What is a career coach?

1. What is a Career coach?

A Career coach is an expert in working with people who wish to improve their work satisfaction, change jobs, or make a career change. They are skilled in interviewing and counseling, and have specialist knowledge of the complex cognitive processes involved with making decisions about work choices and how to sustain resilience. They are mature individuals, with the most effective coaches having experience in different careers themselves.

2. The career coach will:

* Try to find out your life/work values, your purpose in life and identify careers which are aligned with this. The closer your job is to these critical values, the happier and more satisfied you will feel.
* Help you recognize what jobs you are suited for based on your talents, education, personality and ambition. These can be detected through general discussion, testing and probing questions. The best coaches are very honest and will tell you what you can aspire to and what your limitations are likely to be.
* Assist you to clarify your long term career goals and assist you to create an action plan to achieve them. This can take several sessions to complete.
* Structure your job search, help with your application documents as well as coach you to present well in job interviews.

3. The career coach won’t:

* Make decisions for you. Research indicates that decisions made by individuals themselves result in far higher levels of personal satisfaction and motivation to persist with them. The coach’s purpose is to assist your decision-making by helping you understand what are your values, raise your awareness of the important subconscious factors that may repeatedly cause problems with decision making, and help you identify & overcome any barriers to obtaining a career that fulfills your life purpose.
* Give you ‘pep’ talks or try to make you believe you can do anything. Career coaches are realistic professionals who will help you strive for the best you can achieve but not try to make you be someone who you are not.

4. What specialised tools does a career coach provide that may help me?

A career coach can deliver computer-based or quiz assessment tools that can classify your personality style, ideal career options and/or work strength/weaknesses. These tools have been researched to be accurate and relevant.

5. How many times do I need to see a career coach?

On average clients attend 3-4 sessions but some find an ongoing coaching relationship is extremely valuable and desire to continue training with their coach for up to several years. At first, sessions are weekly for the first month but then change to fortnightly or monthly.

6. What results can you expect from good career coaching?

After receiving coaching, you should have one or more of these outcomes:

1. Enhanced self-awareness and direction
2. Clarity of career and job-search goals
3. Increased career management skills
4. Overall improvement of your quality of life

7. Should I see a career coach?
Maybe. The determining question here is: Do you know what you want to do and how to get there? If so, do it yourself. If you are unsure about what career direction to take, if you have little idea of how to get somewhere – speak to a coach and see what they can do for you.

Dr Jonathan Moy is a health-professional career coach at Careerology. Please visit http://careerology.co.nz for more information about and tips for your continuing career development.

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