5 Reasons to work with a Career Coach

Photo of a tiny seedling, throwing a massive shadow, to symbolise career growthThere are 2 typical responses when I tell people what I do…

1. What’s a Career Coach? 

That’s easy – I help people create careers that play to their strengths and meet their individual needs.

2. So you work with school students?

Well yes… along with everyone else.

The days of a career for life are over – and gone with them, the idea of career advice as a one-off session you get in school.

These days, people seek career assistance to negotiate career changes right through their life. So, I work with graduates, mid-career professionals and senior executives. I help women returning to work, people negotiating redundancy, seeking new work, positioning themselves for promotion – or changing careers entirely.

If you’ve been considering your career lately, this post’s for you. These are the top 5 reasons you might want to work with someone like me…

1. You’re stressed or unfulfilled in your job

You spend a huge amount of your life at work, and if you’re not happy in your career, it affects your whole life. Over time, little job niggles often grow into bigger problems… Having bad days here and there is normal, but if your bad days have morphed into bad weeks, months and beyond, you’re risking your wellbeing, your relationships and ultimately, your health.

It’s a profoundly positive step to visit a career coach – you’re effectively saying that you deserve more and you believe there’s more out there for you. You do, and there is. 

2. You’re feeling stuck in your career 

Maybe you’re unhappy, but you’ve got absolutely no idea what else you could do. Or you’ve got ideas, but you’re doubting yourself and wondering if your plan’s realistic. Other people can hold us back too, with the weight of their expectations, their investment in the status quo, or their (often unfounded) fears for your future.

Whatever your situation, if you’re stalled and stuck, there’s always a reason… But you won’t find it – or get past it – without taking action; Talking to a career coach can be exactly that step. It’s a positive opportunity to explore your situation, bounce ideas and reflect on what you need – and what you need to do, to move you forwards.

3. You don’t know what jobs or opportunities are out there 

As a career coach, I am constantly learning and updating my knowledge – about labour market trends, which fields are declining, which are growing, how regions are faring, what entirely new fields are emerging, how recruiters are recruiting, what industry wants. Keeping up with this is a full-time job, so unless you’re doing this too, you cannot possibly be across all the different options out there.

Most people learn about careers from their parents, teachers and peers – or from watching TV. That means that much of what you know is either wildly out of date (parents and teachers, depending how long ago you were studying), very limited in scope (you’ll likely know about the careers that you and your peers are in) or – if you’re relying on how different jobs are presented on TV and in films – completely unrealistic. You need the best career information, to make the best career choices.

4. You don’t know what you have to offer an employer 

Most of us tend to down-play our strengths – if we can even see them in the first place! If something comes easily to you, then you think it must be easy… and if it’s easy, then it’s probably not very valuable, right? But what’s easy to you may be very hard for other people, and enormously valuable – in the right career. You need someone to reflect those skills and strengths, and help you explore where you might use them…

If you can’t confidently articulate who you are or what you’re good at, a career coach can really help. Until you can, you’ll likely find it hard to map your strengths to opportunities, or to sell yourself either in your resume or in interviews. And having someone identify and reflect your value can be a hugely empowering experience.

5. You don’t know where to start 

Often, all we need is a catalyst – a kick-start to get us moving. You can wait a bit longer and see what happens… or you can seize the day, speak to a career professional, and start creating the life you want. The phrase I hear the most? I only wish I’d done this sooner…

If your car plays up, you get it serviced, if your tooth starts aching, you see the Dentist; Careers are no different. There’s professional help out there if you need it.

Want help to start creating a career you’ll love?

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