Taking the right path for your career is always a tricky thing to do, especially in this highly advanced world. Feeling tangled in a whole bunch of career options is but natural. To be able to make the right choice, we always take career advice atleast once in our lifetime if not repeatedly. Who we go to for career advice matters the most. More and more people today are turning to professionals for career coaching.
Be it someone starting out fresh or someone willing to switch career paths, career coaching can be taken up at any stage in your career life. However, we first need to first understand what career coaching is and what does it entail.
Career coaching is the hiring of a career coach who helps you make important career choices and decisions for your own benefit and professional growth. Career coaches are experts in interviewing, suggesting career choices based on your resume and skills, career planning, resume building, negotiation, network building etc. They basically bank on your skills and help you market them in the best possible way to potential employers.
Career coaches have long term experience in human resources and hiring which is why they understand what exactly employers look for in candidates while hiring. Using this knowledge, they train their clients for interviews and other career-related skills. They try to first understand the current working patterns, habits and culture of the clients and make them future-ready for the next job they wish to or should take.
Although some institutes offer career coaching or career counselling courses, a majority of coaches don’t really hold any certification, nor is it a necessity. The more experienced a coach is in this field, the higher the success rate they hold, and the more word of reference they have, the more valuable and credible they are.
If you are hearing the term ‘ career coaching ’ for the first time, you are unlikely to have any contacts that can introduce you to a career coach. Usually, word of mouth is the best way to find a good and reliable coach. You can ask some of your colleagues or friends who you might know are going for career coaching. If you don’t have anyone in your network, you can search for a career coach online, either using LinkedIn or other social media sites. Make sure you do thorough research and background check before you circle in on someone.
Since career coaching is a newer approach to help people go about their careers in the right way, it will be difficult to find a perfect career coach for yourself. Therapy, of any kind, is always expensive. If a career coach asks for a high fee upfront, make sure he is a reliable one and not just someone who has jumped into this profession only to mint money.
When you finally find a career coach for yourself, don’t hesitate to ask them how they want you to prepare for the first session. Do they want you to come prepared with a set of questions, your resume or your entire portfolio for better understanding? Each career coach will have a different approach to deal with clients. You can choose the one that adopts practices that are most convenient for you.