Why Use a Career Coach?
If you find yourself wanting to change career paths, just starting the job search after college, or laid off, you’re probably wondering what to do. How do you step into a new industry when you’ve gained the skills but have no certificates to show for it? How do you make the leap from graduating college to landing your first full-time job? If your head is swirling with questions instead of answers about your career path, it might be time to employ a career coach.
Read on to discover what a career coach does, why you might benefit from hiring one, potential downsides, and how much you can expect to pay.
What Does a Career Coach Do?
A career coach is in the business of helping people find jobs, network, and plan out a career path. They also provide advice on employment issues, workload management, and stress. Career coaches can even help someone improve their interview skills, leadership abilities, and interpersonal skills. Coaches offer a variety of services to fit individual client needs, including resume updating, resume writing services, mock interviews, performance review preparation, leadership training, and conflict resolution training.
When Should You Hire a Career Coach?
If you find yourself out of work, in need of a career change, or just out of college with no idea where to begin your job searching, a career coach can step in to offer guidance. If you need redirection away from a dead-end job, a coach can offer step-by-step support on how to successfully make that type of transition. If you’re someone who’s a bit clueless on how to find a job and barely what is a resume is a resume or how to approach your job search, a coach can come in handy here as well. In general, career coaches are excellent at helping you navigate the job market because they are experts in their field.
If you have trouble networking, a career coach can give you tips on connecting with the right people to find the right jobs. Career coaches understand how to market yourself for jobs in a wide variety of industries. They can help you draft resumes, cover letters, and interviews, to position yourself as the go-to person employees want to hire.
If interviewing is your Achilles’ heel, career coaches can help with this too. Using mock scenarios, your coach can prepare you for interviews by helping you refine your pitch and practice what to say. Constant practice with your career coach in these mock interview scenarios is meant to simulate the real-world interviews you’ll ultimately find yourself in when applying to actual companies.
Finally, if you need help deciding which career path to take, which job offer to accept, or how to ask for a raise, a career coach can guide you with these things too. They’ve made it their career to help people just like you, and when you succeed, they do too.
What Should You Look for in a Career Coach
If you’re looking for a top-notch career coach, they should have a public record of success. There should be third party accolades and well-documented achievements in their field. If you search for their information online and nothing comes up, that could be a red flag. When it comes to paying for their services, a legitimate career coach usually does not ask for fees upfront. Instead, career coaches are usually hired at an agreed hourly rate. There should be no hidden fees or surprises, so if your coach tries to charge you in addition to the hourly quote, you might consider going elsewhere.
Downsides to Hiring a Career Coach
Most of the time you’ll have a pleasant experience with your career coach. There are, however, some potential downsides.
Because there are no official certifications to become a career coach, any person can position themselves as an expert – even if they have no expertise to offer. Unqualified career coaches will have little understanding of your needs as a job seeker in the specific industry you’re in. Keeping that in mind, it’s essential that you ask your potential coach about their professional background and request to speak with former clients in order to further establish the validity of their credentials.
When you do ultimately find a career coach who comes with the right qualifications and recommendations, they will usually come at a high price. The cost of hiring a career coach might be prohibitive to those without employment or college students on a strict budget.
How Much Does a Career Coach Cost?
The fees for hiring a career coach will vary depending on experience, expertise, and how many years of experience they have. Career coaches with a proven track record will be able to charge more than those beginning their coaching careers. In general, career coaches who are trying to establish themselves will charge anywhere from $50 per hour when starting out to $150 per hour if they’ve gained notoriety. For established and well-known career coaches, you can expect to pay hourly fees starting at $250 per hour.
Ultimately, if you have the budget and the need, a career coach can be a wise investment – but a costly one nonetheless.