Career Planning

How to Choose The Right Coach For Your Career Success

So, you’ve heard so much about coaching that you’ve decided to investigate directly. But how can you choose a Coach for your career goals specifically?

What does a Coach do exactly?

Coaching, in its modern format, has been around since the late 1990’s.

Since then, it’s been a well-known form of support used by people from all walks of life in north America and in the UK. Only recently it’s become popular in the rest of Europe and the world, in countries where it was previously seen as a ‘luxury’ service for an elite of high-class professionals.

Coaching is a form of intervention delivered in a Question & Answer format, aimed at supporting people in achieving their future goals.

A coach is your facilitator who helps you to find the answers to your own questions from inside you while you set the agenda of what you want to BE, DO and HAVE.

It’s crucial to note that the Coach will not give you the answers: he/ she is NOT an expert in YOUR life. You will remain in charge of your own decisions.

By working with a trained and qualified Coach, you can expect to:

👉  Make sound decisions

👉  Take effective actions

👉  Resolve your challenges in the smoothest possible way

👉  Learn from the process so that you can be in charge of your future

You should expect all of these outcomes from any Coach – as long as they completed a relevant training programme accredited by the ICF (International Coaching Federation).

Most professional coaches completed a programme labelled along the lines of “Personal Performance Coaching” or “Transformational Coaching” or “Coaching for Change” and subsequently call themselves a “Life Coach”.

A Life Coach is a professional who could effectively coach you in any area of your private life where you may want support (e.g., your personal relationships). 

Person with a Coach label

Who hires a Coach?

The people who hire a Coach fall into two camps:

  1. People who are at the top of their game and want to stay there
  2. People who aspire to be at the top of their game and want to get there as fast as they can

Many people will say that they want to change themselves, their life, their job, or their circumstances, but in real terms, they are fearful of change. So, they procrastinate and make excuses while they read dozens of self-development books or listen to podcasts from all kinds of gurus, hoping to find the answers to their questions there.

These people are stuck at a stage where they lack the self-confidence and the drive to follow through. It’s human nature. It’s what most people always do first.

People who hire a Coach are at a different stage. They have a vision and are prepared to get fully engaged in making positive CHANGES in their life.

Plus, they don’t want it to take forever!

Careers word cloud on lightbulb

What should you look for in a Career Coach?

You should expect additional skills and areas of expertise from a Coach you may want to hire to boost your career, to change it, or to achieve the ultimate bliss: work/ life balance.

A Career Coach will utilise a mix of performance COACHING and MENTORING skills to guide you to achieve your professional goals.

How is mentoring different from coaching? A mentor has the right level of experience and gravitas to be able to advise you on your specific challenges you bring to the table.

A Career Coach will be a GUIDE for you, rather than a facilitator. 

The key differentiating points of a (good) Career Coach are:

🎯  Deep knowledge in a work-specific area they could mentor you on (not necessarily the same area as your career so far)

🎯  Extensive life and professional experience (think multiple careers, several ex-employers, different types of employment)

🎯  Specialist knowledge of one or multiple geo-markets (the ones that match your aspirations)

🎯  A distinct result-driven approach as opposed to a process-driven one (each Coach would have perfected their own methodology). 

Road to Success

Why is Career Success Coaching helpful?

In the modern era where many of us live in two parallel spaces – the off-line real world and the online one – time is the scarcest and most precious resource we have. Life seems to be speeding up incessantly and it can be hard to juggle work and life commitments while fulfilling our deepest desires.

In this context, it’s very common to hit a stage of overwhelm or uncertainty about our career path. Most people don’t even have the time to ask themselves: “What does Success mean to me?”. 

That’s a question you’ll be able to answer with a coaching plan focused on career success. The key outcome you will gain is the certainty of WHAT is missing in your present life that is preventing you to achieve your SUCCESS.

It’s a more pragmatic type of coaching that will generate a clear roadmap of WHAT TO DO to move forward in your journey to your professional end-goals. 

How is this possible? In my case, you will define your journey and I will back it up through my marketing expertise.

5 common misconceptions about Coaching

1 > A Coach is some kind of trainer.

In countries where the performance coaching technique is fairly new, there still is a lot of confusion around what it means.

That’s why many people assume it has the same meaning as the word “Coach” in the US. In the US a Coach is a trainer, especially as it’s been a title associated to the world of sports for decades.

In actual fact, a Performance/ Life Coach doesn’t train people on any subject: he/ she uses a special questioning technique to help them achieve their own goals.

2 > Coaches are all imposters and fake gurus!

The coaching industry has experienced a major boom worldwide in the last 3 years.

Since the 2020 crisis started, huge waves of newcomers to the market have taken to advertise “coaching” services online promising life-saving solutions.

The reality of fact is, there will be a number of people who are just self-appointed coaches: they don’t hold a certification from an accredited organisation. There will also be people who have a few years of experience in a specific area (even less than 10!) who are selling “coaching” services whereas what they offer instead is some assistance or guidance in their specific professional niches.

And yet, not all coaches are imposters: you just need to research their credentials and choose a real one.

3 > Anyone can be a Coach.

Despite its fast-paced growth, the coaching industry is still not regulated in any country or by any international organisation. There is no licensing requirement as such, so anyone can legally promote themselves as a “Coach”.

This low-entry barrier is also the reason why you will notice a growing number of organisations selling cheap courses online to become a Life Coach. I have come across ads selling these courses even at $7 while promising the prospect of a great lifestyle you will gain by working as a Coach.

The truth is anyone can be a Coach but not everyone can prove to be an OUTSTANDING Coach. So, if you are thinking to become one, think about how you are going to market yourself in this context.

4 > Coaching is for rich people.

Once upon a time coaching used to be for rich people. Now, you will find “celebrity” coaches who position themselves as high-ticket-worthy, but you’re able to choose between a “Primark”, a “Zara” or a “Giorgio Armani” tier of service.

If you are thinking to hire a Coach, it’s also important that you align your expectations with the price you’re prepared to pay. When evaluating the price, remember that you are not buying the Coach’s time: you are buying the OUTCOMES that your personalised plan will give you. 

As a marketer, I can foresee that the low-entry barrier to the sector and its continuous growth are two factors that will reshape the market in a way that coaching will become a commodity. In addition, the more people will find out how incredibly beneficial coaching is, the more the demand will increase and the prices will go down.

5 > A Career Coach must have a background in HR.

Unless you are pursuing a career in Human Resources, there’s no reason why somebody with a background in HR will be a better Career Coach than people with different backgrounds.

HR professionals certainly have extensive experience assessing CVs/ Resumes and candidate profiles but so do the direct Hiring Managers of any company.

The most important factor in choosing a Career Coach is determining to what extent that individual professional matches the SPECIFIC support you need now.

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Is Hiring a Career Coach Right for You Now?

Here are 4 simple questions you can go through to review your present status:

  1. Do you feel stuck in your professional struggles?
  2. Are you at a point where not taking action is costing you time and money?
  3. Could you use expert advice in moving forward?
  4. Are you ready to invest in YOURSELF?

💡  If you answered “yes” to these questions, career coaching is the right support for you right now. 

Want a quick way to screen your potential Career Coach?

I’m offering you a Checklist tool that will help you choose the right one by simply going through 10 questions. 

Download your Checklist ‘MY RIGHT TYPE OF COACH’.

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If you are ready to see some changes in your career or business, let’s chat!

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