that will fit their interests while ensuring maximum career satisfaction.
Navigate Through New Career Roles & Difficult Choices
Often people are unhappy in their careers because their skills and job responsibilities do not align. For instance, some may find themselves in marketing after an MBA degree and later discover that they are not good at their job. This is because marketing is a vast field, and finding what area interests a person (and what they are going to be naturally skilled at) will take some analysis, discussion, and of course, experience.
A career coach is a vital partner in helping a client understand which roles can fit their career goals and aspirations. Further, a coach can also help a person look for new roles to quickly transition into while assessing & refining their strengths, experience and foundational skills. Coaches who work with individuals who are in transition from one career to another can help them identify transferable skills and build a career narrative that can propel them into new roles successfully.
In conclusion, a good career coach will motivate people to get out of their comfort zone. No one can advance their career by standing still and everyone needs to push themselves to acquire more skills, knowledge, and experience. A career coach can be of great assistance in that regard.
1. How can one benefit from career coaching?
The Covid-19 pandemic has upended almost every work norm in the book, causing a shake-up in the job market that reverberates across sectors, job types, and employee demographics. Even though many organizations have shifted to a virtual space, the need to scale and grow careers is still the primary concern for many people.
A career coach can help give a person’s career a new direction and outlook. They can help them create an actionable roadmap towards finding the job of their dreams and gain confidence in that process. Some of the benefits of career coaching are as follows:
- Learn critical skills required in today’s work environment
- Get personalized, expert advice that is tailored to their specific situation
- Build confidence and define one’s value proposition
- Make informed decisions about the evolution of one’s career
- Gain lifelong career skills
- Help one recognize their values as a professional
2. Why is career coaching important?
A thriving career is more than just picking on a major and a job after graduation. It’s a lifelong process, which means that people will have to change according to their situations and make work and life decisions in sync with their current situations. In such a scenario, a career coach can assist people in making everyday career decisions that will enrich their professional lives. At the same time, a career coach can equip them with the knowledge and skills that they will need to make future career and life decisions
From starting a new career to creating a new CV, from negotiating specific terms to leading them towards their next professional step (or transition or even retirement), a career coach can add a lot of insight and value to a person’s profession.
3. What is the impact of career coaching?
Gone are the days when we worked to pay bills and we all understand that our health and wellness improve when we’re fulfilled at work. In the post-Covid-19 era, career coaching can help clients identify good-paying jobs in growing sectors that fit their current knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
The impact of coaching is immense and gives every individual, irrespective of their career choice, an opportunity to define, set and reach their career goals realistically. With the assistance of a coach, they can set these goals and then actively work towards them. This will increase the likelihood of their goals being achieved. In other words, career coaching is an effective tool to help people develop skills, build roadmaps to navigate internal career opportunities, and stay motivated and on track to achieve their long-term career goals.
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