1. Career Advice
  2. Career Coaching
  3. How you can find a career coach that can help you elevate your career
How you can find a career coach that can help you elevate your career

How you can find a career coach that can help you elevate your career

Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova

  • What does a career coach do?
  • Where to look for a career coach
  • How do you know if you found the right career coach for you?
  • What to ask when looking for a career coach
  • How to prepare yourself for finding a career coach
  • Key takeaways

A career coach will help you visualize your career goals, then make them happen! Learn how to find the career coach that fits your specific needs.

For those feeling stuck or uncertain or just a little bored with life, know you are not alone. In fact, exploring your possible career routes has become such a common phenomenon that an entire category of help has been developed. Enter the world of career coaching. 

Occasionally, the careers we once felt inspired by no longer excite us in the same way as we move through life. For one reason or another, the passion that we once had for the position transitions into curiosity for another. It can be difficult for some people to imagine what kind of opportunities they have ahead of them. When you spend so many years focusing on one avenue, you can develop tunnel vision. One of the beauties of referring to a career coach is that they have a new set of lenses and extensive knowledge of transferable skills and applicable industries. 

In this article we’ll discuss:

  • The role of a career coach and how they can help your career

  • Where to look for a career coach and how to tell if it’s a good fit

  • How you can prepare yourself to make sure your career coach understands your goals

What does a career coach do?

A career coach is a professional resource who can help with common career-related roadblocks such as resume writing, interviewing, negotiating, and career planning. 

A career coach is like a sounding board for an uncertain employee. When you enter a session with a career coach, you will likely be prompted to discuss your hopes and aspirations. By working through those questions and answers, the career coach will develop a better understanding of what you desire out of your career and what options are available. Often, working with a career coach opens you up to possibilities you hadn’t even considered yet. 

Where to look for a career coach

There are many places to look for a career coach. So many that it can be quite an overwhelming endeavor. There are a few main sites to consider, such as the NCDA or Upwork. For the most part, though, career coaches are freelance and can be found independently. 

Instagram is rife with coaches of all sorts promoting their services. While many of these coaches are promising, they're often outnumbered by coaches who are woefully inadequate, making it a struggle to find the right one. 

Networking is another avenue that can introduce you to promising leads. Turn inward to the connections you already have. Chances are high that someone in your professional network knows of someone who is tuned into the career coaching field. The more personal the connection, the more promising the results. 

Another platform to utilize in your search for a career coach is the networking website LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers the ability to search for a plethora of professionals, allowing you to filter through profiles that best align with your needs. 

How do you know if you found the right career coach for you?

The relationship with your career coach is much different than your other professional relationships. As you work with your career coach, you will disclose personal details of dreams and aspirations. You will hit roadblocks that you share with them, and you’ll find resolutions together. It’s a dynamic relationship and should be based on trust, vulnerability, and empowerment. So, how do you know when you’ve found that?

For starters, sessions with your career coach should never make you feel anxious or disheartened. If you walk away from a meeting feeling low about yourself or your career, then that might not be the coach for you. The right coach will make you feel invigorated and excited about your next steps. 

You also want to take a look at how well you align with your career coach in terms of what a career means to you. If you know you tend towards non-profits or charity work, but your coach is persistent about corporate life, then that might not be a compatible relationship. 

Always listen to your gut, having a career coach is all about you, after all. 

What to ask when looking for a career coach

When meeting with your career coach for the first time, they might put the focus on you. While that's a great sign, you have the final say on whether or not the fit is right. Take time at the beginning to ask them questions. Inquire about their professional background, how many clients they’ve worked with, and what they specialize in. 

You might want to also ask about their own career and the successes and hardships they’ve overcome personally. This is all just to gauge the relevance of their insight to your career goals and to see if your personalities mesh well too. 

How to prepare yourself for finding a career coach

Before you even begin to search for a career coach, consider the following questions: 

  1. Do you have an idea of your direction or is that something you’d like help with? 

  2. If you have a specific goal, what kind of roadblocks are you hitting? 

  3. If you don’t have a career goal, describe your ideal role. Are you in a high-rise corporate building or a small in-home office? Do people report to you, or vice versa? Do you work alone or as part of a team?

You’ll begin to paint a mental image of where you want to end up, you can then work backward to create a map of how you’ll get there. If you bring this concept to a career coach, they will surely be able to help make those steps a reality. 

The career coaches at Career.io are eager to help you take your career to the next level. Check out our career coaching services, and get started today!

Key takeaways

  1. Career coaches are a helpful and effective tool for elevating your career.

  2. It’s worth the effort to find the career coach that fits you best. Be methodical in your search. 

  3. Prepare yourself for your meeting with a career coach: ask yourself prompts to better understand what you hope to achieve from working with them.

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