Often when people hear the term “career coaching”, they think about job-search strategies, resume writing, and practice interviews. I have provided assistance with all of these needs, but career coaching is a much broader experience. Below are some examples of reasons you might decide to hire a career coach:
Choosing a Career
One of the first steps in the career coaching process often involves self-assessments. Our interests, values, and skills change throughout our lifetime, so does the purpose of our work. Young adults often want a work environment that will provide a good experience. Mid-career workers may be “climbing the work ladder” or choosing a work place that allows freedom to spend time with family. Seasoned workers may be interested in leadership roles or starting their own business. Knowing yourself and what you want from your work environment is a key step in choosing a career path. As a result, I often recommend the Values Exercise or an interest inventory at the beginning of the career coaching process.
Have you ever felt like a fraud or an imposter at work? Often when we get a new job or promotion, we feel like someone just called our bluff. Our training and resume say we can do the job, but this is the first test in the real world. This happens all of the time and has been referred to as the “imposter syndrome”. Career coaching can help you build your confidence, identify your strengths, and confront the doubting language and images that keep popping into your brain.
Professional Licensure Exams and Test-Taking Skills
Though not everyone thinks of test-taking skills as part of career coaching, I mention it here because many career paths require passing a professional exam. Not passing the exam can be devastating and can completely change your career trajectory. See Study Tips to Help You Pass a National Exam for success strategies you can use alone or with a coach.
Careers for Empty-Nesters
Lately I have been talking to women in their forties and fifties who suddenly hate their jobs. After a few questions, they reveal a change in the family dynamic: their children need them less. For years, these women have appreciated a job that helped pay the bills, gave them time to drive the carpool, or offered maternity leave. But now they long for a job which is fulfilling, rewarding, or exciting. Though I have heard this story from women, a shift in family dynamics can impact any parent or guardian. Career coaching may help you determine what you want from your job and how to achieve your new career goals.
One would think retirement should be fun. The new free time and lack of structure can be great for some but the transition away from the work environment can be devastating for others. Retirement can be a lonely time, can increase your risk of depression and isolation, and sometimes increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Many people focus on financial planning when they think about retirement, but it can be equally as important to create some strategies for time management, social engagement, and personal fulfillment. Career coaching can help you with the important transition to retirement.
As I see it, career coaching is truly a form of life coaching. The coaching process focuses on individual exploration and self-discovery in order to help people determine and create a personal path that fits. Whether you are a working professional, a recent graduate, an empty-nester returning to the workforce, or someone looking for a “second act” in retirement, career coaching can help you identify a path to your future. Check out the description of one-on-one coaching to learn more about career coaching with me.