Should You Hire a Career Coach?

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The best careers are as personally rewarding as they are lucrative. However, seven in every 10 workers has reported dissatisfaction with their career choices. Such a common problem certainly demands a solution, which is why an industry full of career coaches has popped up to help everyday people find the job paths for which they’re destined.

What is a career coach?

A career coach is a professional whose expertise lies in career planning, resume building, interviewing, networking, motivational tactics, and salary negotation, among other skills. A career coach’s goal is to transform their client’s most remarkable professional experiences and achivements into a vision and a path for a new career or job opportunity. At heart, career coaches work with people to find them their dream jobs while also keeping their lofty ideas somewhat rooted in opportunities realistically available to them

How does someone qualify to be a career coach?

Most career coaches have completed training courses that qualify them for their work. Anyone who has completed these courses should be able to display a certficate on request. Not all career coaches go through such training, though, as prior experience in human resources and recruiting can qualify a person for a career coaching job just as strongly as formal classroom training does.

Who should hire a career coach?

To some people, consulting with a career coach is an act of desperation, one taken only after applying to job after job turns up no offers. To others, a career coach is perfectly helpful at the outset of a job hunt.

Career coaches can be sought even before a job hunt starts. People who feel unfulfilled or stuck in their current roles may benefit from career coaching services. Similarly, people who question whether they’ve made the best career choices for themselves or are interested in switching industries altogether may do well to hire a career coach. There is no wrong time to hire a career coach, but sooner than later is generally better for anyone encountering even modest feelings of job dissatisfaction.

How do people find their career coaches?

The average person, whether they know it or not, likely knows someone who has used a career coach. A candid but casual conversation with friends when the opportunity strikes is the perfect opportunity to talk about job frustrations and ask for any possible career coach recommendations. Even people who haven’t used career coaches may know people who have.

Professional networks for finding career coaches also exist. For starters, LinkedIn is an excellent online tool for searching for career coaches. Simply Googling “career coach” can also bring up swaths of local options.

No matter the method used in finding career coaches, there is one extremely important detail to keep in mind. Most career coaches charge by the hour, and their rates can be quite high. Thus, any career coach who charges a lofty upfront fee may be worth avoiding — career coaching is an abstract enough service that career coaching scammers, though uncommon, do exist.

Have you ever used a career coach? If not, would you ever? If you have, what did you think of the experience? Tell us everything in the comments!

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