Dear Career Coach, What Do You Do?

Posted November 15, 2018, by Jenny

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever path you have taken so far in your life you have expertise, skills, and knowledge. However, unless you are a career coach yourself, your expertise is not in careers, and navigating the job market is never as easy as it sounds. As an expert in your own field, you can’t also have the broad industry-spanning knowledge of a career coach. Why then, do we feel like a failure if we struggle with choosing an ideal career, with writing our resume, or acing an interview?

Everyone has skills and strengths, as well as their own tastes and passions, wrapped up into a package which makes you uniquely you. How then, do we direct our particular skill-passion-experience-combo down a career path? Not as simple as we would like. We can struggle to identify or make choices between the forest of options, and the answers never come easily.

This is where your career coach comes in.

Let’s discuss career coaching in more detail. Why hire a career coach? What is career coaching anyway? Are they the same as career counsellors? And how can a career coach help?

What does a Career Coach do?

When you first meet your career coach you provide them with information about your education, your interests, passions, and work experience so far. They may ask you to take some tests (don’t panic you can’t fail). Then, they take an objective and expert view as they look over and consider your personal circumstances. Don’t forget, they will be on your team in those moments. They are not looking you over to tear you down, or to pull you apart for walking out of that job you hated so much after only one week. They don’t take a harsh critical perspective, rather they are going all-guns-blazing into a constructive, positive and proactive collaboration.

They walk you through a coaching process, and during the process, you can hone, clarify and optimise your career goals.

Why hire a Career Coach?

Your career coach will come up with new perspectives in relation to your career which you might not have considered.

Had I visited a career coach early on in my working life, they might have picked up on my passion for writing and suggested I pursue a career in journalism or another type of professional writing. But I didn’t. Writing has been a constant for me since I was a child, yet it never occurred to me, and no-one ever suggested to me, there are careers to be made writing. Now in my 30’s, I find myself freelance writing, and I can’t believe I never thought of doing this work before. Sometimes from within our own world and journey, we can’t see the obvious (until it’s too late and opportunities have been missed).

If you haven’t found a career which really taps into your passions, your career coach can help you take a step back and come up with career ideas you might never have thought of.

You probably know your strengths and weaknesses but do you know how to put a spin on your strengths to present them as a positive? No? Well, your career coach does!  

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I know what I want to do – Is a Career Coach worth it for me?

If you’re more sorted than I ever was, and you do have a clear career path in mind, this doesn’t mean a career coach can’t help you. Rather, in your case, your coach can help you to revitalise your resume, and improve your interview techniques helping you to get the best results possible as you hit the job market.

Your career coach might even know about the perfect company which aligns with your passions and goals, but you never heard of them.

Furthermore, you can practice your pitch with your coach, without risking everything on the first interview you land.

What does a Career Coach cost?

Yes, of course, there is a cost. However, in return, when you truly engage in the process a career coach can help you to identify, pursue and realise a career path which will see you bouncing out of bed on Monday mornings. And if you ask me, that is priceless!


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