“Do I Need a Career Coach?” – 3 Tips to Make the Most of This Relationship

May 20th, 2016

Whether you are looking to get a promotion, strengthen your presence within your company or figure out your next career move, working with a professional coach can make all the difference. Your coach will add organization, insight and clarity as you evaluate where you are, where you’ve been, and where you are going.

Use these tips to make the most of your relationship with your career coach:

Choose the Right Person

Make sure the services a coach is offering are the ones you need. For example, if you are striving for a promotion, find someone with experience in this particular area. Most career coaches are found as a result of personal recommendations or online searches.

  • Establish a set mode and frequency for communications. Establishing your time commitment and adjusting your schedule from the onset will make the process of working with a career coach optimally manageable and successful.

Go All In

Those who benefit the most from coaching relationships are those who engage the most in them. Think of your coach as a therapist for your professional life. Even if it feels like a stretch to open up to them at first, remember you have made a significant commitment. Stick to it until your needs are met.

  • Manage expectations. Communicate exactly what you want from the coaching relationship. Make this an ongoing practice. Be specific regarding what you want from your coach and from your career.
  • Help yourself in the process. Be aware of your strengths and assets, as well as trying to overcome your liabilities. Bring out all relevant details and information for your coach to see and assess. This includes any flaws or mistakes that may be holding you back. Together, you can evaluate the issues and challenges that stand in the way of what you are trying to achieve.

Make the Most of It

Here are a few more steps toward the best possible coaching outcomes:

  • Be prepared with questions. You don’t necessarily need a specific goal when you start working with a career coach. (Maybe that’s the reason you are there to begin with!) It is helpful, however, to have a set of questions that you need answered. They may be as specific as, “Should I include a summary of qualifications on my resume?” or as general as, “How do I figure out what I want to do?” This will help your coach to understand where you are in your career exploration or job search process, and what is most important to you going forward. It also makes you more thoughtful about what you expect to get out of the coaching experience.
  • Take notes. Take notes, both during general career exploration meetings and on specific topics, such as interview preparation, salary negotiation and how to give notice at your job. You need to keep track of where you are, as well as capture your own thoughts and insights as your coach makes observations and connects your values and new pursuits.
  • Do your homework. In your note taking, highlight the next action steps you need to take; then follow through on these items. Working with your coach will help you outline your plans and guide you on what steps to take, but the bulk of the work – networking, researching companies, going on informational interviews and the like – is up to you.

The Select Group, Inc., team can match you with a career coach who will zero in on your specific needs and help take your career to the next level. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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