Career coaching is a type of personal coaching that helps people find greater fulfillment in their careers. Career coaching helps people with a wide array of career-related issues. Some people seek career coaching because they're stuck in a dead-end job that brings no meaning or purpose. Others are challenged by the demands of balancing their work lives with their personal lives. Some clients know exactly what they want to do with their lives, and need help finding and executing a plan to get there, while others have languished without a clear calling in life. Career coaching helps people with all of these concerns and more.
Career coaches typically have experience and training in a variety of personal career development strategies, including:
- Career exploration
- Interviewing skills & confidence building
- Creative job search strategies
- Resume writing
- Strengths assessments
- Values assessments
- Personal marketing and branding
- Evaluating prospective employers
- Salary negotiations
Career Coaching versus Career Counseling
Career coaching is similar in nature to career counseling. A career counselor provides you with industry information and advice to help you find a job. A career coach goes deeper to look at your whole life.
A career counselor takes an educational, directive approach at building your tools for acquiring a job. A career counselor helps you assess the current employment landscape by providing employment information such as industry trends, employment statistics, salary expectations, and more. They also provide tactical support to find a job. For example, a career counselor can help you refine your resume, write a compelling cover letter, and get into the interview. This may be what you are looking for, especially if you are new to the workforce and are seeking an entry-level position.
While similar in many ways, career coaching focuses more on your personal strengths, talents, and values, and helps you build your ideal career path based on these fundamental factors. A career coach works with you to find your true calling in the workplace - the career that will give you true meaning and purpose. Career coaching is based on the premise that if you are going to spend 8 hours a day or more in your job, it might as well be something that you love.
A career coach will take the time to really listen to you. A career coach uses a variety of tools, exercises, and activities to help you identify your career goals and, critically, take action toward achieving them. After only a few sessions, you will have a much clearer sense of what type of career will give you the most joy and satisfaction, at which point you'll be in the position to start developing an action plan to get there.
How does the career coaching process work?
Career coaching typically consists of a series of one-on-one sessions between you and your coach, usually lasting 45 to 60 minutes each. Most clients meet with their career coach once a week, although some clients meet every two weeks or even just once a month.
In the first one or two sessions, your career coach will usually acquire information about your career goals and life ambitions. Many coaches will also give you a number of assessments in the form of questionnaires, surveys, and other tools to help you identify your strengths, values, and the things that give you meaning and purpose. The primary goal of these initial sessions is to give you, the client, absolute clarity about what you want to achieve, and then help you develop a personalized career plan.
At the end of each session, your coach will ask you to commit to taking various tasks to complete before the next session. These will generally consist of specific actions which you and your coach have identified as being the most important things you can possibly do to move closer to meeting your career objectives. Your coach may even challenge you to take action that moves you outside of your comfort zone.
From week to week, your coach will hold you accountable to make sure you’re constantly taking action. Commitment, accountability, and follow-through are some of the most valuable components of the coaching process, and they are a big reason why people who work with a career coach experience progress and career growth.
How much does career coaching cost?
Career coaching fees vary considerably from coach to coach, and are usually based on the coach’s experience, background, and training. Generally speaking, coaches with more experience and training charge more than beginning coaches. Most coaches, however, typically charge in the range of $75 to $250 per hour.
Investing in your career plan is not for everybody. It's a considerable investment of time and money. Many coaches will ask for a 3 to 6 month commitment to ensure your success so you're looking at spending, on average, somewhere between $1000 and $2500.
When asked about the cost of coaching, one of the coaching clients interviewed by Noomii had this to say: "So there's pros and cons of both. At the end of the day, life is too short. You got to live the adventure. And I'm not here to live and die. I'm here to make things happen. Life is exciting. Hire the coach. Hire the coach. Get it done. Make it happen. You'll be better off. You'll feel better."
How do I find a career coach?
As with any kind of coaching, finding the right career coach is critical to achieving your goals. Because coaching is a very personal experience, you want a coach who's background, training, and experience closely match with your own background and specific goals.
The best way to find the right career coach is to interview several prospective coaches, and ask them a series of questions to help you determine which one will be best for you. We recommend that you interview at least 3 coaches to ensure that you get a good fit.
If you're ready to start finding your coach, Noomii has hundreds of life coaches and a free service to help you find a career coach that matches your specific career goals.